Thursday, February 18, 2010

What do you give a bride for the bachelorette party?


Hey ESB,

This spring, I'm a bridesmaid in my first friend - and non-family - wedding.  I'm struggling a bit with gift ideas for the various wedding events.  What exactly do you give a bride for the bachelorette party and shower?  Do brides really want to be given lingerie that someone else picked out for them?  Is a gift necessary when it's a destination bachelorette?  What is expected and/or appropriate these days?

Ashley

*****

Effme. I've never even been to a shower. I guess you just shop the registry? Unless, of course, there is some some bullsh*t theme.

Gifts for the bachelorette party are strictly optional. (There is already way too much gift-giving surrounding weddings, if you ask me.) Just pls stay away from plastic handcuffs, furry handcuffs and/or satin handcuffs. Real handcuffs might be cool. And there's nothing wrong with picking out lingerie as long as you get a gift receipt.

Image via FFFFOUND!

34 comments:

  1. I hate shopping off the registry, it is so boring and repetitive, just skip it & get something personal... I think bridesmaids are entitled to that. & No bach party presents! Buy her drinks or throw the party for her with your other b-maids!

    maybe this for dress pics on her wedding day? http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26651786)

    I always give someone getting married a salt bowl- it's good luck. http://herriottgrace.bigcartel.com/

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  2. In my experience a bridesmaid is not required to give the bride a gift for each separate party or shower. Just give her one thoughtful gift (that may or may not be from her registry).

    I would say definitely do not buy her lingerie unless she has a specific lingerie shower, and even then include the gift receipt.

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  3. i would like to weigh in, as a bride who just had a shower this past weekend. (at first i didn't want one, but some family friends insisted, and i ended up having a BLAST). for showers??
    a) GO OFF THE REGISTRY. my deal is that unless you've got some amazing gift (like the piece of art from my godmother), go ahead and get the person something that they've already picked out... you know? that's why they did it. to make it easier for everyone + then they won't have to run all around trying to exchange some potentially funky gifts. (not that you would give a funky gift, but some crazy aunt might).

    b) lingerie? well, i'm typically opposed to it because it makes me feel creepy. but some friends are throwing me a bachelorette/lingerie shower, and i'm hoping for some giftcards. that way, they won't have to creep themselves out thinking about how they gave me lingerie for my honeymoon, and then i can get what i am comfortable in. also? i'm sure i'll get some raunchy funny gifts. those are always good. just don't make her wear anything with penises on it.

    xoxo

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  4. I'll chime in too since I also just had a shower and a bachelorette party - it's always safe to shop the registry for the shower. And as for the lingerie, it really depends on the bride. I happen to LOVE lingerie and I don't find it creepy to receive lingerie gifts (in this one particular context anyway), but gift receipts are definitely still required since you'll never know if it will fit her perfectly or suit her taste. Maybe you could ask her maid of honor to find out what kind of thing the bride wants in terms of gifts (if any!) at the bachelorette.

    Having said all that, I agree you shouldn't feel obligated to give her a ton of gifts, in general but also in particular as a bridesmaid. you're paying for your dress and hair and shoes and doing all that other bridesmaidy stuff, she probably isn't expecting you to shell out a ton more money for gifts (at least I wasn't from my ladies).

    esb is right, there's already way too much gifts for weddings, it's kind of ridiculous.

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  5. I've never been to a bachelorette where a gift was required--generally everyone pitches in to pay for the bride's food/drinks/activities, so you're already "giving" her something, you know? I have not heard of this as a requirement--the only times I've seen this happen is when we did sex toy parties, and we all chipped in to get the bride a vibrator or something.

    Showers totally depend on the kind of shower that is being thrown! But they're pretty gift-centered, so...

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  6. 1) i love that photo
    2) i gave my best friend a kate spade wallet because she was still using the same chain wallet (minus the chain) since highschool. it was personal, something nice, just for her.

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  7. i think my answer across the board, today at least, is booze. bachelorette party? buy her a drink. shower? buy her the components of her favorite cocktail. they'll come in handy for the home stretch before the wedding. wedding itself? a bottle of champagne to toast her first anniversary, a bottle of wine or whiskey that'll mature just in time to toast her fifth.

    she doesn't drink? gift box of spices from penzeys. or badass chocolates from vosges. especially the chocolate skulls.

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  8. bach- drinks.

    shower- agree with wool&misc. you're her bridesmaid, so my assumption is you know her well enough to get her something for HER. not some housy crap off the registry. something you thought of yourself that she'll like. if you can't think of anything, sure. the registry is a safe bet.

    while i agree there are TOO many gift-giving-obligation-type things during wedding time, i was kind of hurt when my bridesmaid told me she wasn't getting me a wedding gift because she felt being a bridesmaid was "gift enough." it's just kind of a bizarre perspective.

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  9. I lub your big pink heffalump.

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  10. Oh thanks for the wonderful advice. There actually is a theme for the bachelorette party: get the bride a pound of something. Personally, I'd never heard of this before. I was thinking of doing something consumable? The best I've come up with are her fav cookies from a tea shop we used to visit.

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  11. And forgot to mention, bach is in vegas, so part of gift is splurge on small trip, right?

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  12. yeah, if the bach party's in vegas, you're already paying for the flight. just buy her a drink or two. as for shower, i'm with naurnie. just get her something off the registry. lingerie gifts creep me out too. i can just picture her having to hold it up in front of all the old ladies at the shower making fake gasps. vom.

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  13. @giovanna - to add to this, let's not invite old ladies to the lingerie shower.

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  14. haha giovanna- i was at a bridal shower for a 65 yr old couple (which is adorable, don't get me wrong) but her daughter bought her a red lacy something, and it was AWKWARD. (from her daughter?! VERY vom.)

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  15. Ok, I had that elephant when I was a little girl and this post did all sorts of things for me because of it.
    First, do not buy a gift for the bachelorette party. That's just silly. Unless of course, it IS something silly (that the bride has to put up with the whole time)...like a ridiculous blow up doll, we made my mom carry one around during her party, it was a lot of fun and made for really great pictures...haha.
    Second, shower gifts, meh. If you are so close as to be a bridesmaid, I agree with the girls on here - get her something meaningful. My good friend and I were engaged a couple of weeks apart. We're eachother's bridesmaid. We're cruising for her bachelorette - no gift - and she's having a co-ed shower. She went gaga over this necklace right after she got engaged. Instead of buying the off-the-shelf version, I had it commissioned on etsy so it's one of a kind...boo bam, a gift that will make her sob like a baby - WIN!

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  16. $$$
    who couldn't use a spare (fill in the blank) to cover all those last minute tips and blips that they didn't think of?

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  17. HOLD THE PHONE! The theme is get the bride a POUND of something? What sort of a effed up theme is that. Obviously get her a pound of flesh. Duh. Type of flesh is buyers choice.

    Now, in general. When I went shooting for my Bachelorette I was given: hot pink frilly underoos (that I wore at the wedding and told everyone I was), hipster western shirt for shooting in (I wore it to get ready on my wedding day, and lots since), scotch (amazing, now my favorite scotch. I call it Bachelorette Scotch and am pretty choosy who I'll share it with), and a wad of singles (natch). It was pretty fantastically well done, I have to say. And no, I wasn't expecting anything.

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  18. If you're giving a gift for a bachelorette party I don't think it has to be lingere. Just think that this party is about the bride only where as showers/wedding is for the couple. So give her something we will like - a mix cd, candle, spa treatment, lingere, etc. Get creative! The best gift I got was a pretty cotton nightie - i wore it on my honeymoon and as it was in a tropical local was happy to have something cotton!

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  19. i just got married in nov. and i don't think you need to get the bride anything for her bachelorette party except a stiff drink or too!

    trust me, she is just happy to have you along for the ride... and for goodness sakes don't make her wear anything with a penis on it.

    my girls and i did wine tasting by bicycle... and they may have made me a custom bride to be fanny pack (from american apparel) for the trip. it was pretty much the most awesome gift i've ever gotten. it held all my things perfectly as we drunkenly biked around santa barbara!

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  20. *that would be stiff drink or two... or three... or four.

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  21. @lauren you might be the best gift giver that ever lived...

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  22. That photo is awesome! I wish I had something more useful to share, but that's it ; )

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  23. I like to go with a glow in the dark vibrator or something equally embarrassing/useful/funny/sexual for the bachelorette party.....but nothing...oh god...NOTHING penis shaped.

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  24. Get them the same thing you might for a birthday gift, and if that means lingerie, great. If not, I think my favourite wedding gift was from my maid of honor and she got me this amazing overnight bag with cooking supplies. It's probably my favourite bag.

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  25. illustrated copy of Kama Sutra.

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  26. foam nunchucks + pink grapefruit mentos!

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  27. A big pink elephant seems like just the thing!!

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  28. bach party: you're flying to vegas. that's enough. i think your pound of cookie idea is perfect - very thoughtful.

    shower: pitch in with friends & get her a massage? a manicure? something to relax her before the wedding? my BMs kicked ass and threw me a "wine" shower, so everyone gave wine... it was perfect - no heart shaped-this & penis-that.

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  29. One of my good friends did not get the invitations sent in time and it ended up being disaster! For the bachelorette party we produced a scavenger hunt game and highly suggest this to anybody, it was incredible! Discovered an awesome site that you can personalize your own personal t shrits, mugs, post cards lots of other fun things.
    www.amazingbacheloretteparty.com/ideas

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