Wedding Showers: What Are They And What To Expect

Wedding showers are celebrations thrown for the couple. Traditionally, brides are given the bridal shower, but nowadays, couples can be simultaneously celebrated with a wedding shower. 

Continue reading below to learn more about these parties and the etiquette expected from guests. We’ve also given ideas for hosting a wedding shower below, including the budget and which relatives and friends the host should send invitations to. 

wedding showers

 

A Comprehensive Guide To Wedding Showers: What To Expect

 

What is a wedding shower?

A wedding shower is a pre-wedding celebration thrown by the couple’s relatives or friends for them. It’s similar to a bridal shower, but instead of the bride being the only guest of honor, the expecting bride and groom are both celebrated. 

Because the couple is both honored, the wedding shower is more party-centric, and the guests will be a mix of their male and female family and friends. This event is also expected to be less structured and more centered on mingling, giving gifts, and drinking cocktails. 

 

What do you do at a wedding shower?

There are no specific rules on what activities should be done at wedding showers. It’s up to the event host and what they think the couple will love doing. 

Like most parties, you can play games with everyone, eat something delicious, or gift the couple items they can use once they enter married life. After all, it’s tradition for any shower to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts and love. 

 

What is the purpose of a wedding shower?

The purpose of the wedding shower is to show the couple support for their upcoming wedding. Family and friends typically also give gifts to the expecting bride and groom. 

These gifts are useful items they can use in their home. However, the host can also arrange a simple brunch for the wedding shower at a restaurant, so everyone can relax and catch up before the big day. 

 

Who is supposed to pay for the wedding shower?

The people hosting the wedding shower will pay for the party. This is why if you’re the wedding shower’s host, be practical when planning the activities and place for the event, especially if your budget is limited. 

You can also consider the number of guests attending, what food to serve, and the party’s theme as they affect the expenses for the wedding shower. We have also written about who pays for a wedding shower for a more comprehensive discussion on etiquette. 

 

Who is responsible for hosting the wedding shower?

The bride and groom’s bridal party and bro-dal party can work together to host and plan the wedding shower. The couple’s family might also plan their wedding shower as a gift. 

If it’s just one person, they can be approached by others who may want to throw the wedding shower for the bride and groom. For example, the bride’s mother and maid of honor might work together for the couple’s wedding shower. 

 

When is a wedding shower typically held?

The wedding shower can be held a few weeks before the wedding, usually three weeks before the big day. The host can always ask the couple for a convenient schedule, but having the party close to the wedding is recommended. 

Since showers are gift-centric parties, the couple can also make a registry to give guests gift ideas. Therefore, having the wedding shower close to the wedding will give the expecting bride and groom time to think about the items they’ll put on the registry. 

 

Where is the best place to have a wedding shower?

The budget for the party should help the host decide on the venue of the wedding shower. The type of event should also help you know what place to book. 

For example, a brunch wedding shower will be convenient at a restaurant so the guests can enjoy good food without the host needing to find a separate caterer. It can also be at the host’s residence, especially if the location is close to the people attending the event. 

 

How many people usually attend wedding showers?

A wedding shower can have anywhere from 20 to 50 guests. Compared to a bridal shower, both the bride and groom are honored, so the number of people attending this party will also be plenty. 

It’s also worth noting that the budget and venue size of the event should help the host decide on who to invite and how big the guest list should be. And speaking of wedding shower guests, don’t forget to prepare their thank you cards, not just invitations. 

Here’s what to write in a wedding shower thank you card

 

Who is invited to the wedding shower?

The host can run the guest list with the couple to know who to invite from their wedding guests. They’re typically the closest relatives and friends, so the bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, best man, and the immediate family of the bride and groom are expected to attend. 

Another etiquette to remember is those invited to wedding showers should also be invited to the actual wedding. However, not all wedding guests should be invited to the wedding shower. 

 

How much does it cost to throw a wedding shower?

The party theme, place, number of guests, and everything needed, like food and decorations, will influence the cost of throwing a wedding shower. You can expect to spend about $10 per guest, but it’s also possible to host a wedding shower without going over $500. 

For example, a tea party or a cocktail-style event will lower food expenses instead of a sit-down meal. The host can also do the wedding shower at her place and lessen the activists needing a budget for props and gifts. 

 

What is the average length of a wedding shower?

A wedding shower can be around two hours, but it can be longer depending on the activities and theme of the party. What time is the wedding shower?

It can be in the morning around 10 am or after lunch at 3 pm. Remember that the time of the event also dictates what everyone might expect, especially with food. 

So if you want to cut costs, do the wedding shower after lunch or breakfast so you can serve finger food and appetizers. You can also do the wedding shower early so guests won’t expect cocktails and alcoholic drinks. 

 

How do you plan a wedding shower?

Here are the steps you’ll need to host a wedding shower successfully:

  1. Plan the budget for the event
  2. Book the venue and/or vendors, like the caterer 
  3. Run the guest list to the couple
  4. Set the wedding shower a few weeks before the wedding
  5. Decide on the party theme and dress code
  6. Send the invitations 
  7. Prepare a timeline for the event (e.g., what time will it be held, what activities to include, etc.,)
  8. Plan the menu for the wedding shower
  9. Decorate the place for the wedding shower

Curious about who should be responsible for the event? Here’s who plans a wedding shower.

 

What are some popular themes for wedding showers?

There is not one particular theme popular for wedding showers compared to a bridal shower with different party ideas. However, the event’s place and dress code can inspire the wedding shower’s theme. 

For example, it can be a tea party or an outdoor BBQ with the guests. It might also be a tropical-themed party if the venue is at the beach. 

Regardless, consider the budget and type of guests. There will be family and friends of the bride and groom, so the activities and theme should be inclusive. 

 

What are some popular games to play at a wedding shower?

Games are not the main focus of wedding showers; still, the co-ed party will be best enjoyed by the bride and groom’s family and friends with games like these:

  • Charades related to weddings and marriage
  • Nearlyweds Game; a variation of the Newlyweds game 
  • Guess the Movie; quotes from romantic films are matched to the movie by the guests
  • Who Said That; guests will try to match who answered what relationship-related questions of the bride and groom 
  • Trip Down Memory Lane; collect fond memories of each guest with the bride and groom, and the couple will guess who it’s from

For non-game activities, here are some ideas for the wedding shower:

  • Couple art stations where guests can decorate mugs, etc.,
  • Wedding shower bingo; cards have items expected to be given as a gift to the couple
  • Message in a Bottle; have guests write advice or sweet messages and put them inside bottles to give to the couple
  • Wedding shower photo booth; the printed pictures can also be the party’s guest favors
  • Food stations; offer interactive food stations like DIY pizza or cupcakes 

 

What should you wear to a wedding shower?

If you’re invited to a wedding shower, check the dress code on the invitation to know what to wear. These parties can be casual to semi-formal, but remember not to attend over or under-dressed.

You can also pick outfits that would be practical with the venue and weather. And, of course, only wear something eye-catching that would draw attention to you. 

Can you wear white to a wedding shower? Guests can wear white to pre-wedding parties, unlike on the actual wedding day, where it’s tradition for the bride to wear white. 

 

What is the etiquette for giving gifts at a wedding shower?

The couple might set up a wedding registry where you can pick from the items they listed. This will ensure that your gift will be useful and convenient since it will be sent to the couple directly. 

However, it’s up to the guest to buy a gift for the wedding shower and day. If you’ve already prepared a gift for the couple for their wedding, don’t feel the need to spend on a wedding shower gift, especially if your budget is limited. 

The bride and groom might also request no gifts for their wedding shower but donate to a charity that’s important to them. If unsure, check the invitation or ask the event host. 

 

What Is The Difference Between A Bridal Shower And A Wedding Shower?

A wedding shower is more inclusive, as the bride and groom are the guests of honor, compared to a bridal shower, where the bride is the only guest of honor. The guests at a wedding shower would also be close family and friends of the couple than a bridal shower that’s typically only attended by the bridal party and other chosen close relatives of the bride. 

Since wedding showers are co-ed parties, the theme and activities should be flexible for male and female guests. The host must ensure that everyone at the party can enjoy the games. 

And finally, since the wedding shower is for the couple, multiple hosts can represent the bride and groom. It can be the maid of honor and best man hosting the wedding shower compared to the bridal shower that’s typically hosted by the bridal party only. 

And to know more about this co-ed event, read what is a wedding shower.  

 

Can You Have Both A Wedding Shower And A Bridal Shower?

You can have a wedding shower and a bridal shower, but remember that there are other pre-wedding activities you must insert into your schedule. You might need more time to have multiple events, and the purpose of most people doing a wedding shower is it already celebrates the couple together. 

Still, there are big weddings where the couple might do separate parties like the bridal, bro-dal, and finally, the wedding shower. The bridal party can host the bridal shower, the bro-dal party by the best man and groomsmen, and the couple’s family can throw them a wedding shower. 

Can you host your own wedding party? While etiquette suggests other people must throw showers, the couple might want a wedding party to thank everyone for helping them prepare for the wedding. 

 

Conclusion

Was this discussion helpful? You’ve just learned everything about wedding showers that differ from bridal showers since the parties celebrate the bride and groom together, not just the bride. 

It’s hosted by any close relative or friend and can be held weeks before the wedding. There are no specific themes and games for wedding showers as they’re centered on socializing and mingling with everyone. 

Still, you can play fun co-ed games like charades or newlywed game variations. 

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