Times have changed and most bridal shower etiquette rules are a lot more relaxed than in years past.
However, by still following a few simple rules, you can avoid stepping on toes or hurting anyone's feelings.
Traditionally, the maid of honor, with some help from the bridesmaids, throws the bridal shower.
However, it is acceptable for a relative or close friend of the bride or groom to throw a shower.
In today's world, the bride's coworkers or colleagues can also host an office wedding shower.
Who Should Not Host The Bridal Shower?According to bridal shower etiquette, the mother, sister, or grandmother of the bride are not to host the shower. However, the shower can be held at their home or they can offer financial assistance.
Bridal showers are usually given a month or more before the wedding. The hostess and bride (and sometimes the groom) will select a date that is convenient.
If there is no time before the wedding, it is fine to have a shower at a later time.
A couples shower is a great idea for a shower that is given after the wedding.
Choose a location that fits the number of guests, type of party, and the budget.
The majority of bridal showers are held at the home of the hostess. However, a lot of today's bridal showers are more creative. For example, a couple of unique ideas are a Spa Shower, which could be held at a local spa or a Wine Tasting Shower, which could be held at a local winery.
Restaurants, country clubs and hotels are also good locations for bridal showers.
If the bridal shower is held in someone's private home, make sure you help to set up and clean up.
Girls-only showers are usually held in the evenings or on weekends. Coworker showers are held during the workday or at the end of the workday. A couple's shower is often held in the evening or on a Sunday afternoon.
If you are serving a meal, you would probably invite people to arrive around 5 or 6 p.m. For a brunch, have the guests arrive around 10 a.m.
Most showers last around three hours.
If it is the bride's first marriage and the groom's second marriage, then give the shower as if it is the first for the couple.
Be sure the couple registers for gifts, so as not to duplicate items they may already have.
If the bride is having a large wedding, then it is perfectly acceptable to have a large shower or multiple showers for the couple.
If the bride is having a small wedding, then you would probably want to have a small shower.
If the couple already has a household set up, then have a theme party for the couple - such as a Stock the Bar Wedding Shower.
If this is her first child and her first wedding, it is perfectly acceptable to combine the two showers - baby and wedding.
However, check with the bride first to see if she would prefer to have just a wedding shower.
The purpose of a wedding shower is to "shower" the couple with gifts to help them in starting a new home.
To make a party memorable, you will need to personalize it. Think about the bride. Who she is. What she likes. The most successful wedding shower will reflect elements of the bride's personality and favorite things.
Ask yourself questions about the bride.
The answers to these questions can help you plan a shower that the bride and other guests will always remember.
Below is a traditional order of events at a shower. However, it is perfectly acceptable for you to change the order around to fit your party.
Before any wedding showers are held, the couple should register for gifts. This helps make the gift giving easier for the guests.
An easy way to let the guests know where the couple has registered is to put the bride and groom's personalized wedding site on the invitation. If this is not possible, then word-of-mouth works just as well.
Shower gifts are usually of lesser value than the wedding gift.
How To Record Who Gave What
Be sure to assign someone to record the gifts/givers during the shower. This allows the bride to write accurate thank-you notes later.
There are two easy ways to do this:
There is a bridal shower tradition of making a "bouquet" from the ribbons and bows on the gifts.
This bouquet is then used by the bride at the rehearsal for good luck.
|Making a Ribbon Bouquet Have one of the bridesmaids collect all of the ribbons and bows from the bride's gifts as she opens them. Use a sturdy paper plate for the base of the bouquet. Use packing tape to stick the largest bows to the center of the paper plate. Tape the mid-size bows around the larger bows. Tape on the smaller bows to fill in any gaps. Tape the ribbons onto the bottom of the plate. If you want to make a handle, tape a twisted napkin to the bottom center of the plate.|
Be creative with the invitations.
If you are throwing a theme shower, then find or use handmade bridal shower invitations that go along with the theme of the shower.
Who To Invite
Consult with the bride on the guest list. She should also be keeping track of any other showers that have been thrown for her, so that the guest list is not duplicated.
There is no bridal shower etiquette rule that says only people invited to the wedding are invited to the shower. Many couples choose to have a small wedding or are having a wedding out of town and can not invite everyone. Most people understand this. If they don't, then they won't come.
A typical at-home shower has around fifteen guests.
If you know the bride's family or if this is the only shower for the bride, then do invite her family.
However, if you invite the bride's family, then etiquette dictates that you MUST invite the groom's family, too.
More and more brides are requesting a couples shower. But be sure to have a theme shower that is of interest to the bride and groom.
Mail your invitations at least two weeks before the event.