The Bridal Shower

After all the planning you have done — and still have to do — when it comes time for the bridal shower, you get to relax and let others take the reins. Your input, however, should be solicited for some matters, such as the theme and guest list. But for the most part, you can sit back and enjoy the shower; this is the time for you to be feted without having to worry about so much as one logistical detail.

Hosting Duties

In regard to the bridal shower, what are the bride's responsibilities? The bride is expected to help the maid of honor by compiling a guest list, offering an opinion about the shower's theme, and providing her with the names and locations of the stores where you're registered.


Etiquette dictates that a member of the bride's immediate family should not host a bridal shower. However, this is now commonplace, as many women choose to have their sister as their honor attendant. Traditionally, the honor attendant is responsible for planning and hosting the bridal shower.

Can my mother host a wedding shower? Traditionally, your mother or grandmother should not host a shower; that responsibility should be left to more distant relatives, like a cousin or aunt, or to the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and other friends. The logic behind this rule is that the bride and groom's families shouldn't appear to be asking for gifts. This same rule applies to the groom's immediate family hosting a shower.

Is it okay for my coworkers to plan a shower for me, even if they are not invited to the wedding? Even if you couldn't invite them to the big event, it is perfectly acceptable to allow them to throw you a shower. Normally, the coworker shower is thrown on one of your last days at work prior to the wedding. Colleagues typically gather during the lunch hour or right after work for refreshments and the presentation of a group gift.

Who's Invited?

What is the suggested wording for bridal shower invitations? The following is a sample of standard wording for a bridal shower invitation.

Please join us for A bridal shower in honor of Jaclyn Marie Nelson on Sunday, the twenty-fifth of June at one o'clock in the afternoon

The Restaurant 123 West Fifth Avenue Los Angeles, California R.S.V.P. by June 5 Alice Buckley, (555) 123-4567

Should some guests be invited to more than one shower? The only people who should be invited to more than one shower are the bride and groom's mothers and the attendants. They shouldn't be expected to buy presents for each shower — just one will suffice.

Can we invite guests to the shower who aren't invited to the wedding? With few exceptions, you shouldn't. But if you're having a small wedding or a destination wedding and your friends decide to throw you a shower anyway, that's fine.

Is my fiancé allowed at the shower? Most men are really not interested in attending the bridal shower, but if he does want to pop in, ask him to join you for the gift opening.

Being Gracious

What can I do to show my appreciation to the people who throw a bridal shower? For those who are kind enough to throw parties in your honor, show your gratitude by sending both a thank-you note and a small gift.

I know it's proper to write thank-you notes for wedding presents, but what about shower presents? Whenever you receive a present, a thank-you note should be sent as a show of appreciation.


A thank-you note should include a mention of the gift, how you plan to use it, and a personal statement or comment such as, “It was lovely of you to come so far to be a part of the bridal shower.” If the gift was monetary or a gift card, a reference to the amount is optional, but you should mention how you plan to use the money.

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