Rules of Etiquette

When planning a bridal shower, it can be difficult to decide the proper etiquette to use so as not to hurt anyone’s f­eelings or offend your guests. You don’t want to upset the bride or any of the guests by planning an unorganized bridal shower. Here are some common bridal shower etiquette questions and answers to help you plan the perfect bridal shower.

1. When should the bridal shower be?

It is customary to have the bridal shower about 1-2 months prior to the wedding, but this can also be a hectic time for the bride and her family, so make sure to see what date is good for her.

2. Who should be invited the bridal shower?

The most important rule of bridal shower etiquette to remember is that anyone who is invited to the bridal shower must also be invited to the wedding. Bridal showers can consist of as little at 5 people to as many as 30. Just remember to invite people that are close friends of the bride. You might want to ask both the bride and groom’s mothers if they know anyone special to invite. You can also discuss with the bride if she wants to only invite girls or have a couples shower.

3. Who throws the bridal shower?

Traditionally, the maid of honor plans the bridal shower along with the bride, but it is also ok for the bride’s close friends or family to host the shower.

4. How long should a bridal shower be?

A bridal shower should not last all day long. A bridal shower is traditionally around 2 to 4 hours long depending on games or planned activities. You should include the start time of the shower in the bridal shower invitation.

5. What information should be included in a bridal shower invitation?

You need to include the date, time, location, directions, and contact information for the bridal shower. You may also wish to include other information such as the theme of the bridal shower or any special instructions. Send the invitations about 4-6 weeks before the shower, and have the guests RSVP within 2 weeks of the bridal shower. When addressing invitations, make sure you address one invitation per guest even if they live in the same house.

6. What type of food should be served at a bridal shower?

You do not need to serve a full meal at a bridal shower. It is traditional to have simple finger foods or appetizers such as chips and salsa. You could also serve fruit trays, vegetable trays, small sandwiches, or cocktail weenies. Also, wine, cheese and crackers, and desserts are great for bridal showers.

7. Who pays for the bridal shower?

It is customary for the maid of honor to pay for the costs of the bridal shower if she is the host. This is one of many of the maid of honor's responsibilities. It is also common for the bride’s family or bridesmaids to help cover some of the costs of the bridal shower.

8. Should favors be given at a bridal shower?

Although, bridal shower favors are not necessarily a tradition, it is a nice way to show your guests that you appreciate their attendance. Bridal shower favors do not need to be expense or elaborate. They can be something simple such as a candle or a small package of candies.

9. Should I send thank you notes to bridal shower guests?

Yes, you should always mail out notes to thank your guests for coming and for any gifts they may have given you. When writing out bridal shower thank you notes, make sure to list the specific gift that person gave you and how much you enjoy it. You should mail out the thank you notes soon after the bridal shower so that they will receive them within 2 weeks.