Who Gets Invited to the Bridal Shower? (2024)

You've picked a bridal shower date, put a deposit down on a party venue, and thoughtfully chosen a theme. Now it's time to solidify the guest list and send out invitations. Are you wondering just who to invite to the shower? In general, this is totally up to both the bride and the event's host and should be a reflection of what you both feel comfortable with. Traditionally, though, the bridal shower guest list consists of the following group:

  1. The wedding party
  2. Close family members
  3. Close friends

Of course, as is the case with most wedding-related events, there's some nuance to consider here. Ahead, find our best tips for figuring out who should be invited to a bridal shower and the associated guest list etiquette you'll want to pay close attention to.

Bridal Shower Invitation and Guest List Etiquette

Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the event's host to make the guest list, but most brides-to-be will want to weigh in on who is and isn't invited to her bridal shower. It's best to have a rough idea of how many guests the bride will want at her shower before choosing a venue; once you have both a venue locked down and her ideal guest list, you can get to work. When that time comes, the following etiquette points will come in handy.

Don't Invite Anyone to the Bridal Shower If They're Not Also Invited to the Wedding

This may seem obvious, but inviting people to the bridal shower if they are not invited to the wedding is inappropriate. It will likely offend them, and it looks very much so like you're pandering for gifts. The only exception is an office shower, where coworkers want to impart good wishes to the betrothed, but that would be hosted by an entirely different group of people.

Keep It Intimate

When it comes to inviting friends, it may be hard to narrow down your list, but the shower really is for your nearest and dearest. Of course, invite your wedding party and close family and friends. Do not feel obligated to invite significant others or friends of your relatives unless you truly have a close relationship with them. A shower should be a healthy mix of family and friends who know you best. After all, how else will they be able to win all those fun shower games?

The Host Ultimately Decides the Number of Guests

It's up to the host to decide how many guests they feel comfortable having in attendance. The host and the bride should sit down to discuss the number of guests they feel comfortable having, both based on size constraints and the overall budget. If the betrothed's list exceeds that number, consider having more than one shower (perhaps one for friends and one for family), but the host should not be asked to go over the guest count.

The Ultimate Guide to Bridal Showers

It's Fine to Have Multiple Bridal Showers

Sometimes, more than one person wants to throw you a shower—and generally speaking, that's totally okay. Just be sure to make each guest list unique based on the hosts. For a shower hosted by bridesmaids, the guest list can include your friends, while the shower hosted by relatives can include extended family and your parents‘ close friends. If your in-laws are hosting a shower, tip the balance toward their side and keep your list to immediate family.

How to Build Your Bridal Shower Guest List

By the time the bridal shower is being organized, the couple should also be deep in the wedding planning process, so it's best to cross-reference with the ceremony and reception guest list. Find time to connect with the bride-to-be and discuss who is and is not going to be invited to the wedding. From there, you can begin crafting the bridal shower guest list.

Once you nail down the ideal list of who you'd like to invite—including a small buffer for guests who won't be able to attend—it's time to gather addresses. Work with the bride-to-be and family members on both sides to to get mailing information for everyone who needs to receive an invitation.

The 34 Best Bridal Shower Gifts for the Bride Who Has It All

Who Gets Invited to the Bridal Shower? (2024)
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