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Bridal Shower Etiquette Guide

Photo by Lauren Simmons

Your bridal shower is an opportunity for close friends and family to share in your excitement and shower you with love in the days leading up to your big day! Here are some of our top tips on shower etiquette:

DON’T host the shower yourself. Allow your bridesmaids, or a close family member or friend, to do the honors.

DO send a paper invitation to all those invited. E-mail invitations are too informal for such a special occasion.

DON’T print registry information directly on the invitation. The couple’s registry information can be included as an insert, or guests can be directed to the couple’s wedding website (if available).

DO provide the shower planners with a list of guests. This will be helpful to them, and will ensure that your Aunt Mildred is not accidentally excluded from the fun.

DON’T invite people who you will not be inviting to the wedding. There are exceptions, of course. Should a co-worker take it upon themselves to plan a small shower or celebration in the office, this does not obligate you to invite every person in the company to your wedding. If you are planning a small destination wedding, this is also a scenario where your shower may include guests who will not be attending your wedding.

DO greet all guests personally. You may want to stand near the door early on as guests arrive to ensure that nobody is missed, or visit each table sometime during the shower.

DON’T micromanage the shower planning. Share your vision for the day with the bridesmaids if you’re envisioning a more casual affair, but give them the space and freedom to add their personal touches.

DO plan a fun mixer activity early on in the shower to encourage guests to mingle and have fun!

DON’T forget the prizes! Your bridesmaids will likely take care of these, but you may offer to contribute some small gifts for door prizes or games.

DON’T expect guests to pay for their own food if the venue is a restaurant. If a luncheon is too costly, consider a tea shop, or have a close friend or family member host a backyard luncheon, a brunch, or simply dessert (because let’s be honest… who doesn’t love a good cupcake and a cup of tea or coffee?). A shower hosted at home offers a more affordable alternative to a restaurant, and will offer a more relaxed setting for your guests to enjoy.

DO consider the clock when planning games and activities. Planning 2-3 shower games is usually a good rule of thumb, but guests can grow weary of games if they are overdone. For a quick and easy game that’s guaranteed to please, try giving out door prizes with scratch cards, or have guests write their wishes for the couple as a meaningful keepsake that will be enjoyed for years to come.

DON’T expect your bridal party (or guests who are invited to multiple showers to bring a gift for each and every shower they attend.

DO express your thanks to your shower planners. You may be asked to share some words after the gifts have been opened. This is a great opportunity to thank your guests for their love and support, and most importantly to acknowledge those who planned the day and participated in some way.

DON’T forget to have a plan for transporting gifts after the shower.

DO send written thank-you notes to all those who gave a gift (or sent one in their absence) in a timely manner – usually within 2-3 weeks after the shower. We’ve shared some tips here to make writing thank-you notes a breeze!

DO relax, and have fun! Your guests are there because they love and support you! This is your opportunity to relax and enjoy the day, and leave the planning and running around to others.

See more: Bridal Showers, Etiquette