What is a Wedding Shower?

Story Amour
Written by Story Amour · Posted in Showers & Parties Last Updated March 31, 2023 · minute read
In This Article

    A wedding shower is arguably one of the most important events that precedes a wedding. With the importance of the event, many question questions are likely to present themselves that you may not know the answer to. Who hosts? Is there a dress code? What’s on the menu? Where do I even begin? That’s where we are here to help.

    Lets start with, What is a wedding shower? It’s an event organized to celebrate the couple as a whole, not just the bride (bridal shower). Both the bride and groom’s relatives are invited, as well as friends. Because there are no hard-and-fast rules, the event can take place at your favorite restaurant or your parents’ house.

    This handy guide will explain everything you should know about wedding showers.

    outdoor party setup at a wedding shower

    What is a Wedding Shower?

    What is the difference between a wedding shower and a bridal shower?

    A wedding shower is for the couple where the bride and groom are showered with love and gifts. The couple can invite friends and family members. Essentially, a wedding shower brings a modern twist and is more inclusive. At the end of the day, the focus shifts to providing gifts that the couple will use in their new home.

    In contrast, a bridal shower is just for the bride. It’s an all-girls gathering and the bride takes the center stage. Here are some key differences:

    • Bridal showers are attended by women close to the bride, while a wedding shower invites family members and friends from the bride and groom’s side.
    • The gifts for a bridal shower involve anything the bride would want herself, while a wedding shower features gifts that appeal to both the bride and groom.
    • In a bridal shower, the bride is the host. In a wedding shower, anyone from either the bride’s or groom’s family can be the host.

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    What is the purpose of a wedding shower?

    The main purpose of a wedding shower is to spend quality time with family and friends. The guests celebrate the couple, give advice, and shower them with gifts. Anyone is invited to a bridal shower, including immediate and extended family members.

    Generally speaking, the gifts should be appropriate for everyone. Those who attend must stick to anything that is considered universal. For instance, one can consider buying a gift that can be used on the honeymoon. You must state the party is for everyone – this ensures the guests are not surprised by the crowd. Here are the other reasons you should have a couple’s shower:

    To break gender norms

    Nowadays, you don’t have to put a label on everything. A wedding shower is an opportunity to bring everyone together in a fun way. Most couples prefer this option if the bride doesn’t want to become the spotlight for the event. That being said, the team at Story Amour believe in having both a bridal and wedding shower… But we are suckers for a good party.

    Couple Themed

    The theme for a wedding shower should feature something that both the bride and groom enjoy. If you’re a sport-fun or a frequent traveler, you should put the word across that everyone could suggest everyone wear their favorite team jersey. The theme options can also feature the couple’s personalities. A few details can help the inspire the decor theme.

    Combining both sides of the family

    A wedding shower opens doors for both sides of the family to make connections. It’s more like a pre-wedding party for the extended family and friends. This event also ensures that everyone is comfortable during the wedding day.

    Activities for everyone

    When both the bride and groom’s friends are within, you expect fun games for everyone.

    Lots of food and drinks to share

    Although a wedding shower doesn’t focus primarily on food, this could be an opportunity to try your favorite cuisines. You can also satiate your taste buds with signature drinks and cocktails.

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    Should the groom attend a bridal shower or just the wedding shower?

    Traditionally the groom should not attend bridal shower but this the 21st century!

    Generally speaking, this is the time for the bride to get all the attention of the girls. Modern etiquette allows the groom to show up at the last minute to help carry the gifts. Since most showers take 2-3 hours, it’s okay for the groom to appear 30 minutes before the end of the event. Another option for the bride is to allow the groom to appear at the last minute to thank the girls. After all, there could be some gifts for him too.

    Is a wedding shower necessary?

    Not every to-be-wed couple wants a wedding shower. For many couples, a wedding shower is a chance to bond with family and friends. But if you’re not the couple that enjoys such parties, it’s not a necessity. That said, you must talk to the person hosting the party so that they don’t end up wasting their time. Again, if a friend insists that you host a bridal shower, you should explain why this is not the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming wedding.

    It’s also important to communicate and ensure several people are not planning multiple wedding showers for you. Sometimes, a wedding shower can be a surprise – but is important that you confirm with the couple if this is what you truly want.

    If you have the time and resources, a wedding shower can be a great endeavor. Apart from the gifts, such events are lot of fun.

    Also, if you are superstitious, there are several games that bring good luck to the new couple, or just help strength their bond. For example, the host can ask the bride and groom Mr & Mrs questions to see if the answer matches. Either a sure fire way to strengthen your love, or set you on the path for divorce. Joke joke!

    There’s always something special about the bride and the groom coming together for such a special event. It also takes care of those who live far away. The format also works well for couples that want their parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives to be included in the shower.

    Who plans the wedding shower?

    The majority of the time, its the couple that plans the wedding shower event. They rely on the host to help with planning logistics. A well-planned wedding shower should make sure everything runs smoothly and the guests are taken care of. If there are out-of-town guests, you can stage the occasion further away from the wedding day to allow travel time.

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    Bridal Shower Planning Checklist & Timeline

    Although a bridal shower is more laid-back than a wedding, it is still a big event and can be surprisingly stressful with many different factors to plan, schedule, and execute. A wedding shower timeline offers a comprehensive plan that takes the guesswork out of when things should happen and who is responsible for what.

    It includes details such as picking up a date and venue, sending out invitations, deciding on a theme and menu, arranging games and activities, and of course, collecting RSVPs. A bold script layout can give you that professional look of a wedding shower planner while allowing you to personalize the details to fit your unique style.

    To help you avoid some of the hassles and ensure you cross everything off your list on time, we’ve put together a wedding shower planning timeline checklist to make your task much more manageable. It will help you find the best way to organize your thoughts, save money, and relax as much as possible on the big day.

    Step 1: Decide who pays for a wedding shower.

    The bride’s family traditionally pays for the bridal shower, but in recent years it has become more common for the Maid of Honor or other close friends to chip in and foot the bill. Additionally, some couples prefer to pay for their wedding shower as a way to thank their guests for their generosity.

    Whoever plans to pay for the shower should start by setting a budget. This will help determine what kind of venue, food, and activities can be afforded. It’s also important to remember that the bride’s guests should not be expected to pay for anything beyond their travel and accommodations.

    Usually, a wedding shower budget includes the following:

    • Rental fees for the venue
    • Catering or food costs
    • Drinks and alcohol
    • Invitations and postage
    • Decorations
    • Entertainment
    • Favors for guests
    • Thank you cards

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    Step 2: Pick a date and time for the bridal shower

    The best time to have a bridal shower is usually 4-8 weeks before the wedding. This gives guests enough time to save the date and plan their travel but is close enough to the wedding that it doesn’t feel like a second shower.

    Before you decide on a date, check the bride’s and groom’s schedules to ensure they are available. You’ll also want to avoid any major holidays or events that could conflict with people’s ability to attend.

    When picking a date, be sure also to consider the availability of the venue, caterer, and other vendors you may need. Weekends are typically the best time for a bridal shower, but if that doesn’t work with your schedule, a weekday evening can also be a good option.

    Once you have a few dates in mind, you can start polling the potential guests to see what works best for them. A bridal shower guest list should include the bride’s close family members and friends, as well as any bridesmaids or Maid of Honor.

    Step 3: Choose a venue for the bridal shower

    The venue for a bridal shower should be somewhere that is comfortable for all of the guests and convenient for everyone to get to. It can be held at a restaurant, hotel, private home, or even outdoors if the weather permits.

    If you’re on a tight budget, consider having the shower at someone’s house instead of renting a space. This can be a great way to personalize the event and make it more intimate. Just be sure to pick a venue that is large enough to accommodate the guest list and has enough parking.

    The venue you choose will depend on the time of day and type of shower you’re planning. If it’s a formal tea party, you’ll want to find a place with a private room or garden. For a more casual lunch or brunch, a restaurant with a private dining area would be ideal. And if you’re planning an evening shower, a hotel function room or cocktail lounge would be perfect.

    Step 4: Create a list of activities for the bridal shower

    The activities you choose for the bridal shower should be fun and engaging for all guests. They can be as simple as playing classic shower games like “Guess the Bride’s Wedding Dress” or “What’s in Your Purse?”

    Some great ideas for bridal shower activities include:

    • Making a wedding veil or headpiece
    • Decorating a wedding cake
    • Designing bouquets or boutonnieres
    • Making a wedding guestbook
    • Creating a photobooth

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    Step 5: Choose a bridal shower host

    The Maid of Honor is typically the one who hosts the bridal shower, but it can also be a close friend or family member. Whoever you choose to be the host should be someone responsible and organized. They will make sure everything is set up and ready to go on the day of the shower.

    The host should also be someone close to the bride and know her well. This will make it easier for them to come up with ideas for activities and games that the bride will enjoy.

    Step 6: Create a guest list for the bridal shower

    The bridal shower guest list should include the bride’s close family members and friends, as well as any bridesmaids or Maid of Honor. If the bride has many friends, you may also want to include co-workers or other acquaintances.

    When creating the guest list, get the contact information for each person so you can send out the invitations. You’ll also want to make a note of any dietary restrictions or allergies so you can plan accordingly.

    Step 7: Send out bridal shower invitations

    Bridal shower invitations should be sent out 4-6 weeks in advance of the event. This will give people enough time to clear their schedules and make necessary arrangements.

    The invitations should include the following:

    • The date.
    • Time.
    • Location of the shower.
    • Any other important information, such as dress code or theme.

    Be sure to include a response card so people can let you know if they will be able to attend.

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    Step 8: Plan the menu for the bridal shower

    The menu for the bridal shower should be light and refreshing. Finger foods and appetizers are typically served at bridal showers, as well as champagne or other sparkling drinks.

    If you’re hosting the shower at a restaurant, you can work with the chef to create a custom menu. Or, if you’re having the shower at home, you can prepare the food yourself or hire a caterer.

    Step 9: Set up the bridal shower decorations

    The decorations for the bridal shower should be festive and reflect the theme or color scheme of the event. If you’re having a formal tea party, you’ll want to decorate with pretty flowers and tea cups. For a more casual shower, streamers and balloons would be more appropriate.

    Step 10: Choose bridal shower favors

    Bridal shower favors are a small token of appreciation for the guests. They can be anything from personalized keychains to bottles of champagne. The favors should be unique and reflect the theme of the shower.

    Step 11: Plan the day-of schedule

    On the day of the bridal shower, you’ll want to have a schedule of events, so everything runs smoothly. This will include setting up the decorations, serving the food, and playing games.

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    Step 12: Enjoy the bridal shower!

    Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy the bridal shower. This is a special day for the bride-to-be, and it’s a time for her to relax and have fun with her friends and family.


    A wedding shower is meant to celebrate a couple that is about to wed. The guests normally bring gifts to help set up the new home and there are lots of games to bond with family and friends.

    It goes further than a bridal shower as it can be inclusive of the groom, not just the bride.

    In our opinion, a bridal shower is a must-have, fun and enjoyable celebration to help kick start your wedding journey.