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Shower - what''s customary?

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dboatsupreme

Rough_Rock
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So my wedding is in August. How long before the wedding does the bridal shower usually take place? I know I''ve heard 1-2 months before, but I''d like to have one before May (I graduate then) so all my friends can come to it too!

And who throws one? Do I host one myself?
 

kittybean

Ideal_Rock
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May 2, 2008
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4,125
Lately, showers I''ve attended have seemed to be more than 1-2 prior to the wedding, but 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding or so has been customary in the past. My own shower was on Valentine''s Day when my wedding won''t be until June because I had special family members in town only on that weekend.

Traditionally, the maid of honor, the bridesmaids, or other close friends of the bride throw the shower. It has been considered inappropriate in the past for family members to throw the shower; some people follow this rule today, while others eschew it for practical reasons. It is not appropriate for the bride to throw her own shower!
 

newsboysgrl777

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
371
I'm interested to hear opinions on this as well. For the longest time, I thought the mother of the bride throws the shower. I'm clueless about weddings, though, and was basing it on my friend's wedding of last year. (Her wedding was Aug 9 and I believe her shower was in late April or sometime in May...so that's quite a while beforehand) Well, since my mom isn't really in the picture, I figured I just wasn't getting a shower. (And this made me so sad!! Also, I work from home, so it's not even like I'd have the option of co-workers doing anything for me, etc) Then my FIs mom told me it's the MOHs job to throw the shower. Well, my MOH is pretty much a lost cause (I have so many regrets about asking her, it's not even funny), my FIs younger sister, who is one of my BMs, is going to be hosting it. (Essentially, it'll be her mom doing most of the work, but it'll be in 'her name,' so to speak ;-) )

As for WHEN to do it...my wedding is July 3 and my shower is going to be June 7. I feel that this is SO close..too close, almost..to the wedding, but FIs mom did have a point that we wouldn't have anywhere to store the gifts, really, except for in our individual apartments (which have NO storage space...LOL), so this would make less time that we'd be living with 'extra clutter.'

My question is: since our wedding is on a holiday weekend, our reception vendor suggested we send our invitations out earlier than usual, just to make sure people don't schedule something b/c of the holiday. (Also, I want to add that we sent out Save The Dates with our Christmas cards, so most people who really matter to us already know about the date) I also feel that if we're pushing the timeline forward of when to send out the wedding invites, that means we have to do the same for the shower invites. So that means I'd be sending them very close together. The thing is, though, I want to time the sending of the shower invites and the sending of the wedding invites correctly so that it's not like the wedding one will get there before the shower, or even just slightly after it. Am I worrying over nothing? Is it perfectly fine for people to get the shower invite and then maybe a few weeks later get the wedding invite? Again, I'm basing this on other people's weddings that I've been invited to where I've gotten the shower invites MONTHS before the wedding invite came.

I hope my question isn't a thread-jack; I'm sorry if it is...but I'm just pretty clueless.


I really hope you get a shower, hun. I didn't think it was all that important to me until I realized I WAS getting one and I felt so happy about it! I hadn't even realized how much I wanted one.
 

dcgator

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 15, 2008
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1,115
Hi Dboat,

I would say 1-2 months is traditionally the time to throw the shower. My case is really weird, so I am having multiple showers thrown by different sides of the family (divorced parents) and one being thrown by work folks. My wedding is June 6th and the two showers with the different sides of the family are April 18th and 19th. They are taking place in Florida and I live in DC, so I just did them the same weekend. The one from work people is being thrown the first week of May.

As to who should throw your shower, traditionally, it is the MOH. But these days, there is really a variety of people who throw it, especially when the wedding and the bride are in different states. Either way though, family members, and particularly MOB''s should not throw it. In my case, a freind of my mom''s is throwing one and a step-aunt is throwing another.

For who should be invited, it should ONLY be people who are invited to the wedding itself. There is ONE exception though (etiquette-wise). It is perfectly acceptable to have a work shower. Many times all the work folks are not invited to the shower, but they clearly know about the wedding. So, your work folk are welcome to throw you one too, even though they may not all be invited to the wedding.

I hope that helps!
 

mayachel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
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Well, the two showers I attended just recently were both hosted by the mother of the bride, and "run" by the bridesmaids. The showers were about a month before the wedding. I think when the rules were being written, they weren''t taking into account the travel issues modern brides and their friends and families face. If you want to have a shower with your friends at school, as long as you are planning on inviting them to the wedding...sounds perfectly acceptable to me.
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
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5,392
My mom and FMIL threw a shower for me in December because that's the only time we'd all be together. I'm not getting married until September, so it definitely wasn't 1-2 months before! I think if you have people scattered around and there's a good time to get together, don't worry about when it happens to be. If it's easy for everyone to come no matter when it is, then waiting until 1-2 months before is fine. In your case, I think it's perfectly fine to have it in May so that your friends can come! I think they would really appreciate that you wanted to include them. Maybe they could even throw you a friend's only shower in May, and then your mom or FMIL could throw one closer to the date if they wanted? I don't think there are really any hard and fast rules.

I have never heard of the bride hosting the party, but you can certainly have some input! Usually the MOH (or entire bridal party) or the mothers throw it. Sometimes people have two showers, one for each side of the family, of if you and your FI have small families, you can just do one shower. It's really up to you and the people who volunteer to throw it for you.

ETA: After reading other's posts I remembered that it's not exactly proper for the family to throw the shower. In my case, family threw it because they were the only ones who wanted to have it (and my MOH lives across the country from me). I think it all depends on your circumstances and what your local culture thinks about showers. I'm from the north and nobody seems to have any rules regarding them, but I gather that they are quite different in the south (for example).
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
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11,242
Date: 3/15/2009 7:45:03 PM
Author: kittybean
Lately, showers I''ve attended have seemed to be more than 1-2 prior to the wedding, but 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding or so has been customary in the past. My own shower was on Valentine''s Day when my wedding won''t be until June because I had special family members in town only on that weekend.
We did the same sort of thing... shower was the last weekend in July for an early October wedding. I think the shorter lead time makes sense for showers/weddings where most (if not all) of the attendees live in town, but for ones which family and friends are spread out across the country (as in my case), it''s just not possible to travel twice in a very short period of time (first for the shower, then for the wedding).
 

Morgie44

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
634
I am getting married in August as well, and am having two showers. One, hosted by my aunts (and mom) I think in May there is no firm date yet. The other will be August first (our wedding is the 29th) hosted by FI''s mom and maybe sisters? I am not sure if they are taking part because they are very vocal in their dislike for me. I think that a month before is a little close... I would have preferred 6 weeks or so, but summer is so busy for everyone as it is and no one even asked us for a date that would work. We were just told "your shower is August 1st I booked the room already)... I don''t want to seem ungrateful, but kind of wish we were given more input.
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
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8,614
Al of the etiquette books I read said 4-6 weeks.... My wedding was August 4, and my shower was June 16.... But that's because we had family from out of town and we wanted them to be able to go to the shower.

Usually the MOH throws the shower, but that can vary. My aunt threw mine.
 

teapot

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
165
It all depends on the host and your time. I had one a month before my wedding. In retrospect, I would have tried to have one maybe 6-8 weeks ahead, it got really hectic that last month.

ETA: my MOH hosted the party. Showers are traditionally hosted by close relatives and/or friends. If my MOH didn't host one, my sisters would have hosted one for me.
 

dboatsupreme

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
70
Thank you for all of your helpful inputs. I have a dilemma -- most of my friends and I are graduating in May and I probably won''t see them again until the wedding. Hence wanting to have a shower in April or May. My MOH and another bridesmaid are my roommates, but the other bridesmaids (my sister and my fiance''s sister) live in other towns. From your replies, it seems like it is a general etiquette that your bridesmaids or close friends throw the shower.

I am perfectly fine with my BMs not giving me a shower and just having one hosted by older ladies in my hometown... but to that kind of shower, I don''t think my younger friends would be invited.
A shower hosted by BMs or friends is the only kind of shower that my friends could come to... and there is a time limit: it has to be before May.

But because all my bridesmaids are pretty young (MOH: 20, BM1: 21, BM2:19, BM3: 16), and this is the first wedding that they are in, I don''t think they know about these traditions. Nobody has mentioned anything about the shower to me yet, and it''s making me uneasy. I want to ask if they were planning to, but it seems like such a hard thing to ask! Do you guys have any tips on how to ask such a question?
 

pocahontas

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
1,348
Date: 3/17/2009 6:03:49 PM
Author: dboatsupreme
Thank you for all of your helpful inputs. I have a dilemma -- most of my friends and I are graduating in May and I probably won''t see them again until the wedding. Hence wanting to have a shower in April or May. My MOH and another bridesmaid are my roommates, but the other bridesmaids (my sister and my fiance''s sister) live in other towns. From your replies, it seems like it is a general etiquette that your bridesmaids or close friends throw the shower.

I am perfectly fine with my BMs not giving me a shower and just having one hosted by older ladies in my hometown... but to that kind of shower, I don''t think my younger friends would be invited.
A shower hosted by BMs or friends is the only kind of shower that my friends could come to... and there is a time limit: it has to be before May.

But because all my bridesmaids are pretty young (MOH: 20, BM1: 21, BM2:19, BM3: 16), and this is the first wedding that they are in, I don''t think they know about these traditions. Nobody has mentioned anything about the shower to me yet, and it''s making me uneasy. I want to ask if they were planning to, but it seems like such a hard thing to ask! Do you guys have any tips on how to ask such a question?
Hmm, to be completely honest, I don''t think you should ask the question! Although a shower hosted in the bride''s honour is customary I don''t think any bride should expect one much less ask for one. Of course, this is just my .02. Regarding your original question, I just had my shower this past weekend and FI and I will be getting married April 23rd so that''s about 5.5 weeks. However, like Musey said, if for practical reasons it makes more sense to have your shower earlier then go ahead and do what works best for you and your guests.
 

Smurfysmiles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,938
we''re having mine 4 months before the wedding because thats when everyone will be together and fis aunts are throwing it :)
 
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