The bridal shower is an important occasion for a soon-to-be bride, her family and close friends. It is typically held one to two months prior to the wedding and is for women only. At the event, guests will give presents to the bride-to-be. The mother of the bride and the bride's friends often host the bridal shower, and are helped by the bride’s sisters, if she has any.
If the Mother Hosts
There is no universal rule about whether or not the mother of the bride should provide a gift for her daughter’s wedding shower because every family is different. There are, however, several considerations. If the mother hosts the event, which includes paying for the decorations and catering out of her own pocket, it’s acceptable for her not to provide a gift for the occasion because it is understood that she has paid a substantial amount of money (and invested a great deal of time) to organize and hold the event. If she hosts the event and still wishes to contribute a gift, she could give a gift that is inexpensive but has sentimental value, such as an heirloom that has been in the family for many years.
If the Mother Doesn’t Host
If the bridal shower is held at a location other than the mother’s house, and she hasn’t played an active role in organizing the event, it is expected that she contribute a gift for her daughter’s special day. This gift is separate from the wedding gift and traditional shower gifts include small appliances, household items and lingerie.
Dependent on Wedding Gift
The mother’s contribution of a bridal shower gift can be dependent on the gift she’s giving her daughter for the wedding. If the bride’s mother is contributing a significant financial or material gift, such as paying for a portion of the wedding or honeymoon, it is acceptable for her to provide a smaller gift at the shower. As is the case when she hosts the event, an appropriate small gift may be something that has been passed down through the family.
It’s never a bad idea for the mother to contribute something to the occasion, even if she has spent a great deal of time and money organizing and hosting the shower. If the bride-to-be is close with her mother, she will appreciate a gift on this special day. Whether it’s an expensive present or a priceless family memento, the bride will be happy to receive a gift from her mother at the bridal shower.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.