Defining Responsibilities Bridal Shower Guidelines You Need to Know

Published: 18th April 2006
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Hosting a traditional bridal shower can be confusing when you look at all of the etiquette rules and guidelines. Who should host the shower? Is it appropriate to ask for gifts? Who should be invited to the shower? Most of the time, the maid of honor or bride's family is expected to host a bridal shower. If the responsibility of hosting a shower falls on you, then here are some bridal shower guidelines you should know.

Hosting a bridal shower can be a great way to get together with the bride-to-be and socialize with friends and family. If you are expected to host a shower, you might not understand what responsibilities you have as a hostess. After you understand what your job will be as a hostess, you can plan the shower and sit back and relax as everyone has a good time.

The first step in planning a bridal shower is to talk to the bride. Her preferences will determine what kind of shower you give. She may want a more traditional shower, or might prefer an informal co-ed shower. You will also need to work around her schedule when planning a date and time. She will be very busy as the date of her wedding approaches. Find out what day works best for her and plan on using that date. If she has guests that will need to travel to attend the shower, make sure they are aware of the date in plenty of time. Also, you will need to get a guest list for the shower. As a general rule, you will not invite someone to the shower that has not been invited to the wedding. Talk to the bride and find out who will get a wedding invitation. Also, find out whom she wants included in her shower. If she has a large family, it might not be possible to invite all of her family and friends. Most bridal showers have no more than about 30 guests.

After you have determined the guest list and the time and date, you can start planning the shower. The number of people she invites will help you determine where the shower will take place. If she only wants to include a small circle of friends, you can think about hosting the shower at a private home or an intimate restaurant. For larger guest lists, it might be necessary to rent a space. Also, selecting a theme for the shower might help you stay on track when planning a shower. You might want to have a barbeque, a brunch or host a pampering spa bridal shower. Select a theme that interests you and the bride before making other plans.





As you plan the guest list, you will need to think about the budget. Most of the time, the maid of honor is expected to host a shower, but things are changing and this is not a hard and fast rule. The bride's family can also help pay for the shower or help provide food and decorations. The budget is the amount you are able or willing to spend on a shower. If you have a limited budget, you might be able to get others to help pitch in to pay for the shower. Your budget will also determine what kinds of decorations you will use, the food you will serve and activities you will provide to the bridal shower guests. As the hostess, you might choose to splurge on food while keeping activities or decorations to a minimum.

Sending out the invitations is the next step in getting ready to host a bridal shower. Make sure that all of the information is included on the invitation, such as the time, date and location. If you are going with a theme, incorporate the theme onto your invitation. For more casual showers, you can even make phone calls or send out email invitations instead of mailing invitations. Generally, shower invitations are sent out two to three weeks prior to the shower. This gives guests enough time to plan ahead. If you need an accurate count on the number of guests that will be attending, be sure to include contact information for RSVPs. In addition, bridal showers are usually given about eight weeks before the wedding. This will help you plan when the shower will be held.

Nicole Owczarczak is owner of Dress-My-Wedding.com, offering valuable free information and advice to all who are planning bridal showers.


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