(Closed) No gift for a wedding shower?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1433 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House

@Vidya:  I wouldn’t attend, but thats just me. I’d personally feel awkward coming to a shower without a gift.  It’s more about how you feel though.  Do you feel comfortable going?

Post # 4
2009 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yes, go.  Bring a card.  Celebrate their love!

Post # 5
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would say still go.  Maybe your mother would be able to let you sign the card for her gift?  That’s why my parents always do when I have been sans money in the past.  It is especially fitting since they put you on the same invitation lol.  But yes I think you should go.  I’m sure they would love to have you, gift or not.

Post # 6
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Can you make her something by hand? It will be cheaper and I always thought homemade gifts were the best! Maybe jewerly?

Post # 7
872 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I would say go! You can always pull her aside and let her know her gift is coming. 

It would be really nice if your mom was getting a gift if she could put your names on the card though, like other bees have suggested. 

Try bringing some cupcakes if you can make them / buy them to bring something to contribute to the party with. 

At the very least offer to help clean up after the party, that is a nice gesture. 

Hope this helps some.

Post # 8
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I had family members come to my bridal shower with no gift, no card. I was a little upset, I’ll admit. Because I thought at least a card would have been nice. But some people don’t think about it, I guess.

So if you want to go, go! and just bring a card. Or inquire about pitching in a small amount to a “group” gift maybe?

or, politely decline, and save up for the wedding itself. Many options…

Post # 9
1696 posts
Bumble bee

Traditional shower gifts, out of respect for people in exactly your position, are supposed to be small, inexpensive day-to-day housekeeping consumables: the kind of thing that a house-wife always keeps on hand but a newlywed wife hasn’t had time to stock up on yet — potato peelers, dish cloths, cookie cutters, doilies, pillowcases — that sort of thing.

It seems like a generous impulse, to give something bigger and more expensive. But it’s thoughtless. The whole point of a shower is to open the gifts publicly in front of everyone. If someone decides to give an expensive heirloom-quality gift at the shower, they “show-up” and embarrass anyone who cannot afford that level of ostentation. Expensive showy gifts should be sent to the bride’s home, where they can be opened discretely. The acceptable way to show off at a shower is by the cleverness of your gift, not by its costliness.

So, you should give a gift, because that is the raison d’etre for a shower, but the gift should not be expensive. Your own financial constraints are irrelevant: it should be inexpensive out of consideration for any other guests who are in similar constraints.  But since you don’t want to feel “shown-up” by the other, other guests, the ones who don’t know better than to give ostentatious gifts, you’ll want to be a bit clever. Some ideas:

  • Do you knit (especially if you can do fancy stitches like cable-knitting)? Then knit a couple of dishrags out of the kind of cheap cotton string “butcher’s twine” that you can get at the grocery store. When my nieces were Brownies they had to knit a square to get their “golden hand” and I loved the dishrags I got as a result! Total cost, about $2.
  • Do you have a favourite family recipe? Write it out on a decorative card and give it along with pre-measured ingredients in zip-lock bags, and write the history of the recipe on the back of the card. For example, rice pudding needs 500ml whipping cream, 1ml salt, 30ml sugar, 30ml rice, and a grating of nutmeg. Total cost, about $6.
  • Can you find some obscure and clever household gadget, like a nutmeg grater or the archetypical cartoon can-opener or a just-plain-silly gadget like this? Half the fun is letting people guess what it is.
  • Do you have special access to something unique and ethnic that matches up with the bride’s preferences? Like a maki-zu and paddle for a bride who likes sushi but lives in a town with no Asian market, or a good garam masala paste, or a set of barbecue-skewers. You can dress these gifts up by including some recipe cards that you’ve written out in a decorative script.


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