Whether she's hosting the shower or just an honored guest, the mother of the bride should never feel stressed or awkward about giving gifts to her daughter. In the past, rules of etiquette and decorum governed bridal gift-giving, but in modern times, a number of gifts are acceptable for mothers to give their daughters, including everything from hand-made mementos to practical items. Today, there is only one absolute rule to follow: the gift must be from the heart.
For mothers and daughters who have spent years thinking about the daughter's wedding, a personal memento that honors that time is the perfect, from-the-heart bridal shower gift. For example, you could give your daughter a framed portrait of the once-little girl dressing up as a bride with a letter expressing your pride and hopes for her marriage.
Mothers who have a specific skill or know a certain craft, like quilt making or poetry, can use that skill or craft to make a gift for their daughters that expresses their love. Life coach Cheryl Richardson suggests a "wishes" jar as a heartfelt gift. This jar, labeled with "wishes" or "ambitions," contains pieces of paper that describe your wishes related to your daughter's married life or what you know are your daughter's ambitions for marriage.
In some families, money is looked down upon as a tactless gift, but for the child who really needs it and the mother who wants to help her succeed, money can be the perfect bridal shower gift. Bear in mind that it doesn't have to be given in front of everyone, and it can come in forms other than cash in a card.
"The Huffington Post" suggests a deposit into an IRA as a good gift in difficult economic times. You can also purchase stocks, bonds or even expensive jewelry or antiques that are sure to appreciate as a way to help your daughter and her spouse start working on a financially secure marriage.
A Large Family Gift
Especially if your daughter is relatively young and getting married for the first time, she may need things for her home that you can't afford to give her on her own. Maybe she needs furniture, appliances or even a home or a car. By banding together with other family members, you may be able to pool your resources and get her the things she really needs instead of a lot of little knickknacks that she won't really use. You can present these combined gifts to her as a surprise during the bridal shower, or if you want her input on purchasing them, you might add a small surprise that can be opened during the shower, like collection of photos in magnetized frames for her new refrigerator or a plaque with her new last name for her new home.
The bridal shower is the perfect place to give heirlooms related to marriage and starting a new family. As recently as the 1920s, girls and their mothers would put together hope chests in which they would store heirlooms like home decor and baby clothing for their marriage. Although some families still have hope chests, most do not, and the bridal shower is a great place for mothers to pass along heirlooms that would have been in those chests. Mothers can present their children with antique decorations, jewelry, clothing and photographs and tell the story of the heirlooms at the bridal shower for a special moment among mother, daughter and close friends.
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Miranda Morley is an educator, business consultant and owner of a copywriting/social-media management company. Her work has been featured in the "Boston Literary Magazine," "Subversify Magazine" and "American Builder's Quarterly." Morley has a B.A. in English, political science and international relations. She is completing her M.A. in rhetoric and composition from Purdue University Calumet.
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