Bridal Shower Etiquette

Bridal showers are a fun time for family and friends of a bride to get together and celebrate the bride's upcoming wedding, while also "showering" her with gifts for her new home. Along the way there are many questions to be answered. Who hosts the shower? Who should be invited to the shower? Read further to find out the answers to these important questions.
Who Should Host the Shower?
The shower is not traditionally held by the bride's family. It is usually the maid of honor who hosts the bridal shower. Sometimes several people work together to organize the shower, such as the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. 
When to Have the Shower?
The bridal shower is usually four to six weeks before the wedding. The shower should take place no longer than eight weeks before the wedding in case plans change at the last minute.
Who to Invite to the Shower?
Only people who are invited to the wedding should be invited to the bridal shower. People who come to the shower but who are not invited to the wedding will feel awkward about other people around them talking about the upcoming wedding.
If more than one shower is planned, like a shower for friends and another one for co-workers, the same people should not be invited to both showers. The hosts of both showers should coordinate to make sure there are no duplications on the guest list.
Where Should the Shower Take Place?
Often the bridal shower takes place at the maid of honor's home. It can also take place at a favorite restaurant, church, or public park.
Who Pays for the Shower?
It is expected that the person or people who are hosting the shower will pay for expenses related to the shower. The person who hosts the shower is also expected to buy a gift for the bride, in addition to paying for the shower.
Are E-Mail Invitations Okay?
It is not acceptable to send out e-mail invitations for a bridal shower. Snail mail invitations only, please.
Is it Okay to go in on One Big Gift?
If it is known that the bride needs a large item for her home, such as a washer and dryer, a microwave, etc., it is perfectly okay for bridal shower guests to each contribute towards one big gift. Have each of the guests sign a group card to give the bride.
What if the Bride Has Not Registered for Gifts?
With so many online gift registries available these days (e.g., Target), there is no reason for a bride not to register for her gifts. If she is uncomfortable with registering for some reason, someone should try to convince her that if she does not register then she will likely end up with a lot of gifts that she does not want. If she is unsure of the process of registering, then someone should go with her to help her.
What About Second Time Weddings?
Traditionally, bridal showers have not been held for second time weddings. This tradition, for the most part, has become outdated. If this is a bride's second wedding, then it is still considered appropriate to host a bridal shower. Because the bride is not preparing for her first home, a different type of theme can be selected for the shower, such as a linen or lingerie theme.
Bridal showers are an important step along the way to a bride's big day. They are a great time for family and friends to celebrate the bride's wedding day. While bridal shower etiquette does not have to consist of strict rules that have to be followed, it can provide guidelines for a memorable event for both the bride and the shower guests.
Jenny Houston is a professional blogger that writes for, a leading designer of wedding and bridal dresses.