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Although both a wedding shower and a bridal shower is very much the same thing, a bridal shower is a more traditional term and has been used for decades amongst bridesmaids planning a party for the bride-to-be.
Traditionally only ladies are on the guest list when it comes to a bridal shower.
A wedding shower is slightly different in that the guests can include both men and women. Many couples these days opt for a wedding shower so that they can celebrate their impending wedding day together with friends and family of all genders.
Also, in same-sex marriages, there is often not an actual bride so using the words bridal shower can become quite confusing. Using the term wedding shower is much more inclusive for all types of couples as well as guests.
A wedding shower or bridal shower can be organized in any way that you would like. You can choose to have a champagne breakfast, a brunch, or even an evening out. There are no rules!
Let’s dive in to a quick comparison between a bridal shower vs a wedding shower.
The Bridal Shower Versus The Wedding Shower
If you are wondering whether you should throw a wedding shower or a bridal shower, then it is quite pertinent to know the difference between the two.
The Bridal Shower
This event normally happens close to the wedding date and normally happens about one to two months before the actual wedding.
A bridal shower is usually hosted by the bridesmaids or maids of honor and is an all-female celebration. In some cases, bridal showers are thrown by the bride’s relatives.
The Bridal Shower Guest List
Stick to these two rules when compiling a guest list for the bridal shower you are going to be hosting:
Everyone who is invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the wedding.
Everybody who has been invited to the wedding need not be invited to the bridal shower.
It is good practice to speak to the bride to be if she knows about the bridal shower and ask her who she would like to invite to her bridal shower.
If the shower is going to be a surprise, then it is up to the mother of the bride and the maid of honor to list the names of the people that they feel the bride would more than likely like to invite.
People who should attend the bridal shower must be the maid of honor, the bridal party, the mother of the bride and groom as well as close friends and family or maybe even some of the bride’s colleagues from work.
A bridal shower can consist of a small group of guests or many guests, all depending on the budget and that the bride would prefer.
During the bridal shower, the bride is quite literally “showered” with presents such as perfume, lingerie, and jewelry, and there is plenty of good food to eat and games to be played. Normally those who are not going to be able to make it to the actual wedding are not invited to the bridal shower.
The Wedding Shower
A wedding shower is a function thrown for both the bride and groom and is usually held anytime between two and eight weeks before the wedding day.
A wedding shower traditionally takes place at the host’s residence but these days a different location such as a restaurant, park, or county club is often used instead.
While this event is almost the same as a bridal shower, it is held for both the bride and the groom as well as other men and women. The guest who attend this function are most often family friends and colleagues of both the bride and the groom.
A wedding shower normally consists of breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is then followed by a few speeches.
Once the meal has been served the couple will sit and open their gifts together as a couple while the guests sit and watch.
What Gift Do I Give when Attending A Wedding Shower?
The most appropriate gifts to give for a wedding shower are items that can be shared by both the bride and the groom. Wedding shower gifts are smaller and less expensive than wedding gifts. Spending about $50 on a wedding shower gift is quite sufficient.
The perfect gift for a wedding shower should cater to both the bride’s and groom’s needs as a couple.
Some excellent gift ideas can be:
- Towels, linen, and blankets
- Glasses and coffee mugs
- Cutlery and Crockery
- Photo frames
- His and her fragrances
- His and her bathrobes
- Wine racks
- Recipe books
Why Do Couples Have Bridal or Wedding Shower?
Let face it, a bridal or wedding shower is all about gifts! Family and friends all come together to celebrate the upcoming wedding and to shower the bride and groom to be with gifts.
This custom was historically driven by the guests to provide financial assistance to the bride and groom to help pay for their wedding. This often used to happen in situations where the bride’s father would refuse to give the groom his daughter’s hand in marriage and would not pay for the wedding.
Bridal and wedding showers often follow this sort of timeline:
- Arrival and welcoming of the guests
- Some light snacks and wine can be served
- Lunch or dinner is served (all depending on the time of the function).
- Speeches and toasts are made to the couple.
- After the speeches, some games are usually played
- Just after dessert has been served the bride and groom will sit together in front of their guests and open their gifts.
Games That Can Be Played At The Bridal or Wedding Shower
Just like wedding reception games, we also have bridal or wedding shower games.
There are a variety of games that can be played at a bridal or wedding shower. If you are unsure of what games to play you can even, make up some of your own. Here are some ideas.
The Sticker Game
So, this is how this game works. You begin the game by choosing a certain word. This word could be “bride”, “priest,” or “wedding” or you can choose any other words that you prefer.
As people arrive at the party you give them some stickers to attach to their outfits. Anyone who is heard saying one of the keywords will have a sticker taken away from them. Whoever has accumulated the most stickers at the end of the party wins!
Two Truths and a Lie Game
This game sees everyone introducing themselves to the group and telling the other people three things about themselves. One of these three things needs to be untrue.
The audience then writes down or shouts out which one they think is the untrue fact. This game helps people get to know each other before the wedding if they have never met before.
The Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Game
Start by diving the bridal shower group up into teams of at least two or more people, depending on the number of people attending the shower.
Thereafter, the team decides between themselves who the bride of the team is going to be. Each team is then given a roll of toilet paper and has 20 minutes to create a wedding dress on their bride with the toilet paper.
At the end of the allotted time, the bride and groom decide on their favorite wedding dress.