What Is the Purpose of a Wedding Shower?

by Adam Crowson ; Updated September 28, 2017

The wedding shower--or bridal shower--is one of the many important events preceding a wedding where a bride gathers with women in her family or women in her future husband's family as well as close friends to receive gifts. The following article explains the purpose of the wedding shower as well as who to invite, guest list etiquette and what to do after the shower.

The Purpose

The purpose of a wedding shower is to shower the bride-to-be with gifts to be used in the bride and groom's new home. It can also serve as a sign of support (from the bride's family) or a welcoming (from the groom's family).

Who Puts on the Shower

The maid of honor usually organizes the shower, although it is also common for an aunt of either the bride or groom to throw a wedding shower as well. It is also common for a bride-to-be to receive more than one shower from several groups.

Who to Invite

The general rule for who to invite to a shower is the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, grandmothers (and great-grandmothers) of both, aunts, female cousins, bridal attendants, close female friends and close female business friends.

Invitation Etiquette

It is extremely poor etiquette to invite someone to a wedding shower but leave her off the guest list for the wedding. However, if someone lives too far away to attend the bridal shower, it is not out of the question to invite her to the shower as it lets that person know you are thinking of her.

Thank Yous

The most important thing for a bride to do is to write thank you notes after receiving gifts from anyone. The bride can ask someone to help her make a list of everything she received and from whom, as well as getting the addresses of those who attended the shower and gave gifts, but it is the bride's responsibility to make sure she takes the time to thank the people who gave her gifts.

About the Author

Adam Crowson is a professional journalist with experience as a homeowner, parent and photographer. He has served as a copy editor and page designer at a daily newspaper since 2006, and previously worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper. Crowson holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication.