Having a bridal shower is a great excuse to gather together the key women in a bride's life for a pre-wedding celebration. If you're hosting a bridal shower for your daughter, BFF or other engaged lady in your life — or just a bride helping out with the shower itinerary — you might be wondering how much "tradition" you have to stick to with this party of yours. What do you absolutely have to have at this bridal shower?
The answer: Nothing. Nowadays, a bridal shower can truly be whatever the bride and her host want it to be. Perhaps you're keen on having a classic fête with tea and sandwiches served on silver trays, or you're more into a ruckus bottomless mimosa brunch full of good food and tons of laughs, or you want to do something active, like an afternoon of bowling or a paint night. If you're wondering what rules you can forget about, to make the shower less formal, here are six old fashioned guidelines that you can totes throw out the window.
1. Opening Gifts
One of the main events at any bridal shower is when the bride-to-be opens up her gifts. But this can be such a long process and, sometimes, even make guests feel weird, since they may not have spent as much as the person next to them. If you want to leave this classic activity off the agenda, go for it — just let guests know that the bride will open the gifts with her fiancé at home.
2. Playing Games
You (or the bride) might not want to have a bridal shower where guests play games like guessing facts about the bride and her fiancé. We get it. Opt for a fun alternative to those worn out shower games, or just skip the games all together. Just make sure you have some other activity to entertain guests — otherwise you might end up with some impromptu requests for bridal shower bingo.
3. Making It Girls Only
Gone are the days of "no boys allowed" bridal showers. If the bride isn't too thrilled at the prospect of a pre-wedding event without her future hubby, extend an invite to relatives or even your best friends that just so happen to be males.
4. It's for Wedding Guests Only
There are a slew of reasons why this rule can be thrown out the window. The bride might have some friends she wasn't able to invite to the wedding because of a small budget or venue, or she and her fiancé made a blanket rule like "no coworkers" that prevented her from inviting some of her nearest and dearest. Regardless of the reason for their lack of wedding invite, feel free to loop these folks in on the bridal shower guest list — they'll likely be thrilled to have been included, and the bride will still get a chance to celebrate her wedding with them.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.