As her maid of honor, I am planning my friend’s bridal shower. I have never even attended a bridal shower, so I have no clue how to start. One thing that my friend has requested is no gifts… most of her friends are grad students, and she doesn’t want them to spend too much money on her. Is there a polite way I can phrase this on the shower invites? And do you have any suggestions on what we can do for the bride in lieu of traditional gifts?
To get you started here are some links to various bridesmaid resources -you’ll find everything from bridesmaid duties, how to plan bridal showers, bachelorette parties, etc. I also wrote a blog about bridal showers awhile back that might be helpful.
To inform guests that the bride has requested no gifts, you could include a line on the shower invitation that says “Your presence is the only gift we request.” Or you could always spread the news via word of mouth.
If you’d still like to do something nice and thoughtful for the bride, these are some ideas for gifts that cost little or no money:
1) Provide guests with recipe cards or even plain index cards and ask them to write down their favorite recipes. This way the bride-to-be will have tons of great new recipes to start off her newlywed life.
2) Create “coupons” where guests pledge their “labor of love” and promise to help the bride paint, move, or donate any form of time/talent.
3) I did the next idea for a friend’s surprise birthday party recently. It’ll cost you a little bit of money but it’s something your friend is sure to love! Purchase a scrapbook. During the party, take a polaroid picture of the bride with each guest. Then have each guest write a heartfelt message to the bride under their picture. This will be a wonderful keepsake for the bride.
Whatever you decide to do, I’m sure your friend will appreciate all your efforts! Good luck!