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Wedding Etiquette 101- Should guests pay to attend Bridal showers?
01 Oct, 2014

It seems that there is a growing trend these days for brides and others involved in the wedding planning process to be adopting some very rude and tacky practices. One such practice that comes to mind is that guests are being charged to attend Bridal showers.

I set about researching etiquette gurus like the Posts – Emily, Peggy and Elizabeth and could find nothing that dealt with this issue. Then I happened upon a comment which stated that the idea was so repulsive and wrong that the etiquette gurus had not even considered writing about it. They likened it to walking into a job interview and not saying good morning.

Emily Post in her Complete Book of Wedding Etiquette states that “Bridal showers traditionally are friendly gatherings of intimate friends, held to honor the bride and shower her with gifts.” It cannot then be reasonable for guests to shower the bride with a gift and also pay to attend the shower. In our quest to host grand affairs which cannot be afforded by those responsible for hosting, we are losing sight of the raison d’etre and essence of the event. As an aside, let me also mention that the Bride and her immediate family are never to host a shower. It is accepted only if the immediate family member is part of the bridal party. Showers can be hosted by aunts, cousins, members of the bridal party, co-workers or just friends.

I am sharing an excerpt from The Knot’s question and answer forum which I found very insightful, along with a picture of me with Peggy Post whom I met and questioned extensively at a Wedding Planning Conference I attended a few years ago.

Bridal Shower: Who Pays for Bridal Shower Food?


My maid of honor (and my only attendant) wants to throw me a wedding shower at a restaurant, and she expects the bridal shower guests to pay for their meals. I told her I would rather have the shower at someone's house with cake and snacks. She said she wants to have it where we can be waited on, which is fine, but my friends would have to pay to attend my bridal shower! How can I handle this without hurting her feelings? She is very sensitive.


It's nice of you to respect her feelings, but she's a little out of control, and she's risking offending people close to you! Guests should never pay for their meals at any party they are invited to, and you need to make that clear to her -- if she insists on having the shower at a restaurant, she'll have to pay for the food! Don't let your MOH hold you hostage; tell her you know she's got great intentions, but she just can't do things this way! One more suggestion: If you're freaked about talking to her directly (though you should try to), ask your mother if she can reason with your MOH.

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