Tips to throw a bridal shower

Frequently Asked Questions ~ Planning a Bridal Shower

History of the Bridal Shower…

The bridal shower actually started as an alternative to the dowry. A long time ago, there was a young girl who loved a young miller. The miller was a very kind and generous man but he was also very poor. Because the young man was not rich, the maiden’s father disapproved of the match and refused to give her a dowry. But the village folks, and the young people, loved the young couple and had desired their marriage. To make up the girl’s dowry, each villager brought some treasured possession of his own until a chest had been filled with all household goods that a bride should bring to her new home. With these contributions, they ‘showered’ the maiden until even her father was won over and the young couple lived happily ever after.

Eventually traditions were lost as dowries were no longer needed. The event turned into an opportunity for friends and family members to demonstrate their emotional and practical support for the bride. In the 1890’s, at one shower, the bride’s friend placed small gifts in an umbrella and opened it over the bride’s head so that the presents would “shower” over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so taken with the idea that they decided to do the same at their showers.

Nowadays, the shower is hosted by close family members of the bride and a wide variety of gifts are given. The modern bridal shower has turned into highly anticipated event. A Bridal Shower is a great time to pamper the bride-to-be and show her how much you care and appreciate her.

What is a Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is a party thrown before the wedding to ‘shower’ the bride and groom with gifts for their new home.

Who hosts the bridal shower?
Typically the bridal shower is either thrown by the maid of honour or the mother of the bride or groom. The bridesmaids often help with the planning and preperation but almost any familiy member can host a bridal shower.

Where should a bridal shower be held?
This depends on the number of guests that are invited, the shower budget and how much time there is to plan the event. A small shower can be held in a home or restuaurant while a larger guest list will require a larger venue. Some ideas include a local park, a private home, a room in a neighborhood community center, a room at a country, social club or hotel, or a restaurant.

Who should be invited to a bridal shower?

Any immediate female family members of both the bride & groom’s family should be invited as well as close friends of the bride and the wedding party. It is best to consult with the bride and the mother of the bride and groom when making up the invitation list. Anyone invited to the bridal shower ordinarily should be invited to the wedding. This will avoid a lot of hurt feelings and mis-understandings. However, everyone invited to the wedding does not have to be invited to the shower.

When should a bridal shower be held?
The shower can be held 1 to 2 months before the wedding. It is best to avoid throwing the bridal shower too close to the wedding as the bride may be busy and her schedule may already be filled. Check with the bride, the bride and groom’s mothers and wedding party before picking a date.

What information should be included on the invitations?
The bridal shower invitations should include:
– Name of the bride
– Location of the shower including the address
– Date and time of the shower
– RSVP by date and contact information including phone number
– Hostess’ name and phone number (if different then RSVP information)
– Map of shower location (optional)
– Shower theme information (if applicable)

When should the invitations be mailed?
Invitations should be mailed 3 – 6 weeks before the shower. They can be sent earlier if most guests are from out of town and later if most guests are local. It is better to send out all the invitations at one time so there no hurt feeling when some guests get the invitations before others.

When should guests RSVP by?
A good guideline for the RSVP deadline should be 2 weeks before the shower, but be sure to plan for guests that RSVP late or not at all.

Does a shower have to have games?
No, shower games are not necessary. It is a good idea to check with the bride before planning any games as some brides would prefer not to have any games at all. Plan a nice dinner or movie instead of games.

Are bridal shower favours manditory?
Shower favours are not a tradition in all cultures. Some cultures believe it is rude to give shower guests a favour…afterall,they came to shower the bride. While other cultures believe it is a special way of showing your appreciation and thanking your guests for attending the shower. Check with local family members and friends to find out what they think and don’t forget to stick with your budget!

Does a shower have to have a theme?
A theme is not neccesarry but it may give the event some structure, help with the planning, and give guests some gift-giving guidelines. You don’t need to have a shower theme to have a great shower, but they are becoming more popular.

I’m hosting a small shower…any ideas?
Local restaurants are a great place to hold smaller showers. Try a smaller restaurant for a more intimate setting or a larger restaurant for a great girl’s night out!
Instead of bringing smaller gifts, speak to your guests about going in on a larger gift for the bride. A great example is a day at the spa or a gift certificate for a shopping trip!

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