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The How-To Lounge: Bridal Shower Etiquette

Traditionally a bridal shower is an opportunity for women to get together to "shower" the bride in the presents that she’ll need to make a home. While certainly times have changed in terms of wedding etiquette, generally, bridal showers have remained the same. To find out some basic shower etiquette and ways to make this traditional event more contemporary,


  • Typically the shower is thrown and planned by the maid of honor and/or a female relative — the bride’s mother may be involved in the planning, but she's not in charge of the occasion.
  • Women who are not invited to the wedding should not be asked to attend the bridal shower. However, of the wedding invitees, feel free to ask everyone from coworkers to great-grandmothers.
  • Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to have a co-ed shower, which is usually thrown at night and is more similar to a traditional engagement party. But if you're planning the occasion, be sure to check in with the bride and groom and see what works for them.
  • Showers usually take place four to eight weeks before the wedding day in order to ensure the bride isn’t completely overwhelmed with scheduling right before the big day. If multiple showers are being thrown, the more time that’s given the better. You want the bride’s shower to be special, not another thing she has to stress over.
  • Formal invitations are expected for bridal showers. If you're following a specific theme, make sure to either utilize it in the look of the invitation or mention it within. While the invites can include an insert mentioning the couple’s website and gift registry, it's best not to include that information on the invitation itself.
  • Though many showers incorporate games and themes, neither of these are necessary. Just make sure that whatever is chosen works for the brides and keeps in mind that women of all ages will be attending.

Bridal showers may not be as exciting a bachelorette party, but they should still be fun, so don't be afraid to think outside of the box and try something totally untraditional!

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