Bridal Shower Planning Tips & Etiquette Advice 2023
All the Bridal Shower Etiquette Tips You Need to Know
The custom of the bridal shower is one that has been practiced for centuries, with its roots said to lie in 16th century Holland, when a father refused to give his daughter’s hand in marriage by providing a dowry for the couple. She was given tokens of support from the community in place of a dowry. Gifts for the house are still a big part of the ritual, so that’s held up rather well through the years.
What Is a Bridal Shower?
To commemorate the bride-to-forthcoming be’s nuptials, a bridal shower is held throughout the day. Guests will traditionally present the newlyweds with housewarming presents.
It’s not always clear who is expected to host a bridal shower or what should be included in the invitations for such an event since social norms have evolved through time. We consulted etiquette expert Diane Gottsman to learn the ins and outs of a wedding shower.
Though it might become stressful, particularly if you’re in charge of organizing, keep in mind that the bachelorette party is supposed to be a joyous occasion for the bride to enjoy with her loved ones. According to Gottsman, the point of a bridal shower is to “shower” the bride with love and support.
Bridal showers have been a tradition prior to weddings for generations, and their planning can be both fun and stressful. This manual has your back from the moment you start thinking about a place for the shower until the time you give the happy couple their perfect present. This article has all the information you’ll need to throw a fantastic bridal shower.
Bridal Shower Etiquette
A bridal shower may be organized in any fashion you choose. Nonetheless, this does not imply that there aren’t any standard rules of conduct. To help you prevent embarrassing gaffes during the bridal shower, we’ve addressed some of the most often asked etiquette topics.
What Happens at a Bridal Shower?
According to Gottsman, “the host may arrange some amusing activities for the guests to participate or omit the games completely depending on the taste of the bride.” Food, beverages, and the bride opening presents with guests are typical. Either stick to tried-and-true shower games like gift bingo or having guests create wedding outfits out of rolls of toilet paper, or be creative by hosting an activity-based party like a spa day or calligraphy session. Dislike opening presents in public? Don’t be shy! That way, you and your future husband may enjoy opening the presents together at home.
What Does the Groom Do?
Your significant other will likely come up late to the shower (with flowers in hand) to say goodbye to the guests. It’s a kind gesture to have them join in the festivities and to ensure that they’ll assist bring the presents.
What’s the Difference Between a Bridal Shower vs. a Wedding Shower?
Wedding showers have gained popularity as a more inclusive iteration of the bridal shower. Where a bridal shower is traditionally a pre-wedding event saved for the bride and her crew of female friends and family, a wedding shower is a co-ed festivity.
When Should You Throw a Bridal Shower?
Two to six months before the wedding, the bridal shower is usually held. Whether it’s a bachelorette party in the evening after a bridal shower or a trip home before the wedding, the date should be one that works for the bride and her friends.
Who Throws a Bridal Shower?
It is customary for the maid of honor, other close female friends, or the bride’s attendants and bridesmaids to throw the bridal shower. To avoid having two showers, discuss properly with the host. It is considered poor form for the mother or mother-in-law (or any other relative) to organize a holiday party since it may be seen as a blatant request for presents. In contrast, now days anybody who is up to the effort may host, and it is expected of them.
Should the Bride Be Involved in the Planning Process?
The person being showered will usually specify some necessities that they would want at their event, unless it is a complete surprise. When planning an event, the host will inquire as to desired themes, guest list information, date, time, venue, activities, and other suggestions. The host (or hosts) are responsible for implementing the ideas and suggestions offered by the guests.
Who Gets Invited to a Bridal Shower?
Just as with any other pre-wedding festivities, only those who are also invited to the wedding should attend. “Anyone on the wedding invitation list is fair game. Limit the number of showers, invite the same individuals to just one, and keep the guest list modest “as Gottsman puts it. “Don’t invite someone to the shower if they’re not invited to the wedding.”
Guests at a bridal shower often consist of the bride’s immediate relatives and friends, as well as the bride’s bridesmaids. The size of the gathering should determine how many people you invite. The maid of honor and the bride’s mother should coordinate to create an invitation list they believe the bride would enjoy receiving as a surprise. If they choose to keep the wedding a mystery, they might have the bride help them compile a guest list in private.
When Should Bridal Shower Invitations Be Mailed Out?
Sending out invites four to six weeks before the bridal shower is recommended. Include the names of those hosting, as well as the date, time, venue, register information, a mechanism to RSVP, and the bride’s name.
What’s the Dress Code at a Bridal Shower?
You may make a bridal shower invitation as formal or informal as you want. “There is no set clothing code,” Gottsman explains. However, “it’s better to dress up than down.” It’s better to overdress than to feel awkward by not dressing appropriately for the occasion if there is no indication of the level of formality. If you want everyone in the shower photographs to match, it’s a good idea to include a statement about appropriate attire in the invitation.
Where Should You Throw a Bridal Shower?
The bridal shower might take place in the bride’s hometown if she still resides in close proximity to her family and friends. Where exactly does the bride call home? Even if most of the invited guests live nearby, it may be more practical for them to just drive to the shower rather than fly everyone in. Location depending on shower type and host budget. Wherever the shower is held depends on the theme, but common locations include friends’ and family’s houses and backyards, local restaurants, and other themed locations (such as a cooking school or a wine-tasting room).
Should a Bridal Shower Have a Theme?
It’s not required, but it’s a nice touch to show that you care about the guests. Whether you want to go all out with a spa day or keep things simple with a cohesive rustic theme, there are plenty of options. Bridal showers with a Parisian flair, a Disney theme, or a traditional English tea party are some of our favorites.
Does the Bride Need a Registry for a Bridal Shower?
Perhaps, but not necessarily. Registering for the wedding doubles as a registration for the bridal shower. Nonetheless, if the shower is a lingerie shower, and the bride wants to register for particular lingerie, a separate registration will be required. Bridal shower guests should buy gifts from the registry.
Steps to Planning a Bridal Shower
Here are the measures you need to do to throw a memorable bridal shower.
Create a Shower Budget
Creating a budget is the first order of business when organizing a bridal shower. Everything from the catering to the decorations to the venue to the rentals to the event planning to the photography to the videography to the overall budget for the event. Costs for a bridal shower may range from $10 and above per guest, depending on the style of shower and the bride’s wishes. Whoever is throwing the shower usually pays for these things, but bridesmaids and relatives may volunteer to help out.
Pick a Date
To choose a day that both the bride and groom can celebrate, you should talk to them. Try to start at least a few months before the big day. The evening of the shower day is often reserved for other wedding celebrations, such as the bachelor/bachelorette party.
Create the Guest List
When making the final guest list, keep the bride’s must-invite list in mind. Before you send out invitations, be sure the list has been reviewed and approved by the bride.
Select a Theme
While a bridal shower theme is not required, you may want to consider one if the bride is a foodie or wine enthusiast. All subsequent planning choices will be informed by this.
Choose a Location
The bridal shower location is often provided by the host. If this is not possible, consider asking if any of the other guests or event organizers have any spare room. A spa, vineyard, restaurant, hotel, or Airbnb might also fit the theme.
In order to ensure that all invited guests can make it to the shower and bring a present, please send out invitations as early as possible. You should start searching for and buying invitations a few weeks before the shower date, so that you have enough time to get them out to your guests. Guests should be able to indicate any food allergies or intolerances on the RSVP card.
Set the Menu
Both the time of day and the shower’s theme will dictate the menu. Planning on having a brunch party? Get some breakfast items and mimosas ready. Make sure the meal offers alternatives for guests’ dietary requirements and is something the bride will appreciate.
Find Shower Decor
This step will be simple if you have hired a skilled event designer. Involving yourself in the décor process is one of the most exciting parts of organizing a bridal shower. Consider what unique elements you can add for the bride, whether of whether you’re sticking to a theme or not. Beautiful balloon and flower arrangements are always appreciated, as is a good photo background.
Plan Games and Activities
When hosting a party, games are a fun way to get people mingling and talking to one another who may not know one other before. Many classic shower games may be made with little more than some imagination and time. There are a ton of awesome shower games we found on sites like Etsy that are affordable if your budget permits.
Create a Playlist
Put everyone in a festive frame of mind with a lively playlist. Include some love songs and lively tracks for background music, and have the bride bring in some must-have favorites to be included.