While the bride plays a major part in the guest list for the wedding day, the same isn’t always true for the bridal shower. If this job has fallen to you, don’t panic. With these tips, you’ll be able to build the perfect guest list and know exactly who to invite.
Who to Invite to Bridal Shower: How to Decide
When it comes to creating the guest list for a bridal shower, you’ll have some names you’ll want to add straight away. For other potential guests, it’s harder to figure out. Read on for our best guidance on who to invite to bridal showers based on our experience and bridal shower etiquette.
Check With the Host
If you’re organizing the bridal shower but someone else is paying for it, check in with them before you finalize the guest list. There’s a good chance they have a set budget or number of guests in mind, especially if the bridal shower involves activities.
This can also be a useful way to make decisions about who to invite to the bridal shower. Once you know how many people you can invite, it’s easier to narrow down your list.
If you find you want to celebrate with more people than the venue allows for, consider hosting more than one bridal shower. You can then split your invitees by category, like a separate office shower for co-workers or a tea party with friends.
Only Invite Those Invited to the Wedding
The last thing you want to do is accidentally offend someone, so double-check that your suggested invitees are all on the wedding guest list. If they’re not, inviting them to the bridal shower isn’t advised and goes against wedding etiquette.
However, it’s perfectly fine to invite wedding guests to your bridal shower if they have RSVP’d to say they can’t attend your big day. They may enjoy the opportunity to celebrate with you, especially if they wanted to be at your wedding and simply can’t make it happen.
Invite the Wedding Party
It may seem obvious, especially if the maid of honor is organizing the bridal shower, but you’ll want to include the bridal party in the celebrations. In some cases, such as co-ed showers, you’ll want to involve the whole wedding party.
The bridal or wedding party is made up of some of the bride’s most-loved people, so it’s natural that they’re first on the list for the bridal shower. You’ll likely call on the help from her bridesmaids in the lead up to the event or ask them to get involved on the day. Many will already be aware of the event, but it’s best practice to send bridal shower invitations out anyway.
Invite Close Family and Friends
After the bridal party, the easiest names to add to your guest list are close friends and family. These people should make up the majority of your guest list. If there’s no set limit on your guest list, this should also help you narrow down your plans and budget accordingly.
Always check with the happy couple before you finalize the friends and family guest list. Every family is different, so you’ll want to make sure you’re only inviting those who the couple wants to celebrate with.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Invite Others
There are only so many people you can have at a bridal shower, so don’t feel bad about not being able to invite everyone. Even if your budget was unlimited, you’ll want to keep things easy to manage and special for the guest of honor.
Most people know of bridal showers as small gatherings for the bride’s closest friends and family. Use that as a basis for building your guest list, and don’t stress about inviting others who fall outside this. Casual friends, distant relatives, and co-workers can all celebrate with the bride at the wedding or arrange their own celebration.
Consider a Coed Bridal Shower
Traditionally, bridal showers have been female-only events, but there’s no reason for them to stay that way. If you want to plan a coed bridal shower, go for it.
Coed bridal showers make a lot of sense, especially if the bride has lots of close male friends and relatives. It’s also a lovely way to involve the husband-to-be (if it’s not two brides getting married). If you decide to throw a coed bridal shower, this can make creating your guest list easier — you can now include more of the bride’s nearest and dearest.
Expand the Guest List for Shared Wedding Showers
Some couples like to throw a shared wedding shower instead of two separate events. This works really well if the couple shares many friends, or they simply want to celebrate the occasion together. It’s common for shared wedding showers to buck tradition and be coed events, and many are more informal celebrations.
Shared wedding showers, also known as couple’s showers, can be a great way to save on hosting multiple parties. When you plan the guest list, just be sure to accomodate for more guests than a single bridal shower. You want the couple of honor to be able to invite the people closest to them both.
Consider Throwing Multiple Bridal Showers
You may want to arrange more than one shower if your bride has a large circle of friends and a big family. This is also a popular option if more than one person wants to throw a bridal shower. Perhaps the mother of the bride or a team of co-workers each want to host a party. This allows the bride to celebrate with even more people while enjoying intimate gatherings.
Multiple bridal showers are also a lovely way to tailor the event to the guests and their relationship to the bride. There’s likely to be a very different atmosphere at a bridal shower thrown by close friends than one given by extended family members or co-workers.
When in Doubt, Ask the Guest of Honor
Determining who to invite to bridal showers isn’t always an easy job, especially if the bride has lots of friends and family. If you’re ever unsure of whether to send an invitation to someone or not, check in with the guest of honor.
The bride-to-be is the best person to run your list of potential guests past. If the bridal shower is a surprise, ask someone close to her for their thoughts instead — like her mom, sister, or maid of honor. This way, you’ll know you’re on the right track with who to invite to the bridal shower.
Now You Know “Who to Invite to Bridal Shower” Etiquette
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a guest list for the bridal shower that includes everyone near and dear to the bride. You now also have the confidence to throw a celebration everyone will love.
Once you’ve decided who to invite to the bridal shower, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the event itself. Planning a bridal shower can be demanding, but it’s also a fun process, especially when it comes to deciding on activities, theming, and décor.
With our tips and tricks on planning a bridal shower, you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable and heartfelt event. The main thing to remember is that the bridal shower is all about the guest of honor — as long as you keep that in mind, she’ll be sure to enjoy it.