Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know

Are you planning a bridal shower and want to ensure that you follow proper etiquette and make the event a success? You've come to the right place!

A bridal shower is a special event that celebrates the bride-to-be and shower her with love and gifts. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are certain rules and guidelines to follow when planning and hosting a bridal shower.

First and foremost, it's important to understand what a bridal shower is and who should be invited. A bridal shower is typically hosted by the maid of honor or a close family member of the bride. The guest list should include the bride's closest female friends and family members.

It's important to keep in mind that the purpose of the shower is to shower the bride with love and gifts, so make sure to invite those who are closest to her heart. Now that you have a basic understanding of what a bridal shower is, let's dive deeper into the details of bridal shower etiquette.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the purpose of a bridal shower and who should be invited
  • Follow proper gift giving guidelines
  • Plan the bridal shower with the bride's preferences in mind

Understanding Bridal Shower

So, your best friend is getting married, and you've been asked to host a bridal shower. Congratulations! But wait, what exactly is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a pre-wedding celebration that is usually thrown by the maid of honor or close family members of the bride. It's an opportunity for the bride's friends and family to come together and shower her with love, support, and gifts.

Traditionally, bridal showers were a way to help the bride set up her new home, but nowadays, they can be themed parties, spa days, or even weekend getaways. It's all about celebrating the bride-to-be and having a good time with the people she loves.

When planning a bridal shower, it's important to keep the bride's personality and interests in mind. Does she love wine? Consider hosting a wine tasting party. Is she a fan of the outdoors? Plan a camping or hiking trip. The possibilities are endless, but the goal is to make sure the bride feels loved and celebrated.

Remember, the bridal shower is just one of many pre-wedding events, so don't feel like you have to go all out. Keep it simple, fun, and true to the bride's personality, and you're sure to have a great time.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Who to Invite

When it comes to the guest list for your bridal shower, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want to make sure you invite the right people while also keeping the event intimate and special. Here are some tips to help you create your guest list and navigate invitation etiquette.

Guest List Creation

First and foremost, only invite people who are also invited to the wedding. This means that if you're having a small wedding, you'll likely have a smaller bridal shower guest list. However, if you're having a larger wedding, you can be more liberal with your guest list.

Next, think about who you want to celebrate with. Typically, the bridal party, close family members, and close friends are invited to the bridal shower. However, you may also want to include coworkers, neighbors, or other acquaintances who are important to you.

Keep in mind that the more people you invite, the more expensive the shower will be. You'll need to factor in the cost of food, drinks, decorations, and favors when creating your guest list.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Invitation Etiquette

When it comes to sending out bridal shower invitations, make sure you give your guests plenty of notice. Typically, invitations are sent out four to six weeks before the shower. You can handwrite your details in elegant fill-in paper invitations for an economical option, or opt for higher personalization with options like Digibuddha's custom bridal shower invites.

Be sure to include all of the important details on the invitation, such as the date, time, location, and RSVP information. You may also want to include a note about the dress code or any special requests, such as bringing a recipe or a gift.

Finally, don't forget to thank your guests for attending the shower. A handwritten thank-you note is always appreciated and shows your guests how much you value their presence.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Gift Giving Guidelines

When it comes to bridal showers, gift-giving is an essential part of the celebration and wedding shower gift etiquette can feel confusing. Here are some gift-giving guidelines to help you navigate the process with ease.

Gift Selection

Choosing the perfect gift for the bride-to-be can be challenging. It's essential to consider the bride's personality, interests, and needs. You can also check the couple's wedding registry for ideas. If you're unsure, you can always ask the bride's close friends or family members for suggestions.

When selecting a gift, keep in mind your budget. The 20-20-60 rule is a helpful guideline to follow. Allocate 20% of your budget for the bridal shower gift, 20% for the wedding gift, and 60% for the honeymoon fund.

Gift Opening

Gift opening can be a fun and exciting part of the bridal shower. When it's time for the bride to open her gifts, make sure to pay attention and show enthusiasm. It's customary for the bride to open the gifts in front of her guests, but if she prefers to open them privately, respect her wishes.

If you're unable to attend the bridal shower, it's still appropriate to send a gift. You can have the gift shipped directly to the bride or send it to the hostess to bring to the shower.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Planning the Bridal Shower

When it comes to planning a bridal shower, there are a lot of things to consider. From choosing the date to selecting the venue and menu planning, every decision plays an important role in creating a memorable event for the bride-to-be. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect bridal shower.

Choosing the Date

The first step in planning a bridal shower is to choose a date that works for both the bride-to-be and the guests. Make sure to check with the bride before setting a date to ensure that it doesn't conflict with any other events or important dates. It's also a good idea to send out save-the-date invitations at least six to eight weeks in advance so that guests have plenty of time to plan.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Selecting the Venue

When it comes to selecting a venue for the bridal shower, consider the size of the guest list and the theme of the party. A backyard barbecue might be perfect for a casual, summer-themed shower, while a fancy restaurant or event space might be more appropriate for a formal, elegant affair. Don't forget to consider the location and accessibility for guests.

Menu Planning

The menu is an important part of any bridal shower. Depending on the time of day and theme of the party, you might opt for a brunch buffet, afternoon tea, or a cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres. Make sure to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of the guests when planning the menu. You can also add a personal touch by incorporating the bride's favorite foods or drinks.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Overall, planning a bridal shower can be a lot of work, but with careful consideration and attention to detail, you can create a memorable event that the bride-to-be and her guests will cherish for years to come.

Bridal Shower Games

When it comes to bridal shower games, there are plenty of options to choose from that will keep your guests entertained and engaged. Here are a few tips to help you select the perfect games for your event.

Game Selection

First and foremost, consider the personality of the bride-to-be when selecting games. Is she outgoing and loves to be the center of attention? Or is she more reserved and prefers more low-key activities? Choose games that will suit her personality and make her feel comfortable.

Another important factor to consider is the guest list. Are there people from different age groups or backgrounds? Will her mother, grandmother, and older folks be present? Make sure to choose games that everyone can participate in and enjoy.

Finally, don't forget to consider the timing and length of the event. Choose games that can be played within the allotted time frame and won't drag on for too long.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA


No bridal shower game is complete without prizes! Choose prizes that are fun and practical, such as candles, snacks, or small gift cards. You can also consider creating themed gift baskets based on the games played.

To make things more interesting, consider having multiple winners for each game or having a grand prize for the overall winner. This will add an extra level of excitement and competition to the games.

In summary, when selecting bridal shower games, consider the personality of the bride-to-be, the guest list, and the timing of the event. Don't forget to provide fun and practical prizes to keep your guests engaged and excited throughout the event.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Role of the Bride

When it comes to bridal shower etiquette, the bride plays an important role in the planning process. While it's not necessary for the bride to plan the shower herself, she should provide some input on the guest list and the type of shower she would like to have.

It's also important for the bride to be gracious and appreciative of the effort that her friends and family are putting into planning the shower. This means sending thank-you notes to the host or hosts and expressing genuine gratitude for their time and effort.

On the day of the bridal shower, the bride should be an active participant in the festivities. This means engaging with her guests, opening gifts, and participating in any games or activities that are planned.

Overall, the bride's role in the bridal shower is to be a gracious and appreciative guest of honor. By showing her gratitude and participating in the festivities, she can help make the shower a memorable and enjoyable event for everyone involved.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Role of the Maid of Honor

As the Maid of Honor, you are the bride's right-hand woman and support system. Your main role is to ensure that the bride is stress-free and happy throughout the wedding planning process and on the big day. Here are some key responsibilities to keep in mind:

  • Be the point of contact: You will be the main point of contact for the bride and the rest of the bridal party. Make sure to keep everyone informed of important dates, deadlines, and details related to the wedding.

  • Help with pre-wedding events: You will be responsible for helping to plan and organize pre-wedding events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Make sure to consult with the bride on her preferences and budget before making any decisions.

  • Assist with wedding planning: You will be the bride's go-to person for all things wedding-related. This may include helping with vendor selection, attending dress fittings, and providing emotional support when needed.

  • Keep the bride calm and happy: One of your most important roles is to keep the bride calm and happy throughout the wedding planning process and on the big day. Be there to listen, offer advice, and provide a shoulder to lean on when needed.

Remember, being the Maid of Honor is a big responsibility, but it is also a great honor. By fulfilling your duties with enthusiasm and dedication, you will help to make the bride's special day unforgettable.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Role of the Guests

As a guest at a bridal shower, your main role is to celebrate the bride-to-be and shower her with love and support. You can do this by bringing a thoughtful gift, participating in the activities, and engaging with the other guests.

One of the most important things to keep in mind as a guest is to RSVP in a timely manner. This will help the host to plan accordingly and ensure that there is enough food, drinks, and activities for everyone. If you are unable to attend, it is polite to let the host know as soon as possible so that they can make any necessary adjustments.

When it comes to gift-giving, it is always a good idea to consult the couple's registry to see what items they need or want. If you prefer to give a more personal gift, consider something that reflects the couple's interests or hobbies. And don't forget to include a thoughtful card with your well-wishes!

During the shower, be sure to participate in any games, activities, or themes that the host has planned, such as a co-ed Jack and Jill bridal shower. This will help to create a fun and festive atmosphere and show the bride-to-be that you are excited to celebrate with her. And don't be afraid to mingle and chat with the other guests - this is a great opportunity to make new friends and connections.

 Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Post-Bridal Shower Etiquette

Thank You Notes

After the bridal shower, it's important to show your appreciation for the gifts and the time your guests took to attend. Write a thank you note to each guest who attended and brought a gift. You can use elegant standard thank you cards or create your own bridal shower thank you cards by personalizing with your name or future name.

Make sure to personalize the message for each guest and mention the specific gift they gave you. It's also a good idea to mention how much you appreciated having them there to celebrate with you.


After the bridal shower, it's important to clean up the space where the event took place. If the shower was held at someone's home, make sure to leave the space as clean as it was when you arrived.

If you had a caterer or rented equipment, make sure to return everything on time and in good condition. If you had decorations, make sure to properly dispose of any trash and take down any decorations that were put up.

Thank your host for hosting the bridal shower and offer to help with the cleanup. It's always appreciated when guests offer to help clean up after an event.

Remember, the bridal shower is just the beginning of the wedding celebrations. Make sure to keep up with your thank you notes and show your appreciation for the people in your life who are helping you celebrate your big day.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique bridal shower gift ideas?

Finding the perfect bridal shower gift can be a daunting task, but fear not! Some unique gift ideas include personalized keepsake items like personalized ceramic wedding ornaments that celebrate their marriage or custom-made artwork with a meaningful quote. You can also consider gifting an experience, like a cooking class or a spa day, a subscription service for something the bride loves, like a monthly wine delivery or a book club membership, or give her the choice with a gift card to a favorite store. Asking for gift cards can be difficult, but sometimes they're the favorites!

What are some fun games to play at a bridal shower?

Games are a great way to break the ice and get everyone involved at a bridal shower. Some fun games to consider include bridal bingo, where guests fill out bingo cards with gifts the bride might receive, or a "Who Said It" game where guests guess whether the bride or groom said certain things. Another popular game is the toilet paper wedding dress game, where guests split into teams and create wedding dresses out of toilet paper.

When should a bridal shower be held?

Traditionally, bridal showers are held a few months before the wedding, but the exact timing can vary depending on the bride's preferences and schedule. It's important to consider the availability of the bride and her guests when choosing a date. Typically, bridal showers are held on weekends, but weekday evenings can also be an option.

Bridal Shower Etiquette: The Dos and Don'ts Every Guest Should Know | DIGIBUDDHA

What is the proper attire for a bridal shower?

Bridal shower attire can vary depending on the location and theme of the event. Typically, guests should dress in a way that is appropriate for a nice brunch or luncheon. For women, a sundress or a skirt and blouse are good options, while men can wear slacks and a collared shirt. It's always a good idea to check with the host for any specific dress code instructions.

Who typically pays for the bridal shower?

Traditionally, the maid of honor or the bridesmaids are responsible for planning and paying for the bridal shower. However, it's becoming more common for family members or other close friends to host the event. It's important to discuss the budget and expectations with the host ahead of time to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

Is it necessary to bring a gift to a bridal shower?

Gifts are a key part of a bridal shower. Once invited to a bridal shower, you should consider purchasing something off the bride's registry or a thoughtful item that reflects her interests. If you're unable to attend, it's still common etiquette to send at least a small gift in the mail. Remember, it's the thought that counts!

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