It's a pre-wedding party to gather the bride's closest family members and friends for an afternoon in her honor. Guests will enjoy food and drink together, bring gifts, play games, and socialize before she ties the knot.
Today it's the maid of honor and bridal party or the bride or groom's mother who throws the bridal shower. Typically, whoever throws the event is the one must cover the costs. Often, the maid of honor and her fellow bridesmaids throw the bridal shower and pay for it, and the mother of the bride contributes.
Bridal showers are meant to prepare the bride-to-be for her future life as a married woman, whereas a bachelorette party is meant for the bride to de-stress, celebrate, and enjoy her present pre-married life.
Bridal showers aren't required, so if you're not interested, here's how to spread the word. Not every to-be-wed wants a bridal shower, and that's totally their call. While saying "no" to having a bridal shower should be simple in theory, declining a friend or family member's offer to throw you one can be tricky.
the maid of honor
Who throws a bridal shower? The bridal shower is usually hosted by the maid of honor, close friends, bridal attendants, or bridesmaids. No matter who is hosting, be sure to communicate clearly to make sure you aren't planning two separate showers.
The cost of the shower is covered by the hosts. If the bridal party is hosting, they should split the cost amongst themselves. If a relative offers to serve as hostess, she will take on the costs—but bridesmaids should offer to chip in, either with money or by lending a hand.
The maid of honor, along with the rest of the bridal party, is expected to cover all wedding attire costs. This includes the dress (plus any necessary alterations), shoes, and any jewelry you'll be wearing the day of. Occasionally, the bride will gift her bridesmaids with whatever accessories she wants them to wear.
But how much should families be involved in planning this event? Typically, the mother of the bride or the maid of honor hosts the shower, so final decisions should be left up to them—taking the bride's preferences into consideration, of course.
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.
The mother of the bride plays the role of hostess, meaning you should spend some time greeting guests during the reception. Although there are exceptions, other wedding-day duties may include sitting at the parents' table and dancing with the father of the bride to help warm up the dance floor.
If she's hesitant because it's a money issue and the bridesmaids are strapped for cash, ask your mom or mother-in-law if they are willing to host a shower for you. (You may have to explain the modern etiquette of mom-as-host to them.) If someone agrees, don't expect a big blowout of a party.
If you are having a traditional bridal shower, it's conventional to invite women from both sides of the family (grandmothers, cousins, siblings, etc.) However, every family is different, so consider your relationship first and make sure you are inviting only those with whom you actually want to celebrate.
Tradition dictates that the groom's family pays for the full cost of the rehearsal dinner, even though the bride's family and friends attend the event as well. That includes food, drink, venue fees, entertainment, and transportation. Often the groom's family cherishes this responsibility.
In short, yes. If you're attending a bridal shower, you should always bring a gift with you to congratulate the bride. This is considered a good bridal shower etiquette. Even if you're a part of the bridal party or wedding party, a gift is still necessary.
If you're invited to a bridal shower but not particularly close with the bride, expect to spend at least $25. Regular friends, co-workers, or distant family members should consider spending up to $75 if they have the budget to spare.
between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
A bridal shower usually starts between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and lasts between two and four hours. If the bridal shower theme includes brunch, you'd want to host the event on the earlier side, while an afternoon tea would be on the later side.
What to Include on Bridal Shower Invitations
Dec 14, 2021
List the bride's first and last name. Middle names are not necessary for bridal shower invitations unless you prefer more formal invitation wording. (Note: The groom's name is optional. It's slightly more formal than we often see on today's bridal shower invitations but not uncommon.
Weichelt says bridal showers should ideally last between two and four hours. Anything shorter and guests will feel like they didn't have a chance to spend time with the bride; anything longer and they'll be itching to head home. Three hours might just be the sweet spot, then.
How do you ask for it? To ask for money at a bridal shower instead of gifts, talk to your guests politely about giving cash gifts instead and provide them with valid reasons why you need the money. You can also create a cash registry to receive cash gifts. A money tree placed beside the gift table may be a good idea.