Hosting a bridal shower soon? Between long time traditions and wedding etiquette trends, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start.

As the bride-to-be approaches her big day, she’ll look forward to her shower to celebrate with her inner circle and alleviate some of her pre-wedding stress. Whether you’re the maid of honor, the mother of the bride or a first time host, being a part of the bride-to-be’s VIP’s comes with excitement as well as a handful of roles and responsibilities. You’ll need to compile a guest list, buy fresh flowers and more.

To help assure a successful toast to the bride-to-be, we’re answering all of your bridal shower etiquette questions below. Scroll through our complete guide and download our bridal shower checklist to make sure your celebration goes off without a hitch. We’ve even included a few tips for your guests to take a peek at too!

bridal shower etiquette for hosts

Who throws the bridal shower?

Just about anyone can throw the bridal shower, besides the bride herself. Traditionally, it was the maid-of-honor’s duty to host the shower while the bridesmaids helped out. It was also seen as a hosting faux paus for the family of the bride to be in charge of planning because that made it seem like the family was asking for gifts. Nowadays, it’s common for the bride’s family to help plan the shower. Gifts are an expected part of this celebration so there’s no need to stress about going against tradition.

Who pays for the bridal shower?

Typically, whoever is hosting the bridal shower is expected to pay for the celebration. If you’re worried about financial obligations, you can ask members of the bridal party to chip in. There are also plenty of ways to plan a successful shower while staying budget friendly! Consider DIY projects or hosting the celebration at home. 

Who to invite to a bridal shower?

A bridal shower serves as a more intimate gathering for close friends and family. The guest list should include, but is not limited to, the bridesmaids, relatives and close friends. To be sure you’re not missing any VIP’s, run the list by the bride-to-be.

Should men be invited?

Traditionally, a bridal shower guest list was occupied by just women. Although, with wedding showers and couples celebrations on the rise, it’s becoming more popular to celebrate the upcoming day with everyone, including the groom-to-be and his dashing men.

wedding shower etiquette

When to have a bridal shower?

You should plan the shower somewhere between three months to two weeks before the big day. Avoid selecting a date too early as that can seem premature and a date too close to wedding day will be stressful for almost everyone involved. Before finalizing the date, run it by the bride-to-be to ensure everyone is able to attend.

Where to host a bridal shower?

You can host a bridal shower just about anywhere. Most commonly, bridal showers take place at the host’s home, a favorite restaurant, banquet hall, park, etc. Consider the following before reserving a spot.

  • Make sure the venue can accommodate your guest list.
  • Consider your budget when selecting a venue.
  • What bridal shower games and activities do you have planned? Can the venue accommodate those?

When to send bridal shower invitations?

Send your bridal shower invitations six to eight weeks before the event, giving your guests plenty of time to mark their calendars and make arrangements.

How to plan a bridal shower?

The best way to plan a bridal shower is by staying organized. Utilize a checklist to track all of your party planning to-do’s.

bridal shower etiquette for guests

What do you do at a bridal shower?

There are a handful of things you’ll do at a bridal shower in addition to celebrating the bride-to-be! At any shower, guests can be found mingling with one another, snacking, playing shower games and watching the bride-to-be open gifts. A shower is a great opportunity for everyone to get acquainted before wedding day.

What do you bring to a bridal shower?

Gifts are an expected part of just about any bridal shower. You should look to the invitations as a clue to the types of gifts requested and anything else necessary for you to bring along. The invitation is also a usual place where the bride-to-be will include her wedding registry information which can make gifting a lot easier.

What to write in a bridal shower card?

When it comes to what to write in a bridal shower card it’s important to consider your relationship with the bride-to-be. Write a message from the heart and let her know how excited you are for her to begin this new chapter.

bridal shower decorations

Don’t forget to RSVP!

It’ll be important for the host to know how many attendees there will be at the shower. To make things easier on the host, follow the RSVP instructions on your invitation.

Bridal Shower Checklist

Avoid any last minute panic or bridal shower mishaps! We created a list so you could check it twice.

bridal shower checklist

Now that you’ve got your checklist ready and bridal shower etiquette questions answered. Let us help you decorate with beautiful flowers. Looking for more decor inspiration? Use our guide on how to make a balloon arch to dress up your celebration in style!