Bridal Showers

There are so many celebrations when it comes to getting engaged/married! We have already discussed the Bachelor/Bachelorette parties but where do bridal showers fit in? Who is supposed to plan the event, who would you invite, and what is it exactly? I am here to answer all of those questions and to go over bridal shower etiquette as well!


What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a traditional gathering to celebrate the bride-to-be. They are most commonly on a weekend afternoon and are attended by woman who are close to the bride. Traditions regarding a bridal shower and its themes have changed a lot over the years. It is now more common to invite whoever you want to the event because times are changing. It is also common to bring gifts that will help set up the couples new home with items they might need such as lingerie, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc. This is not a time to get the couple dishes, a break maker, or a toaster as that is what the registry is generally for. This event is meant to be a fun but classy afternoon where brunch or lunch are served and wedding-themed games are often played.

Who should host the bridal shower?

Most commonly the brides mother or maid of honor plan and host the bridal shower. Often times, other close family members such as aunts, grandmothers, or even the mother of the groom help out as well and help foot the bill. Other bridesmaids might be asked to help also, especially with decorating. It is always nice as a bridesmaid when you reach out to the people planning the event to see what help they might need.

Who do you invite to the bridal shower?

If we are going back to tradition, it would say that the bridal shower is a woman only event. In recent years, tradition is changing and now there are often times when both woman and men are invited to bridal showers. If it is a woman only bridal shower, the groom does not need to be there during the event but often times shows up afterwards to help clean up and collect gifts. Anybody who is invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the wedding but that does not go the other way around. Not every person attending the wedding needs to be invited to the bridal shower. Bridal showers are generally a smaller event where your closest ladies (or gentleman) are invited.

The bride should always have somewhat of an input into the bridal shower because after all it is an event to celebrate her, unless it is a surprise shower. It is okay to ask the bride what she wants and who she would like to invite. Does she want to invite just woman? Should it just be family? Should the entire bridal party be invited or just the bridesmaids? These are important questions to ask a bride before planning the bridal shower. If this event should be a surprise, a guest list should be made based off of who the bride would want there. Planners have to remember that the day isn’t necessarily about them, even if they are the mother of the bride.

When should the bridal shower take place in the wedding event timeline?

The bridal shower happens somewhat closer to the wedding, usually 1-3 months ahead of time. It is important to keep the bride and guests invited in mind during the planning process and choosing a date. If somebody who should be there, like a grandma, lives out of town, she will need advanced notice to schedule transportation and a free day. The bride is obviously a huge factor of availability. She definitely needs to be there so make sure that the planning and choosing a date work in her schedule. You will also want to check one more thing when choosing a date for the bridal shower and that is when the bachelorette party will be taking place. You do not want the two things to interfere with one another. Ask the maid of honor or bridesmaids when that will take place so that you can schedule the shower around it and vice versa.

Where to hold the bridal shower?

When it comes to choosing a bridal shower venue, there are a few things to take into consideration such as the weather during that time of year, the theme, and location. You want to choose a location where weather isn’t going to interfere. If it is a raining and you have planned an outdoor shower, what will the backup plan be? You also want to ensure that the location and theme work well together. If you have planned a high tea shower and you are having it at a brewery with huge holding tanks, it may not match the theme the best. Location is also a huge factor because if the event is going to be held outside of town, transportation will also need to be figured out.

Some examples of locations suitable for a bridal shower include a local restaurant with a party room, your house or a family members house, a local park, renting out a local coffee house, any venue with an extra room for an event, etc.

What to do during the bridal shower?

Traditionally, the activities at a bridal shower included brunch/lunch, tea, and maybe a few wedding related games as well as opening gifts. Now, there is a new trend where a larger activity is included. This could be a paint n’ sip or some other crafting activity. There are still often wedding related games played at bridal showers including a who knows the bride best trivia, how well does the bride know the groom quiz, or even a toilet wedding dress challenge to get everybody involved. There is no right or wrong game for a bridal shower so get creative and just have fun with it. Following games, it is still common to open all gifts in front of everyone and even offer the guests dessert as well. Obviously drinks are always a major plus at these events too!

What type of gift do I give at a bridal shower?

There are times where people shop the registry for bridal shower gifts as well however it isn’t required as that is where most wedding guests will also shop for wedding day gifts. If you know the bride well, you can decide what type of gift that you would like to give her. It could be lingerie for the wedding night but be sure to know what size she is. You want to be careful with any kinky stuff and that should be reserved for the bachelorette party where grandmas eyes aren’t on you.

Do I give out favors at a bridal shower?

This is entirely up to you! If you wish to give your guests some sort of favor for attending, then by all means get creative and come up with something. If you choose to do any crafting as an activity, that could even be their favor and it might mean more since they created it. It is best if you do offer favors not to overdo it too much. It can be simple like cookies or even beauty products.


In the end, the bridal shower has been traditionally done certain ways but those ways are changing. If there is something that a bride wants for her bridal shower then why not make her happy and just do it that way? The bride may not even want to have a bridal shower and spend extra money on another wedding event and that is perfectly alright too. Be sure that this day is really about the bride to be no matter what and it will be perfect!

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