Bridal Shower Etiquette: Tips and Pitfalls

Bridal Shower Etiquette: Tips and Pitfalls

Weddings brim with traditions like bridal showers. These showers are daytime events celebrating the bride-to-be, where friends gather to play games, savor delicious food, and offer gifts to their cherished friend.

Understanding Bridal Shower Etiquette

Bridal showers are generally hosted by the maid of honor, close friends, bridal attendants, or bridesmaids, rather than family members such as mothers or mothers-in-law. If multiple showers are planned, the hosts should coordinate to manage guest lists properly.

Showers are held a few weeks to a couple of months before the wedding. The bride can suggest names for the guest list, but ensure that only those invited to the wedding are included. When deciding what to wear, aim for attire suitable for brunch or lunch, as people usually dress up for these occasions.

To assist in planning a bridal shower, here’s a compilation of dos and don’ts.


  • Do choose a date well in advance of the wedding, ideally several weeks to a few months before. Consult “VIP” guests like mothers, sisters, family, and the bridal party to find the most suitable date before sending invitations.
  • Do create a detailed guest list with the bride’s input. If there are multiple showers, coordinate with other hosts to ensure there’s no overlap, except possibly among the bridal party. Have the bride review the final guest list before invitations are sent.
  • Do plan activities or games for the bridal shower, but confirm with the bride that she’s comfortable with them. Simple games can enhance the fun and help guests mingle.
  • Do carefully consider the bridal shower décor. A specific theme can guide your choice of decorations and other event components. Popular themes include tea parties, spa days, or Parisian getaways. The theme can also influence party favors.
  • Do plan a menu appropriate to the timing of the shower and any chosen theme. Showers usually feature snack foods rather than full meals. For instance, if held mid-morning, consider serving mimosas, pastries, and eggs. Inquire about any food allergies or restrictions when guests RSVP, and also check the bride’s preferences.
  • Do prepare a playlist featuring the bride’s favorite songs. Add some upbeat, love-themed tracks to create a lively atmosphere.
  • Do send out invitations, whether paper or digital, a couple of months in advance, especially for out-of-town guests. Save a few paper invitations as keepsakes for the bride.
  • Do collect ribbons and bows from gifts to create a ribbon bouquet, which the bride can use at the wedding rehearsal and keep as a memento.
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  • Don’t confuse the bridal shower with the bachelorette party. These are distinct events; the shower is a daytime affair, while the bachelorette party typically occurs at night.
  • Don’t share excessive details of the shower on social media, respecting the bride’s privacy and any guest list constraints.
  • Don’t invite anyone not invited to the wedding to avoid awkwardness. Consult the bride to finalize the guest list.
  • Don’t bring raunchy gifts to the bridal shower to avoid discomfort, especially among family members. Save such gifts for the bachelorette party instead.
  • Don’t plan the entire shower alone. Seek help from the bride’s friends, delegating tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

We hope this list provides useful guidance as you plan an upcoming bridal shower.


What exactly is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a daytime celebration of the bride’s forthcoming wedding, where guests give gifts to the bride. These events usually take place a few weeks to a couple of months before the wedding.

What should you wear to a bridal shower?

Guests typically dress up in outfits suitable for brunch or lunch, such as a tasteful dress, blouse and dress pants, or perhaps even a sweater and leggings. Some opt for jeans and a nice top.

What should you write in a bridal shower card?

Include a congratulatory message and then express your heartfelt sentiments, offering words of encouragement, advice, and well-wishes.

What are the best bridal shower gifts?

Gifts are sometimes themed according to the bridal shower’s concept or chosen from the couple’s wedding registry.

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