A Simple Etiquette Guide to Hosting Baby and Wedding Showers


Shower season will be upon us in a matter of months (or even weeks), so if you’€™re planning a special celebration for a future bride or mom-to-be, here are some suggestions for making the honouree happy, while simultaneously keeping yourself sane.

Bridal Showers:

  • Don’€™t invite anyone to the shower that is not included on the wedding guest list. The only exception to this rule is a workplace shower in which a group collects contributions and purchases a gift for the bride or groom to be on behalf of the office.
  • It used to be considered a social faux pas for the bride’€™s mother or sister to host a shower (it might look as though they were petitioning for gifts), but now it’€™s more common and widely considered acceptable.
  • The ideal timing of a shower is two to eight weeks before the wedding. Invites for the shower should be sent out four to six weeks before the date of the event.
  • Invitations should still be sent by snail mail, but it’€™s perfectly acceptable to send save-the-dates via email or a Facebook group.
  • It’€™s okay for a bride-to-be to have multiple showers, but a different set of guests should be invited to each one.
  • It’€™s okay to throw a shower for a second-time bride, although with the exception of very close friends and relatives you shouldn’€™t invite people who went to the first wedding shower.
  • As the hostess, feel free to include registry information on the invitation; the invitees will appreciate it.

Baby Showers:

  • Showers should be given four to six weeks before the baby’€™s due date. Invitations should be sent out three to four weeks before the date of the shower.
  • The host is in charge of deciding how many people are invited to a baby shower because they bear the expense of the event.
  • A shower should be an intimate affair and include close friends and family.
  • Unlike wedding shower invitations, registry information doesn’€™t have to be included in a baby shower invitation. Guests often prefer to pick out adorable clothing and beloved books when choosing a gift for a new baby.
  • It’€™s becoming more and more common to include the dad-to-be and a few of his friends on the guest list, but it definitely does change the dynamic of the day. Before you create a list of people you’€™d like to invite, determine if you’€™d like a ladies-only afternoon or more of a co-ed experience.
  • Showers can be given for second and even third babies, although they are less common. The main purpose of a shower is to help new parents acquire the items they will need for the baby. If you choose to host a shower for someone who already has a child, considering coming up with a unique theme for this one. ‘€˜Stocking the freezer’€™ and ‘€˜Building a bookcase’€™ are both popular options.

Have you hosted a baby or wedding shower recently? Do you have any etiquette tips to add?

Image of shower from Shutterstock.


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