A bridal shower is a party held in the honor of the bride-to-be, weeks or months before the wedding day. Traditionally, organizing a bridal shower is the bridesmaid's responsibility. But nowadays, mothers, sisters, or close relatives of the bride do it, too. The party does not include more than 20 people and is usually an all women's affair. However, more and more people are now opting for a coed shower where both the bride and groom are present.
Let us go back in history and find out how did the concept of a bridal shower actually come into existence. Once, a wealthy, Dutch girl fell in love with a poor man whom her family did not approve of. However, rather than getting dejected, this girl decided to get married without her parent's consent. As she did not get any dowry from her parents, the people of the village came together and gave away gifts with which the bride and groom could start a new life. This incident led to the beginning of the tradition of hosting bridal showers. As it started with the idea of providing dowry to the bride, the highlight of this event is the gift giving ceremony. The etiquette to be followed by the guests as well as the host at the bridal shower is highlighted in this article.
For the Guests
Etiquette involves guidelines that one should adhere to while buying the gift, wrapping it, and even while presenting it. Though wedding gifts are usually sent to the couple's home, proper etiquette says that the gift should be taken to the bridal shower personally. If the bride has registered somewhere for the gift, the task of selecting one would actually become easy for you. On the other hand, if she has not, check whether the wedding shower invitation mentions any kind of theme. If it has, then the best thing would be to select a gift according to the theme of the party. For instance, if you have to attend a lingerie shower, shop for some good quality lingerie for the bride. However, if it is a coed bridal shower, make sure to take a gift that will be useful for both, the bride and the groom. The price of the gift should also be taken into consideration.
Once you have bought the gift, the next step is to pack it. Make sure you pack it well and wrap it as attractively as possible. You could use colorful decorative paper, ribbons, glitter, and the works. If you are not good at wrapping it, you may take the help of a professional to do it. Most stores have people who wrap gifts that are brought from their store. Once wrapped neatly, attach an elegant bow to make the gift look grand. Also, do not forget to attach a card with the gift with a small message for the bride-to-be along with your name signed at the end.
For the Host
As the bridesmaid is generally responsible for hosting the bridal shower, she ought to and should know some gift etiquette that needs to be followed during the gift opening ceremony. The gift opening ceremony should be held either after or before the food served. Before the bride-to-be opens the gifts, assign one of the guests to write down the names of the people and the gifts they have given. This is important because the bride may not remember it later when she has to write thank you notes to the guests. Another person should be assigned to collect the ribbons while the gifts are being opened. These ribbons should be used to make a ribbon bouquet which should be used as the bridal bouquet at the wedding rehearsal. Another very important thing that brides should remember is that, if by any chance the wedding is called off, they should definitely make it a point to return the gifts back to the guests.
It is important to follow this etiquette to make sure that you do not unknowingly hurt the feelings of the would-be-bride in any way.