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Bridal Shower Etiquette for the Host & Bride

A few weeks ago, we posted an article on bridal shower etiquette for guests. Today, we’re discussing bridal shower etiquette for the host and the bride-to-be.

Social etiquette can be such a confusing issue, and that is perhaps most evident when it comes to planning a bridal shower. Things that would have at one time been considered taboo, such as a shower being hosted by a family member, are now fairly commonplace. Other matters, like how and when to send out the thank you notes, have remained unchanged.

If you’re hosting a bridal shower or you will be the guest of honor at your own bridal shower over the coming months, you won’t want to miss our etiquette guide.

Who Can Host the Bridal Shower?

Not too long ago, it would have been considered very poor form for someone who is related to the bride to host her bridal shower. Why? Obviously, the main purpose of a bridal shower is to give the bride gifts, and it would seem like the family was asking for gifts. Today, most brides live quite independently from their immediate family, and there is no reason to think that the bride’s family would benefit from any of the gifts she receives.

While it is still a faux pas for a bride to throw her own shower, it’s okay for anyone else, including her mother, sister or other relatives, to host one for her.

Who Receives an Invite?

Generally, shower invitations should be reserved for those who will be invited to the wedding. There are a couple exceptions, however. A bride’s co-workers may choose to throw her a wedding shower, even if they are not invited to the wedding. Also, it’s common for well-wishers to throw a couple’s shower for a bride and groom who will be enjoying a destination wedding or who will be tying the knot in a City Hall ceremony.

Does the Host Give a Shower Gift?

While some people argue that the shower itself is a gift, it’s generally customary for the host to give a gift just like everyone else. If you’re a host who wants to give something more original and meaningful than the towels or dinner plates on the bride’s registry, consider giving a more personalized gift.

Including Registry Information

Speaking of registries, these handy lists have become so popular in recent years that brides are generally expected to have one. While it used to be considered rude to include registry information, it is now acceptable to include a card with the information along with (but not on) the shower invitation. Obviously, the giver still has the freedom to shop from the registry or to choose something else.

The Thank You Notes

The weeks before and after a wedding are hectic, and streamlining some processes may be essential for the bride’s sanity. However, expressions of gratitude should not be where you cut corners. Old-fashioned though it may be, handwritten thank you’s should be sent within three months following the wedding.

Bridal showers are a wonderful tradition, and by following these etiquette guidelines, you can be sure that it is an experience that you look back on with fondness.

Mike LaTour - Co-founder Mike LaTour  Soundwave Art
2019 Finalist - Digital Innovation In Art Award

I spent 17 years in the music industry and have always had a love of art. Combining music, sound, and art was a perfect fit.

I’d like to thank you for visiting us and invite you to have a look around. Express your creativity and record a sentiment that will last for generations!