Happy 2014, KOWE blog followers! I hope everyone had a tremendous holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of sparkle! I made a command decision (with some help from Nate, of course) to take a real break this holiday season. It was wonderful and pretty relaxing despite lots of parties, dinners, and general holiday wassail and cheer. But now I'm back, rested and ready to take on the new year!

I have a helpful post for anyone who just got engaged or anyone who knows someone who just got engaged! In the wedding business, the holiday season is also known as “ring season” because lots of people typically get engaged around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. How fun!

Today I'm going to talk a little bit about bridal shower etiquette. Like most wedding related posts, these are merely suggestions–not hard and fast rules. But I think they're worth considering or at least keeping in the back of your mind the next time you or someone you know is planning a bridal shower. (How cute is this image from the Sweetest Occasion Blog?!) Bridal Shower Ideas

The Hosts: Historically, it is considered inappropriate for anyone related to the bride to throw the bridal shower. Why? Well, the bride's family again, historically, hosts the wedding and if they host the shower it was (can be–maybe?) construed as greedy. As in, “hey, buy my kid some stuff.” Now, I use the word inappropriate loosely because I personally don't feel like this tradition is really relevant any longer, but I understand it. As a result, it is more commonplace for the bridesmaids to host the bridal shower. And here is where it can tricky–what if some of your bridesmaids don't make a lot of money? Why can't the family step in and help out? Or what if your parents and your fiance's parents want to host the shower? These are all real possibilities.

The Take Away: if you're a bride, talk with your maids, your parents, and anyone else who may be chipping and talk about your expectations and the reality of your situation. You're getting married, but that doesn't mean anyone should max out their credit card! And if someone wants to host and everyone is OK with that–let them do it. Bridesmaids should still offer to help out that day with set up, etc. Also, make sure the host and bride hang out and greet those attending-everyone knows the bride, but not everyone knows the host(s) and your role in the event.

Timeline: Like most events (birthdays, anniversarys, etc.) giving people a good heads up is definitely recommended. Allow at least a month, but 6 weeks is more comfortable. Like you, most people are pretty busy and calendars get crowded. Especially Saturdays and Sundays.

The Take Away: Make like an early bird and get those worms–send out the invites early!

The Guest List: This one is pretty simple–if they're invited to the wedding, they should be invited to the shower. Older folks (aunts, grandmas, great aunts, etc.) especially love showers–I think it's a universal truth that as women age they develop a deep and intense joy regarding events with sheetcake.

The Take Away: Make your list and check it twice–and check with the bride, groom (well, maybe his mom, sister, etc–someone in the know of family dynamics) and invite the appropriate folks. Worth noting–just because they're invited to the shower doesn't mean they're invited to the bachelorette party. Grandma and Aunt Nell don't need to be that involved.

Gift Registry: It's a bridal shower–those attending are “showering” the bride and groom with love and, most likely, items to fill their home. You may not agree with everything the couple has asked for, but there it is. Find something in a price range you're comfortable with and buy it.

The Take Away: The couple should be registered at a few places and they should be done with their registry prior to the invitations being sent out. For the hosts, feel free to include where the couple is registered on or with the invitation.

Decor, Theme, Location: Discuss all of this with the bride…she'll either have a ton of opinions about games, colors, food, or none. Either way, it's better to ask!  

Bridesmaids 16Vgk1t 16Vgk2b

Hope this has been a helpful primer for those planning a bridal shower…have you ever planned a bridal shower? Did you enjoy it or do you just want to be a guest from here on out? Let me know in the comments!

 Keep sparkling–