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Bridal Shower 101: Learn The Basics


A bridal shower is a party held by the bride’s girlfriends and female family members a few weeks before the date of the wedding. During this celebration they pamper or “shower” the bride with love, laughter and gifts to help her prepare her for her transition to married life. Bridal showers are traditionally surprise parties paid for and thrown by those women closest to the bride, traditionally the women in her bridal party. The groom is usually not invited to this all-female party, but may have a hand in helping arrange the surprise by transporting the bride to the venue.



Bridal showers come in all shapes and sizes, but are usually afternoon events. Some people chose to celebrate this life transition in a formal fashion such as an afternoon tea with the ladies in formal attire at a fine hotel or country club. Others select a less formal venue such as a friend or family member’s backyard or living room with homemade food. The guest list may be restricted to include only the closest friends and family members, or it may include all of the women who have been invited to the wedding. Sometimes a woman will have more than one bridal shower. For example, while not all co-workers may be invited to the wedding, they may choose to hold a shower for their colleague at the office, at a restaurant or at the home of a co-worker.


Traditionally, the women of the bridal party work with the groom and the bride’s family to select a date to hold this surprise party, then notify the guests by paper or email invitations. The group will decorate with balloons, congratulations signs, crepe paper and more. Sometimes the bride will be asked to sit in a throne or special seat to open her gifts, which are at the center of this celebration. Guests may select gifts that the couple has placed on a wedding gift registry at the stores of their choice. These gifts include housewares such as vases, bath towels, crystal or cookware to help the couple to establish and furnish a home. However, many people use this occasion to “shower” the bride with sexy intimate apparel such as silk lingerie and nightgowns for the wedding night. The mood is usually very jovial when the bride opens her gifts. It is typical to see gifts of t-shirts or hats emblazoned with the word “bride” on them. Depending on the group, there may be some overtly sexual gifts.


A bridal shower would not be complete without a cake. Traditionally the cake is white and decorated with flowers and words of congratulations and best wishes to the couple. Depending on the venue, there may be bridal shower party games, a time for dispensing advice to the new bride, or a trip down memory lane as former brides reminisce about their weddings. No matter the size or venue of the partyPsychology Articles, women do their best to “shower” the bride with love and laughter as she begins the transition from bride to wife.

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Jason Kassel, PhD is owner and operator of Brie on a Budget a website that provides useful information for brides looking to hold fabulous budget weddings.  Full of articles, the site provides well-researched and up-to-date knowledge on all types of budget wedding ideas.  Read this to learn more about budget weddings.

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