In case you have questions about your bridal shower etiquette and you are confused as to what, why, and how you should do it, do not worry, we are here to help you.
By reading this simple yet comprehensive guide from start to finish will help you acquire the necessary information regarding your pre-wedding party.
Without further delay, let's start from the basics.
What Exactly Is a Bridal Shower?
Explained simply, a bridal shower is a celebration for honoring the bride-to-be. As a pre-wedding festivity, the bridal shower typically happens several weeks before the wedding. This is an occasion where the friends of the bride, including her bridesmaids and maid of honor, have the opportunity to both celebrate the upcoming wedding and give the bride gifts for the couple's new home.
Although the bride has a complete right to choose the setup and the activities of her bridal shower, in most cases it is daytime, women-only event composed of three major components: fun group activities, refreshments and opening the gifts in front of the guests.
The bridal showers normally do not last more than four hours, but once again, the bride has her right to choose so there always are exceptions to this 'rule'. The guest should arrive at the bridal shower at least half an hour before the bride so they can properly welcome her. After the bride arrives, she makes a round of greetings and then the food is served. Once every guest has finished their meal, the bride begins a new phase known as gift opening.
The maid of honor should record each gift and who it came from, while the bridesmaids should help the bride do the unwrapping of the gifts. As all the gifts are opened, the party starts to break up, so the gift opening is considered to be the last activity of the event.
Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?
Traditionally, the bridal shower is hosted by the maid of honor with the help of her bridesmaids. However, times have changed and so did some traditions. These days, it is a common occurrence for the maid of honor to not host the bridal shower. Instead of her, the bridesmaids themselves, close female relatives of the bride, or the bride's/groom's mom can be found in the role of hostesses. Due to this, the bridal shower has really become a personal decision for the future bride. Today, it is also absolutely normal to not have only one bridal shower but multiple, as it depends on the person who is hosting it and different circles of guests that may be invited to the party.
At the end of the day, the person who hosts the bridal shower is nowhere as important as the way they are hosting it. What is crucial is for the wedding theme to be present and the overall celebration to be customized perfectly for the bride.
Reasonably, the person or the group of people who are throwing the bridal shower are the ones paying for it. There can be a case where the bride offers to pay a certain amount of money to financially support the hostess/es, but it is not necessary. When it comes to money, the only strict rule is to not ask for contributions from the guests.
When Should the Bridal Shower Be Held?
One thing you do need to know regarding this question is that there is no such thing as the 'right time'. Similar to many other aspects of the pre-wedding celebration, the exact date of holding the bridal shower is also a bride's personal choice. Even though we say an ideal time for a bridal shower is between three months and two weeks before the wedding day, there is nothing wrong with throwing the party six months before the wedding.
The reason why we advise you to throw the bridal shower on a date closer to the wedding day is that the bride will already be in euphoric and in the mood for such an event. Opposite than this, if you happen to host the shower six months earlier, she may not even feel like her wedding day is approaching so nor will the guests.
When it comes to time and date, another important thing to keep in mind is not to host a bridal shower during a holiday weekend. Since there will be a small group of people attending the party, it is in your best interest, as a hostess, for everybody to be able to make it. Additionally, consider the bride's schedule and make sure it is convenient for her first.
Where Should the Bridal Shower Be Held?
Typically, bridal showers are thrown at the home of the host. However, it is also perfectly acceptable to choose another town or location for hosting the bridal shower. Especially if the bride does not live in her hometown anymore, the hostess/es of the party are highly advised to choose the current town the bride lives in. Remember, the bride's availability and schedule should be always considered.
The hostess of the bridal shower should also pay attention to the type of shower they are going to throw since it is important for it to match the wedding theme. According to these two important parts of the planning, the person who is responsible for the party should pick a specific location, perfect for the purpose. It could be the backyard of the host, a club, local restaurant, etc. When choosing the place, think of what the bride would actually choose for herself and you should be able to make the right choice.
Who Should Be Invited to the Bridal Shower?
The guest list for the pre-wedding party should consist only of people who are actually invited to the wedding. Among these people, there are the close female relatives of the bride as well as her girlfriends. Even though the bridal shower, as an event, is normally for the grown-ups, if the bride decides, children can attend the party. The size of the list depends on the person who is hosting the bridal shower as well as the bride herself.
When Should the Host Send out the Invitations?
Ideally, the invitations for the celebration should be sent out four to six weeks prior to the date of the bridal shower. The method of sending is very important because the hostess needs to make sure everyone receives the invitations. She can do that by sending the invitations out through email, social media, or post. A week after the invitations are sent out, the hostess should check up on whether the guests received their invitation or not.
The invitation for the bridal shower should include the name of the bride, the time and date of the bridal shower, the location, the name of the person hosting the party and their contact information, a way to RSVP, and gift registry information.
Should the Bridal Shower Have a Theme?
The bridal shower does not have to have a theme, but it surely can. Mentioned previously in the text, the person responsible for the bridal shower should pay attention to the wedding theme itself. This will give out much information regarding the bride's favorite colors, setups, as well as accessories.
However, the hostess of the bridal shower can also choose to go with something entirely different than the wedding theme. Common bridal shower themes are tea parties, backyard bliss, all-white bridal showers, gatsby bridal showers, Bollywood, and so on.
What Happens After the Bridal Shower?
Consequently to the gift opening, most of the bridal showers end. But, if the bride and her guests want to keep partying, the celebration can continue. Once it is fully finished, our best good-to-know tip is for the bride to send thank-you cards to each of her guests. These cards should be personalized and written by the bride herself in order to be candid. Then, it is time for the bride to start her final preparations for her big day.