From figuring out the guest list to picking a theme the bride-to-be will love, here are the basic etiquette rules for planning a bridal shower.
First things first: who should host the party? According to tradition, a shower should not be thrown by the bride's immediate relatives, such as her mother, future mother-in-law, or sister, since it may leave an impression that they are asking for gifts. But this is changing and it's perfectly acceptable for a family member to host a shower these days. Quite often the maid of honor or another good friend hosts, or several people—often bridesmaids—share the responsibility.
It is common for a bride to have more than one shower; when this happens, the hosts should consult one another about guest lists to avoid duplication (though bridesmaids are typically invited, though not expected, to attend both). Showers are generally held from a couple of months to a couple of weeks before the wedding.
Regardless of who throws the shower, the host should be on hand—alongside the bride—to meet guests as they enter the party.