How to Create a Guest List for a Bridal Shower: 10 Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Process

How to create a guest list for a bridal shower: 10 tips and tricks for a smooth process

If the responsibility to plan the bridal shower has fallen on your shoulders, then deciding who to include on the guest list could be more challenging than you imagine.

In this article, we will share ten bridal shower tips and tricks from the professional event planners at our bridal shower venue.

1. Think about your budget

This is like a chicken and egg situation. You have to consider the budget to help determine which bridal shower venue you can afford. Simultaneously, you must choose a bridal shower venue based on the number of people you are expected to invite!

The truth is that because etiquette drives the bridal shower guest list, you have less flexibility when it comes to reducing the number of guests to accommodate your budget. Who are you going to uninvite on such an already tight and exclusive list? Realistically, no one!

By setting a budget, however, you can divide it by the number of traditional guests to understand the type of bridal shower venue you can afford based on a per-guest cost. From there, you can determine whether your budget allows you to invite some less traditional guests that the bride might wish to include.

2. Consider the wedding guest list

Once you have a budget in mind, consider the wedding guest list. Although it’s tradition to only include people attending the wedding, if there are some people close to the bride who for some reason cannot attend, they might want to at least share in her joy and attend the shower.

3. Non-wedding guests

Although it’s acceptable to invite people on the guest list who can’t attend, it’s not appropriate to invite people not on the guest list at all. Sometimes, when planning the shower, you might be tempted to get too involved in deciding who can and can’t come and forget the bride and groom’s wishes.

For example, if there’s someone you feel was snubbed on the wedding guest list and then decide to invite them to the shower, that’s not acceptable! It’s also in very bad taste because that person was not invited to enjoy the celebrations (including a nice meal with family and friends) and for whatever reason, the person wasn’t included by the bride and groom.

This can be embarrassing for the bride, especially if she wanted to include them, but budget restraints did not allow her to. Or, there’s some unknown reason the person wasn’t invited, such as they used to date the bride or groom.

4. Include the “must invites” only

The best rule of thumb is to stick to the traditionally accepted must invite bridal shower guest list, which includes:

  • Immediate female family members of the bride and groom.
  • Close family relatives of both the bride and groom, such as grandmothers, aunts, and cousins, as well as nieces (if children are included).
  • The bride and groom’s closest female friends from their past, or as part of their closest circle of friends.
  • Male members of the bride’s wedding party (many brides today have male “men of honour” or “honour attendants”).

5. Understand who doesn’t get invited

To help keep numbers down and to avoid putting undue financial pressure on wedding guests who aren’t as close to the bride, it’s perfectly acceptable to not invite the following people to the shower:

  • Co-workers: This group will likely hold their own little shower event at work. Of course, if someone from work is a BFF of the bride, then invite them would be acceptable based on the above list.
  • Friends of immediate family and close relatives: At times, it can be awkward when relatives want to invite their closest friends, such as the groom’s mom’s best friend. It’s perfectly acceptable to not include them. However, if a) the budget is larger, b) the bridal shower venue can accommodate them, and c) it’s okay with the bride, then it is fine to include less traditional guests. Remember, the list is bride- and groom-focused, and everyone else’s wishes don’t count!
  • Plus ones: Whether it’s someone like the groomsman’s or the bride’s brother’s new girlfriend, plus ones usually aren’t included. This can be awkward if the bride’s brother is madly in love and will feel snubbed if his new girlfriend of three weeks isn’t invited. Then again, it’s all about who is close to the bride to help keep the list under control.

6. Consider bridal shower venue capacity

Whether you’re having the bridal shower at a massive venue, the bride’s favourite restaurant, or in the bride’s parents’ backyard, you have to consider how many people will safely and comfortably fit at the shower location.

7. Remember, it’s a shower, not a bachelorette party!

Your guest list should reflect the traditions of a bridal shower, not the guests invited to the bachelorette party. The bachelorette party is the final hurrah of being single for the bride and, thus, focuses on very close friends. The bridal shower, however, is all about close family and friends.

One event is focused on showering the bride with gifts, while the other is focused on a final night out with the girls before she ties the knot. Therefore, the two guest lists aren’t interchangeable!

8. Consider the possibility of duelling bridal showers

When creating your guest list, remember there might be duelling bridal showers. For example, you might be the maid of honour and, therefore, in charge of the “main” shower. However, the groom’s mother might decide to throw a shower where she can invite her family and friends.

Make sure you understand the critical guests on the list and the possibility of them inviting people from your list to their shower as, in theory, your shower trumps the additional showers held by close friends and family!

9. Ask the bride

As soon as you have your proposed list ready, ask the bride how many guests she would like to invite and who she wants there and doesn’t want there. A list of the traditional guests shows the bride who you had in mind based on etiquette, just in case she overlooked someone who might be expecting an invite.

It also tells you who you overlooked based on the bride and groom’s preferences. Regardless of tradition, the bottom line is that you want the bride to feel comfortable and happy at her shower.

10. Groom or no groom

This really depends on the couple’s preference. Some brides want the groom by their side since the gifts are for both of them, while others might prefer it being just the “gals.”

Contact the Bridal Shower Experts

Hosting the bridal shower is an honorary position that you might take on voluntarily or have land in your lap. Using these ten tips will help ensure that you include the most important people based on tradition, etiquette, and the bride and groom’s wishes.

For information on the best bridal shower venues in the GTA, contact Château Le Jardin. You can also call us at 1-888-529-8573 or contact us online.

Myssah Singer
Myssah Singer
Beautiful venue... amazing staff A++++ Rating
priyanka sood
priyanka sood
Great service and ambience. The staff is very friendly and helps you whenever needed. Thank you for your help.
Ady iq
Ady iq
Good food and atmosphere
Bleyder Martinez
Bleyder Martinez
Awesome place