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Bridal Shower 101

Bridal Shower 101

Shower Her with Love:

You are the chosen one! Whether you are the handpicked Maid (or Matron) of Honor, Mom, Sister, or Auntie - you have decided to Shower the Bride with love, which is an honor in and of itself.  Our team at Merc Hall has put together a little Shower-how-to that you can use as a reference guide, complete with some basic etiquette rules thrown in for good measure. 

Why a Shower?

First and foremost it's important to remember the point of the gathering. The bridal shower is a way to honor the bride-to-be by “showering” her with gifts for the couple’s new life together. Typically you will find that showers follow a simple recipe of great food, awesome vibe, fun activities for the group, and gift opening.

When should the Shower take place?

Showers are typically thrown 2-6 months in advance of the wedding to kick off the road to their nuptials as well as not time it too close to the big day, thereby avoiding having back to back wedding events. Always start with the Bride to seek a convenient time, and then work through the guest list, checking schedules as you go. 


Showers can be thrown right here at Mercantile Hall - such a fun backdrop for a fun event! They usually last about 3 to 4 hours, and can be thrown at any time of day or evening (there is no traditional rule here). Guests should arrive in advance of the bride, welcoming her as the Guest of Honor. The timeline usually starts off with greetings between the bride and her guests followed by the Host(s) ensuring everyone has a beverage in hand. If light appetizers are served (fine for a shorter Shower), then the Host invites guests to partake in refreshments while they socialize. Otherwise once ready, the Host calls guests ovto the designated area to enjoy a meal as a group.

Once finished eating, everyone moves to an area where they can be by the Bride's side while she unwraps gifts, with the Host or designated guest recording gifts + names as she unwraps (for photos later). One cute idea that one of our brides did was take a quick photo of the bride unwrapping each of her gifts that the Bride was then able to enclose in her thank you card. Sweet touch.

After the gift opening, coffee and desserts are traditionally served and the party guests begin to depart, taking a party favor along with them. Party favors can range from pretty good-smelling soaps to photo frames, to candles. Nothing extravagant, but a beautiful finish to an awesome day.


If the Maid of Honor is hosting, the bridal shower is usually planned and paid for by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, close friends, or family members. It is not unusual for the bride’s parents to help with some of the costs and alleviate the financial burden for the bridal party. Please note that the host should not ask for any monetary contributions from guests, since they will be bringing gifts to the shower.

Guest List:

It's important to consult the Bride, but most often the party guests include the bridal party, close girlfriends and relatives. The size of the Guest List depends on the wishes of the Bride and her host. It's important that you do not invite anyone whom won’t be invited to the actual wedding. The only exception to this rule extends to teenage girls who are close to the Bride. They are welcome guests at a Bridal Shower if requested by the Bride even when children are not invited to the wedding.

Invitations & RSVPs:

Invitations for the bridal shower need to be sent out 4-6 weeks prior to the shower date. The invitations should include the following information:

  • Bride's name
  • Date, time and location
  • Host(s) name(s)
  • RSVP contact name along with their phone number and email 
  • Gift registry information

Invitations should be addressed to Gusts only and it is the responsibility of the host and bridesmaids to circulate to the Guests whether or not children are welcome to attend.



Burlington, Wisconsin (for those of you who are not from here or do not know us well) feels like one of the last great all-American small towns. Sure, we were put on the map by one of our homegrown, Tony Romo (yep, he graduated from Burlington High School), so we are kind of a big deal, but we still operate like a friendly and warm small, awesome town. We may not know everyone in town, but quite often it feels like we do. "Oh, hey - will we see you at the parade?" can be heard footsteps away from "Can you ask John to leave my mail at my store instead of my house?"  It is really a beautiful, and dare-I-say 'rare' thing to experience on a daily basis. Growing up in larger urban towns, I can tell you that I personally have never experienced anything like it, which is what makes it such a flame for the little moth inside me. Ok...ok...what does all of this have to do with you?  Let me bring it on home...

Our team (ever growing - yay!!) is made up of locals and near-locals. When you have a question, if we don't know right away, we get on our bat phones to help you get an answer. And if the first person we phone doesn't know, she or he knows someone who does. It is this perfect little safety net of love and solution-getters, gettin' after it - for you. It's really what you want, need, crave when it's your wedding day. Low stressssssssssss.... brought to you by the good people of this All-American small town, Burlington, Wisconsin.

#smalltownlove  #mercanstyle

Love inspired @ Bon Bon Belle Bridal

Love inspired @ Bon Bon Belle Bridal

Book a private bridal suite for you & your guests at Bon Bon Belle Bridal.

Book a private bridal suite for you & your guests at Bon Bon Belle Bridal.

Our venue is historic, urban, and just super cool. If we were to create the perfect partner in a science lab, we could do no better than Bon Bon Belle and the gown collections they have in store. They are the ying to our yang featuring a specific Mercantile Hall Gown Collection that is like the one fantastic little puzzle piece you find that brings the whole picture together. 

Here's how we really try to blow your mind... If you haven't perused the Wedding District page yet - mosey on over and delight in all of the partners you'll need for your perfect day - wrapping Mercantile Hall in an envelope of love. They are literally all within walking distance from our front door, including of course Bon Bon Belle. Located right upstairs from Mercantile Hall come March 1st, you can visit both your gown and venue anytime you need to. Want a quick steam for all of your bridesmaids who are popping in at the last minute from out of town? No worries! We've got you covered. Need last minute items like a bridal garter or wrap for your Mom who might get chilly? No problemo! We aim to be a one stop shop for you here in Burlington. That is what we call "love inspired". Bring you and your fiance a team of wedding professionals, aiming to provide you with everything you need.

Here's a panoramic snapshot of what that might be like for you and your guests...

After you book Mercantile Hall, stroll upstairs to Bon Bon Belle for your bridal attire needs. Bridal gowns & bridesmaid dresses, Mom's gown, flower girl dresses, bridal accessories. Happily check all of those off your list and rest assured that they are just right upstairs from your venue. Next door to Bon Bon Belle is C. Mae Design - a full service wedding photographer offering wedding packages and boudoir gifts. Walk a few feet to your choice of florists, and just a few steps more you'll land at the front door of a few tuxedo & suit rental companies. We have rehearsal dinner fabulousness (that look like they are straight out of New York) located across the street and the other just a block away. Hampton Inn is one block away, as is a 200 spot parking structure (**free parking that is**). And when your big day arrives, we have oodles of salons to do hair + make up for you and your girls. Those are also within walking distance. Whaaa? Yep, that's our fantastic Wedding District. Yep, that's little ol' us. Ah, Burlington. Love inspired.