Basic Steps for Planning a Bridal Shower

A bridal shower is a joyous occasion during which the bride-to-be can share in fun with close friends and relatives. It is also the time when the bride-to-be is literally showered with gifts and attention from those who attend. But, to make sure the bridal shower goes off without a hitch, there are a few rules of etiquette to keep in mind.

Deciding Who Should Host the Bridal Shower

Traditionally, the bride-to-be’s bridesmaid or matron of honor hosts the bridal shower. In extreme cases, the bride-to-be’s mother or sister can hold the shower, but it may appear more like begging for additional gifts than actually being a celebration of the wedding day to come when family sends out the bridal shower invitations.

When to Throw the Bridal Shower

Bridal showers should be held approximately two months before the wedding day. Ensure that you send out the invitations at least three weeks in advance. It is also extremely important to make sure to select a bridal shower date on a day the bride is available. She will be busy with fittings and other intricate details that eat up her free time, so finding time for the bridal shower can sometimes seem like the most difficult aspect of planning for it!

General Bridal Shower Rules of Etiquette

There are many rules of etiquette that must be followed:

  • Never invite people to a bridal shower if they are not invited to the wedding.
  • Both the bride’s mother and groom’s mother must be invited. If there are stepmothers on either side, they should be invited too.
  • The groom’s sisters should be invited.
  • If the bride is not comfortable with certain family members, you can generally leave them off the guest list unless they are from the groom’s family.
  • Only close friends and immediate family members should be invited to a bridal shower. Co-workers are generally not included unless they are very close friends with the bride-to-be.

Paying for the Bridal Shower

The bridesmaid or matron of honor pays for the bridal shower, so she get to choose the budget. The bride should have no say in where the bridal shower is to be held, mostly because she is not the one paying for it. At the same time, the bridal shower host should make every attempt to meet the bride’s wishes, particularly who she would like to invite. But, if the party is becoming too big, it is the bridesmaid or bridesmaids’ option to narrow the guest list down. Providing mothers and sisters from both the bride and groom’s family are invited, the final list is up to the host.

Preparing the Bridal Shower Invitations

Bridal showers are held to shower the bride-to-be with gifts. If she has registered anywhere, it is important to share this information with those on the guest list. Otherwise, invitations must include information regarding place, time, date, RSVP information, bride’s name, host’s name, and directions.


Typical wording on a bridal invitation is shown in the following example:

Please join us for a
bridal shower in honor of
Jane Doe.
Saturday, September 2nd, 2012
at 5:00 P.M.
Hosted by Donna Smith at
Giovanni’s Italian Bistro
1212 Robin Lane
Burlington, Vermont

Regrets only to
802-555-5555.

Jane is registered at Linens and Things.


The bridal shower host is responsible for paying for and mailing all bridal shower invitations, decorations, and entertainment. It is also the responsibility of the host or hosts to pay for the food and drinks of all bridal shower attendees. Therefore, it is up to the hose to choose a location and menu that are easily affordable.

A bridal shower should be a celebration of the bride’s final days of single living. Without breaking the budget, the host should try her best to stick to the bride’s style and tastes. Following these simple rules guarantees that her bridal shower will become a day she will never forget!

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