Bridal Shower Dos and Don’ts

Bridal shower

Weddings are filled with traditions like bridal showers. A bridal shower is a daytime celebration of the bride to be. Friends gather to play games, enjoy delicious food and give their beloved friend some gifts.

Bridal Shower Etiquette

Usually the bridal shower is hosted by the maid of honor, close friends, bridal attendants, or bridesmaids. Family members, including mothers and mothers-in-law, traditionally shouldn’t host showers. If multiple showers are in the works, then the shower hosts should communicate regarding the guest lists.

Showers typically occur a couple weeks to a couple months ahead of the wedding. The bride can help with the guest list, but the list shouldn’t include people that aren’t invited to the wedding. In terms of what to wear for the shower, people typically dress up. Consider wearing something that you’d wear to brunch or lunch.

We compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you plan a bridal shower.


  • Do pick a date that isn’t close to the wedding. Pick an early date a couple weeks to a couple months ahead of the wedding. You can always check with the “VIPs” on the guest list (mothers, sisters, family, bridal party, etc.) to see if there’s a date that works best for that group before sending out invitations.

  • Do create a guest list. Consult the bride regarding the guest list. If the bride is having multiple showers, communicate with the other host to make sure the same people aren’t invited to the same showers. It’s ok if the bridal party is invited to both. Have the bride review the full guest list before you send out invitations.

  • Do plan an activity or bridal shower games (if the bride wants them). Check with the bride before you get too carried away to make sure she wants games and ask if there’s anything that would make her uncomfortable. Simple games can make the shower fun and help guests get to know each other.

  • Do pay attention to bridal shower décor. If your shower has a theme, it can help you select the decorations and other components for the event. Popular themes include a tea party, spa day, or a Parisian getaway. If you plan to hand out favors, the theme can help with this too.

  • Do plan a menu. The shower’s food depends on what time you’ll have the shower and whether there’s a theme. Most serve food to snack on rather than full meals. For example, if the shower is held mid-morning, have mimosas, pastries, and eggs. As you choose the menu, ask guests to let you know about any food allergies and restrictions when they RSVP. Also check with the bride for food preferences.

  • Do create a playlist. If you know the bride’s favorite songs, make a playlist and you can always ask her for some song ideas. Add some upbeat, love-themed songs as well.

  • Do send out invitations. Whether a paper invitation or an evite, send out invitations a couple months in advance especially if people are coming from out of town for the shower. If you’re sending out paper invitations, save a couple for the bride as momentos.

  • Do collect the bows and ribbons from the present. It’s tradition to use the bows and ribbons from gifts to create a ribbon bouquet. Brides typically use this during the wedding rehearsal and then it’s a fun keepsake as well.


  • Don’t confuse the bridal shower with the bachelorette party. These are two separate events. The shower is a daytime event while the bachelorette is at night and typically

  • Don’t post every aspect of the shower on social media. The bride might not want the shower posted everywhere on social media. It could cause issues if the guest list was small.

  • Don’t invite anyone who isn’t invited to the wedding. It will make it awkward to have a guest at the shower but not on the wedding list. The bride can help you with the guest list.

  • Don’t give raunchy gifts at the bridal shower. You don’t want to make your bride (or any of her family members) uncomfortable at the shower. Save the sexy lingerie gifts for the bachelorette party instead.

  • Don’t feel like you have to plan the whole shower yourself. Enlist the help of the bride’s friends to help with the shower. Delegate parts of the shower so you’re not overwhelmed–ask what folks would like to help with.

Hopefully this list gave you some helpful dos and don’ts as you plan your next bridal shower.


  • What exactly is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a daytime celebration of the bride’s upcoming wedding. Guests attend and typically give gifts to the bride. Showers typically occur a couple weeks to a couple months ahead of the wedding.

  • What to wear to a bridal shower?

People typically dress up for showers by wearing something they’d wear to brunch or lunch. You could wear a tasteful dress, blouse and dress pants, or perhaps even a sweater and leggings. Some wear jeans and a nice top.

  • What to write in a bridal shower card?

Write a congratulatory message and then speak from the heart. You can write words of encouragement, advice, etc.

  • Which are the best bridal shower gifts?

Sometimes bridal showers have themes and the gifts tie into that theme. You can also purchase gifts from the couple’s wedding registry.