A bridal shower is a time to get together with the bride to be to celebrate with food, gifts and games. Whether you’re planning the shower or you’re the guest of honor, there are a lot etiquette questions that may arise. Check out our answers to our top bridal shower FAQs.
1. What is a bridal shower vs. a bachelorette party?
A bridal shower is a gathering for the bride where female family members and friends bring her presents for the home. Think engagement party but just for girls. While a bachelorette party is a last hoorah, a girl’s night out. Its purpose is to mark the bride-to-be’s last night as a single woman. This event tends to feature naughty humor, sexy antics and lots of alcohol. The future mother-in-law should not be invited. The maid of honor typically hosts either or both.
2. Can I have a Bridal Shower AND a Bachelorette Party?
Why not? As long as you understand the costs involved in having both events.
3. Who Typically Hosts?
Typically, the maid of honor. However, in certain situations, family friends or family members can also host the bridal shower.
4. Who get invited?
The bride’s attendants, other close personal friends of the bride, and local family members of the bride and groom (mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and cousins). Also, you should never invite someone to a bridal shower that will not be invited to the wedding. And you don’t not invite the entire wedding guest list to the shower–only invite the bride’s nearest and dearest. It’s ok to ask the bride if you’re not sure.
5. Can I put the bride’s registry information on the invites?
Generally, it’s considered bad etiquette to include registry information directly on the invitation because it’s seen as a too-direct demand to obtain gifts. A better option would be to include the couple’s wedding website information on an insert and then including registry information on the website. It’s a bit of a roundabout way of going about it, but a much more appropriate option, etiquette-wise.
6. Bridal Shower Timing
Generally, showers should take place at least a month before the wedding day. Holding the shower any closer might end up being stressful for the bride-to-be, rather than fun. Two to three months before is usually an ideal time.
7. Can you have more than one bridal shower?
Yes, there are certain circumstances in which a bride may have multiple bridal showers given in her honor. Examples would include one thrown by the bridesmaids in her hometown, and another thrown by her future-in-laws’ friends in their hometown. Or a shower thrown by co-workers. Keep in mind that if a guest is invited to multiple he/she doesn’t have to bring a gift to each one–only the first event is fine.
8. Are boys allowed?
Co-ed bridal showers, also known as a Jack and Jill shower, co-ed showers are growing in popularity. The guest list is co-ed, and gifts are chosen with both the bride and groom in mind. If the bride is a true traditionalist, a co-ed shower is probably not the way to go. On the flip side, many brides and their friends as well as the men involved get a real kick out of co-ed showers since it takes away the feeling that everything about weddings is geared to women. The same etiquette rules typically apply for co-ed showers except the groom and groomsmen get in on the fun. A co-ed wedding shower also provides opportunities for couple-focused games.
9. What do I wear?
Keep in mind, that a bridal shower is not a bachelorette party. The bride to be and guests should wear more moderate attire. Anything from dresses to dressy slacks and tops. Be sure to keep in mind time of day and location, as well as the season, when choosing what to wear.
10. When do I send out thank-you notes?
The guest of honor should plan on sending handwritten thank-you notes to everyone who attended ideally within two weeks of the event. It’s also a nice gesture for the guest of honor to send a small gift in addition to a thank you note to the person(s) who hosted the shower to show your appreciation.