Wedding and bridal shower gifts were traditionally given to help the couple prepare for their new lives together. But with people waiting longer to get married, living together before marriage and people marrying more than once, wedding gifts have become more of a gesture than a necessity.
Unlike bridal showers, baby showers remain more traditionally useful. No matter how many children a couple has, they will still need new diapers, formula, teething rings and blankets.
Etiquette dictates that you should bring a gift to the shower and wedding if you are invited, but you shouldn’t feel pressure to get the most expensive thing on the registry. There’s also nothing wrong in partnering up with a few friends to share the cost of a gift. Including a genuine and heartfelt card with a gift can increase its value to your friends as well.
Registries are the best place to start to find a gift, but if it’s down to just a few cost-prohibitive items, you should not feel obligated to put yourself in financial danger just to save face. If you cannot afford something off the registry but still want to bring a gift, something simple and sentimental can do the trick. Books, music and photos can be lovely gifts with a personal touch that are also affordable.
The size and scale of the event should not obligate you to a more sizeable present. So if you know that the bride is spending $75 a plate for the reception or a new mom rented a fancy banquet hall for her shindig, congratulate them on how nice everything looks, but feel free to stick to your reasonably-priced present.
[Woman receiving gift image via Shutterstock]