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Women at a Wedding ShowerWedding planning is an incredibly busy time, with many tasks that must be completed. There’s attire to purchase, venues to book, vendors to vet, and decisions to be made on both large and small details. Not only that, some pre-wedding parties take place during the months leading up to the main event. If you’re tasked with hosting a wedding shower, take heart. A few planning basics and useful tips will help you pull this event together.

Hosting the Shower

Traditionally, maids of honor have thrown wedding showers for their bride friends. Shifting gender norms, couples’ showers, and same-sex weddings have changed the landscape. The Emily Post Institute explains that friends, family, or attendants can step up to the plate and take on these responsibilities. The bottom line? Anyone except for the engaged couple can host. If you’re the one in charge, consider requesting assistance from your fellow attendants or your friend’s parents. 

Managing Money Matters

According to The Knot, wedding showers are typically bankrolled by their hosts. Your fellow attendants can offer to chip in, but it’s not a good idea to ask for contributions. If your budget precludes a fancy affair, you can always go with a low-key casual event. Your guests will still enjoy themselves and you won’t have to worry about major hits to your bank account.

Timing Is Essential

Like any other social event, you need plenty of time to reserve venues, send out invitations, and choose the food and activities. A February 2018 Brides article recommends that you schedule the shower a few weeks before the big day. That generally means hosting it as early as three months before or as late as two weeks prior to the wedding. You have some leeway with this, so keep in mind that you can set it to coincide with everyone’s availability. Ultimately, your goal is to select a date that’s the most convenient for your friend.

Essential Invitation Information

Shower invitations should be sent out around four to six weeks in advance. Wedding Wire’s Anne Chertoff suggests keeping the guest list small, but make sure that those who are invited to the shower will also be invited to the wedding. Meanwhile, Brides writer Allyson Dickman offers advice on wording and content. The invitation mailing must contain a response card, RSVP instructions, directions to the venue, and registry information. To clarify, registry details should not be printed on the invitation itself. Rather, you can print this information on a separate card or direct invitees to your friend’s wedding website.

Experts are split on whether email invites are a good idea, but you should consider your guests’ preferences before settling on an option. E-invites can be convenient, but older family members may have difficulty communicating their RSVPs. You'll want to use your best judgment here, but if there are any doubts, simply err on the side of paper invites. 

How To Handle Gift Giving

Customarily, those attending a wedding shower usually bring gifts. This means that the guests of honor should complete their gift registry before the shower takes place. In her Brides article, Jaimie Mackey clarifies that they usually won’t need to create a separate registry for the party. The only exception is if you’re hosting a specially themed event such as a lingerie shower.

Your friend isn’t required to open gifts during the shower. However, DIY Network’s Lisa Frederick points out that the best time to do so is while dessert is being served or towards the end of the party. Either way, you should confirm and honor your friend’s preferences.

Throw a Party That Everyone Will Love

As an honor attendant, one of your functions is assisting your soon-to-be-married friend. Organization, efficiency, and time management are key, especially when arranging your friend’s wedding shower. With smart, basic planning and etiquette practices, you’ll host a fun and memorable party that your closest associates will enjoy.

Category: Wedding Planning

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