Bridal Shower Etiquette for Hosts, Guests and the Bride (2024)

Who Plans the Bridal Shower?

Traditionally, the bride’s family was not supposed to host the shower because it made it appear like they were demanding gifts. But this etiquette rule has changed in recent years, and the bridal shower can now be hosted by the bride’s mother, her sister, her maid of honor, one of her bridesmaids or any other close friend or family member. A group of the bride’s friends can also work together to plan and host the event.

Who to Invite to the Bridal Shower?

Only guests who are invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower. Try to keep the guest list short—the shower should be a much smaller affair than the wedding, with just the bride’s close friends in attendance. It is acceptable to throw the bride multiple showers, especially for brides with friends and family spread out over many locations, but try to invite guests to just one shower each. If there are a few guests who end up getting invited to multiple showers, remind them that they only have to bring a gift to the first shower they attend.

When to Host the Bridal Shower

The bridal shower should take place between two weeks to two months before the wedding. Before you set a date, confer with the bride and the bridal party to ensure that the date will work for everyone involved.

Bridal shower invitations should go out six to eight weeks before the event. Include common details like date and location, but make sure to mention the wedding registry as well. You should have one person in the bridal party receive all of the RSVP cards—this will help you keep everything organized.

Bridal Shower Responsibilities for the Hostess

As the hostess, you’ll have a number of bridal shower responsibilities both before and during the event. In the weeks leading up to the shower, you should create a menu for the party, and you should also put together a list of games and activities if you’re opting to play any. In addition, you can decide on a theme and gather decorations for the shower.

When the shower begins, it is nice to have someone greeting guests at the door. You could do the greeting, or you can assign this job to one of the other bridesmaids. During the shower, mingle with the guests, and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.

When the bride is opening her presents, it’s a good idea to sit next to her and take note of everything she receives and who gave her each gift. This way, she’ll be able to easily send thank you cards after the shower.

Bridal Shower Etiquette for Brides

As the bride, it’s against proper etiquette for you to throw your own shower. Let your friends or family members take charge of the day. Focus on your wedding, and only offer your input on the shower if you’re asked.

While you’re at the shower, be sure to mingle with all of your guests, and try to spend equal time with everyone there. You don’t want anyone to think that they’ve been forgotten. When the shower is winding down, you should make sure to thank everyone for coming.

After the shower, send thank you cards right away. If you wait too long, the shower thank you cards may be forgotten as you begin focusing more on your wedding. Your thank you cards should be handwritten, and they should mention each guest’s gift by name. You should also get a small thank you gift for your hostess, and along with the gift, include a thank you card.

Co-Ed Shower Etiquette

Co-ed wedding showers are becoming increasingly popular. If you decide to throw one of these showers, be sure that the theme and decor speak to the couple’s common interests. For example, if the couple loves to travel, you could use antique suitcases or maps in your décor. The co-ed shower should always be designed with both the bride and groom in mind.

When it comes to hosting a co-ed shower, both the bridesmaids and the groomsmen should get involved. These two groups should work together to create a shower that the couple will love. If this large number of people becomes too unwieldy, one member of the bridal party and one groomsman can host together.
A wedding shower is a fun way to congratulate a bride and groom on their big day. These wedding shower etiquette rules will help you plan and execute a memorable bridal or co-ed shower.

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Bridal Shower Etiquette for Hosts, Guests and the Bride (2024)
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