There is some debate in regards to whether or not you should always invite bridal shower guests to the wedding ceremony. The short answer is this: Every single guest who attends a bridal shower should be invited to the wedding. This is why it is very important for you to carefully select who is going to attend your bridal shower. With that being said, we will dedicate the following sections to learning more about situations you may encounter that will need serious bridal shower etiquette to resolve.
Should Un-Invited Guests Send Gifts?
The general rule to follow is that you should not expect anyone that was not invited to the bridal shower to send you a bridal shower gift. As with almost everything, there are exceptions to the rule as there will be some guests who will send gifts anyway (usually when they were invited but couldn’t make it).
On the flip side, gifts generally are required for guests who are attending a bridal shower. Also take note that any guests that do attend a bridal shower but who simply can’t make it to the wedding would still be required to provide some sort of gift.
Who Should Host a Bridal Shower?
In principle there is no set person who traditionally should host a bridal shower. Whomever you choose, it should be someone you trust and who you have a lot of faith in. While it isn’t common practice, family members can host a bridal shower as well. One of the main reasons why family do not host is because they don’t want to appear as though they are asking for gifts for the bride and groom. More commonly, brides will select one of the bridesmaids to host the bridal shower.
Etiquette for Multiple Showers
The main reasons why you would consider throwing more than one bridal shower is in the event that there are many guests who would not be able to attend on a specific day. For example, when either you or your fiancé have important family and friends living in a different city/area. Hosting more than one shower is not typical, so keep in mind that there is a certain etiquette that should be followed when hosting multiple bridal showers. The main rule to remember is to never invite the same people to multiple showers, as this will appear as though you’re attempting to solicit/receive more gifts from them (a huge no-no given the situation). For some more opinions on this subject from TheKnot, click here.
Bridal Shower Attendees Must Be Invited to Wedding
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyways: Every single person who is invited to the bridal shower must be invited to the wedding. If you do not follow this protocol, you will simply appear to be a couple who is only seeking gifts (same as inviting same people to more than one shower). The NY Times expands on this issue in their wedding etiquette column here.
When Should Bridal Showers Be Hosted?
There is a specific timespan by which a bridal shower needs to happen and that timeframe is in between two months and two weeks of the wedding. This window of time is quite standard and is something that most couples tend to follow. Again, make sure that you are choosing someone who is reliable as well as creative to handle the hosting aspect of your wedding. Creativity levels do not need to be extravagant but it is always nice to see something different during these events.
The bottom line is that everyone who shows up to the bridal shower should receive an invitation to the wedding, and everyone invited to the wedding should bring a gift. In regards to hosting, anyone can do it. Family members typically don’t host them do to etiquette reasons but this shouldn’t stop you from choosing a family member if your specific relationship with that person allows for it.
Have you ever attended a bridal shower where any of these rules (or any others) were broken? If so, share your story so we can all learn from your experiences!