A short guide to bridal shower etiquette


Like all parts of the wedding bridal showers come with their own set of rules and etiquette tips. Although you don’t need to get too stressed about the proper bridal shower etiquette, you should keep the key points in mind as to avoid causing offence to anyone in the wedding party.

Bridal Shower

Here are five every day bridal shower etiquette problems and possible ways to get them sorted.

Should you have a shower if the bride lives far away?

It’s more common for people to move away from home so if the bride doesn’t live at her hometown, but many of her friends and relatives are still there, you should try to pick a weekend when she can travel back for the bridal shower. This could end up being a couple of months prior to the wedding while she still has free time. If she is returning home for the actual wedding, you can organise a shower in the week before the special day.

Is it OK for a family member to organise it?

While it used to be thought of as improper for a member of the bride’s family to organise the bridal shower, as it would seem that they were asking for presents, this is now an out dated way to think. With a growing number of brides having Maids of Honour that are located in different towns or even countries, it can be a lot more sensible for a sister or mother to organise the bridal shower. The main thing still is, however, that a bride shouldn’t be in charge of her own shower.

What to do in case of small or destination weddings?

Usually the rule is that only guests invited to the actual wedding should be attending a bridal shower. However, in the case of a destination wedding or an intimate family affair, there may be an exception to the rule. Ensure your bridal shower guests know that you are only having a very small wedding and they are sure to accept it. Make sure you send thank you notes to everyone that attended your bridal shower and, if you are organising a party after a wedding abroad, make sure all bridal shower guests are invited. Most people consider a shower a good chance to celebrate your marriage even though they can’t attend the special day, rather than a cheeky trick to get extra gifts.

Bridal Shower

What if the bride is getting married for the second time?

This is really a matter for the bride to decide and you need to know how she feels about the whole wedding. If the bride wishes to have a full bridal shower there’s no reason not organise one. People should still want to celebrate her forthcoming big day even if they participated in the shower for her first marriage. It is always good to organise something in the bride’s honour, but if she wishes for a small understated wedding, then perhaps just have something low key such as a shopping trip with brunch and gifts.

Who pays the bridal shower bill?

Bridal shower etiquette stated that the host pays the bill for the bridal shower, and this is generally the Maid of Honour. Bridal showers aren’t required to be extravagant events, and can be organised well even on a tight budget. If the bride wishes for a fancier bridal shower than the Maid of Honour’s budget can afford, or if the mothers want to invite extra guests that aren’t included on the Maid of Honour’s guest list, they need to contribute something towards the cost of the party.


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