With all of the planning that goes into pulling off the perfect bridal shower, you may have forgotten about one of the most important parts: the guest list!
So just who do you invite to a bridal shower? And perhaps even more importantly, who doesn’t get an invitation?
To help you decide who does (and does not) make the cut, we’re breaking it down group by group and answering the most frequently asked questions when it comes to bridal shower guest list etiquette.
Who Gets a Bridal Shower Invitation?
Here are the five main groups who should receive an invitation to the bridal shower:
The Bridal Party
The maid of honor and bridesmaids make the top of the guest list, especially because they’re most likely the ones throwing the shower. If the bride is ok with having children attend her bridal shower, this group may also include the flower girl and any junior bridesmaids as well.
Next to the bridal party at the top of the guest list is the bride’s immediate female family members. This includes her mother, sisters (if they aren’t already bridesmaids), and any children of the bride and/or groom.
Close Female Relatives
After the immediate family comes the bride’s close female relatives like grandmothers, aunts, and cousins. Again, if the bride welcomes children at her bridal shower, this group may also include nieces.
The Groom’s Relatives
Next on the list is the bride’s future inlaws including the groom’s mother, sisters, grandmothers, and any close aunts and cousins. As with the bride’s family, this may also include the groom’s nieces.
Close Female Friends
The last group to round out the bridal shower guest list is close female friends of both the bride and groom. This includes friends from childhood, college, and any other friends that are in the couple’s close social circle.
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Who Does Not Get Invited to the Bridal Shower?
Barring special circumstances, these three groups do not receive a bridal shower invitation:
There’s often confusion about whether coworkers should be invited to the bridal shower, but traditionally this group does not make the guest list cut. The exception would be for coworkers with who the bride socializes outside of the job and/or those she considers close friends.
Friends of Relatives
As the bridal shower is meant to be an intimate celebration, friends of the bride’s relatives should not receive an invitation. The exception for this group would be friends that are considered family, like MOB’s best friend from childhood who the bride calls “aunt”.
Plus Ones/Non-Family Significant Others
The final group who does not require an invite to the bridal shower would be plus ones or non-family significant others. In other words, the groomsmens’ wedding dates or the bride’s brother’s girlfriend of two months
Bridal Shower Guest List Etiquette FAQS
Now that you know who and who not to invite, here are some additional frequently asked questions about the bridal shower guest list.
What is the average number of guests at a bridal shower?
The answer to this question is dependent on a variety of factors, the most relevant being the size of the wedding guest list. For example, someone hosting a 200 person wedding will have more bridal shower guests to invite than someone hosting a wedding half the size.
With that being said, our experience shows us that the average number of guests at a bridal shower is about 25, with 20-30 being the average range. Ultimately, it’s up to the bride and bridal shower host to make the final decision.
Can you invite someone to a bridal shower and not the wedding?
According to bridal shower guest list etiquette, the answer is no, under no circumstances should you invite someone to the bridal shower without also inviting them to the wedding. This is considered extremely tacky and rude.
It is only acceptable to have someone attend the bridal shower that is not attending the wedding if that guest was invited but cannot make the wedding for personal reasons.
Do you have to invite every woman to the bridal shower?
Unless you are having a small, intimate wedding, then no you do not have to (nor should you) invite every woman to the bridal shower.
Again, the bridal shower is meant to be a celebration for very close friends and family members while the wedding is the main party.
Does the groom go to the bridal shower?
Traditionally, the groom does not go to the bridal shower. The exception of course is if the couple is hosting a coed shower.
That being said, it is common for the groom to arrive at the end of the bridal shower to say hello to guests and help the bride transport her gifts home.