The Subtle Differences Between Bridal and Wedding Showers

Published: 13th July 2010
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Many people are unclear as to the differences between a bridal shower and a wedding shower. While this can be a bit confusing what with all of the functions and rehearsals going on during an engagement, the differences are subtle but clear. The biggest difference between these two particular functions is for whom the shower or party is thrown. A bridal shower is for the bride only and it is for the giving of personal gifts for the bride. A wedding shower is for the couple, both bride and groom and it is traditional to give household gifts or gifts that both bride and groom can enjoy as a couple. There is also a difference between bridal shower favors and wedding shower favors. Most websites and stores will have these two distinct favors in separate categories to minimize the confusion for you.

A bridal shower should be thrown for the bride by a bridesmaid, bridesmaids, or the maid of honor. Even friends who are not in the wedding party can throw a bridal shower. The bride's family should not throw the shower for the bride unless there is no one else to do it. If the bride does not have anyone who will or can organize a bridal shower, it is acceptable for the family to step into the role but usually only under those circumstances.

The wedding shower can be thrown by the bride's family or a coupling of the bride and grooms family or anyone else in the wedding party. It is customary when inviting guests to the wedding shower to include the couple's registry information with the invitations. The gifts should be from the registry if possible but they do not have to be. The main point of the gift is that it is for both the bride and groom. Both of these affairs can be either formal or informal and are usually the latter of these two options. The wedding shower may have men in attendance such as the groom, his father, the best man, and the groomsmen.

The bridal shower is not supposed to be a large affair. There should be no more than twenty guests with the average being around ten. This is a personal and intimate party design specifically with the bride and her closest and dearest friends. While it is all right to invite less personal acquaintances, do so only with the bride's specific consent. Remember that the bride may want to honor all of her guests with bridal shower favors so she will need to know exactly who is coming to the shower. Do not include any surprise guests or bring along dates to avoid embarrassing situations for both the bride and the guest.

The bridal shower should not be held within a month of the wedding One month is fine but any closer then that would put undo pressure on an already busy and possibly over burdened bride to be. The last few weeks before the wedding can be very harrowing for the new bride. This is especially true if she does not have anyone experienced in her corner to guide her through the process. This is a question that should come up at the bridal shower with offers of assistance from her guests who, again, should only be very close friends.

The wedding shower can be held anytime during the process but should also not be within the last few weeks. Keep in mind that the bridal shower is not just an occasion to get together and give gifts. It is a show of support for the bride by her dearest friends. This occasion is the perfect time to assess the bride's progress and offer your help.

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