Three Common Bridal Shower Questions (And Answers!)

Bridal shower etiquette tips

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Traditionally, the engagement period has been a whirlwind of cocktail parties and dinners hosted by family and friends. Today, however, these celebrations are anything but traditional. That includes your bridal shower! Though the shower was once a symbol of the dowry that a woman brought to her marriage, it's now more a time to help a couple outfit their new home or help a bride assemble her trousseau. Not only that, what was traditionally an all-female afternoon tea or luncheon is now open to males! With these changing rules, we have a few etiquette tips to keep in mind.

How can a long-distance shower be planned if the bride and her attendants live in different cities?
The attendants might schedule a shower for a long-distance bride once she is town, days before the wedding. In this instance, a surprise is not a good idea, since the bride's schedule will be tight. Another option: If the couple will be returning to the wedding town after the honeymoon, before traveling home, it is perfectly acceptable to schedule a shower (traditional or coed) then.

What are some good ideas for a coed shower?
First, choose a theme that men as well as women are bound to enjoy — for example, an entertainment or happy-hour shower. Forget finger sandwiches and mini quiches and opt for more laid-back fare like chili or pizza. Guys and girls alike might enjoy an activity like softball or volleyball to break the ice at the top of the party. Also, don't feel like you have to schedule every minute. Think more in terms of a fun, leisurely party than a traditional shower.

Can a remarrying bride have a shower?
Yes! Today's remarrying brides are often feted with showers that aren't all that different from those for first-time brides. Since the bride and groom may already own the traditional kind of gifts given at a shower, friends may chip in for lifestyle gifts instead.

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