Who Should Host a Bridal Shower?

You may be wondering what the rules are for the hosting of a bridal shower. The answer is, there are no rules anymore. Anyone can host a shower these days, but here are some guidelines to think about.

Best Friends

Photo courtesy of magnusfranklin on Creative CommonsIf you are the bride’s best friend and/or maid of honor, you might feel like you should offer to throw her bridal shower. If this is within your means, it is certainly one of the expected jobs of the head bridesmaid. First, though, you’ll want to check with both the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride to see what they had in mind. Although tradition dictates it’s the maid of honor’s call and she should host (and pay for) the shower, moms may assume they are naturally involved in the planning and cost-sharing. However, with so many nontraditional families these days and family members living farther away from each other, there are no hard and fast rules. Just be sure to check what the others are doing before you plan anything. If you get the green light, have a ball! If your means will only allow you to have a small number of close friends, offer to throw a friends night out shower at a local restaurant. Alternately you can ask the other members of the bridal party to chip in on unique bridal shower favors or food so you can include everyone that you’d like to. And if you’re financially unable to shoulder the cost of the party, be honest with others. They may offer to step in and cover the whole cost.

Mother of the Bride

Image by Caitlinator on Creative CommonsTraditionally the mother of the bride does not offer to throw a shower. The idea being that it would look as though she were asking for gifts for her daughter, and that would be in poor taste. But often, she will be the only one available, or her home is the only place available to host it and that’s okay too. But where possible, a friend or someone from the bridal party should step up and offer to at least co-host and thereby split the cost. The bridal shower invitations should come from someone other than the mom. Traditional wording might say, “You’re invited to Laura’s bridal shower compliments of Suzie, her maid of honor, and held at Brenda, her mom’s house.” The mother of the groom is also exempt from having to throw the shower, although chances are she’ll want a front row seat in the planning. Depending on if there are step-moms in the picture, be sure to check in with everyone so feelings aren’t hurt.


Image by Midweekpost on FlickrHere’s where it gets a little tricky. Are co-workers of the bride expected to throw a separate shower? Yes and no. Co-workers are not required by any means to host an expensive off-site shower with the bride’s family and friends. That’s the job of the maid of honor. But, if you and a group of co-workers are very close to the bride, you might offer to throw a small bridal shower during lunch hour in the company break room. You can include everyone from your department (or those at work who are close to her). Simply purchase a sheet cake or make cookies or muffins and decorate with streamers and balloons. This will, of course, depend on the workplace atmosphere and protocol. Do as much or as little as you like. And if you feel your workplace is not the best atmosphere to host a small fete for the bride, offer to take her out for drinks or dinner with the people she’s close to at work and you can give her your gifts there. Sometimes, depending on how close you are to the bride, you will also be invited to the family’s shower. If so, you may want to keep it under your hat, as surely some folks from work will not be invited and you want to avoid hurt feelings.

More on Bridal Showers:

2 Responses to Who Should Host a Bridal Shower?

  • Linda Lynn says:

    HELP! The Brides mother just told me I am supposed to host the wedding shower (I am mother of the groom). The Bride gave me a list of 90 people to invite. I am overwhelmed. What do I do?

  • Sarah says:

    Oh goodness! That is quite a list. If you don't feel like you can accommodate all 90 guests, you could ask the bride if a friend could also throw a shower for her to cut down your list. Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to make it too, although with bridal showers the numbers are still pretty strong. It she only wants to have the one shower with 90 people, which is understandably overwhelming, maybe you can ask the mother of the bride for help. It's a big request to take on, and hopefully they understand! Good luck!! 🙂

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