Shower vs wedding presents

A good friend of mine is getting married soon. There is a wedding shower being thrown for him and his fiance. And I’m boggled, as usual, about gifts for showers.

My understanding is that traditionally, the shower was to insure that the bride had all the little household things she would need. These are a pair in their mid-30s. My friend has had his own house for years. There are no little household items that they really need.

So what is considered shower level gifts now? The $20 corkscrew set on their registry? I’m always stumped when it comes to bridal showers.

Shower: Something from their registry that you can afford
Wedding Reception: Card with cash

Something they’d enjoy but don’t really need? Something they’ve always intended to get but put off in favor of more practical things? Maybe something practical but new for the two of them, like towels in colors they both like, or dishes that are theirs instead of his or hers. Something decorative as a symbol of a new life together. They may both have pretty much everything they need, but it might be nice to have things that are new for their marriage, instead of things they brought in from their individual lives. Or is there a hobby or activity they enjoy together, for which you could get them some of the equipment?

In my experience, a lot of people give cash at the wedding. You can be sure it won’t disappoint anyone. As far as the shower, if they registered for it, they definitely want someone to buy it for them. And if you can’t afford anything on the registry, get a gift card to the store they registered at.

I’m not a big fan of cash as a gift under any circumstances, even disguised as gift cards. I usually give a set of Christmas tree ornaments to couples if I know they celebrate the holiday. That way, they have some ornaments that are unique to them as a couple. They may not really think much about them at the time, but later when they take them out each Christmas, they can say, “remember? These were on our first Christmas tree after we got married.” As for shower gifts, I would give a gourmet food item or great bottle of wine instead to a couple who is older, established and already outfitted for married life. Who needs more crap?

Get two ornaments if you go that route. They can each have one later.

I thought the bridal shower gifts were supposed to be stuff for the bride - like a spa gift or a naugthy nighty and the wedding gift is supposed to be for the couple.

But in your case a small gift from the registry for the shower should be fine. A larger gift or cash is appropriate for the wedding.

Wine. If they have everything already, get something that requires replenishment.