Bridal Shower Etiquette
While showers have evolved and become more relaxed in recent years, there are still certain rules of bridal shower etiquette that should be observed in order to avoid offending anyone. Since there will be a variety of groups there - friends, family and coworkers in most cases - it's important to understand how everyone should interact. Especially in the case of family, mothers and grandmothers can place a great deal of importance on proper bridal shower etiquette, so make sure you know what the "rules" are!
The Maid of Honor is usually the person expected to plan and organize the bridal shower. If she lives out of town, however, it's fine for someone else to do the honors. Don't take over without checking with her, though. It is her privilege, and you should always ask her before assuming anything. If you are going to do it for her, make sure you keep her as involved as she would like to be through frequent emails and phone calls.
Bridal shower etiquette traditionally says that a shower should be at least four to six weeks before the wedding. This is for purely practical reasons - the bride is going to be too busy any closer to the ceremony - but if she's coming home only two weeks before the wedding, talk to her and see how she feels about having a shower in her honor so close to the wedding. She may think this is fine if most of her friends will be able to be in attendance at that time.
There has been an uncomfortable trend in recent years for large showers with nearly everyone the bride knows invited. This is not what the bridal shower is supposed to be. A bridal shower is supposed to be a small, intimate gathering of the bride's closest friends and family. Proper bridal shower etiquette dictates a group of no more than ten to twenty guests.
The guest list should include the wedding party, the mothers of the bride and groom, sisters of the bride and groom, and the bride's closest friends and/or coworkers. It shouldn't include every female invited to the wedding.
Finally, bridal shower etiquette means being sure to include the wedding party and the mothers in the shower itself in some way. Ask each person to take on some responsibility, whether it is recording a list of the gifts and givers as they are opened or organizing the group for games. This will make everyone feel they've been part of this special day.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Doetsch is an author at eBridalShowers.com where you will find further bridal shower ideas. Be sure to check out our new wedding planning guide and much more at http://www.ebridalshowers.com.