Photo: Roey Yohai Photography
Bridal showers are one of the most fun ways to celebrate an upcoming wedding. A pre-nuptial tradition, they also vary widely from bride to bride. Some have multiple, and others have alternative parties, like a spa day. With so many options and variations, the hard-and-fast etiquette can get murky. We culled some expert answers to common questions to help you have the best shower possible!
Who should plan my shower?
Let's start with who should not do it. Traditionally, close relatives (your mom and sisters) do not host the bridal shower, as this can be perceived as the family asking for gifts. But it doesn't mean that they can't help organize it — just make sure their names aren't on the invitation. Your bridesmaids and sisters should join forces, choosing one person to spearhead the shower effort. Enlist your mom to nudge the proceedings along, so that you can retain an air of blissful ignorance.
Can I tell my bridesmaids what kind of bridal shower I want?
If your bridesmaids have offered to throw you a shower, then it's a good idea to discuss some basic party details with them. Keep in mind, though, that contrary to popular belief, the maid/matron of honor and the bridesmaids are not required to host a shower as part of their official responsibilities, though they certainly can if they want to. So be gracious and thankful for their generosity. Talk to your bridesmaids about which dates might work best for you (the shower is ideally held two months to two weeks before the wedding), but avoid making specific demands, especially ones that might affect the budget. Refrain from requests that would be an extra expense. Don't try to take control of this celebration being thrown in your honor. Instead, just trust your bridesmaids.
I'd really like cash or gift cards instead of more stuff. Can my bridesmaids or hostesses write "no boxed gifts" on the invitations?
Tread carefully: This type of language is going to make you appear both pushy and greedy. Of course you'd be thrilled to have extra cash in your pocket, but you also should accept that this wording, however oblique, is basically a bid for bucks. If you're set on having a shower, where the spotlight is on presents, you should register: Even if you already have a furnished home, you could probably stand to replace heavily used items like sheets and towels or to upgrade to some shiny new cookware. But if you really want to skip the registry, your bridesmaids should rethink the party plans and instead organize a gathering that isn't so gift-focused. A relaxing spa day, perhaps?