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Bridal Shower FAQ

The main purpose of a bridal shower is to bless the couple with items they need to begin their new life together as husband and wife. You can click on the following link to print out a Bridal Shower Check List.  This list will help you keep organized and make it fun to plan a special shower for the Bride-To-Be.  This list will also help to keep everyone informed and involved especially if the whole bridal party is planning this special shower.

WHO USUALLY HOSTS THE BRIDAL SHOWER?

A bridal shower is usually given by the maid of honor, the bridal party (as a group) or a close friend(s) and is usually kept as a secret from the bride. Traditionally, it was considered inappropriate for the bride's immediate family to host the shower, since it would appear that they are simply asking for gifts.  Today it is an acceptable practice to involve close family, whether it be by allowing family members to help out with the cooking, or catering costs, or even offer their home as the spot the shower is to be hosted at.  Be sure to print out a Bridal Party Check List to help you keep track of who will be involved in the bridal shower preparation.  Be sure to include everyone!

WHAT SHOULD THE BRIDAL SHOWER BUDGET BE?

This amount one spends on a bridal shower will vary depending on the number of guests, the food and drinks involved, the decor, the favors, and to what extremes they go to.  You can host a beautiful shower on a budget and our Bridal Shower Budget Work Sheet will help you to stay within your budget.  How does one keep their budget in check?  By knowing what you are spending on what and sticking to the amount you set beforehand.  If the cost of the party seems to be spiraling out of control, the first things you should cut back on are the food and alcohol .... or last but not least the number of invited guests.  If you are hosting the bridal shower alone, do not be afraid to ask other members of the bridal party, including the parents of the bride or groom to share the cost.  Many times we see people inviting guests just to fill the room and to have a bigger party.  This should not be the case, especially when there is a budget at hand. Ask others to share the costs and take some of the responsibility.  Assign one duty to each person helping out, for example: the invites to one person, the cake to another, the favors to another, etc. This will help take the burden of expense off of any one person. Today there are many ways to cut major costs of a bridal shower, for example, making the invites on a home computer, having the bridal shower cake or cup cakes baked by a family member, etc.  There are many Free Bridal Shower Games right here on Wedding Cram.  There is absolutely no need to pay for bridal shower games!!  Be sure to weigh out the price when it comes to a reception facility, a hall or home hosted bridal shower.  Take into account that if you host it yourself you will need to purchase food, beverages, cake and all the paper goods/ utensils that go with it.  Sometimes it may be worth it to price around at a local buffet, restaurant, etc. because it may work out to be cheaper and they may even throw in that bridal shower chair and wishing well (especially if showers are a specialty for them).  Be sure to view our National Wedding Service Directory in your State to see local reception facilities (coming soon).  If you do decide to host the shower at a hall or home you can make it an early afternoon shower to avoid costly alcohol prices. Last but not least if you have cut every corner and are still over your budget cut down on the guest list.  Not every guest that will be invited to the wedding needs to be invited to the bridal shower.  Stick to the future bride & groom's close family and friends and work it out from there. Keep in mind the reason for the celebration ... the future couple! Plan ahead so you too can sit back and enjoy the party.
 

WHEN IS A BRIDAL SHOWER HOSTED?

A bridal shower can take place anywhere from two months to three weeks before the wedding, although there is no set time limit due to the hectic schedules of each couple.  If your bridal party group are the type of people who want to go the extra distance with every finishing touch you can also send out Save the Date Magnets or cards!  A Save the Date magnet can be made with any design you wish and future guests can put them on their refrigerator to remind them each time they open it not to schedule anything for that special day .... of course an invitation will follow.  Try to secretly find out the bride's schedule (either from her, if you don't mind having a shower that she is aware of), or her future groom (who would be able to find out her schedule easier than anyone).

WHO IS INVITED TO A BRIDAL SHOWER?

Any person who is on the wedding guest list can technically be invited to a shower, although in the past it has been kept as an intimate event, including only the bride's closest friends and relatives. One exception is a bridal shower hosted by co-workers (especially when you work in a large group), all of whom may not be attending the wedding but who would like to give you that celebratory send-off marriage wish.  Another exception would be the increasingly popular coed shower for the couple's friends. (OUR NEXT QUESTION).  These are sometimes held in addition to a traditional ladies-only event and are more casual.

Be sure to print out a Bridal Shower Guest List. Compliments of Wedding Cram!

WHERE SHOULD THE BRIDAL SHOWER TAKE PLACE?

The answer to this question rests mainly on who is hosting the bridal shower, their budget, and how creative they want to be.  A bridal shower can take place in someone's home, the bride's favorite restaurant, a reception hall, or maybe even a special location of the couple's like a park.  If you opt for a park or outdoor location be sure to have a backup location in the event of inclement weather.  For a small group you may even wish to host the event at a local spa or back room of a coffee house.  The possibilities are endless.  You can also view Wedding Cram's National Wedding Service Directory (coming soon) for ideas and names of local bakeries in your area as well as reception facilities, most who usually also provide rooms for bridal showers and other pre-wedding parties.

WHAT IS A CO-ED SHOWER & HOW DOES ONE THROW IT?

A co-ed shower is  more of a party thrown for the bride & groom where all their friends and family are invited.  Sometimes both a shower and a co-ed shower (party)  are thrown. This depends greatly on the couple. Outdoor parties & BBQ's are popular for co-ed parties, keeping the men busy with outdoor activities while gift opening takes place.  To keep everyone interested during the gift opening, try some party games. Fit the games to the likes of the couple the party is being thrown for. Click here and scroll down to the Co-ed games section for great party game ideas.

HOW MANY GUESTS ARE USUALLY INVITED TO A SHOWER?

Most showers usually have between 20 and 40 guests (sometimes larger depending on the wedding party size). Be careful not to duplicate the guest list if you are having more than one shower, since forcing a guest to buy several gifts can become a financial burden on anyone. 

IS THERE A STANDARD BRIDAL SHOWER INVITATION? WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE? SHOULD THERE BE A THEME?

Invitations for the shower or Co-Ed Shower do not need to be as fancy as the wedding invitations.  If you are having a themed shower, then you might want to coordinate the invitation to the theme as well as the decorations you will be using that day. If you are not going with a theme shower, choose invitations that reflect the future bride. For example, does she like things more elaborate & fancy, or does she have very simple tastes? Be sure to visit our  stationery section for ideas.  We offer affordable, easy to print stationery & envelope seals.  If you have any questions please email us. Use your imagination & be unique. 

WHAT IS THE NECESSARY INFORMATION I NEED TO INCLUDE ON THE INVITATIONS?

  • Hostess's name and phone number

  • Name of the future brides (people may have more than one shower to attend that month)

  • IF THE SHOWER IS A SURPRISE - STATE IT IN BOLD LETTERING!!

  • shower date and time

  • address of shower location

  • map to shower location (optional)

  • RSVP date, name and phone number

  • shower theme information (if applicable)

  • couple's decorating colors for future home (if available)

  • registry information (if the couple has registered in any/what stores)

WHEN SHOULD I SEND OUT THE INVITATIONS?

Invitations for the shower should be sent no later than 3 to 4 weeks before the date of the event. 

HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I ALLOT FOR THE RSVP DEADLINE?

The guideline for the RSVP should be 2 to 2 1/2 weeks before the shower. Keep in mind that some guests might RSVP late, however it is appropriate for you to contact them (especially when you need a head count for a catered event or a restaurant in advance).

HOW LONG ARE BRIDAL SHOWERS?

There is no set time for a bridal shower. Factors such as the amount of guests in attendance, the location of the shower (whether it be at a home or restaurant), the number of courses of food (whether it be a brunch with extras, or an early afternoon lunch with cake), and the amount of gifts needed to be opened.  These are all factors that weigh in on the time of the shower.  Three to 4 hours is a good estimate, keeping in mind that they may end earlier, or may continue later as guests continue to mingle.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE THE BRIDAL SHOWER?

The time of the shower all depends on the individual hosting the shower, whether it be in a restaurant or in their (the host/or someone else's) home. Early afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday is usually the best time for everyone and will cut down on cost.  A late afternoon/ evening shower may include alcohol which will bring up the expenses.

WHAT IS USUALLY SERVED AT A BRIDAL SHOWER?

There are no set menus for a bridal shower. Some people choose to have it at a restaurant where an early brunch is served, while others choose strictly finger-foods. One fact of the matter is that a bridal shower cake is a must! Some hosts keep the health conscious guests in mind and include vegetable cruditι platters and fruit platters as well.  There should be coffee & punch available for the guests, and depending on your budget, you may also choose to have soda and other beverages available too.  The type of food also varies with theme and the group of individuals invited. The options are strictly up to you. There are no rights and wrongs. The important thing to remember is to make it a fun party for all involved.

I HAVE NEVER HOSTED A BRIDAL SHOWER, IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD THE EVENTS OCCUR?

You are the one hosting the shower, it is entirely up to you. Each individual may hold the order of events differently but here is a general outline: 

  • Greet Guests - serve punch or beverages & appetizers

  • After most of the guests have arrived, go around the room and have each guest introduce themselves and identify how they know the bride. (If by chance there are only a few guests who only know the bride, try to include them in some way in helping out that day) For example, maybe they wouldn't mind snapping a few pictures, etc. Try to give them an easy way to introduce themselves to other guests. (This is helpful if that person might be shy). If they feel comfortable just observing, let them do that as well. 

  • You may choose to show a slide show of the bride as she grew up & include a few pictures of her & her future groom since they've met.   (just an idea until everyone has shown up). 

  • Include a Shower Game (this helps to break the ice between the guests).  Remember some guests may not know anyone besides the bride.

  • Make sure everyone has eaten, then the bride can begin to open her gifts. Be sure to have someone write down each gift and who it is from. It will make sending thank-you notes a lot easier. You may even want to alphabetize small index cards (in a small box), with addresses of everyone who was invited.  Take them out as the gift is opened and slide them into the gift boxes. This will make things easier on the bride later when she goes to write thank you cards. Not only will it speed things up at the shower, but it will help the bride by not guessing at messy handwriting later who gave the gift. It gives the bride more time to admire each gift as it is opened and it also gives the bride addresses right at her fingertips as she opens the gift to write the thank you cards. What a clever idea!

  • While guests are leaving make sure the bride gets to say goodbye to everyone and the hostess thanks the person for attending. If the hostess has shower favors, they should be given out to the guest at this time.  As an added extra *  you may wish to have the future bride take a polaroid picture (or digital photo so that she may also make a copy for herself) with each guest to include in her thank you cards.  

WHAT TYPE OF ENTERTAINMENT SHOULD I HAVE AT THE BRIDAL SHOWER?

Once again, depending on the type of shower, the number of people, if a theme is applicable, the bride's style, etc. you can make this decision yourself.  Most people try to include at least one bridal shower game to keep the guests interacting with one another and to keep them interested especially during the opening of the gifts. 

I DON'T KNOW OF ANY BRIDAL SHOWER GAMES, WHERE CAN I FIND SOME?

There are many different shower games out there to choose from.  Our suggestion is to check out some we have listed, (and other games our readers have submitted). Enjoy! Go To Wedding Cram's Bridal Shower Games, Activities & Themes. If you have any ideas of your own to share with other readers, please do. I would like to submit a Bridal Shower Game, Activity or Theme. 

I HAVE BEEN TO SOME BRIDAL SHOWERS THAT GAVE OUT FAVORS AND OTHERS THAT HAVEN'T... WHY?

There are many reasons for this, but each was up to the individual hosting the shower.  Some possibilities are tradition (some people do believe in acknowledging the guest, their gift, and their presence with a favor, others do not).  Neither is right or wrong. Personal preference is the key.  Other factors come in to play as well, including the budget of the shower, the preference of the future bride etc.

I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE OUT BRIDAL SHOWERS FAVORS BUT NEED SOME IDEAS

That's easy.  One of our most popular and affordable favors are our personalized favor magnets.  We can create a magnet "just for your special event".  It's a great way to show the future couple and the guests that you took that extra step to send guests home with a personalized thank you to remember that special shower.  Whether you would like a picture of the couple on the magnet, a specific flower, or a magnet that matches the theme of the shower, our magnet department can create it for you.  The possibilities are endless and there is no extra charge for this service.   Wedding Cram will also provide you with a magnet proof via email within 24 hours after you have placed an order so that you can be sure your magnet looks just as you planned.  Let our magnet department work with you.  We show many images online, however, we also have a huge image database with thousands of images.

 If you are on a tight budget and would like some ideas for shower favors you can make yourself, visit our Money Saving Tips section.

Do you have a question that we haven't answered? e-mail us.  Thank-You!


 
 

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