2011 Wedding and Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Since wedding season is officially in full swing, I decided now would be a perfect time to do a post on gift ideas for the bride and groom. These days, most couples have a wedding registry, which makes things easy for guests and easier for the couple so they don’t have to worry about returning duplicate gifts. But I know some guests struggle with the whole registry thing. You might want to give the couple something more personal, something that comes from the heart, something meaningful.

I have a few weddings to attend this year and I’m already scouring the internet for unique ideas. I absolutely love buying people gifts (far more than I love receiving them!). I’ve lost count of how many times people have come to me for gift-giving ideas, so these days, I dub myself an expert 😉 I feel if you know the couple and their tastes well enough, by all means buy them something special.

When it comes to buying gifts, whether for a wedding, birthday, or just because, I like to think of the classics. Things that won’t get lost on the top shelf or in the back of the closet, items the recipient will be proud to show off to guests and something they’ll be excited to use again and again. Something that never gets old.

Here, find some affordable wedding and bridal shower gift options I’ve come across. Remember, if you’re not using the registry, you have to find a gift that is unique enough so you won’t duplicate it 😉


Chalkboard Dessert Pedestal ($32), Etsy.com. This pedestal just has so much character and I love how you can change the message depending on what you’re serving. Personality!


Initialed Serving Platters ($75), Etsy.com. A custom gift, especially with someone’s initials, is generally a win/win! This set of stunning ceramic platters (large: 11.5″ square, medium rectangle: 6″x11.5″, and small: 6″x8″) are perfectly simple and match almost anyone’s decor.


Forever Carved in Wood 10″ Platter ($40.00), Etsy.com. This is definitely an “ooooh. ahhhh” kind of gift. A precious gift like this will make any couple smile and have their guests talking. Instead of using for snacks and appetizers, the couple could also hang it on a wall, too.


Set of 2 Recipe Platters ($95), Etsy.com. I can’t get enough of these platters! You can send the artist two recipes and they’ll replicate them in sepia tones onto the 10″ plates. If the couple has a cherished or coveted recipe that’s been passed down in the family, this is a terrific idea that will definitely be a tear-jerker!


HOME Letter Pillows ($98), Etsy.com. I always think the best thing about buying thoughtful gifts for people is the person would almost never buy them on their own. A good gift is a treat. And these pillows are definitely that. If the couple you’re buying for are word-geeks they will fall madly in love with these.


Cold Beverage Jar with Stand ($49.95), Crate and Barrel. I’m so nosy when it comes to looking at people’s wedding registries and one thing I’ve noticed that always seems to go unnoticed? Nice pitchers and big jars for serving beverages. These are almost necessary, especially if the couple loves to entertain. Because one hot Summer day, at the last minute, someone will have the bright idea to whip up a batch of ice-cold lemonade and won’t have anything to serve it in!


Shake, Stir, Chill, Sip Cocktail Plates ($12.95). Crate and Barrel. This set of plates is so graphic and typographically driven that it’s hard not to love them. Especially if the couple is artsy! Purchase some barware off of their registry, simple drink mixes, add these plates in and you’ll have the perfect gift.


Tilt Bowls ($14.95/large $12.95/small), Crate and Barrel. If the couple likes clean and simple design with a touch of modern, these handmade glass tilt bowls will be a nice addition to their home’s decor! The best part is they can be used for snacks or candles so they’re quite versatile and will get lots of use.


Cozy Cable-Knit Throw ($119.00), Pottery Barn. Every living room needs a couple of very comfortable throws especially for those freezing cold nights. These machine washable cable-knit throws reverse to a faux-sheepskin microfiber for added warmth and are just plain pretty. Did I mention they’re machine washable? They’ll be used every single day.


Monogrammed Oval Paperwhite Soap Set ($39.00), Pottery Barn. One of my favorite ways to present gifts for bridal showers is in a beautifully arranged basket. I’ll often pick a “theme” or a room in a house and center the items in the basket around that. I try to find “like” objects on a registry and group them together as one gift. If the couple registers for, say, a shower curtain, bath mat, and toothbrush holder, you can add something custom in like these soaps (which are perfect for a guest bathroom) to create a “bathroom basket”. The little extra touch acts as a nice surprise since the couple already picked everything out on their own.


Lightweight Organic Robe ($79), Pottery Barn. Who doesn’t love a matching monogrammed robe set? What couple doesn’t want to look like they just walked out of a Pottery Barn catalog. I know I’m not the only one who has made this a life goal 😉 These wrinkle-resistant, 100% organic cotton, machine-washable robes are perfect for warm weather and make sipping the morning coffee on the deck look that much more adorable.


Bhotah Beach Towel ($25), Pottery Barn. For the couple who lives on the beach in the Summer, these monogrammed towels measure 32″x64″ and are perfect as set. Not overly feminine or masculine. You could also toss in a gift card to the couple’s favorite beach-side getaway spot or a restaurant where they’ll be honeymooning.


Personalized Apron ($29), Williams-Sonoma. Because the couple who cooks together, stays together! Personalize these aprons with the bride and groom’s individual names or the couple’s last name. These aprons are a classic.

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12″ Honeycomb Platter ($125), Tiffany & Co. People automatically gasp when they see a bag or box from Tiffany’s because they think you spent an insane amount of money. But Tiffany’s is one of my absolute favorite places to find those special bridal shower gifts. Not only are they stunning but if you look closely, you’ll find some are actually quite affordable. These are the gifts that get passed down from generation to generation. True classics. I always remember growing up looking in the curio at my parent’s house or helping my mom clean all of our nice glassware and China and her telling me who bought them what for their wedding. These are the gifts that are so simply designed but create the most conversation. You always remember the person who bought you Tiffanys.

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11.75″ Tiffany Sierra Square Platter ($145), Tiffany & Co. This crystal platter literally knocks my socks off. The perfect gift for entertaining. Or just displaying.

What other wedding gift ideas do you have to add to the list? Or, if you’re married, what was your favorite wedding gift that you received?

22 Responses to "2011 Wedding and Bridal Shower Gift Ideas"

  1. Erica says:

    SUCH a great post! We went through such a rush of weddings these last few years and finding unique gifts was always tough. The Initialed Serving Platters are a great gift! So cute! To be honest…our favorite gift was of course…$$! But we did receive a few unique pieces (embroidered blankets & towels, homemade paintings, etc) that were so special, that we will keep them forever.

  2. Simply Life says:

    wow! these are amazing! I’m loving the tilted bowls and chalkboard plate!

  3. Joanne says:

    OMG those tilt bowls…I want, love and need.

  4. I love these ideas but I especially want the chalkboard dessert plate!

  5. sweeter salt says:

    All great ideas. I’m thinking selfishly of course, since I have my own bridal shower in June – ha! Might need to go add a few things to the registry…


  6. Sharlene says:

    Ahh! I have 3 weddings to attend in the next 3 weeks and these suggestions are perfect. Thanks so much!

  7. Daisy says:

    I have two weddings this summer. what a great post!! thanks ladies. (I have also spotted things I want for myself. Oh wait, that would be just about everything here!)

  8. These are wonderful ideas!! I’m going to a wedding this weekend in fact – the season is about to take off!

  9. Lauren says:

    So true on the Tiffany. My grandmother got us two Tiffany champagne flutes for a pre-wedding gift, and we toasted out of them at the wedding. We keep them in the pretty blue box (they’re so delicate that I don’t want them to ever break!), and whenever we have something to celebrate (new job, new house, my book deal!), we take them down and toast with our gorgeous glassware. I’ll definitely be passing them down someday.

  10. Amy says:

    i love all of these! even though they might not be on one’s registry – i think anyone would be happy to receive these. love the plates – i specifically have been feeling bored with our one-brand white plates – mostly when taking foodie pics. i need some fun, square, artsy dessert-plates and i would love some “pasta bowls.” also – i have those tilt bowls (bday present). love them! so pretty.

  11. Lacey Bean says:

    I love ALL of that serve ware! Although if I brought any home, I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t be too pleased – we barely have room for the trays we currently have!!!

  12. Kelly says:

    I’m loving all these gifts. These make me want to get married myself! One of my favorite things I ever did was a custom cookbook for one of those cookbook websites. I put in there a bunch of my favorite recipes and then gifted her the ability to add more of her own recipes down the road.

  13. Kelly P says:

    I am in LOVE with that chalkboard pedestal!!!

  14. tbella says:

    Love the scrabble pillows! I’ve been contemplating some for my living room for awhile. That tree-carved platter is super adorable also.

  15. Kimberly says:

    Love this post! Everything is adorable and so creative!

  16. Megan says:

    That cold beverage jar is on my wish list, and if I don’t buy it before the wedding, I’ll be registering for it!

    Funny, there was an article on The Knot today with tips for wedding gift buying and it advised not to go off-registry. I’m kind of with you though… if you can find something creative that you think the couple will really appreciate, then why not?

  17. Monique says:

    oh wow! love the stuff here!
    Might pull a carrie bradshaw and just register for these cuz im marrying myself.

  18. Shannon says:

    these are awesome ideas, and i wish i hadn’t already gotten stuff for my upcoming weddings!

  19. katelin says:

    seriously these are great gift ideas, definitely saved this for future shower invites i know i have coming up, haha.

    also, i own a tilt bowl and i seriously love it. i also just love bowls in general, so there’s that..

  20. Susan says:

    This list is perfect!

  21. Darlene says:

    You have “nailed” it again!! Excellent ideas for the bride and groom!!! Have any ideas for baby showers????

  22. Lindsay says:

    LOVE these gift ideas! So adorable. I have a cousin getting married and am considering the recipe plates with one of my aunt’s incredible recipes. What an awesome gift!

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