Spin off - Who Do You Invite to a Bridal Shower?

Updated on January 27, 2012
E.T. asks from Albuquerque, NM
14 answers

The question about whether to send a present to the bridal shower made me wonder what all of you would say to this...

Who should be invited to a bridal shower? Is it every woman invited to the wedding? Just good friends of the bride? Female relatives of both the bride and the groom?

My brother's fiance and I don't agree on this. She has no idea we don't agree - but I heard her plan and did the opposite at my wedding, so now I'm curious what other people would do!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have never heard of a shower where all of the female wedding invites were invited. It should really be only close family and close friends. It is more of an intimate gathering :)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Nah--I wouldn't invite every woman who is invited to the wedding.

Friends of the bride, female close relatives, grooms mom, sisters, etc. close co-workers about does it. Depends on the size of the family, too--you know, how "far in" to invite...

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answers from Colorado Springs on

My daughter is being married this summer. Her friends are planning some showers for her.

The only really hard and fast rule I know of is that you invite to showers *only* people who have been invited to the wedding.

My daughter's friends are trying to get congenial groups together for these parties. One shower will be primarily composed of the people my daughter has worked with over the years. Another is planned for other friends of hers, as well as some friends of mine (I'm not hosting a shower since I'm her mama - I think that would be tacky - but I'll be there). But I am putting on my part of the invitation list only people who I think would enjoy attending a shower and who would not be incommoded by having to buy another gift.

Friends of the groom could (and, I think, should) certainly be invited, but in this case the groom lives too far away, and so do his family and friends. I believe there will be a small party there, once the bride and groom are in their home.

I can certainly imagine that different people handle this in different ways, since showers are entirely optional, and sometimes they're not in fashion at all!

Not every woman (or man - there are "co-ed" showers, too) needs to be invited. Some people do not care for showers, and some would consider the expense too great. It's just a party, not a requirement.

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answers from Boston on

Really the only hard and fast rule is that you don't invite anyone to the shower who isn't also invited to the wedding. My family was far and away that largest % of our wedding guests and all of those women were invited to the shower, so at that point it was already huge affair and we basically invited all of the women who were "primary" guests and who actually knew me. I didn't want to invite someone who barely knew me or who I had never met (my husband's childhood friend's wife, for example) and then either have her feel obligated to attend and be uncomfortable or send a gift.

That said, I have never been offended by either being invited or not invited to a shower. It's gone both ways depending on my relationship (or lack thereof) to the bride. If I have been invited to a shower but didn't attend, I have sent a gift but nothing extravagant or out of our budget.



answers from Dover on

Showers give me hives. Don't get me wrong. I love to plan them and go to them, but having my own always made me antsy. I always preferred to only have close friends and close family. My mom asked me why I wasn't adding my cousins to the list and I said, "I haven't talked to them in five years and then next time they even see my name it's going to be on an invitation to bring a gift?" If I wouldn't invite you to a cookout or family birthday, I'm not going to put you on the list of people I want at my shower. Not to be rude, but because I think the opposite is even more rude.



answers from Houston on

There is no right or wrong way to plan a shower. It depends on your family situation, area you live, friends etc. It's also relative to the size and type of wedding you are having. Where I am from it is common to invite everyone woman on the guest list and have large showers. Of course if you are having a small intimate wedding, then only close relatives and friends would most likely be invited to the shower.

Planning the shower is the maid of honor and bridesmaids responsibility. They should consult with the bride to find out what she would like, not like and plan accordingly. It is bad etiquette for a brides or mother of the bride to plan the shower. Although in modern times the mothers are often involved in the planning, they just should not be the "host" of the party.

If the shower will be small, then close relatives and close friends is really all that needs to be invited. Keep in mind that all who are invited to the shower, must be invited to the wedding, but not all invited to the wedding must be invited to the shower!



answers from Washington DC on

I hate getting bridal shower invites to showers where I barely know the bride to be (i.e. my husband's friend is getting married). I would say female friends and relatives of the bride and groom. I didn't invite co workers to mine because I knew that they were throwing me a shower at work.


answers from Chicago on

My opinion is that it is for the realatives, bridal party & friends of the bride. I may also use this as an opportunity to meet with women on the groom's side that I have not met before or do not know well but would like to get to know better. I think in my case every female just about would be invited since I would have a smaller guest list, but overall I think all females playing a role in the event, who have played a role in your life/relationship that is signifigant should be there. I would also see it as an opportunity for you to invite some people that may not be able to attend the ceremony for whatever reason, like if it were a destination wedding or an exclusive blood related only event.



answers from Chicago on

In our family there are usually a couple of showers. The bridesmaids plan a bridal shower that has the brides friends from work and or school if they are in or just out of college. the mother and sister of the bride usually throws one for our side of the family and the grooms mom does the same for his side of the family (unless either of those sides is really small then it is a combined shower) I have a son getting married in april of 2013. I am planning a shower for my soon to be daughter in law. It will encompass our side of the family (about 15 women) and also my friends from church who have watched joey my son grow up. and the women from my bowling team and book club. so about 40 or so women all together. The bridesmaids are throwing a shower that will have about 20 of her friends from school / work. and the brides mother is throwing one for their side that will be about 25 women. no way to have a shower big enough for all these women. but yes all of them are invited to the wedding. the guest list is currently a little over 200 people. A bridal / wedding shower is to shower the couple with things they will need to get their lives started. Our families love showers. And yes we all bring a gift for the wedding also as a wedding and a shower are two separate events and as such get separate gifts.


answers from New York on

I would invite the women on my family, close friends of mine, and close friends of my husband (or friends of us as a couple).
I would go with my instincts to invite people I know would have a good time coming and wouldn't feel obligated too.
But this is a special moment for a women, and we all have different ideas, so i don't think is a right or wrong idea.



answers from Phoenix on

I would invite the brides close friends and close relatives of both the bride and groom. Even if they live out of state it is nice to invite them. They may send along a gift, or may not. Either way it is nice to invite them. But there is not really a "right " or "wrong" way to have a shower. What ever fits you.



answers from Chicago on

You invite whoever YOU want to invite. It's your day, not your brother's fiance's day or your in-laws day. It's YOUR day, your way. Not to sound like a bridezilla, but you want it to be who you are close with. I am getting married in August and my Mom is throwing my shower at the end of June. We will have some from my family and some from his. It will be people I know and that I want there. I'm not inviting his Aunts and cousins that I never met. Bridal showers are supposed to be fun, you don't want to be meeting people for the first time or be sitting there for 4 hours opening presents because you HAD to invite everyone. It's whoever you want there



answers from Los Angeles on

If you are giving the shower, I say you call the shots. But to make the bride happy, I would consult her on her guest list.



answers from Washington DC on

Well, people who are invited to the wedding. My friend assumed a coworker was invited and she was not and...well, the coworker never fully forgave us.

My shower was close friends and relatives on both sides. My mom couldn't make it, but my MIL and SIL were there. I wouldn't have every woman invited to the wedding (if it's a big wedding, that could be a BIG party!). Just those that are special to the bride. DO consult her! She might have different ideas. For my sister's baby shower, she gave me the guest list and we planned but did not include her. She actually thought we forgot!

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