The Bridal Shower
As a rule, bridal showers should be given one to two months prior to your wedding date. Members of your bridal party and/or members of your or your fiancÚs family usually give showers. Showers may be held at a restaurant, hotel, party house, or private home.
Showers should include your bridal attendants, close friends, and family who will be attending your wedding. If there is to be more than one shower, you may want to divide the guest list so your guests are only obligated to attend one shower. If some of your guests will be attending more than one shower (specifically, members of your bridal party), let them know that one gift is sufficient.
It is proper for the hostess to include the names of your bridal registries in the shower invitations (do not include these in your wedding invitations). This is extremely important if your shower has a special theme. You may want to pick a certain room in your house and have the shower centered on it. For example: kitchen, powder room, gameroom, bedroom, etc.
If you already have a full stock of household goods, another idea would be a honeymoon shower. Your guests might purchase anything from suntan lotion to lingerie to champagne to giving money towards your honeymoon registry.
It is a tradition to save all of your ribbons from the gifts, insert them through a hole in a paper plate, and carry the ribbon bouquet down the aisle at rehearsal.
Bride and Groom Showers
Something that is becoming increasingly popular is a shower for the bride and groom together. A picnic or barbecue is always a lot of fun for everyone involved. Gifts should be something both the bride and groom can share, or the male guests may buy gifts for the groom and the female guests may buy for the bride.
Inform the guests on the invitations exactly how the gifts should be directed. Many hardware stores are offering Wedding Registries for both the bride and groom. You and your gro
om can choose anything from a lawn mower to tool sets, to power tools, to gardening equipment
Thank You Notes
Thank you notes should always be written to show your appreciation for all of the gifts, hard work, and love that goes into a shower. If the groom was involved in a shower, he should also take part in writing the thank you notes. Have your honor attendant keep a written account of every gift you receive and who it is from. Remember to update your registries after every shower.
The Bachelorette Party
Your bridal attendants may plan a bachelorette party for you. This event (often held the same night as the grooms bachelor party) can take on many different forms. The maid of honor will usually make all of the arrangements after consulting with other members of your bridal party.
You may all go out to dinner, see a show (or male dance review), go to a bar, or have a party at someones house. In any event, the party may be a formal affair or just a comfortable, casual evening.
Disposable cameras will add fun and spontaneity to the evening. You or your attendants may have them developed. If you do go out on the town, be sure to designate a safe driver for each car or hire a limousine.
You may want to take your bridal party out to lunch before the wedding, possibly when your attendants order their dresses. You may have to hold the luncheon the week of the wedding, but keep in mind you will be very busy.
Again, this can be as formal or informal as you prefer. The luncheon may be held at your home or in a hotel, restaurant, or party house.
You can also include your mother and future mother-in-law in your plans, as well as other close family members you couldnt include in the ceremony.
Be sure to check out the Luncheon Worksheet under: For Brides: My Bridal Suite