The bridal shower is an opportunity to ï¿½shower' the bride to be, and her groom if they choose, with gifts, love and support before the craziness of the wedding day.
Generally the chief bridesmaid will organise and throw the shower either at her house or at a restaurant. She should still ask the bride who she thinks should be invited and when she is free. The shower is usually held 2-6 weeks before the wedding but the bride and groom may have guests coming from out of town they would like at the shower and so it should be held closer to the wedding.
Gifts can either be from the bridal registry or can be something special you want to give to the couple. Some showers also have themes, for example, the chief bridesmaid could organise for all of the girls to send her their favourite recipes which she can then type up and bind in a personalised recipe book for the bride. Or the bride may have a tea fetish so the girls may like to buy her a special tea cup each or an exotic flavoured tea. The couple may be building a new home and to help with landscaping, guests could get the couple seedlings or small plants to help fill the gaps.
To be safe, start organising the shower about six weeks before it is to be held to make sure you have to time to notify everyone of the theme (if there is one), have invitations printed or book a restaurant.
Showers are traditionally to honour the bride and the couple and celebrate with them more intimately than is possible on the actual wedding day so choose a theme and location everyone can enjoy.
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