The wedding season is here and naturally, it is the time when your mail is full of invitations for wedding showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bachelor parties, receptions and probably more. I find it really interesting how all these occasions are meant to celebrate the beginning of the new life of the couple together and yet all of these are so different from each other. I always used to think that the bridal shower, the bachelorette party and the wedding shower are the same thing. Well, apparently, they all have the same basic idea but the way the celebration takes place, the kind of gifts that are exchanged and all sorts of details differ. Oh, and did you know other than kitchen appliances, rain shower head and shower caddy are the new cool gift items?
So, what is a wedding shower?
A wedding shower is a celebration party held for both the bride and the groom. It is for the couple and not just the bride. More often than not, people confuse wedding shower with a bridal shower, which is meant only for the bride. So, if you have been invited to one of these or you have to plan one and are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, I’ll try my best to clarify your doubts.
Who throws the shower?
A wedding shower is thrown by the family members or friends of the wedding couple. The shower planners get together and decide the venue, guest list etc. keeping the likes and dislikes of both the bride and the groom. On the other hand, the responsibility for throwing a bridal shower is typically on the maid of honor. It may also be organized by the bride or groom’s mother or aunt.
Where is the shower held?
A wedding shower is usually help at a formal place like a restaurant or banquet. On the other hand, a bridal shower is held at a friend’s place or an entertainment venue that caters specifically to women. It may also be held at a restaurant, depending upon the bride’s liking.
At this point, I am sure that you may also be confusing a bridal shower with a bachelorette party. So, let me clear the air for that as well. A bridal shower (as well as a wedding shower) is usually a sophisticated meet and greet party, whereas, a bridal shower is planned from a fun perspective where the bride can forget all about her wedding anxiety, let down her hair and party with her closest friends.
Who is invited?
Since the wedding shower is held for the couple, it includes friends and family from both the sides. The guests include people from both sexes. In certain cases where only one person is throwing the shower, the guest list may include those near and dear to either the bride or the groom. Whereas, the guest list of a bridal shower includes only female members of the bride’s side. It may also include female members from the groom’s side.
Although, no matter what kind of shower you are putting on, always make sure that whoever you invite to the shower is also invited to the wedding.
How to plan a wedding shower?
Now that you know who to invite and what kind of venue to choose for a wedding shower, there are certain small things that you should keep in mind. These are the small details that are often overlooked; for example, messing up the invitations or skipping the ‘thank you’ notes. So, if you are planning a wedding shower, make sure your planning and invitation etiquettes are on point. Here is a checklist that would make your shower planning a bit easier:
1. Pre-invitation preparations for the shower
- Decide a date to put on the wedding shower
- Make a guest list
- Pick a theme
- Scout the possible venues
- Create the invitations
2. A month before the shower
- Send invitations
- Create a menu
- Look for decoration ideas
- Plan the list of activities
- Consider hiring a fortune teller
- A band performance
- Dance offs etc.
3. A week before the shower
- Confirm the booking at the venue
- Confirm the booking with the caterer
- Remind the guests about the invitation in case anyone has not RSVP’d yet
4. The Day of the shower
- Welcome everyone
Being the recipient of a wedding shower:
Are ‘thank you’ notes necessary?
Thank you notes are to be personally written by the bride and groom or on behalf of the couple in return for the gifts. While some people argue that thank you notes are not necessary, it is still best to send these little notes to the attending guests. It is one of the easiest ways of showing appreciation for those who took time out of their schedule and decided to be a part of the couple’s celebration.
How to write a thank you note?
Writing each and every thank you note can be a daunting task. However, there are a few things you can do to make it less overwhelming and less time consuming. Here is a step by step approach that you can use:
- Put all the gifts together in place.
- Count the gift items.
- Print out a template with a message from the couple.
- Fill the name of the receiver.
- Fill the address of the receiver.
- Post the thank you card.
It is better if the couple can sit down and write personal thank you notes after receiving the gifts, as it makes the message more heartfelt. However, if, for any reason, you do not have the liberty to give that much time to writing notes, then following the steps suggested above is the best thing you can do.
Attending the wedding shower:
What kind of gifts to buy?
If you have been invited to a wedding shower, it is best that you get a gift that can be shared by the couple and/or is useful for both. For example, you can gift household items, kitchen appliances, etc. If you have received an invitation for a bridal shower, then you can choose any female oriented gift options. It may also be anything specific to the bride’s interests.
Is it okay if I am invited to a wedding shower but do not attend?
It is completely fine if you are invited to a wedding shower but do attend it, whatever the reason may be. We are all adults, we all reasonable. However, if you are invited and cannot attend, the least you can do is RSVP the invitation with a ‘No’ or a ‘Maybe’. It can help you avoid any unnecessary cold wars and/or resentments. Whether you wish to explain the reason of you not attending or not is completely up to you. A little congratulations and explanatory note would be more polite though.
A wedding shower is a pre-wedding celebration or a get together party for the to-be couple and their friends and family. The maid of honor and the best man usually work together to arrange, invite and put the party together. It helps in making the celebrations more memorable as the couple’s near and dear ones share their fun stories and help the couple ease into the journey of togetherness and starting a family.
Many people confuse the wedding showers with bridal showers. The difference, however, is as simple as the terms- wedding (shower) is for the couple and bridal (shower) is for the bride!
Another thing that is often overlooked but is very important to remember is to take care of your invitation etiquette. So, if you are inviting someone to a wedding shower, do make sure that they are invited to the party. It is common decency. There is no reason why you should invite them to one thing and leave out from the other. It is up to the guests if they want to attend either the shower or the wedding or both, or maybe neither of the events. All you need to do is play your part as a good shower planner and host.
Lastly, if you are an attendee to the shower, then make sure that the presents you buy are valuable to both the bride and the groom. Home appliances are the best and most commonly gifted items, as they provide value to the couple’s new home. Some unusual gift ideas include wishing jar, fancy shower speaker, etc. You can also gift personalized or hand-crafted items though.
We hope this post helped you get the answers you were looking for, whether it was related to planning the shower or finding unique gift ideas like shower speaker, fancy shower chair, etc. Do share your views, planning ideas and shower present ideas in the comments section. Do you think we missed out on something? We would love to hear from you!