If you are getting married in the near future, then chances are you have probably found yourself having to make a lot of quick and snappy decisions. From what type of flowers you want in the arrangements, to what colour material you want for the bridesmaids’ dresses and what flavour of cake you want at the reception.
However, there is one big question that often falls into the lap of a young bride or groom, and that question is whether they want to hold a bridal shower or a wedding shower?
But what is the difference between these two parties and which one should you choose to celebrate? Well, the final choice should always be down to you, so if you have no idea which one you should choose, we are here to help.
Down below we have outlined everything you need to know about bridal and wedding showers, from what they are, to how you can throw the perfect one for your friends and family.
So why not take a peek down below and see if you are ready to celebrate your wedding in a fun and exciting way.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: What’s The Difference?
If you have found yourself having to decide between holding a wedding shower or a bridal shower, then chances are you have questioned the difference between the two celebrations. So what is the difference?
Well, this may surprise you, but a wedding shower and a bridal shower are actually the same things, although there are some differences that set the two parties apart.
A ‘bridal shower’ is considered to be a more traditional term for a party that celebrates the bride and her upcoming wedding. This particular party will usually feature an all-women guest list and will often see the exchange of gifts between the bride and her loved ones.
While a ‘wedding shower’ is a party that is open to all genders and will usually feature the celebration of both the bride and the groom.
These days the term ‘bridal shower’ is considered problematic, or at least unfactual when you consider that there are now many engaged couples that do not have a bride in the equation. If there is no bride, then the word ‘bridal’ isn’t really needed and therefore the term ‘wedding shower’ was created to encompass all genders and relationships.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: You Decide!
We are not going to sugarcoat the reason why couples have either of these parties, as the answer is pretty clear to see – it’s because of the gifts.
Although some people might argue that that is not true, you will rarely go to a shower without being expected to give some kind of gift or contribution. So showers are considered the perfect way to get all your loved ones together for one big gift-giving party.
In our modern world, wedding showers and registries may seem like a thing of the past, especially with the advent of online shopping and other internet platforms. But many people still do them, as they are considered a traditional part of the wedding process.
So if you are planning on hosting a bridal or wedding shower, we would recommend setting up your wedding gift registry with an online service, particularly with a ‘catch-all’ website like Amazon, which has very few limitations on the kind of gifts your guests can purchase.
Ultimately, a bridal or wedding shower is just a nice way of gathering all of your loved ones together before the big day, and can definitely be just as memorable as the wedding itself. So the decision between the two really does come down to your own preferences, and whether or not you want a party that is limited by gender and guest-list.
These days many engaged couples are opting to have wedding showers over bridal showers, as they are considered a more inclusive celebration that everyone can enjoy. However, both celebrations can be easily organized and they can both pertain to your own personal taste.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: What About The Groom?
If you choose to throw a bridal shower over a wedding shower, then you may begin to wonder if your groom is allowed to come to the celebrations. Well, the decision really does come down to what you and your groom want.
Some couples prefer to attend either bridal or wedding showers as a unit, as the celebration is being held to honour the love that the two of you have for each other. While others like to keep things traditional, which means that the bridal shower will only be attended by the bride and her all-female guests.
In our day and age, we are seeing more and more grooms attend their wedding showers, with more guests giving gifts that pertain to the couple and not just the bride. But the decision is up to you, although we personally think that sharing this day with the person you love can make it all the more special and memorable.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: What About The Guest List?
As we have previously discussed, the guestlist for a bridal shower will be comparatively smaller than that of a wedding shower, and this is because the bridal shower will traditionally only have female guests.
If we are going to discuss this subject in terms of heteronormativity, the groom can also attend the bridal shower, although this is not always the case.
A bridal shower will usually consist of the bride opening her hordes of gifts in front of the important women in her life, which can include mothers, sisters, cousins, friends and any other significant female role model.
While the guestlist for a wedding shower will be much larger in comparison and feature guests of all genders.
This currently seems to be the most popular choice among modern couples, as it is a quick and easy way to gather all of your loved ones together for a celebration before the actual wedding.
If you are worried about the number of people you should invite to your wedding shower, then you can simplify things by only inviting immediate family and the wedding party, as a small gathering can prove less stressful and more enjoyable in the long run.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: What About Gifts?
When it comes to hosting a wedding or bridal shower, many couples will choose to set up a registry for the gifts that they want.
Some couples have been known to ask for two gifts, with one being for the shower and the other for the actual wedding, but many couples consider this a big ask and prefer to use the shower as a way to get their wedding gifts before the ceremony.
Shower registries will usually feature a long list of items that the couple want as gifts, which you can then choose to buy for them when the time comes. There have been some couples who use their registries to upgrade items that they already own, but this can be seen as unnecessary and wasteful.
These days many engaged couples don’t want gifts but would rather have money as a contribution to the wedding expenses. If this is something that you feel you would prefer to do, then we recommend telling your guests before they start buying you gifts.
Although this can be considered a controversial decision, it can greatly help you to pay off the wedding expenses, which can be seen as more beneficial overall. If you would prefer to have money instead of gifts, then do not set up a registry and instead spread the word that you would prefer a financial contribution.
Bridal Shower vs Wedding Shower: What Can You Do?
Planning a bridal or wedding shower doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can organize your shower in any way you see fit, whether it be in the form of a house party or a brunch with some friends.
In terms of tradition, a bridal shower will usually take place during the day and this is still often the case. Bridal showers usually take place at the bride’s home, or at the home of her mother or friends. These parties will usually consist of a light lunch, followed by the exchange of gifts and party games.
The same is essentially true of wedding showers, although these particular parties may need a larger venue due to the number of guests that can come. Popular games that are often played at bridal and wedding showers include, trivia about the couple, contests to make wedding clothes out of household items and hot potato.
If you are going to play games at your bridal or wedding shower, then we recommend having prizes for the winners, as this can make the day more memorable and encourage some light competition. These gifts don’t have to be extravagant and can be something small like a gift card or pen.