12 answers

Bridal Shower Etiquette

I am trying to plan a bridal shower for a friend. If we hold a shower at a local restaurant, is it implied/understood that everyone pays for their meal? Does the host pay for everything? Should I word it in the invitation that it's dutch? Thanks for the help, I never know how these things are supposed to work!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to ALL for the great replies. We are definitely NOT having the party at a restaurant! LOL. I have only ever been to a couple showers that was held by our church. I'm not even in the Brides Party, no one else was doing anything. From my point of view, I thought of it as - I would gladly pay for a meal and go to a party to get out of the house and have a night without kids and WITH grown ups! hee hee. But, I completely see how people would not like to pay for a gift and then buy their own meal. Thanks for helping me to see the other side of the idea!

Featured Answers

I'm afraid this is not the norm. I would definitely be caught off guard, and might not even have funds with me to pay if I had been invited to this shower. Sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I completely agree with Daisy, a bridal shower is not a "dutch treat" occassion. To answer your question, just because a shower is at a restaurant, it IS NOT understood that anyone should pay for their own meal. The host pays for the majority of the shower unless she has had someone agree to help her, that is the idea of "hosting" a bridal shower. I also agree with having the shower at home with finger sandswiches if one does not want to experience the cost of a restuarant. Please do not ask any guest to pay for any part of the shower. Remember the guest is already paying for a gift and wrapping. Later, that same guest will pay for another wedding gift and more wrapping. It is not proper etiquette to go dutch for a shower. Sorry.

7 moms found this helpful

I've planned several showers, bday parties, receptions etc. and it is just plain tacky to "invite" guest to not only bring a gift BUT pay for their own meal. If you are looking for convenience, do it at home or someones home and keep the menu simple, green salad, 2 dressing, chicken salad and a basket of crossiants OR do it at 2pm and have a spread of desserts which should be on the invitation so guest know to have lunch before they get there. If you dont have a location to host it at, try a local womens club. If you must do it at a restaurant pick the menu so you can control cost. If you need more ideas let me know, I love planning!

5 moms found this helpful

I've been in 10 weddings and the entire bridal party has always chipped in and paid for everything for each shower. The guests should not pay for anything.

I just went to a shower that was a dessert buffet. It was hosted at the Maid of Honor's house and each bridesmaid brought a dessert to put on the buffet table. It was great (and I assume cheap!). A few vases of flowers and some punch and you're good to go!

If you do something other than lunch/brunch/dinner food you will need to make sure you schedule the party for a time that someone would not expect to be served a meal. For example, the shower I mentioned was from 2-4 PM. Not 12 - 2 where people would have expected to be fed a sandwich or something. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

All the showers that I have been to at a restaurant have been buffet style and the bridal shower should pay for it. I have never been to a bridal shower where a guest is expected to pay. If you cannot pay then I would suggest having it at a home with finger sandwiches and cake. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I would think that it is implied that the host is paying unless it specifically says that they need to pay. However with that said, it really isn't a bridal shower then, more like a get together with friends. (You can also talk to a restaurant ahead and get a specilized menu that is more cost controlled.)

You are probably better off hosting it at your home or a friend's home. You can keep the food pretty simple, like croissant sandwiches, fruit salad, etc.. and the cake. Costco sells a large cake for under $20.00 and they will decorate it for the theme (in this case bridal).

I was married at 24 and my friends did not have conveniently located homes (in fact we all had small apartments) so my mom offered her house even though my friend 'hosted' the event.

If you end up going the restaurant route and everyone has to pay, be careful to not say you hosted it. You won't have. Everyone would have.

2 moms found this helpful

no no it is never understood that guests pay for their meals. if you organize a bridal shower for your friend then you have to pay for it. the guests bring gifts for the bride, that is it.
if you do it at your home or someone else's home you will also have to provide food and refreshments.
if the cost is too much for you to have it in a restaurant then you can order several appetizers (depending on the number of guests) but that is as cheap as you can go :)

2 moms found this helpful

I'm afraid that I would expect the food to be paid for if we were invited out to a restaurant for a shower (baby / bridal / etc) I would say that to save money I would have it at home.

2 moms found this helpful

I think you shouldn't have it at a restaurant unless you can pay for everyone. This is an event for the bride afterall and you wouldn't want friends of hers to not come or feel uncomfortable if it's something they couldn't afford. Maybe you could arrange something in the afternoon where you could have appetizers and drinks...

2 moms found this helpful

The only time I've ever seen this work is when it was a very informal, and last minute shower "organized" by a few ladies from work. A general e-mail was sent to everyone in the office (with the exception of the guest of honor) saying to meet at such n' such for lunch and bring a gift and chip in x-amount of money to pay for the guest of honor's lunch. In this situation everyone knew if they showed up, they were not only paying for their own lunch, but the guest of honor's lunch as well.

If this is a shower for a good friend or family member, I think it more appropriate to host this at someone's house if money is an issue, and ask certain people to bring a signature dish (potluck) for the food.

If you prefer to have the shower off-site, ettiquette would be that the person hosting the event (usually maid or matron of honor and sometimes bridesmaids too) would pay for everything.

A helpful book if you're the bridesmaid or an attendant is:


1 mom found this helpful

I'm afraid this is not the norm. I would definitely be caught off guard, and might not even have funds with me to pay if I had been invited to this shower. Sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

To "host" a party means that you are paying. It would be tacky to invite guests and expect them to pay or bring food.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

i think it really depnds on your class, upper middle and well~ to~ do would definitely pay, but middle class (99% of us) would expect dutch.

i mean we are talking like 200 plus dollars here, depending on the number of people

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.