You should never show up empty-handed to a party. Whether it’s something as simple as a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or even a box of store-bought cookies, a hostess gift is a must. It’s a sign of love and appreciation that's sure to be welcomed by the hostess—especially if they've been organizing a bridal shower or another important event.
While tried and true hostess gifts are always a winner, feel free to think outside the box, too—what would you like to get if you were hosting? (And remember, anything personalized is extra special.) Consider items that are not only thoughtful but also practical. As an avid hostess, they'll appreciate something they can use time and time again.
To help you find the perfect hostess gift for any occasion, we've researched and rounded up the top options on the market–keeping thoughtfulness, functionality, and overall quality in mind. For the foodie who loves to cook, you can't go wrong with a bottle of Brightland Awake Extra Virgin Olive Oil or the Dinosaur Designs Stone Marbled-Resin Salad Servers. Is the hostess someone who loves a good ambiance? Go with the Agraria AirEssence Diffuser.
Read on for the best hostess gifts.
Agraria AirEssence Diffuser
Who doesn’t want their home to smell fantastic? These home fragrances are made from essential and natural oils and come housed in stunning (and refillable) glass bottles that double as works of art. The beautiful floral top can be used to diffuse the scent, though it also comes with a set of traditional diffuser reeds as well.
Price at time of publish: $136
Hedley and Bennett Essential Apron
If your host is an avid cook or baker, there's no better gift than a fresh apron in a fun color. Take the gift to the next level by personalizing it with their name on it!
Price at time of publish: $85
west elm Oversized Antique Brass Metal Trays
A hostess can never have too many serving trays! We especially love this chic brass finished option that instantly elevates any cocktail hour or dinner tablescape.
Price at time of publish: $90
Brightland Awake Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you’re invited to a dinner party where you know the foodie host will be whipping up everything from scratch, this is the gift to bring. This Internet-buzzy brand is known for its delicious California olive oils—and they happen to come in stunning bottles that your host will be excited to display on her kitchen counter.
Price at time of publish: $37
MarshMonograms Monogrammed Linen Cocktail Napkins
If your hostess is an avid entertainer, chances are she'll make good use of these custom linen napkins. Choose from seven different color options for a chic, personalized gift that they'll treasure for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $34 for 4 cocktail napkins
Rifle Paper Co. Jigsaw Puzzle
Puzzles are a fun and unexpected idea for a hostess gift, not to mention something the whole family can enjoy. This new collection features whimsical 500-piece options, in boxes that are so pretty they won’t even require wrapping.
Price at time of publish: $34
Celsious Kiyomi Organic Liquid Detergent
We know, laundry detergent as a gift, really? But hear us out. This particular brand isn’t your average drugstore bottle. It uses natural enzymes and plant-based surfactants for cleaning purposes and has a sophisticated Japanese kiyomi citrus fragrance that comes in chic minimalist packaging. It’s totally gift-worthy!
Price at time of publish: $32
Yeti Rambler Wine Tumbler 2-Pack
A great option to give with an accompanying bottle of wine, this is sure to become your hostess’ new wine glass of choice, especially for outdoor sipping. In true Yeti fashion, the stainless steel tumbler features extra insulation to keep that rosé or sauvignon blanc extra chilled. The exterior is shatter-proof so there’s no need to stress over dropped glasses, and since this comes as a set of two there’s one for you and one for her.
Price at time of publish: $85
Avaline The Essentials Trio
Wine is a tried and true gift option for a reason, and it's especially appropriate to bring to someone's house for a party or special occasion. This brand, Avaline, is focused on transparency, using organic grapes and listing everything their wine doesn’t contain right on the label.
Price at time of publish: $72
Chamberlain Coffee The Full Coffee Collection
Coffee is a thoughtful gift for the java-lover who’s always on the go. Gift them this coffee bundle, which includes all five Chamberlain Coffee variants in either Whole Beans or Fresh Ground.
Price at time of publish: $80
Brooklyn Tea Gift Box
For the hosts who prefer tea over coffee, this gift box is an excellent choice. The company, which owns a neighborhood tea shop in Brooklyn, seeks to make all kinds of unique and high-end teas accessible to the masses. This comes with four pouches of loose tea—choose from a variety of four of a kind, like green or black tea.
Price at time of publish: $35
The Beach People Sand-Free Cabana Towel
In-laws hosting you at their beach house for the weekend? Gift them this unique towel made with sand-repellent fabric on one side and a cozy terrycloth underneath for drying off. As anyone who has a beach home will tell you, extra beach towels are always welcome.
Price at time of publish: $29
Dinara Mirtalipova Moleskine Studio
In the vein of practical presents, a notebook is always a great option. And when it’s one like this, that truly is a piece of art, it’s also completely appropriate to gift. Choose from six unique artist-created designs on the hardcover notebook, which even comes in a box that resembles a picture frame. Whether she uses it for journaling or grocery lists, it’s sure to please.
Price at time of publish: $28
Villeroy & Boch To Go Rose Medium Dish
Bringing a home-cooked dish to a holiday meal is great, but toting it in this elegant bowl (that your host can keep afterward) is even better. This beautiful stoneware piece from the heritage brand comes with a decorative lid and rubber gaskets to make food transportation easy. It's practical, but still pretty enough to double as a serving bowl.
Price at time of publish: $10
Nanor Effervescent Candle
When it comes to hostess gifts, candles fall into the same category as wine, cookies, and flowers—you really can’t go wrong. Particularly if it’s this ultra-luxe candle. The chic black packaging is stunning enough, but the fragrance combinations are equally as special.
Price at time of publish: $60
Everyone loves getting pretty, personalized stationery because it’s something that’s so useful, yet something you so rarely buy for yourself. Hence what makes it a foolproof hostess gift, especially when it’s these beautiful personalized notecards.
Venus ET Fleur Classic Lé Petit Pink Suede
Flowers are a great gift, especially when if don’t know the hostess or her tastes particularly well. But what if you could give flowers that wouldn’t die in a week? These are unique Eternity Roses, real roses specially treated to last a full year with no care required (except maybe the occasional dusting). This petite arrangement is perfect for an end table or nightstand.
Celina Mancurti Monogram Leather Coasters
Coasters are the perfect little something to bring to a cocktail party or informal gatherings and these are an especially great choice. The set of four is made of sturdy leather that will break in and patina with time, so they only get better the more they’re used and can be monogrammed with your host’s initials for an extra special personal touch.
Price at time of publish: $32 for plain
Stonewall Kitchen Bloody Mary Gift
Pick this up if you’re heading to brunch. It comes complete with everything needed to whip up a delicious Bloody Mary, including two types of mix and all kinds of yummy garnishes. (Bonus points for the cute galvanized bucket packaging.) Kick it up a notch and pair it with a bottle of vodka and you’re good to go.
Price at time of publish: $55
Dinosaur Designs Stone Marbled-Resin Salad Servers
If you’re searching for a smaller, more budget-friendly gift that still feels special, look no further. Tapered handles in a tortoiseshell pattern give off mid-century modern vibes, and the slotted and non-slotted spoon duo can be used either together or solo.
Price at time of publish: $125
What to Look for in Hostess Gifts
Relevance and Thoughtfulness
When searching for the perfect gift to bring to a party or event, first consider the interests of the hostess. Does she love to cook? A thoughtful gift she can use in the kitchen is always a foolproof choice–we especially love the Hedley & Bennett Essential Apron. Does she love to decorate for special occasions? Gift her personalized tableware like monogrammed napkins or wine glasses. If you're not sure what her interests are, you can never go wrong with flowers, a candle, or a bottle of wine.
Hostesses are busy but often organized planners! Therefore, it's always a smart choice to give them something that they'll actually use–especially if they host parties or wine nights often. For instance, you might give them a new serving tray or cooking utensils–such as the Dinosaur Designs Stone Marbled-Resin Salad Servers–that they can use during parties and in their everyday life.
When should you bring a hostess gift?
It's always a good idea to bring a gift, even if it's something small, to a gathering of any kind. But it's especially important when the hostess has put lots of time and energy into planning a special event–such as a bridal shower or engagement party. It's a simple and meaningful way to show her that all of her hard work and planning are appreciated by her guests.
How much should you spend on a hostess gift?
Hostess gifts don't require a huge budget. After all, it's truly the thought that counts! How much you spend might depend on the extravagance of the occasion, as well as the reason for the event. Generally, though, spending around $30 for get-togethers like a dinner party or housewarming party is sufficient.
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Brides contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s also a recent newlywed!