Who to Invite to Bridal Shower?

Planning a bridal shower? One of the most important decisions is figuring out who to invite. A bridal shower is an intimate pre-wedding celebration for the bride hosted by close friends and family. Traditionally, it was a women-only event, but modern showers often include men. Follow this comprehensive guide on who to invite to bridal shower to help you plan the perfect guest list.

Deciding who should be on the guest list can feel overwhelming. You want to include the right mix of people to make it special for the bride. 

Tradition vs Modern Etiquette

Tradition vs Modern Etiquette

Bridal showers originated in the 1890s as a way for a bride’s female friends and relatives to “shower” her with gifts. Back then, showers were simple luncheons or tea parties held a few days before the wedding.

Traditional etiquette dictated that only women who were invited to the wedding should be invited to the bridal shower. It was considered improper to invite female friends or relatives who weren’t attending the wedding. Men were also strictly prohibited.

While some brides still prefer a conventional women-only shower, others want to include important men in their lives. Modern showers frequently invite male and female guests regardless of whether they’re attending the wedding.

There are no hard rules anymore. Work with the bride to plan a bridal shower that fits her personality and vision. Traditional, co-ed, or non-traditional – make it meaningful for her.

Key People to Invite

Though every bridal shower guest list will be unique, there are certain key people who should be included:

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride has a very important role in wedding planning. She’ll often co-host the bridal shower, so she should be the first person invited. Even if she’s not co-hosting, she should receive an invitation as the bride’s mom.

Mother of the Groom

Just like the bride’s mom, the groom’s mother should always be invited to the bridal shower. She’s also likely assisting with wedding plans and expenses. Extend an invitation as a gesture of goodwill.


Grandmothers hold a special place in the bride’s heart. They’ve watched her grow up and can offer marriage advice. If the bride has living grandmothers, they deserve a spot on the guest list.


The bride’s sisters and sisters-in-law should receive bridal shower invitations. Her siblings share a close bond and will likely be at the wedding party too. Show them some extra love by including them.


What bridal shower would be complete without the bridesmaids? Bridesmaids are the bride’s closest friends. She’ll depend on them for support leading up to her big day.

Female Relatives

Think of which female relatives the bride is closest with – aunts, cousins, nieces, etc. Bridal showers are a chance for her to connect with these special women in her life.

Prioritize relatives who are invited to the wedding, but don’t leave out an important aunt just because she can’t attend. The bride will appreciate you inviting loved ones.

Close Friends

Bridal showers are an opportunity for the bride to spend quality time with friends. Make a list of her closest friends from high school, college, work, and recent years. Long-distance friends can even be invited if the budget allows.


It’s thoughtful to invite some of the bride’s co-workers, especially if she spends a lot of time with them. Co-workers who have developed a friendship beyond the office are good bridal shower guests.


Neighbors can become like family when you live by each other for years. If the bride has any neighbor friends she regularly interacts with, add them to the guest list. They’ll be honored to celebrate her engagement.

Future Mother-In-Law

The groom’s mom wasn’t always invited to bridal showers, but it’s thoughtful to include her now. She’ll soon be family, so make her feel special leading up to the big day.

Future Sisters-In-Law

Any future sisters-in-law should receive an invitation. The bride will be joining their family, so invite the groom’s sisters to help form new bonds.

Couples Friends

If having a co-ed bridal shower, be sure to invite friends that the bride and groom spend time together as couples. These mutual friends will liven up the party.


Some brides may want to invite their nieces, nephews, godchildren or other children who are important in their lives. Kids can be included in daytime bridal shower activities.

Just be mindful of how many children are invited and if their parents can accompany them. You’ll want to maintain an intimate bridal shower vibe.

Who Not to Invite

Along with compiling your guest list, you’ll need to carefully consider who to exclude from the bridal shower. Here are some people who traditionally would not make the cut:

Men (Women-Only Shower)

If the bride prefers a women-only traditional shower, then no men should be invited – with the exception of male entertainment like a dancer or singer.

Non-Couple Friends

For a co-ed bridal shower, be selective when inviting the bride and grooms’ friends. Only include true couple friends who know both the bride and groom well.

Casual Acquaintances

Bridal showers have an intimate vibe, so casual acquaintances are better left off the list. Wait until the wedding to invite distant friends, old coworkers or folks the bride rarely sees.

Wedding Party Date

If a member of the wedding party is bringing a date to the wedding, you don’t need to invite their date to the bridal shower. Shower invites can be reserved for the bride’s inner circle.

Wedding Vendors

It’s thoughtful to show appreciation to wedding vendors like the photographer and florist, but you don’t need to invite them to bridal shower events. They aren’t expecting it.

Former Friends and Flames

Ex-friends or exes don’t need to be included in pre-wedding celebrations surrounding the bride’s upcoming marriage. Keep the focus on people who are currently close with the bride.


Unless they’re immediate family or the bride specifically wants to invite them, children are usually not included in bridal shower invites. It’s an adult-focused event.

Anyone Causing Drama

Hopefully, this is rare, but be cautious of inviting anyone who could start unnecessary drama with the bride or other guests. Avoid inviting combative exes or rivals unless you must.

Bridal Shower Guest List Size

You want your guest list to be inclusive without being overwhelming. Aim for a manageable number of guests so the bride gets quality time with each person.

For a bridal shower brunch or lunch, keep the guest list under 50 people. For a more casual bridal shower with light refreshments and mingling, you can invite up to 75 people. Backyard or at-home showers work well for groups under 30 guests.

If budget allows, break up a large guest list into multiple bridal shower events like a family shower and friend shower. Or have a bridesmaids shower in addition to the main bridal shower.

No matter the size, keep the focus on people who have a close connection with the bride and groom. Avoid inviting random plus-ones or ladies she barely knows just to hit a certain number.

Save-the-Date vs Invitation

Once your guest list is complete, it’s time to think about save-the-date announcements and formal invitations. Here are some pointers:

  • Send save-the-date cards 4-6 months before the bridal shower date. This gives guests advance notice to schedule it.
  • Mail formal invitations 6-8 weeks before the bridal shower. Include the date, time, location, RSVP date and any other key details.
  • Only people who received save-the-date cards should get formal invites. No surprises!
  • Make sure invitees know if the shower will be women only or co-ed.
  • Allow 1-2 weeks for guests to RSVP after receiving the invitation.
  • Follow up with anyone who doesn’t RSVP by the deadline. The final headcount is crucial for planning.

Proper bridal shower invitation etiquette helps set expectations. Guests will appreciate the advance notice and clear communication.

Creative Ways to Invite Guests

Creative Ways to Invite Guests

Bridal shower invitations set the tone for your event. You can go beyond basic paper invites by getting creative:

Photo Invitations

Customize invitations with pictures of the bride and groom. This adds a personal touch they’ll love.


Send electronic invitations through email or digital platforms like Paperless Post. Include an e-card along with digital info.

Video Invites

Record a fun video invitation with the bride and email it to guests. This is sure to garner excitement!

Group Text

For ultra casual bridal showers, a group text invite may suffice among close friends. Just keep it classy with all the key details.

Edible Invitations

Get creative by sending bridal shower details on a cookie, cake pop or other edible creation! This tasty invite will pique interest.

Beverage Invitation

Attach an invitation to a mini champagne bottle, coffee tumbler or other beverage. It’s sure to be noticed and celebrated.

Invitation Puzzle

Send guests a jigsaw puzzle they must assemble to reveal bridal shower specifics. Make it wedding-themed for more fun.

Song or Poem Invite

If you’re artistic, write a song or poem with all the necessary info and send as an audio or video clip. It shows special effort.

Save-The-Date Magnet

Order bridal shower magnets customized with the date and couple’s photo. Guests can hang it on the fridge so it’s not forgotten.

Get inspired by the bride’s personality and interests when choosing an invitation style. It’s an opportunity to wow guests from the start.

Bridal Shower Invitation Wording

Once you’ve settled on the invitation format, it’s time to compose the wording. Bridal shower invitation etiquette recommends:

  • Clearly stating who is hosting the shower
  • Including the bride’s full name
  • Specifying if it’s a women-only or jacket-and-tie co-ed event
  • Providing the date, time, and location details
  • Indicating if guests should RSVP and by when
  • Adding wedding website/registry info if applicable

Additional Bridal Shower Guest Considerations

Building the perfect bridal shower guest list takes thoughtfulness and care. Keep these last tips in mind:

  • Check with the maid of honor or host to avoid duplicate invites.
  • Send invites at least 1 month before RSVPs are due to allow mailing time.
  • Mail invites in waves if waiting on responses from VIPs before inviting others.
  • Track RSVPs and follow up with guests who don’t respond.
  • Be understanding if invitees can’t make it but want to send a gift.
  • Add a card insert with COVID protocols if health concerns.
  • Have the bride review the final guest list before sending invites.
  • If budget is tight, keep it intimate with core friends and family.
  • Remember to smile – this is a joyous occasion for someone you care about!

With strategic planning, you can create a bridal shower guest list that delights the bride. She’ll be touched by who turns up to support and celebrate her big day.


Should the MOB or bride pay for the bridal shower?

Traditionally, the maid of honor, bridal attendant, or hostess pays for and plans the event. But nowadays, costs are often split between the hostess, mother of the bride, bridesmaids, and even the bride. Discuss financial expectations upfront.

What if the bride has beef with certain guests?

Do your best to avoid inviting people the bride has unresolved issues with. This is her special day. But if family politics make it unavoidable, be prepared to mediate conflicts.

How do I track RSVPs?

Create a simple spreadsheet with columns for name, invite sent date, RSVP received date, # of guests attending, and any notes. This makes it easy to track responses.

What if too many people RSVP yes?

First see if any “maybe” guests are willing to bow out. If you’re still at capacity, explain nicely to late RSVP guests that space is limited. Offer to send a gift on the bride’s behalf.

Should I invite guests to the wedding if not invited to the shower?

You don’t have to, but it’s a considerate gesture. They’ll appreciate being included for the main event even if the bridal shower was more intimate.

Do I need to invite family or friends I don’t like?

If they have a direct relationship to the bride, unfortunately yes. Be the bigger person and extend an invite. The bride’s happiness comes first.


Compiling the perfect bridal shower guest list involves forethought, etiquette, and a little creativity. Follow this guide’s tips to make the guest list planning process easy and even enjoyable.

Incorporating flowers into your wedding adds a touch of elegance and beauty, enhancing the ambiance for a day that’s already special. Most importantly, keep the focus on honoring the bride by inviting people who hold a special place in her heart. With loved ones surrounding her, adorned with the subtle beauty of flowers, it’s sure to be a bridal shower to remember!

Aaliyah Dana

She enjoys writing about the lifestyle and all things related to the world. She is also an avid gamer who enjoys playing games on his PS4. Aaliyah has been writing for over 5 years and has had articles published on such sites as Forbes, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and more.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button