Do you want to give your daughter a special bridal gift? Or perhaps you want to give a warm welcome to the family gift to your son’s future wife. The modern bridal trousseau is the perfect way to say good luck or welcome.
What is a Bridal Trousseau?
In Victorian times, a trousseau (French word) held clothing, linens, wedding dress, and anything else a bride needs before and after her marriage in a hope chest. Elaborate trousseaus were a sign of wealth and social standing during the Victorian era.
What is a Modern Bridal Trousseau?
Most modern brides don’t collect all their marital belongings in a chest anymore. There are some brides who don’t know what a trousseau is. So, friends and family get together to give gifts to the bride at bridal showers and bachelorette parties. So, the modern trousseaus are items presented as gifts to the bride by family and friends.
I want to give my daughter/future daughter-in-law a nice bridal trousseau before her wedding. What do I need to do and how do I do it?
Step 1 – Buy a hope chest.
The chest can be as big or small as you want it. Hope chests can be purchased online, at local retail stores, furniture stores, antique shops, or second hand stores. Depending on what kind of hope chest you buy, it can range from $100 to $1200. If you can’t afford to spend over a hundred dollars on a hope chest, then substitute a tasteful trunk. Wal-Mart sells travel trunks under $100. Just make sure it is classy looking.
Step 2 – Buy gifts.
This is the best part of the trousseau. You can buy whatever you think your daughter or daughter-in-law will need or enjoy. Below are a few suggestions.
Bed Linens can be bought just about anywhere. Make it personal by purchasing monogram bed sheets.
Just like bed linens, bath towels can be bought just about anywhere. Getting monogrammed towels is a nice touch.
This is optional. Some women wouldn’t feel comfortable buying their daughter or daughter-in-law lingerie. However, if your not one of those women, just make sure the lingerie is tasteful – nothing extreme like thong underwear or bras with holes in the cups. After all, you don’t want to embarrass your daughter or daughter-in-law. If you don’t trust your taste, just buy her a long nightgown or two piece pajamas.
Purchase a manicure and pedicure gift set. Include shower gel, lotion, back brush, and sponges.
Everyone loves candles. People like to burn them, but they also like to use them as decoration. Also, buy a couple of candleholders.
This is a wonderful keepsake and tradition. People record births, deaths, and other family events in a family bible. My grandmother was given a family bible when she got married. She recorded the birth of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until the day she died. She is gone, but that bible is still in her old home under the end table. A family bible can help future generations know their family tree.
Buy plain designed dinnerware with silverware. Don’t forget the cups.
There are a couple of newlywed cookbooks on the market. Some are The Newlywed Cookbook by Robin Miller, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook: Bridal Edition, and Your Time to Cook by Robert Blakeslee.
Of course these are only suggestions. You can put whatever you think is appropriate in the hope chest. More ideas are placemats and meaningful or collectible figurines.
Step 3 – Personalize the modern bridal trousseau.
Write a note of advice to your daughter or future daughter-in-law. Don’t know what to say? Buy an advice book for newly married couples. For instance, The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual by Caroline Tiger and Keeping Your Commitment by Risa Pleasant are good books for newlyweds.
Step 4 – Pack it up.
Neatly place the items into the hope chest. Arrange breakables carefully.
Step 5 – Presenting the modern bridal trousseau.
Give the modern bridal trousseau to your daughter or future daughter-in-law at least two months before the wedding. It is acceptable if you give it a couple a weeks before the wedding, but don’t push it. You don’t want to have something in the modern bridal trousseau that someone has already given her at a bridal shower or bachelorette party.
Final Advice About Your Daughter or Future Daughter-In-Law’s Modern Bridal Trousseau
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a modern bridal trousseau. If you look for bargains and store sales, you can create an elegant bridal trousseau under $100.
Also, you don’t have to financially invest in the trousseau by yourself. Ask the bride’s friends and family if they want to add a gift in the hope chest. Just make sure they place a discrete card on their gift so the bride will know who pitched in a gift for her trousseau. Another note is to protect breakables. If you or someone else places dishes, vases, or any other breakable items in the hope chest, make sure it is secure with soft foam or bubble wrap.
Bridget Mora, “The Modern Bridal Trousseau,” Ezine Articles.
Susan B. Sardone, “What Is a Bridal Trousseau?” About.com