The ‘bridal shower’ is a great excuse to organise a small afternoon party where female friends and members of the family can spend some time with the bride prior to the wedding. If you want to host a successful shower, it is important to respect a few key rules of etiquette.
Who should be the host?
According to tradition, neither the bride nor her immediate family should be involved with the organisation of the shower, as it would imply that they are asking for gifts. It is usually the maid of honour’s responsibility to invite the guests and suggest themes for the bridal shower, but it can also be one of the bridesmaids or any of the bride’s close friends. Modern-day etiquette also allows a member of the bride’s family to be hosts, especially if circumstances suggest that option. The host can choose to organise a surprise shower for the bride or consult her about it and ask her to help with suggestions for presents and guest lists.
Who should be invited?
Traditionally, bridal showers are small parties for the bride’s closest friends and female members of the family. The guest list should include only people who are also invited to the wedding. The only exception is an ‘office shower’ which is appropriate if the bride’s colleagues from work want to surprise her with presents, even though not all of them are invited to the wedding. The host can choose to organise more than one shower, but in that case there should be different guest lists for each of them. The best time to organise a bridal shower is a few months prior to the wedding, but it can also be held a few weeks before the big day.
What about the gifts?
In order to make the job of choosing presents for the bride easier, the host can suggest a selection of the bride’s favourite shops and set up a bridal shower gift registry. This should be done before the invitations are sent. Another way to provide a clue of what the bride might need is to choose a theme for the shower. If some of the guests are invited to more than one shower, they should bring a gift only to the first one, and this rule also applies to closest family and members of the bridal party.
How to choose wording for the invitation?
From sweet and girly to elegant and luxurious, the design of invitation may vary and your main consideration should be the wording. It should include information on where and when the event will be held, as well as the RSVP information of the hostess. Since the bride will be receiving gifts, etiquette rules allow you to include information related to the gift registry or state a specific theme such as kitchen or beauty essentials. However, if the bride doesn’t want to ask for gifts, don’t mention them in the invitation. This is a very elegant way to invite guests to the shower without forcing them to bring a present.