I could have used these tips during the time period when most of my friends were getting married. As a bridesmaid or friend, I was either hosting or attending wedding showers for more years than I can count.
When you are a bride-to-be, you want to do everything right, and there's a lot to get right. Along with planning the wedding and all the myriad details that involves, it's important to know the etiquette of wedding showers.
Q. My friends are hosting a shower for me and asked me to submit a list of names. Is this normal?
A. Lucky you. Not only should you submit the names, you should provide them on a spreadsheet so the guests can be tracked for responses.
Q. Can guests be invited to a shower but not the wedding?
A. Because a shower invites you to bring a gift, only guests who are invited to the wedding should be included in the shower guest list.
Q. Should my wedding registry be included on the invitation?
A. A shower is a gift party, so it makes sense to include that information on the shower invitation. However, it is not correct to include it on the wedding invitation.
Q. Who should be invited to a wedding shower?
A. The bridal party, close friends, and family members.
Q. Is it appropriate to have more than one shower?
A. If you're lucky enough to have more than one shower, just make sure you don't invite the same guests to both. Buying more than one shower gift plus a wedding gift would be a strain on anyone's wallet. The exception would be family members and maybe your maid of honor. Another option is to invite your bridal party to both but insist they not bring gifts to the second shower.
Q. This is my second marriage. Is it okay to have a shower?
A. It is acceptable to have a small shower for a second wedding, but it should be confined to very close friends and family.
Q. What should I buy the hosts of my shower as a thank-you gift?
A. Monogrammed linen napkins, a monogrammed silver box, or a silver picture frame are all classic hostess gifts.
Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.