Who’s Who on the Bridal Shower Guest List
By : Nicole Owczarczak
When getting married, it can sometimes be difficult to understand the proper etiquette involved with many of the wedding functions. The bridal shower is no exception. Many brides-to-be are left uncertain of the proper procedures to follow when planning a bridal shower and who to invite. In addition, the proper role of different guests on the list can become confusing. With a few simple rules of thumb, however, you are guaranteed to have a memorable and proper bridal shower.
Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?
The maid or matron of honor, and never the bridesmaids, traditionally hosts the bridal shower. It is, however, acceptable for another close friend of either the bride or the groom to take on the responsibility. For the most part, it is considered unacceptable for a close relative of the bride, such as the mother or siblings, to throw a bridal shower. This is because it gives the appearance that the family is scouting for gifts. In some areas of the country, however, it is customary for a close relative to throw the bridal shower. In addition, if the bride does not have anyone else to throw the party for her, it may be acceptable for the mother or a sister to throw the party. The family members should, however, try to have as little involvement as possible. It is never considered acceptable for the bride to throw her own bridal shower.
Sometimes, the coworkers of a bride-to-be also decide to throw a bridal shower. A group of coworkers or just one coworker may host this shower. So far as etiquette is concerned, this is perfectly acceptable. Just be sure to limit the guest list to coworkers. Inviting friends and family to a bridal shower hosted by coworkers is tacky.
Who should be invited to the Bridal Shower?
You can invite whomever you want to your bridal shower. Your guest list should certainly include your mother, your future mother-in-law, and your maid or matron of honor. If the bride or the groom has a stepmother, she should also be invited. Traditionally, a bridal shower involves only women. But, co-ed bridal showers are gaining in popularity. This decision is one you will have to make when creating your guest list.
Typically, brides-to-be invite their immediate family members to attend their bridal showers. They also invite all of the female members of the bridal party, and the male members if the bridal shower is co-ed, and other close relatives. Close friends are also invited to the bridal shower. As a rule of thumb, only people who have been invited to the wedding itself should be invited to the bridal shower. It is uncouth to invite someone to the shower without also inviting him or her to the wedding as it implies you are only interested in receiving his or her gifts. You are not, however, expected to invite everyone who will be attending the wedding. Of course, bridal showers hosted by co-workers are the exception – you are not expected to invite you co-workers to your wedding, even if they do throw you a bridal shower.
If you are having a difficult time deciding who to invite to your bridal shower and who not to invite, take a look at your wedding guest list. First, eliminate all of the females with whom the bride does not know directly, such as the wives of male friends. Next, cross off people who were invited to the wedding simply because it is “proper,” but who are not close to the bride. This can include distant relatives or female friends of the bride-to-be’s parents.
What if there will be more than One Bridal Shower?
If you will be having more than one bridal shower, mothers, stepmothers, and female siblings on both sides, as well as the maid of honor, should be invited to every shower. None of these women, however, should be expected to provide a gift at each shower. In addition, the female siblings of the groom should have the option of choosing to attend only one of the showers. Any other guests should be only invited to one of the showers. If you do choose to invite someone to more than one shower, be sure to make it perfectly clear that the person is not expected to bring a gift each time.
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