Don't panic if the wallet is a bit thin when the invitation to a bridal shower arrives. Plenty of bridal shower gift alternatives will not break the bank. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be appreciated. They can be simple and yet still humorous, thoughtful or sentimental. Britni Wood, a style expert for Martha Stewart's Bride Guide, says that she prefers to give gifts that have an element of quirk.
When it comes to gifts, functional doesn't always mean mundane -- unless the gift is an engraved garlic press. Simple pillow cases become special when "His" and "Hers" are embroidered on them. Think ahead to the honeymoon. If the couple is headed somewhere exotic, get them a guidebook on the country they will be visiting. A tropical honeymoon calls for a beach blanket big enough for two.
Date night will take on a whole new meaning when as the young couple starts to pay their first mortgage. Box up a gift certificate to a movie rental store, a bag of microwave popcorn and a popcorn bowl for a quiet at-home date.
If she is taking her fiancé's last name when they marry, she will appreciate items with her new name or monogram on them. Buy a new pet food bowl and paint her pet's name on the front, followed by the bride-to-be's new last name. Put her new monogram, initials or name on a keychain, a simple necklace or a Christmas stocking for a gift she will be proud to show off.
A copy of "What No One Tells the Bride" by Marg Stark is a perfect bridal shower gift. It starts out by saying, "Unless you got married on the San Andreas fault, your wedding was technically not a seismic event." It just gets better from there.
Remind the bride of her new responsibilities as "the wife". Buy a simple ceramic or glass jar, and label it "Honey Do." She'll know what it's for. Take rubber dishwashing gloves and deck them out with fake nails and a faux pearl bracelet. Package it with a gift certificate for a manicure.
Play off old stereotypes for a giggle. Bundle a copy of Soap Opera Digest with a box of chocolate bonbons for a gift that's sure to bring a laugh. Buy a plastic ball and chain at the local party store, and attach a coupon to it for a girls' night out. She may not appreciate it now, but she will in time.
Ask your local liquor store to pick out a bottle of wine that will be at its best in 10 years. Since the wine hasn't aged, it should be less expensive now. Wrap it up with a note that the wine is intended to be consumed on their 10th wedding anniversary.
Take the time to make an album. If she is a close friend, put together a memory album of your friendship from the beginning. Leave room for future memories. You can also do a little research on her fiancé's family and make an album of their family history for a gift she will surely thank you for.
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