Six Gifts You Should Never Give for a Bridal Shower

Some people have a talent for finding just the present for the occasion. Others? Not so much. If you’re like most and belong to the latter group and want to keep your relationship with the bride intact, then let us clue you in on which bridal shower gifts you must absolutely avoid.

A re-gift.

Since the ceramic turtle lamp didn’t quite work with your apartment’s décor, what should you do with it? Don’t think for a second about giving it to the bride. Even if she never found out it was a regift, it has “tacky” written all over its shiny shell. Put it on Craigslist or donate it to charity instead.

The same gift you gave the bride’s sister.

We know how loving yet competitive sisters can be, so make your gift an original that plays to the bride’s individual taste. Otherwise giving her the same bamboo wine rack that you gave at her sister’s shower the year before will feel like “been-there-done-that.” Want to keep to the wine theme? Give her four beautiful wine glasses.

Something embarrassing.

The theme of this gift usually involves nudity, sex, or both. Hey, naughty girls, remember that Grandma’s in the house! No bride wants to open a beautifully wrapped package and find a vibrator or dishtowels with illustrations of couples in compromising positions as her sweet grandmother curiously looks on and wonders what all the giggling is about. Save the raunchy stuff for the bachelorette party.


Something you can’t afford.

You’re excited about your friend getting married so you head to her registry to buy the perfect shower gift and whoa! Everything is north of $100. You were hoping to spend a lot less. Will you look cheap if you do or should you resign yourself to a month of ramen noodles for dinner? You’ll be glad to know it’s perfectly acceptable for you to buy a gift in your price range that’s not on the registry. Ideally, the bride would have had different price points, starting with $25, on her registry but since she didn’t-or others already snatched up the affordable gifts-you’re under no obligation to buy something from the registry that will give your credit card acid reflux.

Something you’d love but aren’t sure she will.

You’ve always wanted a pizza stone and assume everyone else does too. But does the bride like to cook? Does she have a cabinet full of specialty kitchen equipment that she regularly uses? Or is her fiancé the cook? Depending on how you answered these questions, it might be better to buy her something she’ll actually appreciate. And splurge on that stone for yourself.

Whatever you gave her the first time she got married.

That monogrammed blanket was a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift, and she likely cherished it-until the marriage soured. She’s getting a fresh start now and so should your gift. If you’re big on monograms, think of something else to letter, like a photo frame, serving tray, spa robe, or set of pillowcases.

Adapted from an article in Martha Stewart Weddings, by Nancy Mattia.