pink-bridal-shower-decor-with-rose-ranunculus-hydrangea-flower-arrangement-pink-glassware-coupe

What You Need to Know Before Attending a Bridal Shower

A handy guide if you've never gone to this pre-wedding event before.

It’s not as strict as a wedding, but the fête is also much more structured than the average party. If you’re worried about doing the right thing, read these tips!

Showers & Parties
pink-bridal-shower-decor-with-rose-ranunculus-hydrangea-flower-arrangement-pink-glassware-coupe
Photo: Melody Melikian Photography

You open your email or your mailbox to discover you’ve been invited to a bridal shower. While these soirées are not everyone’s cup of tea, it is generally a sign of how close you are to the bride; so that at least should give you warm feelings. However, if you’ve never attended a shower before – or perhaps have thrown one but never been simply a guest – you may be uncertain about the etiquette involved in such things. It’s not as strict as a wedding, but the fête is also much more structured than the average party. If you’re worried about doing the right thing, read the tips below!

bridal shower etiquette for guests, tips for attending a bridal shower
Photo by O'Malley Photographers; Planning & Design by Callista and Company

- Bring a gift. Normally, we would say that gifts are not required to attend an event, even at a wedding where it is generally expected. However, the idea of a bridal shower is to “shower” the bride with gifts, and you don’t want to stand out as the only one who didn’t bring something. If there is a registry, pick something you can afford. A thoughtful handmade item can be a lovely gesture as well. 

- RSVP on time. This is true for any celebration, but keep in mind the hosts are preparing food, games, and favors. They need to know who is attending!

- Find out if it’s a surprise. Usually it will be clear on the invitation, but it never hurts to double check. You don’t want to accidentally ruin a surprise party, but you also don’t want the bride to think you’ve forgotten her shower if you’re trying too hard to throw her off the scent. 

- Keep it appropriate. This goes for the outfit as well as the gift. It’s important to not mix up the vibe of a bridal shower with that of a bachelorette party. A shower will likely include the bride’s older relatives and future in-laws, so unless the invitation specified it was a lingerie shower, you don’t want to risk embarrassing her with a provocative gift. For attire, it’s usually safe to stick with a sundress, or pants with a nice blouse. 

For more ideas, see activities for your bridal shower, discover the ways a bride should help with the shower and what not to do when planning a bachelorette party

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