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September 11, 2009

Bridal Shower Etiquette

So, its time for me to think about my shower. And b/c i've never really had one (although i have thrown one), I had a few questions. So i thought it may be helpful for y'all to take this little crash course in Bridal Shower Etiquette and maybe you can even give me some feedback :)

1. Who is invited? - I wasn't sure if it was every female on the guest list, or just a select few. I definitely did know that if they were not on the wedding guest list, then they definitely should not be invited to the shower.  According to Top Wedding Questions: "The shower is supposed to be a small group of ladies closest to you and your fiance and not every woman on the wedding guest list. Imagine inviting your boss and his wife to the wedding and then having to invite the boss's wife to the shower. That would be uncomfortable for her, and you, and since the shower is all about gifts she may feel like she's being invited just to get another gift."
My Issue:  I am from Southern California, I live in Washington, DC and I'm marrying a Jersey boy. Due to distance of my family and friends as well as my bridal party - we've decided to go with bi-coastal showers: one in CA and one in NJ. However, b/c I know many of my DC ladies would want to trek to NJ but may not be able to, I have decided not to invite them so that they don't feel obligated to give me a gift. The real question was for many of the ladies on the guest list who I may not know personally - but i think I agree with the advice above.

2. Where - They say a shower can happen anywhere. From whomever will host the party, a local park or even a local restaurant. It seems that it is the hostess' choice and if she is unsure, that collaborating with the bride (if its not a surprise) is ok.

3. When - It seems they say no sooner than two weeks before the wedding and no earlier than 6 months. However, I recently threw a shower a few days before the wedding. The main reason - the bride (as well as myself and the groom's family) were all OOT. So in order to have both mom's and family present, having it close to the wedding date was all that we could do. I realize emily post probably frowns upon that - but it worked out best for us.

4. What - It is ok to register for the shower. In fact, some sites would say you do. The What and the why for a shower are intermingled b/c the shower was originally to help the bride provide a dowry to her future husband (if her dowry was lacking). Nowadays, the shower is to shower the bride with gifts. So since we all know the reason behind a shower - it could provide a good guideline to register but its not necessary.

5. Who hosts? - Some frown upon family from hosting, b/c it is a party to shower gifts and they say family shouldn't "ask" for that. But i do think that is changing. Especially b/c often family members are the ones who are included in the bridal party. Personally, I have family throwing both of mine and i see nothing wrong with it. But again - Emily Post may frown upon me.

And PS. when it comes to co-workers, Wedding Cram states : "One exception is a bridal shower hosted by co-workers (especially when you work in a large group), all of whom may not be attending the wedding but who would like to give you that celebratory send-off marriage wish."


  1. I agree Emily would not like my mom and sis threw my shower....times are changing!


    I just read this post it may help answer some of your questions or inspire.

  3. #5, this came up alot for me, ha but my mom and my mother in law really really really wanted to host.

    That might be a bit out dated anyways.
    really there is etiquette, and not hurting anyones feelings.
    as long as the second doesn't happen your good to go.

    enjoy it, it's like a second Christmas or birthday.

  4. All I know, is it is NOT appropriate for the MOH to unilaterally decide to throw an engagment party and inform the other two attendants they're on their own for the shower, and the bachelorette.

  5. I wanted to share our shower post...has some tips. I know it;s a bit negative, but we were just being honest :)


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