Hosting a bridal shower party is, according to etiquette, the maid of honor’s privilege, although etiquette rules in recent years have relaxed and even allow a member of the family to host. However, in general, the etiquette rules of bridal shower parties still apply, even to modern bridal showers. Make sure you brush up on your good manners to avoid any faux pas at the bridal shower party.
Important Etiquette Rules to Know Before Planning the Bridal Shower
Most bridal shower parties are hosted by the maid of honor, sometimes in conjunction with the bridesmaids. However, if the maid of honor lives out of town, it’s acceptable for someone else to host the bridal shower, provided the maid of honor is consulted prior to making this decision. In some cases, the maid of honor can help plan certain aspects remotely, especially if she gets help from one of the bridesmaids locally. Although tradition says it’s bad manners for a family member to host the bridal shower, modern etiquette rules allow this substitution should the maid of honor be unable to host.
One of the key etiquette rules for planning a bridal shower party is to only invite guests who will be (or have been) invited to the wedding. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to invite every woman on the guest list, but it does mean you must leave out any neighbors, friends or co-workers who didn’t make the guest list.
It’s best to consult with the bride regarding the guest list so that she can choose the close friends and family she wants to comprise her bridal shower. Also, it’s customary to invite the wedding party and mothers and grandmothers from both sides to the bridal shower.
Important Etiquette Rules for a Successful Bridal Shower Party
Bridal shower parties are, in general, supposed to be intimate events with a maximum of 20 to 25 guests. Exceeding this number not only makes the bridal shower party more expensive to host, but can potentially make it difficult for the bride to interact meaningfully with all her guests. Also, bridal showers are typically held in the afternoon, although this rule has also relaxed for those brides who prefer a non-traditional cocktail bridal shower party, for example.
You should schedule the bridal shower party between one and two months prior to the wedding, although certain circumstances allow the bridal shower party to take place up to two weeks prior to the wedding as long as the bride is amenable. This usually occurs if the bride lives away from her home town where she will get married.
Finally, most bridal shower parties are made up of friends from various social circles, and many will not know each other. If this will be the case, plan one or two icebreaker games that will get everyone relaxed and comfortable. Guests should also receive a small favor that relates to the bridal shower theme, for example, or is just a token of thanks for coming.
Once you apply these etiquette rules to your bridal shower party, you can relax and concentrate on making this a special day for the bride.