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As you plan your dream luxury wedding, you probably realize it’s more than a one-day thing. The honeymoon may come after the ceremony, but before that comes a series of celebrations, such as the rehearsal dinner, bachelor/bachelorette party, and engagement party. Another event that’s often thrown is a shower.

While bridal showers are the original version of the event, wedding showers have become increasingly popular. But what exactly is the distinction between the two? This guide will provide all the information you need on how a wedding and a bridal shower differ.

Pink colored heart shaped gift boxes of bath and body products for bridesmaids

  • Understanding The “Shower”
  • The Difference Between A Wedding Shower And A Bridal Shower
  • How To Prepare A Wedding or Bridal Shower
  • Get Started With Curated Events

Understanding The “Shower”

From baby showers to bridal showers, “shower” has become a standard word for any event celebrating a milestone. However, the word has its roots in the Victorian era when friends and family members would give brides-to-be small tokens like ribbons, gloves, or notes.

“According to tradition, the gifts were placed in a parasol or umbrella, then opened and showered on the woman.”

As such, wedding and bridal showers are events filled with lots of fun, activities, and – you guessed it – presents! They are an opportunity for family and friends to come together in a more intimate setting than the actual wedding.

The Difference Between A Wedding Shower And A Bridal Shower

Before diving into the differences between wedding and bridal showers, it’s important to note the similarities. In fact, both events are the same. They involve crucial elements, such as games, gifts, and, most importantly, your loved ones. With that said, there are a few distinct differences between the two.

“The main distinction is that a bridal shower is typically thrown in the bride’s honor, as per the tradition of showering gifts onto the bride. The event typically focuses more on her and includes close family members and bridesmaids.”

On the other hand, a wedding shower can be slightly more inclusive and casual with guests from both sides of the family. There is also an emphasis on celebrating the union between two people rather than just one. It’s a more modern take on the traditional bridal shower.


Another difference between bridal and wedding showers is who usually hosts the event. The bridal party, such as the maid of honor or bridesmaids, usually puts together a bridal shower. 

The maid of honor usually takes care of most of the planning, while other bridesmaids can help with tasks like booking a venue or creating decorations. They are in charge of choosing the date, venue, and theme. In some cases, the bride’s mother will also be involved in planning the event.

For a wedding shower, there are various options for who can host. It is often split between both sides of the family and may include close friends. The bridal party and groomsmen might also be invited to help with the planning. Alternatively, couples can take it upon themselves to host the shower together.

Guest List

Regarding the guest list, bridal showers tend to be more female-focused. The guest list is usually limited to the bride’s closest friends, family members, and bridesmaids. It’s the time for grandmas, aunties, and the bride’s closest friends to come together and celebrate.

The guest list for a wedding shower is more of a free-for-all. Couples can invite anyone they like, whether just a few close friends or family members from both sides of the family. It’s more of an opportunity to bring everyone together before the big day. 

“Wedding showers look more like regular get-togethers emphasizing celebrating the pending marriage.”

Friends and family gathering


Regarding the venue, bridal showers are usually more traditional and take place in someone’s home or private dining space, such as a tea room. The goal is to make the bride feel special, so the venue should reflect that sentiment. It should be a comfortable, intimate setting with decorations that fit the day’s theme.

Table set up for a bridal shower vintage tea set and floral napkins

Wedding showers are held at more public places like restaurants or parks. There are more options for wedding showers, and couples can choose whatever venue suits them best. As long as it can accommodate all the guests, it’s a suitable venue for a wedding shower.


So, when should you hold each of these events? Bridal showers are typically held a few weeks or months before the wedding day. Most prefer to host it on the weekend to avoid scheduling conflicts. 

As for a wedding shower, couples are more flexible with timing. It can be held anytime before the wedding day, but there is usually an emphasis on holding it closer to the actual date. Since it’s more of a party-like atmosphere, couples can opt for an evening event. However, the weekend is still preferred to ensure everyone is available.


Next, no shower of any kind would be complete without gifts for the bride or couple. For bridal showers, the gifts are tailored to the bride. Guests usually bring items from her registry, like kitchen supplies, bedding, and lingerie. It’s a great opportunity for friends and family to spoil the bride-to-be with thoughtful presents that she will cherish.

Woman taking pictures of friends at a bridal shower

“With wedding showers, the gifts are more general and can be for both the bride and groom.”

Gifts don’t necessarily have to have a practical purpose but should still reflect the couple’s personalities or interests. It could be anything from money towards their honeymoon fund to a set of vintage whiskey glasses. Again, it’s up to the couple or their guests what gifts to give.


Finally, both bridal and wedding showers are typically accompanied by various activities to keep things engaging. Bridal showers tend to have more games like cards or bingo, but they can also involve cooking classes, spa days, and even wine tastings. The goal is usually to help the bride relax and have fun with her friends before embarking on a new life chapter.

As for wedding showers, activities tend to be more boisterous and light-hearted. Couples can opt for trivia games or scavenger hunts that involve the whole group. There is usually an emphasis on getting everyone together and having a good time.

“Remember that this isn’t the bachelor or bachelorette party, so you don’t have to go all out. Keep it light, and don’t forget that the ultimate goal is to celebrate the happy couple!”

How To Prepare A Wedding Or Bridal Shower

Now that you know the difference between a wedding shower and a bridal shower, let’s consider how to prepare for one. First, you’ll want to decide which of the two events to host based on the couple’s preferences. Then, you’ll need to select a venue and set a date that works for everyone involved.


Bridal shower decoration romantic style

Once that is out of the way, you can start planning the decorations. Like a wedding, your shower should be thematic and reflect the couple’s personalities. There are a variety of decorations to choose from, like banners, balloons, and centerpieces, that will make the day special. The decorations will vary depending on the type of shower you are hosting. 

“For a wedding shower, you can go all out with custom banners, confetti poppers, and other fun items to get everyone in the festive mood. Bridal showers can be more feminine, with decorations like flowers, lace tablecloths, and candles.”

Food And Drinks

If you plan on serving food and drinks, now would be the time to hire a caterer or select a menu. 

“Depending on the venue, you may also need to rent equipment like chairs and tables. Renting is often the most appropriate option for larger events.”

Bridal shower party food table

Keep the menu simple but delicious, and choose the couple’s favorite items. Some great options include finger sandwiches, salads, and mini desserts. For drinks, consider serving a signature cocktail in honor of the bride or couple.


Finally, you’ll want to create a timeline of events and activities for the day. A schedule will help keep everyone organized and ensure the celebration runs on time. You may also want to hire some entertainment or a photographer to make sure that all of your special moments are captured!

Get Started With Curated Events

In conclusion, bridal and wedding showers are essentially two sides of the same coin: they both provide an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the upcoming marriage. Regardless of the minor differences, you can create a memorable event with proper planning.

At Curated Events, we specialize in helping couples and their families organize customized wedding showers, bridal showers, and other special occasions. Our luxury rental service offers everything from tables, chairs, and linens to themed décor and entertainment. Our designers can help you create the perfect atmosphere for your shower.

If you’re looking for a stress-free way to organize your bridal or wedding shower, contact us today!