We’ve covered the most common questions about bridal shower etiquette – read more about that here! – but we felt that one topic deserved a little more attention, and that’s what to do about guest lists and gifts when you’re having multiple showers.
Being the guest of honor at more than one shower is becoming more and more common. As families become more unconventional, it is getting harder to avoid multiple showers – everyone wants to celebrate the bride and groom to-be. Some engaged couples might have a “Jack and Jill” shower, where both the bride and groom and their friends and families attend, or another gift-driven party in addition to the traditional bridal shower. While having several showers is okay, it can make things tricky when it comes to the etiquette of who is invited.
If you’re having multiple showers, you should try to avoid guest list overlap. Of course you want to celebrate with all of the people you love, so it can be tempting to invite everyone to every single pre-wedding event, but this can quickly turn into too much of a good thing. Many guests will feel obligated to bring a gift to every event they attend, even if they’ve previously given one, which can be awkward.
It’s okay to decline the honor of a shower, explaining that your friends are already attending one or two, or to suggest that your enthusiastic friends share being the hosts of a shower. If a relative (never a parent) offers a shower, try to fill the guest list with other relatives and family friends who may not be on your pal’s list of invitees.
If you do invite the same people to several events – typically both mothers and the bridal party are invited to each shower – you should make it very clear that you don’t expect multiple gifts. Get creative – think about having a “display shower,” where guests bring gifts unwrapped and place them on a table – this is an easy way to avoid opening gifts in front of everyone and making those who didn’t bring something to the event feel uncomfortable. If that’s not your style, you could take a photo of their gifts from the first shower and pass it around, or at the start of the gift opening, mention your dear friends and how they have showered you with attention, as well as the lovely frames or useful kitchenware during your engagement!
Photo courtesy of Jamie Blow