Who to Invite to the Bridal Shower: Guest List Etiquette

By Larissa C November 27, 2023

Planning a bridal shower involves many decisions, including the crucial one: who to invite. Crafting the perfect guest list is a collaborative effort between the bride and the host, ensuring that the event is intimate, enjoyable, and in line with etiquette. Here’s your guide to mastering the bridal shower guest list.

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The Traditional Bridal Shower Guest List

Traditionally, the bridal shower guest list comprises the following groups:

The Wedding Party: These are the bridesmaids and groomsmen who are an integral part of the wedding.
Close Family Members: Immediate family members like parents, siblings, and grandparents.
Close Friends: The bride’s closest friends who have played a significant role in her life.
However, there’s room for nuance in building the list, considering the bride’s preferences and the host’s responsibilities.

Navigating Bridal Shower Invitation and Guest List Etiquette

Don’t Invite Those Not Invited to the Wedding: It’s essential to maintain consistency between the bridal shower and wedding guest lists. Asking someone to attend the shower and not the actual wedding can be seen as gift-grabby and should not be done. The exception is an office shower organized by coworkers.

Keep It Intimate: While you might have a lengthy list of friends, remember that a bridal shower is for the nearest and dearest. Focus on inviting the wedding party, close family, and friends with whom you share a deep connection. No need to invite significant others or distant acquaintances.

The Host Sets the Limit: The host, typically not the bride, decides the number of guests based on budget and venue capacity. Discussions between the bride and host should determine the acceptable guest count. If the list exceeds the limit, consider multiple showers, each with its own unique guest list.

Multiple Showers Are Fine: It’s entirely acceptable to have multiple showers hosted by different groups. Individual hosts can curate their event based on their connection with the bride. Bridesmaids can invite friends, while relatives can include extended family and parents’ close friends. Balance the guest list according to the host’s preferences.

Building the Bridal Shower Guest List

As you plan the bridal shower, consider these steps for constructing the guest list:

Coordinate with Wedding Plans: Sync your bridal shower guest list with the wedding’s guest list. Ensure that everyone invited to the bridal shower is also on the wedding guest list to maintain consistency.

Discuss with the Bride: Engage the bride in conversations about the guest list, taking into account her close friends and family. Align your choices with her preferences.

Gather Addresses: Once the guest list is finalized, collaborate with the bride and family members to collect mailing information for sending out the invitations.

image credit: Jaimee Warner/ Shutterstock

Remember, creating a thoughtful bridal shower guest list results in a more enjoyable and memorable celebration for the bride and her closest loved ones.