difference between bridal shower and bachelorette party

Bridal Shower vs Bachelorette Party (21 Questions & Answers)

Weddings are big milestones in people’s lives and that includes all the events leading up to the big day!

With quite a few different events it can be hard to know what the differences are, like what’s the difference between a bridal shower and a bachelorette party?

Each one offers the bride a completely different experience that is not only memorable but also exciting!

The events differ. The bridal shower is a special party thrown for the bride where she’s “showered” with gifts to help set up her new life with her significant other. The bachelorette party is where the bride-to-be and her closest friends celebrate her last night as a single woman.

Read on to learn more.

Bridal Shower

what is the difference between a bridal shower and a bachelorette party

1. What is a Bridal Shower and Why Do You Have It?

Bridal showers are primarily thrown to not only celebrate the bride’s upcoming marriage to the love of her life but to give her wonderful gifts that will help set forth her future adventures in marriage.

The party is meant to make the bride feel super special and important. The reasons for having the event are simple.

Family and friends gather to give the bride her spectacular moment and let her know how much they support and love her! Any possible way that the day can be made extra special for her, it really sets the event apart from others that lead up to the wedding.

2. When Do You Throw a Bridal Shower?

Finding the perfect time to throw a pre-wedding event is absolutely crucial as it helps to keep the events aligned kind of close to the wedding date.

It is proper etiquette to wedding guests to have these parties in a timely manner so they are not spending the entire year or so before the wedding going to them.

Timing is everything and for a bridal shower, it is recommended to have it around one month before the wedding and up to two months prior.

The one-month mark is the preferred time frame as it also helps the bride get really excited for her big day. Seeing all her family and friends gathered around and getting all the new home stuff really is a thrilling time!

It is important not to hold the bridal shower too close to the wedding. The month before the wedding is an extremely busy time as final preparations are underway to ensure the wedding goes smoothly, so it’s best to avoid having the shower then.

3. Who Hosts the Bridal Shower?

Hosting a bridal shower for the lucky bride doesn’t have to be a matter of debate, the answer is quite simple really.

To have a more traditional bridal shower, the maid of honor (source) and bridesmaids (source) are usually the ones who throw this event. Or, the maid of honor organizes the shower with the assistance of the bridesmaids.

To mix things up a bit and set your own rules, the mother of the bride or even the groom is more than welcome to organize a fabulous event.

In the event that the groom organizes the shower, then you’re probably looking at having a wedding shower instead of a bridal shower.

Either way, the event is sure to be a fantastic time!

4. Who Pays for the Bridal Shower?

Paying for any wedding-related party can be a lot for some, but it can be accomplished without a hassle. Once again, to stick to tradition, the one hosting the party can pay for the expenses.

However, to keep things affordable and still super special for the bride, the expenses can be split up among those involved in planning.

This method is common nowadays as in the long run it can add up to providing a bigger party if more people are chipping in! Whatever the preference is for the person throwing the party, it will work out just fine as long as the costs are shared.

5. What Happens at a Bridal Shower Party?

Considering this is easily the biggest event (for the bride) next to the actual wedding, everything should be absolutely perfect!

The event generally has a lunch or dinner served, depending on the time of day it is taking place. If it is at a venue, sometimes they offer up the food, or using a catering service is also a popular choice.

If the event is at someone’s house, it is common for guests to bring food or the host to make foods as well. Good titbits to have can range from different kinds of pasta, snacks, desserts, etc.

The maid of honor and the bridesmaids can also decide to have an enjoyable time together preparing and cooking for the shower.

After lunch or dinner is served, games are usually played that help the group socialize and even learn different things about the bride. This is because the games are generally based around the bride and her groom.

Another variation of the games can include being wedding-themed such as bingo where questions are focused on wedding things.

For example, a question could be, “What is the name of the venue for the wedding?” or “What is the old wedding saying for what the bride should have on her wedding day?” (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue).

This makes the games have a bit of variety and more fun!

After the games are played, it is usually time for the gifts to be opened. There is usually a gift table at the entrance so guests can put them there as they come into the party.

It is nice to have a chair set aside for the bride to sit in while opening her gifts. This chair can be decorated with things like lace or satin to really jazz it up for her.

During the gift opening it is recommended that someone hands her the gifts and another person takes care of setting the gifts back on the gift table once opened.

This gives the bride time to really focus on the gifts and enjoy herself instead of wondering where to set wrapping paper or gifts after she’s opened them.

Traditionally, there is a bridal shower cake that is served after the gifts are opened. The cake is something that can be matched to the wedding theme, but overall, it can be a stand-alone cake.

This helps wind down the party and bring everything to a close. It leaves the opportunity for small chatter and discussions about the gifts and the upcoming wedding.

As the guests leave, shower favors (if the host has prepared them) would be given for them to take home.

6. What to Wear to a Bridal Shower?

Depending on where the shower is held will decipher the attire.

Generally speaking, the event is dressy, but not too dressy. The bride usually picks a dress to wear to the event, but it is more casual than anything.

It is always safe to check where the event is happening to determine the right clothing to choose from.

7. Who Gets Invited to the Bridal Shower?

The very first rule to inviting anyone to a pre-wedding event is to ensure that they are also invited to the actual wedding. This will prevent social disasters.

The guests who are invited are usually a mixture of females from both the bride and groom’s side of the family including family members and friends.

Depending on the preferences of the bride, you may also only have the bride’s closest female friends and family.

8. What Gifts Do You Give at a Bridal Shower?

The gifts given at the bridal shower are always things to help the bride start her future home with her significant other. This includes things for the kitchen or can even be home decor items.

Home decor items are nice because they really can be tailored to the bride’s tastes and help her envision her new home!

A house is just a shell until it’s given some personality and the guests at the bridal shower can help aid in creating that cozy home feeling for the bride and her significant other.

Between a bridal shower and an engagement party, it’s helpful to note that you generally reserve gifts that are tailored to the wedding couple in an engagement party.

9. How Much Should a Bridal Shower Gift Cost?

It should go without saying those closer to the bride should spend more, but alas, it should still be said!

A family member from the groom’s side may not know the bride as well and shouldn’t be expected to spend an arm and a leg on a shower gift.

Overall, it should be the thought that counts for guests like this. However, those closer to the bride should really try to make sure their gifts are thoughtful while not coming off as too cheap.

The average cost of a bridal shower gift is considered to be somewhere between $50 and $100. Those who are not close to the bride should expect to spend around $25 on a gift.

This is not only reasonable but helps keep the flow of etiquette in line.

10. How Much Should a Bridal Shower Cost?

When factoring in how much a bridal shower should cost, it is best to calculate the price based on how many people are attending.

Depending on the budget, the price can really vary. This is also determined by what type of party is being thrown as well.

If it is at a venue, the price is higher while parties at someone’s house are generally lower. Simple parties are estimated to be no more than $15 a person and more extravagant events can run for up $50 a person.

Enjoy the video below to see how a bridal shower can be so much fun!

Bachelorette Party

bachelorette party vs bridal shower

11. What is a Bachelorette Party and Why Have It?

The bachelorette party, or hen party in some cultures, is the opportunity to help the bride celebrate her last days as a single woman with her closest friends.

The reason behind having it lies in the chance to send the bride off into marriage a new woman! The bachelorette party is a truly bonding moment between the bride and these people as well!

12. When Should You Have a Bachelorette Party?

In examining the time frame for when to have the party, keep the guests in mind. While there aren’t as many guests invited to this event, they are still a part of the big day.

Keeping the party pretty close to the wedding date is just a respectful thing to do. The best time to have the event is considered to be around one to four months before the wedding.

Any more than four months out is really a bit too far.

13. Who Hosts the Bachelorette Party?

Generally, the maid of honor and bridesmaids will host and organize this event. This not only means it will include those closest to her, but the maid of honor can then know the other close members to invite.

The shared experience of including the bridesmaids will make the experience all that more enjoyable to plan for the maid of honor.

14. Who Pays for the Bachelorette Party?

While old tradition states the maid of honor pays (or the person who hosts it), it is more common in today’s society to split the costs of the party among those who help the maid of honor as well.

The cost can get hefty, especially for out-of-town events. In the case of out-of-town events, it is suggested that the guests going pay for their own transport and accommodations just to help with the overall cost.

For events happening near where everyone lives, it is customary that the one hosting the party pays for it.

15. What Happens at a Bachelorette Party?

One of the greatest things about the modern age of weddings is that pre-wedding events can be completely unique and customizable to the bride’s taste.

Bachelorette parties, or even bachelor parties (for the groom) for that matter, are not what they used to be. They aren’t strip clubs or gentlemen’s clubs anymore (though they certainly can be!).

The whole purpose of the event is to get together with the bride’s closest and dearest friends to share a night of exciting adventures making memories, sharing memories and talking about the future.

The night usually starts off with a special dinner. This can be somewhere that is a new experience for the bride or even a place she absolutely loves.

The dinner is a way to get the party started by sharing a meal and conversing. From there, the night can take on any form! Going to bars to drink or even heading somewhere to create a memorable experience together is suggested.

This can include concerts or something of that nature as well. Anywhere that will really give the bride a means of letting loose and celebrating her last days as a single woman!

16. What to Wear to a Bachelorette Party?

Bachelorette parties are usually pretty relaxed, but dressing up is half the fun! There’s no reason that the girls attending cannot dress up for this event.

Formal dress wear is not recommended, but certainly the “going out clothes” are acceptable!

17. Who Gets Invited to a Bachelorette Party?

All the bride’s closest friends get invited to this event. This includes the bridesmaids and close family members if it’s applicable.

Once again, as with other pre-wedding events, people who are not invited to the wedding should not be invited. In this case, no one that is not close to the bride should be invited.

This is a pretty intimate party for the girls and the ones involved should be people the bride is absolutely comfortable around.

18. What to Bring to a Bachelorette Party?

Considering this is an adventurous type of event, packing some things is suggested. These items are meant to be prepared for anything that could happen during all the fun!

This list is also meant for events that may be out of town. Below are some of the best items to think about packing if heading out to a bachelorette party:

  • Change of clothes! This includes comfortable clothes and dressy clothes
  • Different types of shoes. You may need to switch shoes out during the night or over the course of the event
  • Pajamas for longer stays
  • Make-up for any touch-ups during the night
  • A flask, for some pre-party drinking! (Or even during!)
  • Toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc
  • Swimsuit if going somewhere beachy or poolside!
  • Towels
  • Band-aids, headache medicine, feminine products for any emergency situations

These are just some items to consider. This list can be modified in any way to suit the needs of the event.

19. What Gifts to Give at a Bachelorette Party?

The gifts given at a bachelorette party are usually whimsical in nature and very tailored towards the type of night that will occur.

They are generally given to the bride and the attendees as a group themed gift. Things included for these gifts include flask necklaces or bracelets, shirts that say “maid of honor,” “bridesmaids”, or even “bride-to-be”.

The “bride-to-be” gift is usually a pretty sash that the bride wears throughout the night and lets everyone know wherever they go that she is the star of the party!

A gift for the bride exclusively can be things like sexy lingerie for the honeymoon. This provides fun conversation for the group of girls and really makes for an interesting gift.

20. How Much is Too Much for a Bachelorette Party?

When the person who plans the party went a little overboard, it can be sensed by the others. The definition of overboard can vary based on what is considered to be extreme.

For example, it could be the activities planned that are too extreme or even a budget that was just too expensive. A party that is too lavish may come off as being a “show-off” to the others.

While the bride should get spoiled, it is important to remember there are so many other pre-wedding parties (and the wedding itself) that the bride has to attend. The expenses can be kept moderate during this party if need be.

In terms of the events that are planned to be too extreme, that can range from heavy drinking to strippers to name some.

If there’s someone in the group who isn’t a drinker or is uncomfortable with strippers (male or female ones!), it is important to consider their feelings.

The party should not be tailored to their interests obviously, but those planning the event should be considerate enough to go over what is planned with everyone involved to see that it’s a good fit!

21. How Much Does a Bachelorette Party Cost?

The cost of the party is going to vary based on the activity list and the venue.

Something in town can be upwards of around $600 while something out of town can be way pricier and is known to reach upwards of almost $2000.

While the goal is to have a great time with the bride, being budget conscious is always a good idea.

Plan the Party of a Lifetime!

Whatever the party is that is being planned, remember that memories are key!

Creating memories that will be long-lasting for the bride and everyone else is something that should be the forefront of any of these events.

Enjoy the video below for all the fun that can be had at a destination bachelorette party!

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