Don't leave these key details out of your prenuptial party's paper suite.
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Her bridal shower is arguably one of the more significant pre-wedding parties. There's a good reason for that: It's a less-formalized, more casual version of the wedding day—and the only people invited are the bride's all-time favorite women. She's obviously excited, so you want her guests to be, too. The best way to make that happen? Set the tone with a bridal shower invitation that perfectly foreshadows the event to come.
Part of crafting an invitation that feels true to the bride's style and her future celebration comes down to how you word these notes. It goes without saying that a card inviting her guests to an easy-breezy shower in her maid of honor's backyard is going to feel less formalized than a traditional party hosted in an airy banquet hall—but determining the line between the two, and choosing language (and stationery design!) that highlights the exact party style, might not be as intuitive. That's why we tapped two industry experts to help you determine exactly what to say on her bridal shower invitations—and, more importantly, how to say it.
From what you absolutely need to include (like hostess information, date, and time!), to optional add-ons like theme breakdowns, dress codes, and registry information, the following tips will help you brainstorm your way to the perfect (and perfectly-worded) bridal shower invitation. Looking for a step-by-step guide on how to make her shower stationery speak to the pre-wedding party of her dreams? Click through for our expert-approved tips for bridal shower invitation wording.
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There are countless ways to style your bridal shower invitation based on formality and theme, there are a few key items you need to hit no matter what else you do. "You have to list the specifics such as date, time, location, and address," says Lauryn Prattes of Lauryn Prattes Styling and Events. Another must-include that might not be as intuitive? "We also believe that who is hosting the event should be a must-have on the invitation as well."
Stationer Cheree Berry agrees: "Shower invites should always list the host or hosts. Give credit where credit is due! Plus, then guests know who they can reach out to with questions—after all, the bride can't be bothered, she's busy planning the wedding!"
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Looping guests in on a dress code—if there is one—is another staple, especially if your bride-to-be's celebration has a specific theme. "If attire is part of the fun of the event, you'll definitely want to include that info," says Berry. "For a yoga brunch, you might add, 'Come in your athleisure!' If you're hosting a bandana BBQ and denim is desired, say so."
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Modern brides don't always subscribe to the idea of the traditional registry—and if your bride-to-be is one of them, you'll want her invitation suite to reflect that. "The registry is becoming a little more optional to list on the invitation," says Prattes. "Some brides might not have a formal registry—or might request charity donations instead of gifts."
Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a classic gift list. If you do have one, absolutely include the details so guests know where to shop and what to buy, adds Berry. It's just as valid, she says, to have no registry (or registry-related entity, like a honeyfund) at all—just be clear if you don't want her friends to show up with presents, since most attendees will default to buying something: "If the event isn't about presents, make that clear: 'Please no gifts, we are just gathering to toast our bride!'”
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Offer Travel Advice
If the bridal shower venue is out of the way—or you're throwing the woman of the hour a destination celebration—you might want to include travel details, says Berry. "Destination showers that involve many activities or hotels and transportation should include travel advice. If your venue requires unusual detours, unfamiliar roads or parking challenges, share that, too. Google Maps doesn't always come through!"
Showering her in your immediate locale? Feel free to skip the map details. "Most guests can make their own arrangements, but if you have valet parking available, that would be nice to note," explains Prattes.
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Photography: Angela Zion
When it comes to actual bridal shower invitation wording, consider the event's style or theme before brainstorming the actual text. With that in mind an invite for a brunch or "afternoon tea shower should look and feel differently than one where you're all meeting to go horseback riding," says Berry. Throwing a traditional, formal event, however, doesn't mean the language has to fill rigid, she adds. Instead, she explains that incorporating "some flavor depending on the theme" will go a long way with your guests.
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Both Prattes and Berry recommend skipping the "regrets only" RSVP method ("While 'regrets only' is one less step for attendees, it can make the hosts feel out of touch with how many guests are actually coming to their event," adds Berry) and asking for "Yes" or "No" answers, instead.
There are also quite a few ways to receive RSVPS: by mail e-mail, or phone. Prattes prefers a mailed-in RSVP, but also think email RSVPs are acceptable—she doesn't recommend a method where guests have to call.
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Like wedding invitations, "bridal shower invites set the tone for the event and make guests excited to attend," says Berry—so you'll want to craft a dynamic note that pays homage to both the bride's personality and her party's style. Both design and wording play into this, she explains, so getting creative with the suite's many elements—like color, wording, fonts, calligraphy, envelope liners, and stamps—is worth your time. "You don't have to do them all—just going big on one can make for a memorable invite," she says.
As for what to actually say? "A more traditional event will follow a more formal format of listing the hostesses first, followed by guest of honor, date, time, venue, and address," says Prattes. "A more casual invitation may start out with 'Join us to celebrate (insert your bride's name here)!' and then go from there."