Bridal Shower Invitations and Etiquette

What is the etiquette surrounding engagement parties?

First off, the first engagement party is traditionally thrown by the bride’s family, then the groom’s family or friends can follow suit. Engagement parties are typically a cocktail event or casual in nature since you want the happy couple to be able to mix and mingle throughout the evening with family and/or friends. The engagement announcement or invitation should reflect the type of party that will be hosted, but shouldn’t upstage the wedding invitation. The guests invited to an engagement party should also be on the guest list for the wedding, unless there is an understandable reason; ie. the couple is having a small, family only wedding.

Who is supposed to host the bridal shower?

Traditionally, it is the maid-of-honor and/or the bridesmaids who throw the bridal shower. They will also send out the shower invitations. The bridesmaids will often choose to throw the shower together, which can help save on costs if there are an abundant number of guests to be invited. Otherwise, it can be friends or coworkers who want to have a special shower. Keep in mind, that people who are invited to a shower should also be invited to the wedding since gifts are inferred to be given at a shower. Exceptions can be made if the bride is having a small wedding or if the coworkers, for example, know in advance that they won’t be invited to the wedding. Often times, your coworkers knowing they won’t be at the wedding will throw a shower just so they have and opportunity to celebrate with the bride.

Usually, family members don’t throw showers because it is not as altruistic appearing as when friends decide to host. But as times change, so can traditions and your bridal shower can be hosted by your favorite cousin all the same. If the bride and groom are visiting relatives away from their home town, a family shower would be a perfect way for you to see your aunts, uncles etc. before the wedding day. It also relieves some of the stress of catching up with everyone on your wedding day and allows you to share stories in more relaxed atmosphere.

When should a baby shower be thrown?

When is it too early and when could it be too late? Planning a baby shower is an exciting undertaking that usually results in a lot of “oooohing” and “aaaahing”, but you want to be sure that baby is on his or her way – no more, no less. It is safe to plan the baby shower anywhere between 2-4 months before the baby is due. Check with the mother to be on her availability and how she is feeling. Some pregnant mothers have better months than others. You can also plan a shower for after the baby is born, which gives everyone a chance to meet the newborn baby.

Once you have a date, the fun begins with planning the details of the shower as there are many types of baby showers that can be thrown. You can have family only, female only, couples, coworkers etc. and you can pick almost any theme. It is especially fun to derive your theme from the nursery decorations. Carry out that theme on your baby shower invitations and you’ll be giving a hint to guests what colors or themes to keep in mind while shopping for the perfect gift.


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