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What Should I Expect at a Bridal Shower?

There are a plethora of celebrations surrounding the actual wedding itself. To begin with, what exactly is a bridal shower? Who can come, what time does it start, and what are the ground rules? There are few more important pre-wedding festivities than the bridal shower. It's a party when the bride's closest friends and relatives gather to celebrate her approaching wedding with gifts, champagne, and fun games. Enjoy yourself, but don't let your manners slip. There are a few things to keep in mind, such as making the best possible guest list and sending out thank-you cards as soon as possible.

Table of Contents

What Is a Bachelorette Party?

The tradition of throwing a party for a woman who will be married is known as a "bridal shower." While there has been a rise in variety in terms of bridal shower motifs and venues, there are still some constants. Usually held on a Saturday afternoon, these events are attended by the bride's closest female friends and family. Commonly given items to the bride on her wedding day are functional for her new home. Personal gifts from family members are always appreciated, and lingerie, jewellery, and other heirlooms are especially nice.

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Hosts the Bachelorette Party

Many wedding showers are organised and hosted by the maid of honour or bride's mother. Aunts, grandmothers, and the mother of the groom are just some of the other close female family members who might pitch in with planning and financing the wedding. A bride's attendant is a female friend or relative who is a bride or who is somehow involved in the wedding. Participants could bring party essentials including games, prizes, sweets, and decorations.

Those who fit these descriptions should contact the bride's mother or one of the bridesmaids to offer assistance. Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open so that various people aren't organising competing wedding showers.

Who Should Attend a Bridal Shower?

Friends and family members are the usual guests at a bridal shower. The same people who are invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the nuptials. You don't have to invite everyone who is invited to the wedding if you don't want to.

If the wedding isn't a surprise, the bride should be consulted about the number and makeup of guests and other aspects of the party. The mother of the groom, grandmothers, maid of honour, aunts, and close female cousins are typically among the first guests invited. In addition, some women only invite other women they know well and respect professionally.

Both the mother of the bride and the maid of honour should consult with the bride to determine who should be invited to her surprise bridal shower. The size of the bride's social circle and family will dictate the list for the wedding. The bridal party could be as small as 10 people or as large as hundreds.

When Should the Bridal Shower Be Scheduled?

Ideally, the bridal shower would take place between two to three months before the wedding. Think about the bride and attendees before making your decision. If you have a large number of female relatives who live far away, for instance, you may wish to schedule your event at a later time in order to give them adequate time to travel. As an alternative, if the bride is handling most of the preparations on her own, she will likely prefer to have the month leading up to the wedding to herself.

The bridesmaids should be consulted as to the timing of the bachelorette party. If possible, try to avoid scheduling conflicts between these times. In other cases, though, it makes sense to mix weekends, such as when many of the bridesmaids are coming in from out of town. No matter what you decide, you should wait to send out invites until the bride has completed her registration.

Where Should the Bridal Shower Take Place?

The location of the bridal shower is up to the bride and groom, and can be anywhere from a restaurant to a park gazebo to a relative's backyard. Depending on your interests, the location could be a distillery or a cooking class.

The wedding venue ought to be easily accessible for the bride and her invitees. It's romantic to have the wedding in the bride's hometown if she still resides there after the nuptials. If the bride is from out of state, but most of the guests are from her area, it may be more practical for her to fly in for the wedding.

Bridal Shower Basics

Hosts with the Most

Most brides receive their shower from friends and relatives or members of the bridal party. The best man and bridesmaids usually chip in for the whole cost, but the bride and groom's moms also typically make financial contributions or offer to cover specific expenses, such as alcohol, food, or party favours.

Perfect Timing

A shower is usually held two months to three weeks before the wedding, on a Saturday or Sunday. Time of day is up to the hosts, but expect a three- to four-hour affair that could be brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea.

Who's Invited?

Only those who will be invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower; typically, between twenty and forty individuals will be invited. The names of the hostesses, the date, time, and location of the shower, whether it is a surprise, any special themes or instructions (see sidebar, right), a contact name and phone number for RSVPs, and gift registry information are all necessary pieces of information to include in the invitations that will be mailed out at least six weeks in advance of the shower date.

Places to Party

In the past, showers were held in a host's house or a reserved dining area at a restaurant. In the case of the latter, attendees may gather in a pottery studio to produce and paint clay items, at a design studio for a flower-arranging workshop, or at a jewellery store to design their own jewellery. These days, nail salons and day spas also attract many customers.

Girls Only?

And what do you know? Even women who aren't getting married can participate in a shower. These days, it's common for friends and family to throw a "Jack and Jill" shower for a couple. It may be anything from a cocktail party to a BBQ to cocktails at a local watering hole. Can you be sure you want to skip the ladies-only get-together? That's not to say that you don't want to, but you don't need to. If you want to avoid having anyone feel like she needs to bring you more than one gift, it's fine to have one of each type of invitee.

Bridal Shower Etiquette For Guests

With Valentine's Day behind us, you probably know at least one engaged couple. You'll soon get the chance to show off your social skills when the wedding shower invites begin arriving in the mail. One way or another, you're probably going to end up attending to a few bridal showers regardless of your feelings about them. Looking for a quick refresher on wedding shower protocol for your guests? This is a simple cheat sheet to get you through the celebration.

One Bride, So Many Showers

Nowadays, the bride-to-be often throws more than one wedding shower, often with varying groups of people attending each one. You may receive invitations to multiple showers if you are close to the bride or a member of the wedding party.

It is customary to bring a present to the first shower you attend for the bride, even if you plan on attending subsequent showers. To avoid appearing unprepared, nevertheless, you might wish to bring a tiny bouquet, a homemade present, or some baked goods.

Wedding Shower vs. Bridal Shower

It is customary for the groom to attend the shower as an afterthought, when he can mingle with the guests and present the bride with a token of appreciation for hosting the event. Recently, though, coed showers have grown increasingly popular, particularly among couples who have chosen a destination wedding or a low-key City Hall ceremony.

Traditionally, only women (and the bride) have attended and presented presents at a bridal shower. Anyone, including males, can attend a wedding shower, and the presents are usually given to the bride and groom. Guests may become confused if the two terms are used interchangeably, which is unfortunate. Similar to any other gathering, only invited guests should show up.

Gracefully Declining an Invitation

To politely decline a bridal shower invitation is perfectly fine if the event is scheduled for a time when you will be otherwise engaged, if you are unfamiliar with the bride, or if you were not invited to the wedding. All that is required is an appropriate response to the invitation.

As a general rule, it's best to respond to invitations in the manner specified. A polite email refusal is appropriate if the invitation was sent electronically. The same method should be used to respond to an invitation if you received it in the mail. The host or bride will appreciate it if you phone to express your regrets, especially if you know them well.

Choosing a Gift

Almost many couples nowadays create a wedding register to help guests avoid buying them the same present and to direct them towards practical or nice items. Remember, however, that the items on the registry are only suggestions and not mandates. Buying a present that isn't on the couple's registry but is nonetheless meaningful is a terrific way to celebrate their wedding. The metal wall art, canvas prints, and acrylic blocks at Soundwave Art would make excellent personalised presents. You can personalise the present with a message of your choice and choose a colour scheme or style that will complement the couple's existing decor by perusing their register.

What Happens at a Bridal Shower?

A recent development in wedding showers is the inclusion of games and other entertainment. One idea is to have a wine and painting day, or to build your own signs. Brunch or lunch in the afternoon is still the most popular time for showers. Some of them have a specific theme, such a high tea in the afternoon, but that is not necessary.

Traditionally, games at a wedding shower take place after the meal. It is possible to acquire printed games that include questions about the bride and groom for guests to play. Alternatively, the bride can be the centre of attention.

A Newlywed Game-style quiz is a good time and doesn't break the bank. The bride is fair game for any questions you've already posed to the groom. If her responses are different from her fiance's, she must chew an extra piece of bubble gum. This might result in a mouth full of gum and some hilarious pictures. Consider a cooperative activity, such as making a wedding dress out of toilet paper, for a huge gathering. Having fun is as simple as unleashing your inner artist.

It is customary for visitors to present the bride with their presents after the party's activities and sweets have been served. Have a bridesmaid take track of who provided something so the bride can properly express her gratitude in the future.

The host will probably put together a fun game or two

Despite their corny reputation, bridal shower games are still the norm, and the host will undoubtedly come up with a couple of activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. Those who find the concept repulsive should politely request that they be omitted. It's alright to do so, but you'll need to enquire.

People will dress up

Most women will still feel the need to dress up for a shower regardless of whether or not a dress code is specified on the invitation. Expect younger attendees to wear cocktail attire, and older people to wear suits. Women may be seen in all black ensembles, including pants, skirts, and tops. There will be a lot of people with high heels and flashy jewellery. In order to stand out as the bride, white or another distinguishing colour is recommended.

Even in the middle of the morning, people will be thirsty for a beverage. People will arrive ready to celebrate this momentous occasion. That includes drinking as well. Bottles of wine are always a safe bet, while sweet drinks like mimosas and bloody mary beers are always a hit. Cheers! Third, there will be a thirst for liquids even in the morning. Due to the significance of the event, guests are expected to arrive in festive spirit. Even if it means drinking. Stick to the classics, like bottles of wine, or go for something a little more interesting, like a mimosa or bloody mary beer. Cheers!

There might be activities, too.

Activities like flower arrangement, wreath-making, and designing something (like a tray!) for the couple's house are becoming increasingly popular additions to traditional games at bridal showers. Making something artistic is not required but is a possibility. Make a craft suggestion to the host if you like the idea!

There will be toasts.

Many of the women who have known you the longest will give moving speeches. It's possible that there will be a slideshow-style presentation of photos. It's flattering, even for those of us who prefer to stay behind the scenes.

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You might need to open gifts in front of everyone.

Even while it may make more reserved women wince, it is customary for the bride to open gifts in front of the entire wedding party. Those who witness it will likely gasp in awe. Amp up the applause and make sure to express your gratitude openly. Usually, a lot of effort and attention goes into the presents given at a shower.

In most cases, the newlyweds will set up a gift registry. This can be done at any retailer, including online. The majority of shower visitors will use the registry to purchase a present for the bride, although this is by no means necessary. Gifts not on the registry can be thoughtful if you know the bride well enough to choose something you know she'll treasure. In the absence of knowledge regarding her size and prefered style, lingerie presents should be approached with caution.

Alternatively, you may buy a present from the registry and add a few special touches to make it more meaningful. You might put together a date night in a box by purchasing the Champagne flutes she requested, wrapping the bottle of bubbly and her favourite chocolates together, and presenting the whole thing to her.

It's customary to give guests mementoes as a token of appreciation at a bridal shower, but it's not required. Don't go crazy with the freebies if you decide to hand them out. Choose a tasty treat, like custom-designed cookies or bright cake pops. Another option is to sell cosmetics and toiletries; fragrant bath salts are a hit with everybody.

A bridal shower is one of several celebrations that take place in the lead-up to the wedding and is enjoyed by the bride and her female guests. In some cases, males are included.

In the end, what is a bridal shower for? The bridal shower is a gathering of the bride's closest friends and relatives held before the wedding. Before she finally ties the knot, she's having a party where guests may eat, drink, exchange gifts, and mingle.

Ask the mother of the bride or maid of honour if you have any questions about the shower's subject or proper etiquette. They are probably the ones behind the scenes making sure the bride has a memorable wedding.

FAQs About Bridal Shower

Since showers are intended for the bride's nearest and dearest, every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list. Because it's understood that guests should bring a present to a shower, it's not appropriate to invite people whom you don't plan to include in the wedding.

No matter who is hosting, be sure to communicate clearly to make sure you aren't planning two separate showers. Traditional etiquette says the mother or mother-in-law (or any relatives, for that matter) should steer clear from hosting as it can appear that they are directly asking for gifts.

Before you can host a great bridal shower, it's important to know what the event is all about. At its core, the wedding shower is another event for friends and family to celebrate the to-be-weds before the big day.

When it comes to the question “who hosts a bridal shower,” the most popular answer is usually the maid of honor. One of the most important maid of honor duties is leading the charge to plan the bridal shower, from choosing a venue to sending out bridal shower invitations, planning games to choosing favors.

Traditional etiquette dictates that the maid of honor—not the mother of the bride—should host the shower. Some etiquette rules were meant to fade away into oblivion, like the one about family members of the bride not hosting her bridal shower.

Conclusion

A "bridal shower" is a party traditionally thrown for a bride-to-be. Traditionally, the bride's closest female friends and family members gather for a shower on a Saturday afternoon. The guests at the bridal shower should also be invited to the wedding. It's customary to throw a bridal shower two to three months before the big day. The bride, along with her mother and maid of honour, should talk to each other about who should be invited.

The timing of the bachelorette party is something that should be discussed with the bridesmaids. In most cases, the bride's shower is thrown by close family and friends as well as the bridal party. A shower is traditionally held on the Saturday or Sunday two months to three weeks before the wedding. Three to four hours is typical, and the meal could be brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea. Bring a gift for the bride to the first shower you attend, even if you plan to attend more.

Gifts are typically given to the bride and groom at a wedding shower, which anyone, including men, can attend. It's probably best not to use the words "wedding" and "bridal" interchangeably, for the sake of clarity for your guests. The most common time for afternoon showers is still around brunch or lunch. The practise of including games and other forms of entertainment at bridal showers is relatively new. You can make the gift extra special by adding a special message and selecting a colour scheme or design that will go well with the couple's current furnishings.

Even in the middle of the day, people will need to drink water. At this celebration, guests will be treated to toasts and photo slideshows. Bridal showers are increasingly including non-traditional games, such as flower arrangement, wreath-making, and designing something (like a tray!). Bridal showers are parties thrown for the bride by her loved ones before she gets married. The gifts given at a shower are usually made with lots of thought and care. If you know the bride well enough, a gift that isn't on her registry can still be meaningful.

Content Summary

  • There are few more important pre-wedding festivities than the bridal shower.
  • It's a party when the bride's closest friends and relatives gather to celebrate her approaching wedding with gifts, champagne, and fun games.
  • The tradition of throwing a party for a woman who will be married is known as a "bridal shower."
  • Friends and family members are the usual guests at a bridal shower.
  • The same people who are invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the nuptials.
  • If the wedding isn't a surprise, the bride should be consulted about the number and makeup of guests and other aspects of the party.
  • Both the mother of the bride and the maid of honour should consult with the bride to determine who should be invited to her surprise bridal shower.
  • The size of the bride's social circle and family will dictate the list for the wedding.
  • The bridesmaids should be consulted as to the timing of the bachelorette party.
  • Only those who will be invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower; typically, between twenty and forty individuals will be invited.
  • Even women who aren't getting married can participate in a shower.
  • Can you be sure you want to skip the ladies-only get-together?
  • You'll soon get the chance to show off your social skills when the wedding shower invites begin arriving in the mail.
  • Looking for a quick refresher on wedding shower protocol for your guests?
  • You may receive invitations to multiple showers if you are close to the bride or a member of the wedding party.
  • Similar to any other gathering, only invited guests should show up.
  • If you're already committed, don't know the bride, or weren't invited to the wedding, it's fine to politely decline a bridal shower invitation.
  • The items on the registry are only suggestions and not mandates.
  • Buying a present that isn't on the couple's registry but is nonetheless meaningful is a terrific way to celebrate their wedding.
  • Traditionally, games at a wedding shower take place after the meal.
  • It is possible to acquire printed games that include questions about the bride and groom for guests to play.
  • The host will probably put together a fun game or two
  • Despite their corny reputation, bridal shower games are still the norm, and the host will undoubtedly come up with a couple of activities for guests of all ages to enjoy.
  • Most women will still feel the need to dress up for a shower regardless of whether or not a dress code is specified on the invitation.
  • Due to the significance of the event, guests are expected to arrive in festive spirit.
  • In most cases, the newlyweds will set up a gift registry.
  • The bridal shower is a gathering of the bride's closest friends and relatives held before the wedding.
  • Ask the mother of the bride or maid of honour if you have any questions about the shower's subject or proper etiquette.
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