Can You Have a Bridal Shower After the Wedding?

Or is there an expiration date for that sort of thing?

woman setting flowers at table for brunch
Photo: Annmarie Swift

If you had a very short engagement or you quietly eloped, you're going to miss out on some wedding traditions like the bridal shower. Maybe, given the circumstances, there was no time to organize one or nobody knew you two lovebirds were going to get hitched in secret. But now you're home and married and a friend asked if you were having a shower. You hadn't thought about it but now that it's come up, you're wondering: Is it okay to have one if a friend or relative offers to host? The short answer is no. You gave up the chance to be showered with towels, spatulas, and Instant Pots when you said I do. There are a couple of other reasons why it's a bad idea.

You're not single anymore.

Even though the idea of showering a single gal with presents—since she still lived with her parents, of course, and needs household items—is quaint, everyone plays along and brings gifs for her first married home. If you're already married, you really don't fit the profile anymore.

Shower guests should be invited to the wedding.

This applies to an elopement where, even if you have a few close female friends in attendance, all the other potential shower guests should have been invited to the wedding too but weren't.

It might come across as tacky.

Bridal showers are about giving the bride lots of gifts. Having a shower after the wedding may lead some people to think you're greedy.

You have other options.

If family and friends really want to buy you a gift, direct them to your registry. They can easily send a present to you and your new spouse at home. You can also throw a celebratory party in honor of the wedding, especially if you eloped. Invite loved ones over for a low-key get-together.

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