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Hosting A Bridal Shower: Frequently Asked Questions

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Bridal showers – and weddings, in general – come with a host of sticky situations that can leave you wondering what to do. The following questions and answers will cover a bevy of bridal shower etiquette to help you navigate bridesmaid feuds, disagreeing moms, gift qualms, and so much more.

Who should throw the bridal shower?

Old-fashioned tradition states that the bridal shower shouldn’t be thrown by anyone in the bride’s family because it can be seen as a greedy way to ask for gifts. Most guests see this tradition as outdated and will not be offended by a shower thrown by the bride’s family. Today, most bridal showers are thrown by the maid of honor, a friend, sister, aunt, cousin, bridesmaid, coworker, or anyone else who is close with the bride. Really, the only rule here is that the bride should not throw herself a shower.

I’m the Maid of Honor, but I can’t afford to throw a bridal shower. What do I do?

Being the Maid of Honor can really take a toll on your wallet. To cut on cost, ask another bridesmaid, or a close family member of the bride, if she would like to co-host the shower with you. This way, one single person isn’t solely responsible for footing the cost of the bridal shower. Besides co-hosting, keep the shower simple to cut on cost. Throw it mid-afternoon so you can serve light finger foods and not worry about serving your guests an entire meal

I’m throwing a bridal shower. Can I ask the other bridesmaids to help pay for the shower?

If the other bridesmaids are co-hosting the shower with you, then you can expect them to pitch in on the cost. However, don’t expect donations from the other bridesmaids if they’re not getting recognition as co-hosts. You could also ask them if anyone would like to bring a dish to eat or bring supplies for a game.

I’m throwing a bridal shower. Do I have to buy a gift, even though I’m spending a lot of money on the shower?

If you spent a pretty penny on a bridal shower, it can be hard to cough up even more money on a gift. However, it’s a nice gesture to give the bride a little something, even if it’s something inexpensive from her registry, a DIY gift, a bottle of wine for the couple to enjoy, or just a nice card with a handwritten note.

How many bridal showers should a bride have?

It’s normal for a bride to have a couple bridal showers, especially if her family and friends don’t all live in the same city. She may have one hosted by her side of the family, one for the groom’s side of the family, and another hosted by her friends. Just keep in mind that guests who are invited to multiple showers may decide to not attend all of the showers.

Is it appropriate to have a bridal shower for a second or subsequent wedding?

This is a decision that is totally up to the bride and her groom. If it’s uncomfortable or unnecessary for the bride and groom, then skip it! Instead, why not gather with a small group of friends for dinner? If a bride wants to celebrate a subsequent marriage with a shower, then she should. If she doesn’t need to register for gifts because she’s more established than a first-time bride, then consider throwing a recipe exchange or an afternoon at the spa.

When should the bridal shower be thrown?

Bridal showers are typically thrown a couple weeks to a couple months before the wedding. However, sometimes special situations, like out-of-town guests, call for an earlier or later shower. If you’re throwing the shower early, remember that the bride should already have her guest list planned, because everyone who’s invited to the shower should also be invited to the wedding. Also, she should already be registered when the invitations go out.

Who should be invited to a bridal shower?

Usually, bridesmaids, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and other close acquaintances are invited to bridal showers. Ask the bride to brainstorm a list of guests, and it doesn’t hurt to bounce the guest list off the bride’s mother, or a close family member, to make sure no one was forgotten.

Should men and children be invited to a bridal shower?

Traditionally, bridal showers are female-only, but in recent years many couples have decided that they would both like to attend the shower and invite their female and male friends. This is perfectly fine, albeit nontraditional. As for children, ask the bride if she wants children in attendance, or if she would prefer adults-only. Remember, little ones may be distracting at a bridal shower, so consider hiring a baby sitter to occupy children during the shower, if they’re invited.

Can I invite people to the bridal shower who aren’t invited to the wedding?

It is good etiquette to make sure everyone who is invited to the bridal shower is also invited to the wedding, and this rule should be followed under most circumstances. That said, if you are having a very small, private wedding, or a destination wedding, then this rule may be bent. However, rather than throwing a traditional shower, consider instead making it a simple get-together with friends to celebrate your marriage.

Do I have to invite guest who live far away, or who I know won’t attend?

Whether it’s your cousin who lives hours away, or your friend who just had triplets, you should still invite these people who are important to you to your shower. It doesn’t hurt to send an invitation, but it might hurt their feelings if they don’t receive one.

I’m throwing a bridal shower at a restaurant. Do I have to pay for my guests’ food?

Yes, it’s good etiquette to pay for your guests if you invite them to a bridal shower at a restaurant. If this is too expensive, consider throwing a mid-afternoon shower and only ordering appetizers or desserts for the group. Or, throw the shower at home and cook the food yourself to save on cost.

If you need any help with your bridal shower, contact LimeLight Expressions for day of coordination, or planning services. We would love to work with you..Now you’re in the LimeLight!