When you’re getting married, there is a lot to learn about the whole process! But taking one thing at a time is the key to smooth planning. While there is a lot to learn and do, there is a lot of fun to be had as well.
This is especially true when it comes to your wedding shower vs bridal shower parties. These two parties can get easily confused for one another, but they are not the same.
In essence, the main difference between a bridal shower and a wedding shower lies in who each party is organized for, hence different guest lists. Although both have aspects to them that make them special pre-wedding parties in their own manner, a bridal shower is meant for the bride while a wedding shower is organized for both the bride and the groom.
Why Know the Difference Between a Bridal Shower and a Wedding Shower?
Of course, the wedding is the grand event where family and friends gather to celebrate the couple. However, the wedding and bridal shower are specifically to help celebrate the bride and the big day ahead!
So when you’re planning these two events, knowing the difference between the two will ensure each one is perfectly planned!
If you’re the person planning to throw the parties, this would help you plan who gets invited to the bridal shower and the wedding shower respectively.
If you’re a friend of the bride or the groom, this can help you understand what happens at a bridal shower and a wedding shower, and get the appropriate gifts for the occasion.
Wedding Shower vs Bridal Shower
First off, it helps to know that the terms – couples shower, and coed shower – are often used interchangeably with the term wedding shower.
Wedding showers are parties held prior to the wedding day and include a guest list that is comprised of people from the groom and the bride’s side of the family and friends. The list usually also includes close friends and even colleagues from work.
These parties are usually held at venues where food is served or catered.
Guests can bring wedding gifts to this event for the couple to start their new life together. It has been common practice in recent years that these parties are where the couple’s gifts can be given rather than at the actual wedding.
This eliminates the need for an additional table at the reception and gives guests the opportunity to interact with the couple on a more relaxed level.
If you’re throwing a tea-themed shower, these tea party favors would be your go-to list to choose from!
The entire environment for these parties is a relaxed and comfortable setting that isn’t as formal as the actual wedding or sometimes even the reception.
Bridal showers, on the other hand, are a bit different. These parties are generally hosted by the maid of honor (or the person closest to you, the bride).
They can take the place of traditional bachelorette parties.
With that being said, it is important to notate the guest lists for bridal showers. The guest list should only be the bridal party and close female friends.
It is meant to be an intimate time to share amongst your closest friends before your big day. They start as parties but become an opportunity to share fond memories and truly celebrate your upcoming marriage.
Contrary to a wedding shower where household gifts are given to the bride and groom, a bridal shower is a time when the bridesmaids and close female friends shower the bride with gifts of a more personal nature.
Bridal showers typically also have fun party games, alcoholic drinks or non-alcoholic party drinks, and food. They can include party favors but usually, the party games have some sort of small prize associated with them.
The host of the party will plan it all out from the venue to the games and the refreshments. This really is relieving as it means less work for you, the bride!
If you’re having a bridal shower in place of a bachelorette party, then a bridal shower is also to celebrate your last days as an unmarried. So getting to show up without planning it is really nice.
This is also a special treat as it really gives an element of surprise to you as you won’t know what to expect! The important thing is to go and have a great time with your best friends!
Bridal Shower or Wedding Shower?
A shower is typically hosted by the bridesmaids or other close female relatives. As such, this is a question that would likely be asked – Should I throw either one or both parties?
Truth be told, showers generally aren’t popular among the grooms. They are centered around wedding gifts and gift-openings and are typically enjoyed more by the brides.
One thing to keep in mind is that a wedding shower, which is a co-ed shower, involves friends, colleagues and family members from both the groom and the bride’s side.
With that sort of guest list, a wedding shower could get rather crowded and thus less intimate.
If you prefer to spend a quieter and more intimate time with your close female friends, a ladies-only bridal shower would be the right choice.
In the event that you choose to hold, or your family insists on, a wedding shower so that everyone can join in the fun, you can still proceed with both showers. But keep the bridal shower invites to only the female friends you feel closest to.
Hopefully, before your wedding day, you get to enjoy both of these types of showers. They both are exciting and really great ways to spend shared moments outside of the wedding day with the people you’re close to!