One of the oldest traditions in the pre-wedding events is the bridal shower. This is the time where the loved ones of the bride come together to provide the bride with gifts and advice that she may need to usher her into married life. As weddings change, so do bridal showers. They can still be traditional, or they can incorporate new ideas and fun concepts.
The first question that most struggle with is who should host the bridal shower. Traditionally, the host of the shower is the maid of honor. However, the more modern bridal showers enlist help from all of the bridesmaids. It used to be a wedding faux pas to have the family of the bride host bridal showers because it looks like the family is trying to solicit gifts for the bride. However, this is not necessarily true anymore. The mothers and sisters of the bride often pitch in for these events, because it is practical. If the bridesmaids do not live in the area of the wedding, it is only logical to have the family of the bride's help in planning the shower. It is also common to have the sister of the bride as the maid of honor, so in that situation, the family would be a part of the planning process. The host of the bridal shower should be whoever is ready and willing to do the job.
Another commonly asked question is when to hold the bridal shower. Depending on what is convenient for the host, the bridal shower can be held anywhere from six months to one week before the big day. The biggest factor in figuring out when to have the bridal shower is where the family and friends live in relation to the location of the bride. If the bride lives in a completely different state than her friends and family, more planning will be necessary. The most important thing to remember is what is convenient for the bride and the hostess of the bridal shower. The hostess can make the bridal shower as formal or casual as she would like. The location can be in the bride's favorite restaurant, in the home of her maid of honor, or any other location that reflects the mood of the wedding.
As far as who to invite, the only rule is that everyone who is invited to the bridal shower should be invited to the wedding. Traditionally, the bridesmaids are invited, along with close friends and family. If the bridal shower is a surprise, the maid of honor may want to consult with the mother and sister of the bride to obtain the complete guest list. For the invitations, let the tone reflect the mood of the shower, whether it is formal or informal. The newest bridal shower invitations use fun shades of lilac, sage, teal and bubble gum pink. Some are wrapped in a bow, or have a sheer overlay. The color trends are soft and feminine, and do not necessarily have to match the colors of the wedding.
When choosing the wording for the invitations, be sure to communicate whether the shower is a surprise or if it is planned. Include a person for your guests to RSVP to, as well as a date to RSVP by. If the majority of the guests to the bridal shower will be coming from out of town, the invitations should be mailed approximately two months in advance, to give your guests adequate planning time. Also, feel free to include the registry information on the invitation. This will help your guests in their search for the perfect bridal shower gift.
Bridal showers can be a small and intimate affair, filled with fun and silly games, or they can be a luncheon for the entire bridal party and family of the bride and groom. Every bridal shower is different. The main thing to remember when planning a bridal shower is to not stress over the details. The idea is for the bride to have fun with her friends and family, and to get ready for her big day!