Complete Bridal Shower Etiquette: Dos, Don'ts, and Gift Ideas

A bridal shower invitation arrives in your mailbox. Let the wedding countdown begin! What is a bridal shower? That's a great question! A bridal shower marks the beginning of the wedding festivities.

This guide is a quick stop for everything you need to know about bridal shower ideas, including bridal shower decorations and what to write in a bridal shower card.

What is a Bridal Shower and What to Expect

The purpose of a bridal shower is to honor the bride-to-be and express well wishes for her wedding and future. A bridal shower typically takes place at least four to six weeks before the wedding.

According to longstanding tradition, the bride invites female friends and family—including those she may not want to include in the bachelorette party. (Traditions change, and some brides today want to invite women and men to their bridal showers. Their wedding, their choice!)

Bridal showers are the best place to bring a gift to the bride-to-be. So, if you're wondering what to bring to a bridal shower, the most important thing is yourself, but a gift is a close second.

You can also expect that there may be games, finger foods, and other fun activities at a bridal shower. Although every bridal shower is different, a successful one always honors the bride-to-be.

Bridal Shower Etiquette Dos and Don'ts

The best way to honor the bride at her shower is to follow bridal shower etiquette. These etiquette tips will answer your questions about who throws the bridal shower, who attends a bridal shower, and what to bring to a bridal shower. 

Bridal Shower Do's

Here's what to do if you want to ensure that the bridal shower goes smoothly, at least as far as you can help it. 

  • Do: RSVP as soon as possible once you receive your invitation—or, at the very least, by the requested date.
  • Do: shop her registry to ensure your gift is one the bride actually wants/needs. 
  • Do: bring a gift—or send one if you can't make it. After all, that's the main reason for the shower. And, of course, a unique & lovely pop-up card with a heartfelt message. 
  • Do: consider the dress code & theme for the bridal shower. Bridal shower decorations often coincide with a theme; you can coordinate your dress or gift wrap. 
  • Do: honor the bride's wishes however you can, taking extra care not to embarrass her or disregard her feelings. Who throws the bridal shower? The bride typically decides, so honoring the bride also means respecting the hostess's decisions! 
Browse Cards For Her

Bridal Shower Don'ts 

And what not to do so you don't put a damper on the bride's special bridal shower day? A few things to remember:

  • Don't: invite anyone not previously invited to the shower. One of the most essential questions of bridal shower etiquette is who to invite. The short answer is the bride and party hostess determine the guest list. 
  • Don't: bring a raunchy gift, including lingerie or anything sex-related. These gifts may make the bride uncomfortable with many family members, colleagues, and friends present. (Save those gifts for the bachelorette party or lingerie shower, or give them privately.)
  • Don't: post photos on social media without the bride's permission. She should choose what to share from her special day. 

Gift Guidance: What to Bring to Bridal Shower

You can bring many meaningful & unique bridal shower gifts for the bride-to-be. The bridal registry is your best indication of what to bring to the bridal shower. Shop the registry first! 

We recommend these gifts if you still want additional bridal shower ideas:

  • A bouquet of handcrafted paper flowers (like one of these) is a sweet standalone gift or addition to something else you've chosen from the registry. A full pop-up bouquet is another beautiful bridal shower gift option. 
  • A nice bottle of wine, champagne, or liquor is a tasty addition to any other gift—and may help calm her nerves in a couple of months. 
  • Pitch in with others to choose and purchase a gift, or give a combined monetary gift. (Explain to the bride beforehand so it doesn't look like you're coming empty-handed.)

What to Write on a Bridal Shower Card

Of course, the best gifts arrive with a lovely handwritten card. If you're wondering what to write in a bridal shower card, it's your lucky day. We know ALL about writing a sweet greeting card message.

First, you want to write a congratulatory message, such as Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Then, you can share a heartfelt message, like I am so happy you found each other and know you will enjoy many beautiful years together. I can't wait until the wedding! Then, of course, the closing: Love, Sarah.

A few of our favorite cards to share these greetings inside are the floral love pop-up card, any of our artsy & romantic pop-up bouquets, or the pink rose basket pop-up card.

Attire Etiquette: Dressing for the Occasion

Finally, the most important question (even though you wouldn't say that to the bride) is, what do you wear to a bridal shower? Here are our best tips!

  • Avoid overly casual or formal attire, and look to the invitation for clues. Is there a theme or color scheme for the shower? You may find some inspiration there! 
  • A flowy dress or a jumpsuit are typically safe options—and if the event isn't very formal, you could also get away with jeans and a nice blouse. 
  • Consider photos and how you want your outfit to coordinate with others or if it will photograph well. 
  • Don't dress too showy because you don't want to outshine the bride-to-be.

From what to bring to a bridal shower to what to write in a bridal shower card, we hope this guide inspires you to be the best bridal shower guest this wedding season.

Once you've chosen the perfect outfit and gift, remember a unique & thoughtful pop-up card for that perfect finishing touch for the bride-to-be. Happy celebrating!
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