Bridal Shower Invitation Etiquette

There are so many issues of etiquette surrounding wedding planning it is easy to forget the etiquette surrounding a bridal or wedding shower.  Most of this etiquette involves bridal shower invitations and who should be on the guest list.  No matter who is planning the shower the bride (and groom) should be consulted about the guest list.  Here are the basic rules of bridal shower invitation etiquette.

Send invitations on time- Since the shower is usually held two weeks to two months before the wedding, the time when invitations are sent will also vary. As a general rule the invitations should be sent about three weeks prior to the wedding shower and longer for out of town guests or guests with hardships in attending.

Choose sexes- Bridal showers of the past were always women only.  The women invited to the wedding would all gather, play games and have a grand time.  Now couples showers and jack and jill showers are becoming more common.  Consult with the bride and groom before deciding as the venue may need to be different as the amount of invitees will greatly vary with this decision.

Don’t add your own guests- The bridal shower is not about how many people can be invited to get gifts for the couple.  Only people who the bride and groom have decided to invite to the wedding should be invited to any bridal or wedding showers.

Address the invitations correctly- For couples showers, the bridal shower invitations should be addressed the same way the couple addressed the wedding invitations.  For girls only bridal showers, the invites should be addressed only to the woman of the house.  Use Miss, Mrs. or the woman’s first name to address these invitations.

Choose a time of day that is convenient– for everyone and have it clearly marked on the invitation.  Be sure to also specify when the bride will be arriving and if the shower is meant to be a surprise. Most showers are in the afternoon but this can be altered if it is more convenient for the bulk of the invited guests to have it at another time.

The bride and groom will have to deal with so many stresses during planning the wedding.  The bridal shower guest list shouldn’t be one of them.  When planning a bridal shower be sure to follow the wishes of the bride and groom and remember that the party and guest list are for them, not the planner.