Eight Things Guests and Hosts Should Never Do at a Bridal Shower
Whether you're the maid of honor hosting the event or a guest on the invite list, bridal showers have their own unique set of etiquette expectations that everyone in attendance should be mindful of. The exciting pre-nuptial celebration is all about honoring the bride-to-be, and there are a few standards to meet to ensure the affair goes off without a hitch. If you want to brush up on how to be an exceptional attendee and a courteous host, we tapped the experts, who helped us compile a list of the top bridal shower etiquette mistakes to avoid.
Hosts: Don't Invite Guests That Aren't Also Invited to the Wedding
Perhaps the number one etiquette rule, says etiquette expert, Lisa Mirza Grotts—also known as The Golden Rules Gal—is to only invite people to your shower who are also on your wedding guest list. Including friends and family in the pre-nuptial celebration—who aren't also invited to be part of the big day—implies that they're only welcome when they have a gift in hand.
Hosts: Don't Forget to Mingle
Whether your guests drove five or 50 minutes to the venue, everyone in attendance should feel welcome at your bridal shower. As the host, an easy way to do so is to make your rounds when mingling, rather than sticking with a specific group. "You should be mingling with all the guests, making everyone feel comfortable and cared for," says Chanda Daniels of Chanda Daniels Planning & Design.
Hosts: Don't Let Game Time Dominate the Shower
Typically, bridal showers have a set schedule that accounts for opening presents, eating, photos, and more. When setting up the itinerary, Daniels cautions hosts against setting aside too much time for games. "Know the guests and plan accordingly," she says. "There's nothing worse than planning lots of games and your guests are ready to do something else." She also says to skip games that will embarrass the guest of honor or make mothers and grandmothers feel out of place.
Hosts: Don't Disregard Guests' Allergies
When planning the bridal shower menu, Daniels says to be mindful of guests' food allergies and serve options that everyone can enjoy. One easy way to keep track of attendees' intolerances is to ask them to share intolerances on the invitations; they can do so when they RSVP.
Guests: Don't Post on Social Media Before the Bride-to-Be
We get it: The guest of honor just arrived looking radiant as ever and your first instinct is to share her with your followers. While you absolutely can share photos from the celebration, Grotts says not to "post before your host." Since this event is all about honoring the bride, it's important to give her first dibs at uploading the first batch of photos.
Guests: Don't Deviate from the Gift Registry
While it may be tempting to pick up something thoughtful that honors your relationship with the woman of the hour, one of the overarching goals of a shower is to set a couple up for success in married life. For this reason, Daniels says guests should select presents strictly from the registry. "Honor that there was intentional time put into selecting gifts—this is not an easy task," she notes.
Guests: Don't Eschew the Dress Code
Typically, bridal shower invitations will have some sort of note on dress code or imply a theme that you can dress towards. Michelle Norwood, principal designer and planner of Michelle Norwood Events, says, "If there is a dress code, don't go rogue." Show the woman of the hour how grateful you are to be included in her special day by showing up looking your best.
Guests: Don't Bring an Uninvited Plus-One
Bridal showers—and many other nuptial celebrations, including the big day—have a set number of anticipated guests. That number dictates everything from seating arrangements to how much food and drink is served. When someone uninvited arrives, it can throw a wrench in the events' plans. According to Daniels, "Guests should never assume they can bring an additional guest without checking in with the host. It's an intimate event, which calls for an intimate guest list."
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