What's the Difference Between a Wedding Shower and a Bridal Shower?

  • Publication date: 06/03/2023
  • Updated: 06/05/2023

Hey there! Today, we’re talking about wedding showers vs bridal showers. Specifically, we're about to dive into a whirlwind of celebration specifics that'll turn you into an expert in no time. So, let's unravel the mysteries of these two pre-wedding events!


Who's in charge of the pre-wedding extravaganza? The hosts, of course! Let's delve into the differences between bridal shower hosts and wedding shower hosts, from who typically takes on the role to their unique responsibilities in creating a spectacular event.

Bridal Shower

Traditionally, a bridal shower is hosted by the bride's close friends or family members (think: maid of honor or aunts). This close-knit group of people takes the reins on planning and coordinating the event, which often includes picking a theme, sending out invitations, and organizing activities. They'll also be responsible for providing food, drinks, and decor to create the perfect atmosphere for the bride and her guests. Sometimes, multiple friends or family members might team up to share hosting duties, lightening the load and pooling their creative resources for a truly memorable event.

On the flip side, it's considered a faux pas for the bride or her immediate family to host the bridal shower. This is because it can give off the impression that they're asking for gifts, which is a big no-no in the world of wedding etiquette.

Wedding Shower

A wedding shower, being a more modern and inclusive event, can be thrown by just about anyone in the couple's life. This includes co-workers, friends of both partners or even a group of people joining forces for the ultimate love-fest. The responsibilities of a wedding shower host are similar to those of a bridal shower host but with a focus on celebrating both partners and making sure everyone feels included.

Since there's no stigma attached to immediate family members hosting a wedding shower, it's not uncommon for the couple's parents or siblings to take on this role. Just like with a bridal shower, it's a great idea to team up with others to help plan and execute the event, ensuring that no one feels overwhelmed by the process.


Photo by @thehouseontheclouds

Now let's chat about the stars of the show, the guests! After all, a party wouldn't be a party without the people. We'll explore the differences in guest lists, so you know who's likely to score an invite to these love-fueled festivities.

Bridal Shower

When it comes to bridal shower guest lists, it's usually a ladies-only affair. The purpose of a bridal shower for brides is to spend quality time with their closest pals, relatives, and female coworkers. Because bridal showers are more intimate meetings, it is essential to keep the guest list reasonable, focusing on those who are most significant to the bride. 

Remember that anyone invited to the bridal shower should also be on the wedding guest list. It's considered impolite to invite someone to a pre-wedding event without including them in the main event.

Wedding Shower

Wedding showers break tradition by being co-ed affairs, welcoming both the bride and groom's friends and family. This inclusive approach helps to create a sense of unity between the two families and friend groups, allowing everyone to get to know each other better before the big day. This clearly answers the fundamental question, "What is a wedding shower?"

It's critical, just like with a bridal shower, to ensure that everyone invited is also on the wedding's invite list. And, since wedding showers tend to be bigger occasions, it's critical to plan ahead of time to ensure there's enough room, food, and beverages for all.


Photo by @anliastar

Tick-tock, it's party o'clock! Timing is crucial when it comes to planning the perfect pre-wedding event!

Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are usually held a few months before the wedding, giving the bride plenty of time to bask in the pre-wedding glow. This helps the bride to enjoy her bridal shower without being overburdened by the impending wedding day. It also acts as a buffer in case of last-minute adjustments or emergencies, allowing the hosts and bride to adapt.

When deciding on a date for the bridal shower, it is critical to consult with the bride and her close family members. This ensures that the bride's most essential individuals may attend and that the event does not interfere with any other pre-wedding activities or appointments.

Wedding Shower

Wedding showers, on the other hand, usually take place closer to the wedding day. Because it is a joint celebration for both partners, it makes sense to plan it during the peak of wedding excitement. This scheduling also allows attendees to celebrate the couple's love story in a more relaxed, casual setting before the wedding's formality.

Just like with the bridal shower, it's important to coordinate with the couple and their families when selecting a date for the wedding shower. Ensuring that everyone can attend and that there are no scheduling conflicts will result in a more successful and enjoyable event for all.


Photo by @sonyasingha

Choosing the right location for a pre-wedding party is critical for setting the tone and creating a memorable event!

Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are typically conducted at someone's house or in a smaller, more personal setting. These intimate venues can range from a close friend's living home to a relative's lawn to a charming tea parlor. The bride's personality and interests, as well as the theme of the shower, are frequently reflected in the venue. Consider the number of attendees, the type of activities planned, and the general vibe you want to create when choosing a place.

Wedding Shower

Because wedding showers are more inclusive occasions, bigger facilities are frequently required to accommodate a larger guest list. You're more likely to find wedding showers at venues like community centers, local parks, or even restaurants with private event spaces. These locations offer more room for guests to mix and mingle while still providing a festive atmosphere for the happy couple.

When choosing a venue for a wedding shower, consider not only the size of the guest list but also the interests and preferences of both the bride and groom. Selecting a location that reflects the couple's unique style will make the event feel more personalized and memorable.


@macyryanphoto .jpg
Photo by @macyryanphoto

Who doesn't love presents? In this section, we'll discuss the types of gifts typically given at wedding parties vs bridal parties, ensuring you know what to expect (and what to bring) for each celebration.

Bridal Shower

Bridal shower gifts are typically centered around the bride, with an emphasis on items to help her set up her new home or prepare for married life. You'll find that these gifts often include kitchen gadgets, linens, or even lingerie. Guests are encouraged to choose gifts that reflect the bride's personal taste, making each present a thoughtful and meaningful contribution to her future life as a newlywed.

Wedding Shower

Wedding shower gifts, on the other hand, cater to both partners and their shared life together. You'll see a wider variety of gift ideas at a wedding shower, ranging from household items like appliances and furniture to couples’ experiences, such as cooking classes or weekend getaways. The focus here is on celebrating the couple as a unit, so gifts that both partners can enjoy together are particularly appreciated.


Photo by @lukejohnphotography

Let the games begin! A good party has plenty of fun-filled activities to keep guests entertained!

Bridal Shower

So, what happens at a bridal shower? The party often features more traditional, bride-centric games and activities that are designed to entertain and engage the guests. Some popular activities include toilet paper wedding dress contests, bridal bingo, and memory games involving the bride's personal history. These activities help to break the ice among guests and create a fun, light-hearted atmosphere.

Wedding Shower

With a mixed crowd at wedding showers, activities should appeal to a broader range of interests and ages. Think trivia about the couple, DIY craft stations, or even outdoor games like cornhole and horseshoes. The goal is to create an inclusive environment where everyone can participate and enjoy themselves, regardless of their relationship with the bride or groom.

Can You Have Both Parties?

Now for the million-dollar question: can you have both parties? The short answer is, heck yeah! There is no rule that says you can't have a bridal shower and a wedding shower at the same time. In reality, couples are increasingly having several celebrations, especially when they have a wide collection of friends and relatives willing to shower them with affection.

If the bride and groom have different circles of acquaintances or if their families live in different places, it may make sense to hold separate festivities for each group. This permits everyone to participate in the pre-wedding celebrations without putting undue strain on any one set of people to attend several activities.

The option to hold both a bridal shower and a wedding shower ultimately comes down to the couple's and their loved ones' tastes. To ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to pre-wedding celebrations, it's critical to talk freely and honestly about expectations and wants.

And there you have it! Now that you're armed with all this juicy knowledge, you're ready to party plan like a pro. Just remember, whether it's a bridal shower or a wedding shower, the most important thing is to celebrate the happy couple and have a blast doing it! Don't stress too much about adhering to tradition or following every rule to a T; the most memorable events are those filled with love, laughter, and good times shared by all.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog