The tradition of the bridal shower started a long time ago when women who wanted to marry husbands their parents did not approve and to whom they would not pay a dowry. The shower became a way for the bride to get some of the items she would need to start their life together. Today, the showers have become more about having fun with close friends and relatives and less about getting as many gifts as possible, although presents are always nice. Let’s look at some basics of wedding showers, including choosing the right invitations.
Bridal Shower Basics
For starters, the bride should never throw her own shower. That’s simply bad taste. Generally, her close family members shouldn’t either unless it’s the only option available. Traditionally, the shower is thrown by the maid of honor with or without assistance from the rest of the bridal party.
The shower can be held as early as six months before the wedding date or as late as the week of the wedding. Having a late shower can be a good idea if you’ll have family coming from out of town for the wedding, but this is also going to be a stressful time for the bride and she may not have time to attend a shower.
Showers can be as casual or as formal as the hostess desires, although most showers are informal affairs meant to be fun for everyone, including the bride. For this reason, there are no set locations for showers. You could host one in your home, in a restaurant, in a party house, in the park, in a hotel room, etc. The only requirement should be that the location can comfortably hold all of your guests.
That brings us to the question of the guest list. First, the hostess should decide whether to have an all-female or co-ed shower. This may depend on what she’s comfortable with but also the bride’s friends. If the bride has many male friends or if she wants the groom to be present also, then it might make more sense to throw a co-ed shower. When determining who should come, you really need to know who is invited to the wedding since no one who is not on that guest list should be invited to the shower. Otherwise, it’s typical to invite any close friends or family members of the bride and the groom.
Depending on where and when the shower takes place, the hostess may decide to serve a wide variety of refreshments. The shower can be catered by a restaurant, can be a more casual pot luck affair with everyone bringing a dish, can include just appetizers, or might be simply cake and mints. The hostess can also choose whether or not to serve alcohol at the shower.
Wedding showers, as mentioned before, should be fun. Besides watching the bride open her presents, guests may get a chance to play games or share their funny stories about the bride or the couple. The games should help break the ice between the guests, particularly if many of them don’t know each other. For example, you might have each guest tell everyone else three things about herself one is a lie. The other guests have to guess which is not true. The person who answers the most correctly wins.
Bridal Shower Invitations
The nice thing about bridal shower invitations is that they don’t have to be formal or expensive. It’s completely acceptable for the hostess to make the invitations at home on her computer using heavy card stock paper. She could choose to do the invitations in the wedding colors or if the shower is themed she would probably want to incorporate that theme into the invitations.
The message inside the invitation should be simple. It should mention the name of the hostess, the bride’s name (and the groom’s if he will be attending, too), the date and location of the shower, and the RSVP information (make sure to include a deadline for responding). You can also add cute wording, poems, etc. Additionally, if there is a theme for the shower and/or if it is going to be a surprise, you should include these details in the invitation as well.
If the hostess is creating her own invitations, she can decorate them with lace, ribbon, beads, glitter, feathers, watercolor paint, etc. She could even spend the money to have custom-made invitations, possibly including a young picture of the bride.
Additionally, when she sends out the invitations, she might want to include a map of how to get to the location. Also, responses are typically not mailed back for this type of party. Instead, guests call or email the hostess to let her know if they can attend or not.