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Who's Responsible for Throwing the Bridal Shower?

And how to ask someone to do it!

Contributing Writer
boho chic bachelorette party host
Photography by: Alissa Noelle Photography

Most brides have visions of sauté pans and 500-thread-count sheets dancing in their heads. And who can blame them? It's an awesome feeling to have the women (and sometimes men) you love the most come together in one place weeks or months before the wedding and shower you with shiny gift after shiny gift—some of which you picked out yourself. But pulling together a seamless bridal shower takes planning and foresight. We explain what's involved and what to do when no one steps up as host.

 

The Etiquette of Bridal Showers

 

Who hosts?

The maid of honor traditionally takes on the role of chief planner. But she isn't a one-woman shower machine: She relies on the bridesmaids to help her with planning logistics. On the day-of, the girls run the show, making sure everything goes smoothly and guests are taken care of. The MOH isn't the only option, however. Anyone who's close to the bride, including her mother or sisters, can host.

 

It used to be that immediate family members were never named as official hosts. Since a shower is all about asking people to bring gifts, it was thought to be tacky if a bride's family were essentially bidding for presents. But if they were secretly hosting, meaning they did the planning and the paying, their identities weren't revealed and the bridal party was usually called upon to fake being the hosts. Now, though, it's fine for Mom or a sister to plan and host the event.

 

How can you ask someone to host?

So what does a bride do when no one has offered to host a shower? Even though you know no one is obligated to give you one, you're disappointed (and it may especially hurt if you've thrown showers for other people). First, consider that there may be a surprise shower in the wings. But if you're sure that's not the case and, as time goes on and still no word or sign, you've got to be brave and ask your MOH to throw you one. If she's hesitant because it's a money issue and the bridesmaids are strapped for cash, ask your mom or mother-in-law if they are willing to host a shower for you. (You may have to explain the modern etiquette of mom-as-host to them.)

 

If someone agrees, don't expect a big blowout of a party. Actually, why don't you suggest a low-key, informal affair in someone's backyard? They don't even have to serve a meal—it could be a ladies' tea theme with cupcakes and cookies and a variety of hot and cold teas. The whole point of a shower is (besides the gifts) some pre-wedding girl bonding—and you can do that over a simple tray of vanilla cupcakes just fine.

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About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 

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