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Bridal Shower Host Etiquette Tips

Posted in: Wedding Planning
Bridal Shower Host Etiquette Tips

My mother-in-law is giving me a Bridal Shower. Do I have any input? How can I ensure against silly game boredom?

Of course, you don’t want the guests (and you!) to weep from sheer boredom. What to do? Bride, are you at risk of becoming everyone’s worst nightmare in the control department? Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think calm. Give yourself a pep talk, conjure up a peaceful image, and open your eyes to these tips on bridal shower etiquette.

Or, perhaps, you are the Maid of Honor (MOH)—that Jack of All Trades—who helps the bride with everything from ordering Jell-O shots at the bachelorette party to helping her learn to walk in those gorgeous wedding shoes with 4-inch heels and the gown with a train from hell. When you signed on for this honor, did you know it is customary for the MOH to throw a shower for the bride?

Bridal Shower Protocol 101:

  • Mom’s Place. If you were hoping the shower could be held at your mother’s home, it is no longer a no-no or seen as a maneuver for gifts. The hostess of the party should determine the location. If you get lucky and your younger sister wants to give you a shower, mom’s house would be a perfect venue. Another scenario to consider: If an out-of-town bridesmaid or MOH wants to host a shower, it would be impractical to expect her to plan the party in your hometown, but, in that event, Mom’s place becomes the ideal choice.
  • Should I bring a hostess gift to a friend of the family? A nice, handwritten thank you is sufficient, but a small gift (flower arrangement, lunch invitation, box of candy) shows your gratitude for hosting the shower.
  • Who pays at a restaurant? If you and a co-host are considering a luncheon and wondering who pays the tab, it falls on the hostess(es) to pay for the guests’ meals. If the restaurant idea is too pricey, holding the luncheon at your home or that of the co-host relieves some of the budget tension. Menus are easy to plan with the help of your friend Google, and having the meal catered could be an affordable compromise.
  • Second Time Around. You were Maid of Honor at your friend’s first wedding. You cried when she cried and smiled with her. For the second set of nuptials, she has asked that you forego a shower. Your duty is to listen and serve. Treat your bride to a high tea or a gourmet dessert at a fancy restaurant, a day spa, drinks and dinner—and you bear the cost of this treat.
  • Footing the Bill. Before planning the bridal shower, as MOH you should consult the other bridesmaids to see how much they can afford to spend on these events. Don’t simply assume they’ll be ready, willing, and able to open their wallets even wider after you’ve scheduled a girls’ getaway weekend at a beachside condo in Puerto Vallarta.
  • Getting to Know You. The on-the-ball MOHs will connect with the other bridesmaids in an email introduction that includes everyone’s contact information. This easy tip will allow the bridesmaids to learn who’s who, so that they’re not strangers at the bachelorette party, encourages idea sharing and helps the “ladies-in-waiting” bond prior to the big day.

Bride, you are the honoree, but a subtle mention of your wishes might be eagerly welcomed by your MOH or any other shower host. MOH, you are the “go-to” girl. Make it clear that the bridesmaids, family members, and other guests may come to you with questions, thereby saving your friend a lot of stress.

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