Can I invite friends to a bridal shower who aren’t wedding guests?

Dear Gwyn,

A good friend of mine is getting married in March and I’d like to throw her a shower. I’m not in the wedding party but am one of her few local friends.  Is it still o.k. to throw a party for her, or is that something that just a family member or member of the bridal party hosts? And, since she doesn’t have a lot of friends in town, should I invite friends who aren’t invited to the wedding?

Wonderful you, going above and beyond to throw a friend a shower!  There are no limits on showers or the guests. Knowing what is in the realm of etiquette and having a first conversation with the bride will start you on your way to throwing a successful shower.

Who Throws a Bridal Shower?
There is no limit on who can throw a shower for a bride. Often if there is only one shower, it is thrown by a family member or member or the bridal party.  It is also common to have additional showers thrown by groups of friends from work, sororities or sports teams.  Before hosting your party, check in with any local family members or members of the bridal party. You may be able to help out, or determine how to make the shower you choose to host uniquely yours.

Who Are the Guests?
Shower guests aren’t a clear cut answer. The easy answer is to stick to the wedding guest list. The main exceptions is a small wedding.  If a wedding has a very limited guest list, consider including friends who aren’t able to attend.  The most important things to keep is that the guests who attend that are not attending the wedding are aware, and that they will be happy to celebrate with you and the bride.  Fortunately, this is not a decision you need to make alone.

Ask the Bride
Discuss the shower with the bride. Let her know that you would like to throw her a shower the ask a few questions to get the ball rolling:

  • Would the bride like a shower?
  • Is anyone else throwing a shower locally or otherwise?
  • Who would she like to include on the guest list?  If there are guests who are not on the wedding list, has the bride communicated this yet?

Grab the bride for a cup of coffee, kick off the shower planning, and enjoy!


7 Responses

  1. fire says:

    Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved so MUCH time :-)

  2. Christine says:

    My daughter is having a 200 person weddng. She is paying for the $50.00 a person reception. I’d like to give her a shower and invite all my girlfriends who are not invited to the wedding. Can I do this? If so, what wording should I use? Will my guests feel offended?

  3. I am having a shower for my daughter who is having a destination wedding. The at home reception will be about 8 months later due to the time of year it is. I would like to invite a few people to the shower that are not invited to the wedding but will be invited to the reception . How do I write that in their invitation. Please help ASAP!!!! I’m getting ready to send out invites…

  4. Samantha says:

    So how would I go about wording something or letting people know that they are invited to a shower but I’m keeping the wedding very small due to finances?…without being terribly rude.

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