Do I Really Have To Bring A Gift?: The Do's and Don'ts of Wedding Shower Etiquette

Staff

What is the purpose of a wedding shower?

Friends and family "shower" the bride with gifts for her new home.

How should wedding shower invitations be sent out?

Shower invitations can be plain or fancy, but they should be sent by the postal service with a proper stamp.

Who should be invited to your bridal shower?

While you could invite everyone on your guest list, this might make it a very large shower. A better approach would be limiting it to close friends and family who're going to your wedding.

Your mom's best friend is hosting your bridal shower; what's NOT a good way to say thank you?

A simple gesture to show your appreciation is enough. No need to ask her to chaperone the bachelorette party too.

How many showers should you have?

There are no real limits, especially if the bride has a diverse group of friends and family, but don't let endless invitations become a burden to your pals.

Do I have to invite all shower guests to the wedding?

Traditionally, you should invite all shower guests to share the big day, but sometimes intimate weddings can preclude that. If the wedding is very small, explain to your guests why you can’t invite them to the wedding but that you'd still like them to be included.

Is it appropriate to suggest where guests can buy gifts?

It used to be considered poor taste to include registry cards with the invites, but including them or listing the bride's registry is now acceptable for practical reasons. Who wants calls from 100 guests asking, "Where are you registered?"

The bride is clearly the most valuable player of the shower, but who is the second "MVP" at your shower?

In addition to helping plan the shower, the maid of honor can help the bride most by making a list of who gave what.

What member of the wedding party is expected to plan a shower?

Throwing a party is practically in the job description of the maid of honor.

Is it appropriate for the mother of the bride to plan a shower?

While Emily Post may have frowned on it decades ago, it's considered perfectly acceptable today.

During the shower, when should the bride-to-be NOT open her gifts?

If it's a potluck dinner and everyone's starved, you might want to open gifts after everyone eats; during an afternoon tea, before refreshments is fine.

When should the bride carry the ribbon bouquet made from bows from her gifts?

Carrying this at the wedding rehearsal is a symbol of good luck and well wishes from her friends.

What kind of gifts should a bride traditionally expect from a shower?

Bridal showers traditionally "shower" brides with gifts for her new home, but now they can have themes (kitchen, lingerie, honeymoon, etc) that determine the kinds of gifts bought.

How far in advance of the wedding should your shower be held?

Too early seems uncomfortable; too close to the wedding too stressful; two to three months gives you plenty of time to anticipate and enjoy the shower itself.

Should the groom show up at the shower?

Arriving with flowers makes a great impression on friends who haven't met your other half!

Who should pay for expenses of the wedding shower?

Whoever hosts the shower should pay; it can be budget-friendly or more elaborate.

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About This Quiz

Getting married? Be sure to smile and socialize at your wedding shower. Attending a shower? Make sure you bring a gift! Throwing a shower for a blushing bride? Oh, you've got a few more issues to deal with. Test your knowledge of the do's and don'ts of wedding shower etiquette.

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