Your bestie is getting married! If you’ve been granted the honor of maid of honor, congratulations!
Part of the joy of being her BFF is having the opportunity to plan the perfect bridal shower, a party with close family members and friends during which she’s spoiled with gifts, love and support.
Our etiquette guide helps you nail your maid-of-honor duties for the bridal shower with expert tips from renowned wedding planner Michael Russo of Michael Russo Events and a selection of designer wedding shower invitation templates.
Here, your ultimate wedding shower etiquette guide to hosting a lovely bridal shower for the special bride-to-be in your life.
- Who Is Invited to a Bridal Shower?
- Wedding Shower Timeline and When to Send Bridal Shower Invitations
- What to Include in a Bridal Shower Invitation
- Bridal Shower Invitations Wording Examples
Who Is Invited to a Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is traditionally an intimate gathering of the bride’s closest female friends and family members. More recently, close male friends are often included in the special event.
“Co-ed showers are very common today,” says Michael. “This is because brides are picking people that will stand by their side and often times those people are men.”
Here’s a quick-reference list of who to invite to a bridal shower:
- The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom.
- Grandmothers from both sides.
- Sisters of the bride and the groom.
- The bride’s closest family members, including aunts and cousins.
- The maid-of-honor (if she’s not the host) and the bridesmaids.
- The bride’s closest girlfriends.
Wedding Shower Timeline and When to Send Bridal Shower Invitations
One of the most common wedding shower etiquette questions a maid-of-honor has is what the timeline looks like. With so many different wedding festivities going on, it takes planning and communication to ensure your event doesn’t interfere with other activities.
The simple answer to when to have a bridal shower is between two weeks and two months before the wedding. As you might guess, earlier is better because of the coordination needed as more activities happen closer to the big day.
When is the proper time to send bridal shower invitations? Mail bridal shower invitations eight weeks before the party. “Send out your bridal shower invitations eight weeks before the bridal shower and at least two months before the wedding day,” says Michael.
Use this checklist for your shower planning and as you prepare and send stunning bridal shower invitations:
- Confirm the nearest and dearest. To create your guest list, start by asking the bride who she wants to invite to the shower. Then, ask the bride or wedding host for the master guest list, in which you will find the names and addresses of the guests.
In general, it’s not appropriate to invite anyone to the shower who is not invited to the wedding. But, like all rules, there are exceptions.
- Destination weddings: If the couple is planning a destination wedding, the bridal shower will probably be a larger event with many guests who are not travelling to the destination.
- Office bridal shower: If a co-worker is throwing the bride-to-be an office bridal shower, it’s probably a surprise party. In this case, it’s completely fine for the host to invite co-workers to the gathering who might not be invited to the wedding.
- Choose a date and time. Once you have a date, coordinate with the bride-to-be and wedding host to avoid double-booking or planning festivities too close to each other.
“The best time for a bridal shower is two to three months before the wedding,” says Michael Russo. “You don’t want to plan the party too close to the wedding because there’s a lot to do before the big day.”
- Celebrate the bride’s style. From classic brunches and tea parties to wine tasting showers and destination showers, most bridal showers revolve around a certain theme.
What is the best way to pick a theme for the wedding shower? Keep the focus on the bride. Michael suggests choosing a theme that’s inspired by her personality.
“Most brides have a hobby or some type of interest that’s easy to turn into a theme,” says Michael.
Whether it’s a sport or the fact that she loves wine, infusing her favorite things into the party is the best way to support the bride-to-be.
- Select your bridal shower invitations. This is the fun part. Start by going through invitations that reflect your theme and the formality of your event. Michael also suggests selecting an invitation that’s influenced by the venue of the party.
Whether you’re planning a formal party at a country club, an afternoon at the bride-to-be’s favorite restaurant or an intimate gathering at home, your bridal shower invitations will set the tone for the event and get your guests excited about the party.
Unique and Whimsical Bridal Invitation Design Ideas
Over the years, Michael has been a part of designing many creative and one-of-a-kind bridal shower invitations. One of his favorite ideas involves using a sketch of the bride’s gown on the invitation.
“Of course it has to be just a sketch,” says Michael. “You don’t want to give away the dress before the big day.”
- Add appropriate event details. Along with the date, time and location of the party, you will want to include bridal shower wording that’s unique to your party, such as whether it is a surprise, or if the guests need to bring a gift that corresponds with the theme, such as a honeymoon theme or cooking theme.
- Consider adding registry information. According to Michael, it’s completely acceptable to feature registry information in a bridal shower invitation.
“Some people feel that registry information is pushy, but it’s not,” says Michael. “The bride and groom need home goods for a new beginning, and buying a gift from the registry can not only provide the couple with much-needed items, but it also takes the pressure off of the person buying the gift.”
What to Include in a Bridal Shower Invitation
With bridal shower invitations, wording typically begins with the announcement of the party and ends with registry information.
Here is everything you should include in your bridal shower invitations wording:
|What to include||Simple how-to|
|The name of the host||While the maid-of-honor is usually the host of a bridal shower, it’s also common for the mother of the bride to host the shower with help from the bridesmaids. Other family members such as sisters, aunts and cousins can also give showers.|
|The name of the bride-to-be||This is, of course, the woman being showered with gifts.|
|The date of the party||Select a day that is at least two to three months before the wedding day.|
|The time of the shower||A brunch bridal shower is usually between 10am and 2pm; a lunch party can start from 11am and 3pm; and a dinner shower can begin anytime between 5pm and 7pm.|
|The venue and address||Unless you’re planning a destination shower, choose a venue or location that’s close to the bride.|
|The RSVP date and how to respond||Select an RSVP date that’s two to four weeks before the party.|
|The theme, if any||A bridal shower theme tells guests how formal the shower will be, and sometimes even dictates the type of gift they will have to bring. You can announce your theme with a quote or by picking an invitation in the same style.|
|Registry information||You can either add the registry information in the main invitation or insert a separate registry card that tells guests where the bride-to-be is registered.|
Bridal Shower Wording Examples
Use these examples to help you write the unique bridal shower invitation wording you need for your formal, casual or whimsical party.
Formal Bridal Shower Invitation Wording
Please join us to honor
Sunday, March 10, 2017
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
44 Border Street, Cohasset, MA
Hosted by Jennifer Lawrence
RSVP by March 1st to 617-555-1212
Casual Bridal Shower Invitation Wording
Let’s Shower the Bride
Sunday, August 16 at 12 pm
3709 Cove Road, Seattle, Washington
Hosted by Susan Reynolds
RSVP to Susan at 555.0000 by August 10
Fun Bridal Shower Invitation Wording
Pop the Bubbly for the Bride to Be
Please join us for a bridal shower in honor of
Saturday May 5th at 7:00 pm – Herons – 100 Ray Road, Cary, NC
Hosted by Kara Drake – RSVP 919-555-4136 by April 25th
Co-ed Wedding Shower Invitation Wording
A Wedding Shower for
Emily & James
Sunday, May 27, 2016 at 11:00 am
275 Bronte Street, San Francisco
Hosted by Jennifer
RSVP Jen at 415-555-1212 by May 16th
Bridal Shower Invitation Wording with Registry Information
Join us for a Bridal Shower in honor of
Saturday, October 13, 2017
From 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
200 Mission Street, San Francisco
Hosted by Sarah Douglas
RSVP to Sarah at 542-555-0014 by October 1st
Michelle is registered at Bridal Boutique
Personalized Bridal Shower Invitations
Shower the special bride-to-be in your life with invitations that reflect her unique style.
Shutterfly® offers a wide selection of designer bridal shower invitations to fit nearly every theme and style.
Bridal shower invitations can be fun and simple to create, when you start with the right template.
When you find the perfect fit, it’s easy to customize the stationery with unique details, photographs and a color palette that matches your party decor.
Get started by browsing photograph, floral and elegantly designed bridal shower invitation templates here.