Advice for the Bride-to-be // Shower Etiquette


Ever since I got engaged, I have been more and more interested in the etiquette of weddings and the events are associated with them. There are so many traditions and idiosyncrasies that are involved with the American wedding now-a-days, that you could easily feel overwhelmed just googling the subject. One could reference the tried and true Emily Post Etiquette book. Her books are legendary and are still used and (re)published to this day. However, trends and traditions have changed over the past 100 years and it is important to not only make sure brides and grooms follow certain rules of etiquette and tradition, but also to make sure their special day reflects their lifestyle and personalities.
The subject of bridal shower etiquette has come up once or twice in my conversations with close friends recently. Who should host a bridal shower? Traditionally, it has been the Maid of Honor, a close family friend or neighbor. It should never be the mother or mother-in-law nor any of the immediate family members of the bride. This, I believe is pretty common. Now this has morphed into a joint shower hosted by all the bridesmaids, or there are some instances of an aunt or non-immediate family member hosting a bridal shower. Also, the co-worker shower has become the popular bonus shower these days. If you do happen to have multiple showers, one should never invite guests to more than one shower. This translates to "I want more than one gift from you" and that could leave a bad taste in your guests mouth. If you do have multiple showers, the only duplicate guests could be your mother or bridesmaids (who are made aware that they do not need to purchase a second gift). The guest list for your shower(s) should of course be of those invited to your wedding. This also rings true for engagement parties, bachelorette parties, etc. A shower should feel more intimate, so it is important to keep the guest list to a minimum if possible.
As a bride, you should never ASK someone to throw you a shower. This seems as though you are asking for gifts. You should also never be overly specific with any of the details of the shower like food or decor. You can of course make polite suggestions if you are asked by the host, but never demand anything. Of course, if there is a food allergy of some sort or if you have a handicapped relative or friend that may have specific needs that is understandable.
As a bride, you should make sure to greet everyone and say thank you for coming. Allow the host to direct the order of events. The bride should show their appreciation towards the host with a heartfelt thank you note and or thoughtful gift. This shows that you are grateful that they have taken the time (and money) to throw a party in your honor and that they are a valued person in your life.

For more information on wedding etiquette, visit the following sites:

Martha Stewart Weddings

Emily Post Weddings

The Knot

Of course you can always ask your mother or grandmother what traditions are important to them and what the correct etiquette may be. Just remember that a lot has changed over the years when it comes to weddings and wedding related events. It has become more acceptable to bend some of the rules to fit your current lifestyle and values. However, there is some nostalgia connected to a lot of the traditions and etiquette when it comes to weddings and like events that makes you feel more connected to the generations before you.

As the bride, your main job is to be happy and gracious! You just have to show up and look pretty :)

TGIF y'all! (yep, I just threw in a "y'all" after all that etiquette talk)



  1. Love this! There always are these sorts of questions that come up... the "who should do this for me?" type of thing. Thanks for the advice, love! :)

  2. I'll be an August bride, so I'm loving these tips!!
    I have lots of bridal giveaways on my blog, hope you will stop by!

  3. totally agree with you on all these points!! the one rule we broke is having my mom co host the shower with my maids of honor. i wasn't getting married in my hometown and it was really the one wedding event that my mom could participate and help plan. so i was cool with it.

    i've definitely been in wedding parties where the MOH or bride wanted multiple (like 4) showers and all the bridesmaids were asked to go to all of them. no bueno. xx


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