Bridal Showers 101 Part 1

The Basics

With the days warming up and the birds singing again, it’s a sure sign Spring is on its way! Along with the new life created during this time, families and friends of brides everywhere will be gathering together to throw bridal showers for their special lady!

We Design Weddings thought it would be fun to talk about these fun parties. We came across a book at an estate sale circa 1950, which composed the following poem to brides about showers:
Bridal Shower Poem posted by We Design Weddings Custom Wedding Invitations and Accessories
“In all the great excitement
Of your wedding gown and flowers…
Don’t forget, above all else,
You’ll have a lot of showers.

The shower offers an excuse
For parties…and to boot,
Besides the fun you’re bound to have,
You’ll get a lot of loot.

And if you’re in there pitchin’,
You’ll get a lot of pots and pans
And equip your brand new kitchen.

So, make your lists…corral your friends,
Let none your spirit daunt.
You’ll save them house of fret and fuss
And get the things you want.”

Over the next few weeks, we will go through the 1950s list of suggestions and guidelines on bridal shower registries and stack it up next to the 2014’s list of hot items. Today, we wanted to chat a little about bridal shower etiquette and traditions.

The custom of bridal showers began in the 1890s, when brides-to-be from poor families could not put together a suitable dowry and asked close friends and family to gift items to the bride to make it more enticing. The tradition caught on the United States by the 1930s, and became a formal affair by the 1950s. So in 2014, what does a typical bridal shower entail?

The Host
Today’s bridal showers are typically hosted by the maid of honor or a close friend. Etiquette guides tend to frown on a close family member hosting the shower, as it appears rude for someone close to ask for gifts for the bride. Oftentimes the bride’s mother or siblings will be involved, but not technically host the shower.

This year’s shower could take place anywhere! From the bridesmaid’s home to popular party locations like a restaurant, a park or the beach! If you choose an interactive location like a beauty salon or other ticketed locations, it’s ok not to pick up the tab for everyone as long as it is communicated to the guests ahead of time. Be sure the bride doesn’t have to pay, though!

When to Have it
A bridal shower could take place anywhere from several months to just a few days before the wedding. Traditionally, showers are held on a Sunday afternoon, but any time goes in 2014!
Custom Bridal Shower Invitation by We Design Weddings
Who to Invite
Ask the bride! She can put together a guest list of those she would like to invite. If you’d like to keep it a surprise, ask her mother, sibling or close friend. You want to be sure everyone on the guest list is invited to the wedding, so be sure to ask. Also make a decision about whether or not to invite men to the shower. Traditionally, bridal showers are a hen party, but today there are plenty of co-ed “wedding showers,” and if the bride and groom have a lot of couple friends, it might make sense to invite both sexes.

What to Do
Most showers involve a fun appetizer and cake or cupcakes. The bulk of showers center around eating, telling stories and opening presents. It is customary for one of the bridesmaids to write down each gift and who it was from to help make thank you writing easier for the bride. Another common bridal shower tradition is bow-breaking. It is said that for every bow the bride breaks, there is a child in her future! Be sure to collect the bows and ribbons, and fix them together as a bouquet for the bride to carry at rehearsal! If you want to be creative, you can theme your party and design a few games for the guests to play! If you choose to play games, it is customary to hand out prizes to the winners. These gifts are usually passed along to the bride, so be sure to plan ahead!

Now that you’re armed with the basics, we’ll continue the conversation next week with registry guidelines! If you’re ready to purchase some custom-designed bridal shower invitations, be sure to check out the ones we’ve designed in the past, or shoot us an email!