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Laura Hunt

Ask the Experts


Question: My son is being married soon, the groom's parents are picking up tab for a rehearsal dinner, the brides mother and sister have recently asked the groom's parents to participate in hosting a "shower" for the bride and her girl friends...the day before the wedding. Is it appropriate for the bride's mother to be hosting a shower???
I have no qualms about the cost, but it seems to me it is inappropriate. FYI, this is an out of town wedding for both parents, and these are both adults who are being married for the first time and have arranged and are paying for their own ceremony.

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events

Traditionally, the couple’s immediate family should not be hosting the shower. It is usually held by friends of the bride and groom, friends of the parents, and members of the wedding party. However, these days many people are breaking away from tradition and it is not uncommon to have parents host a shower. Ideally the shower should be held from two weeks to two months prior to the wedding. If this shower is one day prior to the wedding, it may be best to make it a short, yet meaningful, shower such as a nice brunch.
Jubilee Lau
Certified Wedding Coordinator

We are going to have a bridal shower and we are paying for the brunch and would like the attendee's to pay for their own cocktails, how do we do that gracefully?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
I personally think that you don't have to write anything about the drinks, because one really doesn't need to drink alcohol during brunch. However, I asked Eli from "in print" and she suggested that you should add "no-host bar" on the invitation.
Good luck!

My daughter has been in several weddings as a bridesmaid and has always had to "chip in" and help financially toward the bridal shower that is being hosted by the maid of honor. Now she is being asked to be the maid of honor and is being told by the other bride's maid that she is not obligated to help.
What is traditional protocol in this situation? It is my understanding that the wedding party together gives the shower and they all "chip in" even amounts. Thanks!

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
I just talked to an event coordinator about this matter. She told me that it is the responsibility of the one who organizes the shower. If there are people invited, whom your daughter helped before, she might be able to ask for some help, too. To save money, your daughter can hold the shower at home. To invite for tea is very fashionable, and would not have to spend a lot of money. Your daughter also could invite her friends to help with preparing the sandwiches or making some cookies.
Good luck!

If a couple is planning to have their wedding out of state and have invited only immediate family to join them who do you invite to the bridal shower? Is it proper to invite people not invited to the wedding?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
Yes, in such a case it is absolutely correct to invite friends who are not invited to the wedding. I think it is actually nice to get together to celebrate the upcoming wedding of your friend.

15 year wedding renewal - shower - yes/no?
Help. I'm standing up in a wedding as one of the 2 bridesmaids. The maid of honor is the daughter - around 12 or so. She wants to throw a shower. Is this appropriate? I don't feel right about it? What do I say? She asked me to help.... The other brides maid, said that we should throw it, since the daughter could not afford it....The daughter scheduled it in a church. Thank you in advance.

Answer from Michelle Hodges
"I Do" Weddings and Events

According to Emily post and the rules of etiquette the purpose of a bridal shower is to "shower" the new bride with gifts to begin furnishing her new home.  Since your Celebration is not forming a new home then a "shower" would not be appropriate.  Guests will bring anniversary gifts to the Celebration and you can be creative and host other types of pre-celebration events.  Some ideas might be to have a girl's day out to the spa for manicures and pedicures or a luncheon.  Traditionally the shower and/or pre-celebration parties are hosted by the Maid/Matron of honor together with the bridesmaids and not a family member since the families have traditionally paid for and hosted the actual event.

Not familiar with US customs on bridal showers, weddings, etc. Do I purchase a gift for the bridal shower and the wedding separate. Do I bring the gift to the reception, wedding? What kind of wedding gift is most appropriate for the bridal shower?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
Shower gifts are separate. I would ask the other friends what they give. It is always something personal for the bride. Since you don't live in the US you could bring something special from your country. Wedding gifts are for both, bride and groom. It is easier for the couple to send or leave the gift at the bride's house or you can bring it to the wedding.

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