11 Thoughtful gifts for the bride-to-be

Dec 4, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Image: Wedding Hanger Shop

It can be tough picking the perfect gift for a girlfriend. Ladies are known for being a little bit picky, and also for being excellent shoppers — so she may already have everything she ever wanted. If your friend happens to be engaged, you’re in luck! There are plenty of things you can get her that will be fun and maybe even helpful during this exciting and stressful time in her life.

1. Personalized “Mrs. ___” hanger or bride and groom hanger set

Personalized “Mrs. ___” hanger or bride and groom hanger set
Image: Wedding Hanger Shop

This is a gift she will actually use on the big day. You can customize a hanger with her future last name, and she can use it to photograph her wedding dress while she’s getting ready on her wedding day. (Wedding Hanger Shop, Range: $20-$50)

2. Spa gift card

Spa gift card
Image: Bliss

Every bride-to-be can use some time away for some peace of mind. A quick trip to the spa can be a lifesaver. Try Bliss spa or Red Door spa — they have a great reputation and have multiple locations nationwide. (Bliss: $125+, Red Door: $80+)

3. Vintage-inspired cake cutters

Vintage-inspired cake cutters
Image: The Knot Shop

Cake cutters can sometimes feel like just one… more… thing… for an engaged couple to think about. Consider gifting a cake cutting set that the couple will use on their wedding day and keep in their home from that day forward. (The Knot Shop, $27-$60)

4. Erin Condren personalized organizer

Erin Condren personalized organizer
Image: Erin Condren

Ask anyone who’s gotten married and they’ll tell you that organization is key! If you’re shopping for a busy bride-to-be, consider getting her this amazing personalized day planner. If she’s a pro at juggling tasks, she will greatly appreciate a gift like this. (Erin Condren $50)

5. Ball Before the Chain bachelorette party planning package

Ball Before the Chain bachelorette party planning package
Image: Ball Before the Chain

While the big bachelorette party getaway is a major highlight and an especially fun, exciting part of the wedding prep experience, it can also be difficult to plan. When a bride or a maid of honor has other responsibilities (job, husband, children, etc.) it can feel like a burden to also have to plan an excursion for a whole group of friends. Take some of the stress off of her and hire Ball Before the Chain to handle all of the details and planning of her bachelorette trip. (Ball Before the Chain, Range: $50-$1000)

6. Friend date/happy hour vent sesh

Friend date/happy hour vent sesh
Image: Kara Edwards/Parliament/Facebook

Sometimes, a bride-to-be just needs someone to listen. Lend an ear and offer her a friend date. Take her to dinner or happy hour and let her know she is free to vent in a judgment-free zone the whole time. Insider tip: Wine usually helps. $priceless

7. A subscription to The Bride Box

A subscription to The Bride Box
Image: The Bride Box

This is a gift that keeps on giving (if you want it to)! You can get her a one-time gift box or a subscription, which will send her a box of gifts suited specifically for a bride-to-be, every month. Gifts include sample size beauty products, and other things that can help prepare a future bride for her big day. (The Bride Box, $35-$375)

8. Staycation for her and her fiancé

Staycation for her and her fiancé
Image: Starwood Hotels

It’s rare that an engaged couple has time and topics to discuss that don’t involve the wedding planning. Give them one night off from planning chaos and send them on a staycation at a nice hotel in their city. Starwood Hotels has a wide array of brands and properties all over the world to fit any budget or style.

9. Kate Spade “Mrs.” necklace

Kate Spade “Mrs.” necklace
Image: Kate Spade

Maybe a cute little accessory like a “Mrs.” Necklace is the perfect, small gift that she can wear at all of her pre-wedding events. It’s great for the bride who’s over the moon excited and wants everyone to know what’s happening. What a great (and adorable) conversation piece! (Kate Spade, $78)

10. Rustic “All My Love” picture frame for engagement or wedding pic

Rustic “All My Love” picture frame for engagement or wedding pic
Image: Bed Bath and Beyond

There are bound to be a lot of photographed occasions in the wedding prep process, not to mention the wedding itself. Try giving a nice picture frame that she can fill with an engagement or wedding photo and display in their home. (Bed Bath and Beyond  $34)

11. Personalized Vera Wang champagne flutes

Personalized Vera Wang champagne flutes
Image: Things Remembered

Whether for a toast on their wedding day, first anniversary or even New Year’s Eve, an engaged couple will love a gift of champagne flutes. You can customize these to include the couple’s names, a quote, their wedding date, etc. and they can keep them and reminisce on these moments (with a side of bubbles, of course) for years to come. (Things Remembered, $75)

Your friend will likely love anything you give her, of course. But with this list, it’s not just about your friendship, it’s also about celebrating the major life milestone she’s embarking upon.

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