Bridal shower etiquette for guests. A crash course!

Bridal Shower Etiquette

Bridal shower etiquette for guests. A crash course!

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, chances are you know at least one happy couple that is newly engaged. It’s only a matter of time before the bridal shower invitations start arriving in the mail, giving you the opportunity to flex your social muscles. Whether you love bridal showers or hate them, you’re probably going to be expected to attend at least a couple. Need a crash course on bridal shower etiquette for guests? Here’s a quick guide to help you get through the party.

One Bride, So Many Showers

Many brides have multiple bridal showers with different guests; for example, she may have a shower with co-workers, one with close friends and one with family members. If you’re related to the bride or you’re in the wedding party, you may find yourself with invitations to two or more showers.

If you’re attending multiple showers for the same bride, you only need to bring a gift to the first shower. However, if you don’t want to show up empty-handed, consider taking a small bouquet of flowers, a handmade gift or some baked goodies.

Wedding Shower vs. Bridal Shower

Traditionally, showers are women-only events in which the groom may show up at the end to meet the guests and give a small gift to the bride. In recent years, however, co-ed showers have become more common, especially for couples that have opted for a destination wedding or an informal City Hall ceremony.

Generally speaking, a bridal shower is still attended exclusively by women with gifts given specifically to the bride. A wedding shower may include both men and women, and gifts are typically for the couple. Unfortunately, the two terms may be used interchangeably, which can be confusing for guests. As with any party, only those who are specifically invited should attend.

Gracefully Declining an Invitation

If you find yourself with a shower invitation for a day that you are unavailable, for a bride that you don’t know, or whose wedding you weren’t even invited to, it is completely acceptable to decline. Just be sure to acknowledge the invitation and RSVP properly.

A good rule of thumb is to send your RSVP in the way that you were asked. If the invitation was sent electronically, an email declining the invitation is perfectly acceptable. If you received an invitation in the mail, send your RSVP the same way. If you know the host or the bride well, consider going the extra mile by also calling and expressing your regret.

Choosing a Gift

Nearly every couple makes a wedding registry, which is helpful for cutting down on duplicate gifts and guiding the givers in choosing something that the couple needs or wants. However, remember that registry items are merely suggestions, not obligations. Deviating from the registry to purchase a thoughtful gift selected specifically for the couple is a great way to celebrate the new marriage. If you’re looking for a truly personal gift, check out the Soundwave Art selection of metal wall art, canvas, prints and acrylic blocks. A peek at the couple’s registry can guide you in choosing a color scheme or style that will match their décor, and then the gift can be customized with the message of your choice.

By following these bridal shower etiquette guidelines, you can be sure that you’re ready for the deluge of showers that may be coming your way.

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