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Proper Etiquette For Your Next Bridal Shower

A bridal shower is for the bride to celebrate her upcoming wedding with close friends and family. The event’s purpose is to “shower” the bride with gifts she will need to embark on her new phase of life. Bridal shower etiquette has changed over the years. In the past, there were very strict rules, whereas today many decisions are left up to the bride or hostess. The best guide is to follow your instincts. Here are some common thoughts that may help you in your decisions.

Who Hosts The Bridal Shower?

The maid of honor usually takes on the role of bridal shower hostess. For whatever reason she cannot host, the bridesmaids and bride’s closest family members will choose an alternate hostess. In the past, close relatives of the bride did not host the shower but these days it is quite acceptable. Sometimes more than one shower will be required to suit all the people in her life.

Who Should Be Invited?

Only people who are invited to the wedding should be invited to the bridal shower. The bride and groom’s mothers and stepmothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, aunts, female cousins, bridesmaids, close female friends and close female work associates of the bride should all be included on the guest list.

What Is Included On The Invitation?

Every guest should receive an individually addressed invitation approximately one month before the event. Include the bride’s name and vital information for the shower such as time, date, address and theme. Also include the hostess’s name, phone number and email address plus a map or directions to the location. Include the location’s phone number on the map in case guests get lost along the way. The RSVP deadline, which is usually two weeks before the event, should also be written somewhere on the invitation. It is up to you whether you include gift registry information; some believe it is tacky and rather pass the information around by word of mouth.

Who Should Greet Guests At The Shower?

The hostess, or perhaps the hostess and a family member or friend, should greet guests as they arrive at the shower. Inform visitors where they should put their gift and their belongings. Guests should also be told where they can get refreshments and, if necessary, where they should sit. Guests who don’t know many people at the shower should be introduced to the group.

How To Break The Ice

A few party games are perfect to kick off the shower and help guests get to know on another. You can even give out party favors as prizes. If you decide against games, at least encourage guests to introduce themselves and say how they know the bride and the groom.

Are Thank You Notes Necessary?

Thank you notes are essential. At the shower, the hostess should collect a list of all names and addresses as well as the gifts given. This allows the bride to write her thank you notes within one week of the shower.