Every season is wedding season and where there’s a wedding, there is a shower … or two or even three. Many are unaware there are many etiquette rules to follow in order not to step over the boundaries that have been established for our culture. As you read the answers to the questions, please know there is long history behind each etiquette rule. Enjoy!
Tips for bride and host(s):
1. How many showers are appropriate? One shower is great. Two showers are nice. Three showers are pushing the limit. Four showers – over the top! The bride does not have to accept every offer for a shower.
2. What if it is a second wedding, should you forgo a shower? Yes, you should forgo showers. Unless you have been left in a desperate situation and really need the shower. The purpose of a shower is to help a couple set up a home. This does not prevent the bride's friends from hosting a tea, luncheon or celebration for the couple.
3. If you are invited to a shower, should you also be invited to the wedding? The bride and hostess need to review the shower guest list together to make sure that everyone invited to the shower is also invited to the wedding, and no one is invited to the shower who has already been invited to another shower for the same bride. (Except for “office wedding showers.” If co-workers are made aware they are not invited to the wedding and insist on giving you a shower anyway. The bride does not need to feel obligated to send them an invitation to the wedding.)
4. If a guest lives too far away to attend the wedding shower, how should a shower party host handle the invitation? Send the invitation anyway.
5. Who hosts the wedding shower? The maid of honor or a close friend. Brides DO NOT plan their showers! Family typically does not host a wedding shower. (Family may host a shower if the guest list is family only.) A family normally hosts an engagement party. Gifts are not taken to an engagement party. It is not a shower - it is an introduction of the couple to family and friends.
6. What is the role of the bride at the shower? Provide names for shower guest list, show up on time, open gifts, have fun, write thank you notes, and also it is nice to give a gift to each host of the shower.
7. Registry information is never included in shower invitations. The invitation may specify a theme, such as "kitchen shower", "tool-time shower", "lingerie shower", and so on, but never the location of a registry. Guests are always free to shop where they will and purchase what they will. If a guest wants to know registry information, the guest will ask.
8. How far in advance should the invitations be mailed? One month (Save the date cards are sent as early as possible)
Tips for guests:
9. RSVP/ASAP. The moment you receive the shower invitation – respond! Do not wait until the week or day before and certainly do not bring a guest with you. (or children for that matter)
10. Is the shower gift the same as the wedding gift? If you choose to attend the shower – you must take a gift. The gift you gave at the shower very well could be the wedding gift as long it is not lingerie etc. The Wedding gift should be useable for the bride and groom. Also, refrain from taking the gift to the wedding. Send it in advance or afterwards.
Joy Weaver is a renowned etiquette expert and author of “Just Ask Joy… How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations”—a book highly endorsed by Jean and Zig Ziglar. Joy represents designer Joseph Ribkoff and is a regular guest on ABC’s Good Morning Texas. She is nationally published and has been featured on ABC’s The View, in the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Southern Living Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and The Dallas Business Journal. Protocol Enterprises/Just Ask Joy is based in Dallas and has served clients across the country since 2000. You can learn more at www.justaskjoy.com, or follow her at Socially Savvy on Facebook or Twitter.