The bridal shower is the party held two to three months before the wedding, during which you’ll be showered with gifts to help you set up your new home. It’s thrown by the people who love you - no planning on your part required. Your main role is to graciously attend the party, receive the gifts, and of course write thank you notes.
The hosting duty of a bridal shower is a hotly contested subject in the world of weddings. Traditionally, the shower was considered the maid of honour’s responsibility, with the help of the rest of the bridesmaids. A friend or a friend of the parents could also host the event. It used to be considered bad form for an immediate family member to host a shower, as it could be perceived as the bride asking for gifts through her relatives.
Although some etiquette gurus will disagree, these trays it’s fine for anyone to host a shower. Multiple showers are a resulting and not-so-unusual trend but they shouldn’t be overdone. A friend might throw you a couples shower your office mates a girly tea, while your mother might organise a party for relatives and friends in her hometown. That’s all right, but if two friends offer to throw showers for you with overlapping coworkers guest lists, try to persuade them to join forces.
If you’re inviting people who live out of town as a courtesy, you can safely assume that most of them will not fly in for a shower. It all boils down to the rules:
- You should only invite people who will be invited to the wedding, unless a work colleague decides to throw a shower for office mates and it’s clear to them that wedding invitations will not be showing up in the mail. If a couple holds a small destination wedding or elopes, sometimes friends who didn’t attend the wedding will throw a shower for them upon their return.
- Each wedding guest should only be invited to one shower. Exceptions are mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, and siblings, though they are in no way obligated to attend more than one.
- Though a shower is a treat for you, there’s still a core list of people you’ll need to invite as a courtesy, even if you don’t expect them to attend. These are the mothers of the bride and groom, sisters of the bride and groom, grandmothers, and close aunts. If someone other than the bridesmaids is hosting the shower, the bridesmaids should be invited. Should either of you have children who are teenaged or older, they should be on the guest list. Step-parents and siblings should be invited of the relationship allows.