Bridal showers are great fun. But planning for one or knowing what to expect can sometimes get a little confusing. Perhaps you’ve heard the term wishing well, but what are these exactly? Here is what you need to know.
So, what is a wishing well at a bridal shower? A wishing well at a bridal shower is a large donation box set up by the bride to collect monetary donations or untraditional wedding gifts from the guests – specifically, those the couple would need in their new home together. Household kitchen items, such as spatulas, pot holders, towels, and measuring spoons, are examples of popular gifts.
Wishing wells are often decorated with flowers, but they can look very different.
Sometimes they are boxes; sometimes they are baskets.
Either way, there are commonly made to look like a well.
Interestingly, depending on your location, the types of donations and gift expectations vary.
Let us now take a closer look at this tradition, so you know exactly how to approach them; as a bride or guest at a bridal shower!
What Does Wishing Well Mean?
A wishing well is a well that has been historically used to grant wishes. An individual would drop in money, ask their wish, and would be granted their gifts from the gods.
The water was seen as a source of life, and thus, this became a popular tradition in many different civilizations and periods throughout history.
In more recent years, wishing wells have been adopted by brides and at particular wedding celebrations.
The idea here is that the bride and groom can be granted gifts to set them up for their future marriage.
What Do You Put In A Bridal Wishing Well?
What you put in a bridal wishing well will depend on your location and the brides requirements. However, money and small kitchen items are the most common and traditional gifts to give and for the bride to receive.
And these small household items can range.
From kitchen sponges to toothpicks all the way through to spoons, hangers, egg-timers, dish soaps, and towels.
Essentially, any item that would be useful in the home.
The idea is that the gifts could be anything that the bride could possibly need in her home with her new husband.
Some wishing wells are also themed, such as a kitchen-only wishing well or a vegetable garden wishing well.
For the latter, for instance, this wishing well could include gifts such as seeds, garden gloves, how-to gardening books etc.
Ultimately it is down to the requests, preferences, and wishes of the bride.
She should actively communicate any theme or give an indication of the type of gifts she is hoping to receive.
What Do Wishing Wells At Bridal Showers Look Like?
Wishing wells at bridal showers can differ in color and size, although they are often made to look like your traditional well.
Some bridal shower hosts decide to rent portable wishing wells designed and built exclusively for the event.
These can have big elaborate bows and white fabric.
Other wishing wells are a little more rustic and may even be made by a crafty close family member or friend.
Some brides even decide to construct their own wishing wells from cardboard boxes and containers before decorating them to look more bridal.
Decorating with flowers, silks, and papers can be a great way to make these more themed.
How Much Money Do You Give For A Wedding Wishing Well?
The average amount donated in a wishing well is between $50-$250 per person. Although, there are no hard and fast rules on how much anyone needs to put in.
In reality, the amount to donate largely depends on the person’s financial situation and relationship with the couple.
Then there are other factors to consider too;m such as how far each individual had to travel to the wedding and if they need to stay in overnight accommodation etc.
Nevertheless, the donation should be considered a gesture.
It’s partly an acknowledgment of being invited and a guest to the wedding and partly to help the couple financially for the expensive months and years ahead.
Wishing wells are popular traditions at bridal showers and weddings.
But despite this, there still remains a lot of confusion as to what they are and how to approach them.
Particularly from guests.
For the most part, they are donation boxes that are designed to collect gifts.
Sometimes they are themed; other times, they are more general.
But more often than not, they are to collected small kitchen items, ones that would not make much sense to put on the registry.
They could be towels, soaps, candles, napkins, or even brillos; they are helpful and the types of things any household would need but a couple would never ask for.
And with all this being said, some wishing wells are set up for monetary donations too.
At the end of the day, the gifts are to help the couple.
And it is ultimately up to the bride to specify any theme and let the guests know of any wishing well ahead of time.
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.