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Bridal Shower Basics – Part 1

September 20, 2012

If someone you love is getting married, you have probably given some thought to her bridal shower. It is natural for there to be a bit of confusion about the basics of throwing a bridal shower. From who to invite to finding an appropriate bridal shower location in Orange County, the questions can be numerous.

These next two posts seek to answer many of those questions and help you get on with the art of celebrating your loved one’s impending nuptials.

Who Should Host

The answer to the question of who should host a bridal shower has changed in recent years. Traditionally, it would have been considered inappropriate for a relative of the bride to host a shower. Instead, the duty would fall to a close friend, normally one of the bridesmaids.

While some still consider that to be ideal, there are some situations in which the only people who would be able to host a shower will be a relative of the bride. While those who are strict about traditional etiquette might find this distasteful, most people will be happy to come and celebrate with the bride no matter who is hosting the party.

Who to Invite

The guest list should include female family members, close friends of the bride. Many include co-workers of the bride as well, although it is not uncommon for those who work with the bride to have a small shower at work. Female family members of the groom may also be included.

Co-Ed Showers?

Who to invite changes in the event that you host a co-ed shower. Co-ed showers are becoming increasingly popular. This is a good option because it allows the groom to be included on the festivities. In the case of a co-ed shower, both male and female family members and friends can be included on the guest list.

Whether to have a co-ed shower is really a matter of choice. It is important to buy gifts that are appropriate to be opened in front of mixed company. Stick to household items and save the lingerie for another time.


While it is not necessary, some bridal shower hostesses choose to use a theme for the party. If the bride is having a theme wedding, it is fine to use that as a bridal shower theme. Just be sure that you do not use any of the same decorations that the bride plans to use for her wedding.

Another reason for having a themed shower is to help direct the kinds of gifts received. For example, some brides prefer to have a “Kitchen Theme” or “Linens Theme”. In this case, the theme should be specified on the invitations. If you want to host a themed-bridal shower, consider the taste of the bride when making a selection.

We hope that you’ve found these first few bridal shower tips useful and that you take a look at Bridal Shower Basics – Part 2. Still to come are answers to questions about appropriate bridal shower venues, common meal questions, when to throw a shower and how many showers are considered acceptable.