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Bridal Shower Etiquette - Top 10


The following list is meant to serve as a reference rather than a bridal shower etiquette handbook. Remember, if for some reason you need to change or modify something to accommodated the shower you are not committing an unforgivable faux pas.

1. Is it alright to tell my maid of honor what type of shower I want?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to help guide the person hosting the shower toward the party you want. Make sure you don't simply hand them a list of does and don'ts as this would be viewed as impolite. And if there is one thing you don't want it is the nickname Bridezilla.

So make it a fun and relaxed sit down with your maid of honor, discus what you would like to do and what you would rather skip. Also make sure your best friend isn't planning on breaking the bank for your fun filled day.

2. Can we throw the party at my mom's house?

Sure as long as your maid of honor happens to be your sister. If you are planning a causal shower you can also consider having it at your family home.

3. We are having the shower at a restaurant, who pays?

If you are inviting your guests to a restaurant instead of having the wedding shower at your home you are expected to pay. This isn't just proper etiquette when it comes to showers it is the polite thing to do whenever you invite someone to dinner.

4. I need X for my new home, is it acceptable to ask for it in the invitation?

Wedding showers are more than just a fun filled day with the girls it is also an opportunity to gather things you will need for your new life. If you need certain things for your new home theme your shower around that specific need. A classic example is the kitchen themed wedding from the 50's. Birdal showers themselves stem from the dowry traditions of old. You can learn more about the history of them in this post.

5. Can my fiancée attend?

If you plan on having your fiancée attend make sure to make it clear to your guests that this with be a "couples" shower. Otherwise you run the risk of confusing people, showers are generally "ladies only."

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6. I don't want a shower. How do I let my maid of honor know?

If you do not need anything for your new home or you don't want the added obligation of the shower you are free to say you don't want one. Be warned though you may end up with a surprise shower!

7. My mother plans to throw my shower but I really want my maid of honor to do it. Help!

Depending on the relationship you have with your mother you should be able to tell her. Explain that the shower is traditionally the job of your maid of honor and that you're having her handle the event.

8. Who is invited to the shower?

An easy rule of thumb to go by is that if the guest is invited to the wedding you can invite them to the shower. It is considered impolite if you invite somebody to the shower that is not invited to the wedding.

9. Do I need to send thank you cards?

Yes. This is a must anytime you hold a party where guests will be expected to bring a gift. Make sure that you have sent out your think you cards before the wedding since this is generally awkward, and you will be obligated to send them one after the wedding as well. There is an exception to every rule though and this one is no different. Continue reading to see why.

10. When do I schedule the shower?

Bridal showers are usually scheduled eight weeks before the wedding. However, this is not set in stone. Some people choose to have them six weeks to a month before the wedding.

If you will be expecting friends or family from out of town you can hold it in the week leading up to the wedding, though this is often more stressful.

When you hold a shower so close to the actual wedding you are not expected to send out a separate thank you. In this case you would include a personal handwritten note to the guests how attended both with the wedding thank you card.

Etiquette is mostly there to act as a guide for both you and the guests. When you follow know traditions and conventions you are giving those involved a map to follow, this in turn makes the whole experience comfortable for everyone involved.

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