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bridal shower tips

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.