From engagement parties to bridal showers, there are so many opportunities to celebrate a couple’s upcoming union, but none are quite as fun as the lingerie shower. It’s an intimate party involving the bride’s closest friends, sexy gifts, and lots of giggling. The goal of the party is to give the bride new, flirty pieces she’ll be excited to show off in the bedroom.
What Is a Lingerie Shower?
A lingerie shower is a party where guests shower the bride-to-be with gifts of sexy intimates and sleepwear. She can use the gifts on her wedding night, during the honeymoon, and beyond.
Although lingerie parties are arguably the most fun wedding-related pre-party a bride can have, they still require some planning in order to run smoothly and avoid any awkward moments. This is an intimate party in more ways than one, so following proper etiquette is key. We consulted with party planning expert Maggie Rester to dish out everything you need to know to plan the perfect lingerie shower.
Meet the Expert
Maggie Rester is the founder of BASH, a professional bachelorette party planning service in Austin, Texas.
Lingerie Shower Etiquette
Who Throws a Lingerie Shower?
Typically, the maid of honor will organize the lingerie shower. If not the maid of honor, it should be another close friend of the bride.
When do You Throw a Lingerie Shower?
If you want to kill two birds with one stone, it makes perfect sense to have the lingerie shower during the bachelorette party. “Bachelorette parties are the best fit for lingerie showers because they’re already known as the last hoorah or wild get-together for the bride’s closest friends,” says Rester. If it’s a separate gathering, it should be one of the last parties thrown for a bride, since the gifts she receives are meant to be used on her wedding day and after.
Who Gets Invited to a Lingerie Shower?
Keep the guest list small and only invite the bride’s closest friends. The bride will be opening up a lot of sexy unmentionables and possibly even more erotic items like sex toys, which isn’t something she'd want to do in front of her mom or grandma.
Should You Send Invitations?
“Sending out invites is great because then you can include specifics on what the bride likes and her sizes,” says Rester. “You can also give ideas on what to get her in terms of color palettes or whatever she might like in order for the bride-to-be to really get the most use out of her gifts.”
If you decide not to send invites, communicate the bride’s sizes to the group well in advance. Include bra sizes as well as panty and pajama sizes. Guessing the bride’s size might cause offense, and returning or exchanging items is not something you want to add to a bride’s to-do list.
Where Should it Take Place?
If the lingerie party isn’t during the bachelorette, it should take place in a private location, like someone’s home. You want the bride to feel comfortable opening and showing off her gifts. “I definitely recommend doing it at the Airbnb or hotel during the bachelorette party on a night where there’s some downtime,” says Rester.
Does the Bride Need a Registry?
Not necessarily, but guests should consider the bride’s preferences when choosing her gifts. If she’s fairly conservative, stick to traditional lingerie and sleepwear sets. If the bride is very particular, she can register for specific lingerie from her favorite shop.
Should the Lingerie Shower Have a Theme?
You don’t need to have a theme, but it could certainly make things more fun! Choose something that fits the bride’s personality, whether that’s a color or fabric she loves, like pink or lace, or a more general vibe, like a Parisian boudoir.
Steps to Planning a Lingerie Shower
Choose a Host
If it’s not the maid of honor, the party planner should be the Samantha of the group: someone who knows how to throw a good party, can break the ice, and make everyone in the group feel comfortable to lean into the sexy vibe of the party.
Pick a Date
Decide if it makes sense to combine the lingerie shower with the bachelorette party or if it should be a separate event. Consider the time of day as well, whether that means a boozy brunch or a classy evening affair with cocktails and finger foods.
Create a Guest List
The guest list should include the bride’s best and closest friends. Check with her before extending the invite to siblings, future in-laws, and cousins, and make sure she’s comfortable with everyone attending. You want everyone to be on the same page about the party’s theme in order to avoid any awkward moments.
Select a Venue
If you’re having the lingerie shower during a destination bachelorette weekend, just treat it like a house party. Avoid crowded restaurants or event spaces where you might receive leering looks from curious patrons and waitstaff. “I wouldn’t recommend having a lingerie shower somewhere public because the bride might be opening things like sex toys, and then you have to hold onto everything that night after going to dinner,” says Rester.
Gather the Bride’s Sizes and Preferences
The MOH or party planner should provide guests with the bride’s sizes at least a month before the shower. If the shower has a theme, let guests know if they should be buying certain items to fit that theme. If the bride doesn’t want to have a registry, get an idea of the kind of items the bride would want and communicate that to the group.
If there is a larger guest list, consider opening the shower to other gifts besides lingerie, like candles, perfume, bath and body products, and romantic accessories. The bride can only have so many sets of push-up bras and lacy lingerie.
Send invitations at least a month before the shower, making sure to include all important information like sizing, gift guides and preferences, and the theme, if any. If the event is separate from the bachelorette party, include an RSVP date as well.
Plan the Games
While some brides choose to open gifts from the bridal shower later on at home, opening gifts at a lingerie shower is half the fun. One of the most common lingerie shower games is having the bride guess which guest gave her what gift. You can also play lingerie shower bingo or have all the guests write down their best bedroom tip and include it with their gift.
Decorate the Space
Jazz up the space with a fun banner or balloon garland, and have fun with it. Go wild or keep it classy—whatever suits the bride’s personality. Make a fun, kinky playlist to play while the bride opens her gifts.
Stock the Bar and Serve Snacks
“Lingerie showers are more fun after people have been drinking a little bit because sometimes it can get awkward,” says Rester. “I recommend having some champagne, and doing a toast before and after.” If you’re going to be pouring up the drinks, don’t forget about the food. Stick to the theme, if you have one, but at the very least, serve finger foods like veggie trays, chips and dips, mini quiches, fruit trays, and other desserts.
Consider Giving Guests a Party Favor
This is by no means necessary, but it might be a nice gesture to surprise guests with a gift bag. Gift a pair of panties alongside a mini bottle of champagne and some chocolates to thank them for coming.