A bridal shower party is not the same as a wedding party, which can range from an engagement party to a bridal luncheon the day before the wedding to the actual wedding reception. A bridal shower party should always remain separate from any of the above descriptions of a wedding party because their purposes are very different.
Purpose of a Bridal Shower Party
A bridal shower party is meant to gather close friends and family of the bride together a month or two prior to the wedding for an afternoon of socializing, eating and enjoying each other’s company. The main exception is a couples bridal shower party, where both the bride and groom are honored at a co-ed bridal shower party. Even this type of bridal shower party is separate from a wedding party because close family and friends are still invited to celebrate the coming union and to help the couple start their new life together.
A bridal shower party’s main purpose it to prepare the couple for married life by giving gifts for the home. Many bridal shower parties have themes, such as a kitchen theme, stock the bar theme and around the clock theme designed to garner gifts the couple most needs.
For example, if the bride is already well-stocked with towels and linens, she might opt for a kitchen, stock the bar or lingerie theme. A bride without many household items might choose an around the clock bridal shower party theme to get a variety of gifts for the home.
Overall, the bridal shower party is for guests invited to the wedding and those guests who are closest to the bride, instead of everyone on the guest list. Bridal shower parties are generally intimate afternoon events that give the bride a break from wedding planning to indulge in some much-needed girl-time.
Possible Purposes of a Wedding Party
A wedding party can mean several different things, but its purpose is usually not associated with the bride and groom receiving gifts. Instead, a wedding party that is an engagement party will celebrate this exciting event that usually takes place in the evening. This can be casual or formal and ranges from a backyard BBQ to a formal cocktail party.
Another possible meaning for wedding party is the bridal luncheon usually given the day before the wedding and involves the wedding party, as well as the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom. This is a time for the bride to thank her attendants for their hard work and support, and it often involves the bride giving a small gift to each member of the wedding party.
Finally, a wedding party can actually refer to the wedding reception, or if the couple eloped or had a destination wedding, it could be a celebratory party for friends and family who didn’t attend the ceremony.
A wedding party, in general, involves celebrating the bride and groom or honoring the wedding party, while a bridal shower party is strictly for the bride (and sometimes the groom). A bridal shower will usually be hosted by the maid of honor, while a wedding party is usually hosted by the couple or the bride’s parents.