A bridal shower is a party for a bride-to-be, where she receives gifts from her friends and family. To have this party in style you’ll want to send out an elegant invitation card. Below you’ll find our free downloadable bridal shower invitation templates.
What is supposed to happen at a bridal shower?
Bridal showers are said to come forth out of the earlier dowry practices, when the woman’s family either couldn’t afford a dowry or didn’t want to provide one. Friends of the bride would then come together and bring gifts to compensate for the absence of the dowry.
The earliest history of this appears to be around 1860 and since then it has evolved into the tradition that is today. Since around 100 years (in the USA) a bridal shower has the same purpose i.e. that of a gift-giving event, although more recently (since the 1950s) it has become a more elaborate event for which (besides the gifts) you can have a theme and where games are played.
A bridal shower is normally hosted by close friends of the bride and traditionally that’s one or more bridesmaids. Nowadays it can also be family, although that’s still not commonplace.
The event usually takes place at the host’s home, but it can also be at another location. Sometimes you’ll see “theme”-locations, where games can be played or where you can do a fun activity.
Food can be served, but that’s certainly not always the case. You would almost always see a cake or something like. A reason for this is that a bridal shower will typically take place in the afternoon and therefore small bites / cake are more appropriate.
Guests are expected to bring a gift and the opening of the gifts is often the main part of the celebration.
What are some good gift ideas for a bridal shower?
Gifts are always a thing of personal preference. If you are invited to a bridal shower then you’ll probably be quite close to the bride and know her well enough to know what she’d appreciate.
However, here’s a list of gift categories that are typical for a bridal shower:
- clothing: a woman ALWAYS needs more clothes (or shoes) so this goes without saying;
- lingerie / nightwear: you’ll find that bridal presents typically follow a theme towards romance and this falls nicely into that category;
- gift cards: although a bit less personal, you can also have gift cards specifically for music or art to make it more personal;
- personalized items for the bride or the couple: this could be things like passport covers, stamps, his & hers cups/plates etc;
- jewelry: bracelets, earrings or necklaces would go best as a bridal shower gift and rings are less common;
- home appliances / utilities: cutlery and appliances are still quite popular, although you may want to think twice if you want your gift to imply that the bride’s going to be serving and cleaning the rest of her life!
Hope these are inspiring you enough. Otherwise you can always browse on some popular marketplaces for arts & crafts or just the big retailers. They surely have a category “bridal shower gifts” just for this purpose.
What should you spend on a bridal shower
Since a bridal shower often takes place at the host’s home (or at one of the hosts’ home), the costs will not be that huge. Therefore it’s quite common for the host(s) to pick up the tab for organizing the event as it’s merely the costs for drinks and small bites (and/or a cake).
In case you’ll hold the shower at an event location, the costs can be a bit higher, but still not more than a couple of hundred dollars.
However nowadays you’ll sometimes see occasions where the guests are expected to pick up part of the cost. This will then be indicated in the invitation, with terms as “Dutch lunch” or “Please bring X USD towards the costs of the event”.
If you are looking for a way to budget more wedding costs, then we have a list of wedding budget spreadsheets for you.
Elegant Microsoft Word Templates
Word Templates with a floral design
Downloadable Powerpoint Templates
Bridal Shower Tutorial
Another great resource for bridal shower ideas is YouTube!
There are several great videos on bridal showers that you can watch to get inspiration for hosting a bridal shower. Some of them are more like vlogs, where you can see what happened on the day or during the days of preparation. Others can be lists of ideas or even tutorials.
The best tutorial series on “how to plan a bridal shower” is by the PinProject. Below is the first video in their series and we highly recommend it.