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What Constitutes Proper Bridal Shower Etiquette



There are many “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to weddings; bridal showers are no exception. If you need help knowing what the proper bridal shower etiquette is, look no further for your answers.

Who Should Host The Shower?

Based on traditional norms, the bride’s mother and sisters should not throw the bridal shower. However, her bridesmaids and/or close friends should. Keep in mind that the hostess title often falls to close relatives of the bride. In modern days, anyone who wants to throw her a bridal shower is more than welcome to.

When Is The Bridal Shower?

Bridal showers are typically thrown one to two months before the wedding. However, there is no reason why a shower can’t be held a few months in advance if that suits the bride, her friends and family.

Who Should Be Invited?

Traditionally, people not invited to the wedding do not attend the bridal shower. In order to assemble a guest list that everyone is happy with, the bride and hostess should work together. The bride and hostess’ wishes need to be set out from the very beginning so that budgets and number of guests are kept in mind. The mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, stepmothers and the bride and groom’s sisters should be invited first. These days, both men and women commonly attend showers. Keep in mind that this may double your guest list.

What’s The Best Location For The Shower?

There is no obvious etiquette on this point; simply choose somewhere where your guests will feel comfortable. Keep in mind that guests shouldn’t pay for their meal. If your budget doesn’t cover meals out at a restaurant, choose to have it elsewhere.

Do Guests Bring Gifts?

Yes. In fact, the purpose of the event is to “shower” the bride with gifts to help her as she embarks on married life. If you are invited but do not attend the shower, it is up to you whether or not to send a gift.

What Should Be Included On The Invitations?

As with wedding invitations, one invitation should be sent to each person (unless under 16 years of age), the names should be written by hand and you should use the guests’ formal names. Invitations should be mailed out one month before the shower and should include an RSVP phone number and address. Remember to include gift registry information, if the bride has one.

Are Games Played At Bridal Showers?

It is up to the hostess. While they are not essential, party games are great in helping strangers get to know each other. They are also a great way to hand out party favors in the way of prizes. At the very least, make sure guests are introduced at the very start of the shower.

Are Thank You Notes Required?

Yes. Every person who gives a gift should receive a thank you note within a few weeks of the shower. Of course, the hostess should receive an extra special thank you. If a few friends pool together and give one gift, individual thank you notes are required.