Traditionally, wedding showers followed a predictable pattern in nearly all situations. Today, although some broad rules still apply, there is much more flexibility and room for creativity in hosting a wedding shower. The most important thought to keep in mind is that the purpose of having the party is to “shower” the bride or the couple with affection and a show of support for their decision to marry, and to provide them with thoughtful gifts.
Typically, the maid or matron of honor or other good friends of the bride or groom host the shower. It is also perfectly appropriate for anyone with a strong connection to the guest of honor (for example, the best friend of the mother of the bride), a co-worker, or a family member (aunt, cousin, etc.) to host the party. Historically, close relatives, such as the mother of the bride or siblings would not host a shower. However, there are some parts of the country where that has become an acceptable custom. It is also perfectly acceptable for the mother of the bride to open her home to be used as the location for the shower, to involve the families of the bride and groom in the planning, and to accept offers of help with food/activities/etc.
Many brides/couples are fortunate enough to have several different circles of people who want to host a shower for them…attendants, church friends, co-workers, groom’s out-of-town relatives, old family friends. While there is no limit to the number of showers that can be held for a couple, it is most considerate not to invite any guest, with the exception of immediate family, to more than one shower.
Another increasingly popular option in hosting wedding or bridal showers today is to throw the party with a co-host or a group of co-hosts. The advantages to sharing the responsibilities include:
• Share the expenses…much easier on the budget. Purchase a bigger gift for the bride, or make the shower unforgettably spectacular with favors, great decorations and wonderful food!
• More options for the party location.
• Time saving for everyone with responsibilities divided equally.
Bridal Shower Invitations
Although themed bridal showers are becoming increasing popular in recent years, a traditional wedding shower for the bride is still the most common form of pre-wedding celebration. Many times the party is held in the morning over brunch, but it can also be hosted in the afternoon or evening with a dessert menu or light appetizers and drinks. The guest list for this event typically includes the bridesmaids, close friends of the bride, and family members of both bride and groom.
A shower can take place six months before the wedding or as close as two weeks before the big day. Check with the bride for a convenient date! Be sure to mail the invitations out so that they arrive at least two weeks before the event. If you are inviting guests from out of town, a six to eight week lead-time would be more appropriate.
Be sure to include the following information in your invitation:
• Date, time, and length of shower
• Who is invited (i.e. children, or adults only)
• Name & location of bridal registry
• Bride’s name & groom’s name
• Map to the party location
• Description of theme (if applicable) and if gifts and attire should be tied to the theme
• RSVP phone number
We offer a few different bridal shower invitations that are preprinted and ready for you to add your individual information. All of them are lovely and are excellent choices.
If you are inviting a large group of guests to the shower, you may want to consider having a formal invitation printed to give your hands a rest from writing each one. A preprinted invitation also provides a sense of style and sophistication to the event at a reasonable cost. A beautiful choice for this occasion would be a Bridal Invitation.
Wedding Shower Guest List
The guest list for a bridal shower typically includes the bridesmaids, close friends of the bride, and family members (both bride and groom’s female relatives). If you are hosting a shower for work friends, or a church shower, you would not be obligated to include anyone outside that circle of friends. This is especially true if the paths of the different groups of friends do not often cross each other.
Today, more and more wedding showers are co-ed events that honor both the bride and the groom. Some people refer to this type of shower as a Jack & Jill Party, and it really is much more like a party than the traditional bridal shower. If you are hosting a co-ed wedding shower, the groomsmen, ushers, friends of the groom, and male family members would also be included. Gifts are still the hi-light of the event, but this is also a fantastic opportunity to gather families and friends together prior to the wedding…the reception will be all the more fun for everyone!
How many people should be included? There are no rules as to the number of guests that should be included. The hostess really is the one who needs to define the number that she feels comfortable with, and the location and/or budget may be determining factors in the decision.
Many brides/couples today are fortunate enough to have multiple showers held in their honor. The only rule that generally applies to this situation is that with the exception of immediate family, each friend or extended family member should appear on only one guest list. For most people, purchasing two nice gifts in a short time frame can be a strain on the budget.
In order to assure that mistakes are not made, consult with the bride about the guest list. If the shower is a surprise party, consult with the mother of the bride, or the honor attendant as to the makeup of the guest list.
It is generally considered to be in good taste to include only people who will be invited to the wedding to a shower. There are some exceptions to this rule. If the couple is getting married in the bride’s home state of New York, and they reside in California…invite everyone to the shower held in California…chances are 95% of them wouldn’t make it to the wedding even if they were invited. Other exceptions include: acquaintances or colleagues who might be included in a church or work shower, but who aren’t close enough to be invited to the wedding; if the couple are having a small intimate wedding with only family members; or if the couple has chosen to marry at a location away from their home town (exotic destination weddings have become extremely popular).
Shop our whole selection of party supplies for tons of party themes and decorations to create a wonderful bridal shower!