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Wedding Showers

Wedding Showers 101: Etiquette and Planning Checklist (page 2 of 2)

Hosting a wedding shower can be fun, but it can also be a little nerve-racking. Follow these tips and download our printable checklist planner to make it easy.

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Is It Okay to Have a Theme?

Absolutely, Lutman says. A theme gives the party extra focus and can be a fun way to tailor gifts to the couple’s specific needs and interests. “Some popular examples include kitchen, bath, housewares or lingerie showers,” Lutman says. Honeymoon showers, garden showers, and gourmet food and wine showers also can be a hit. For themed gatherings, Lutman says, the couple may choose to register separately from their master wedding registry.

She cautions that, while mentioning the shower’s theme on the invitation is fine, adding registry information is not. “Include the registry information, as well as color preferences, sizes, [or] a wish list of household tools or bar items on a separate insert sent with the shower invitation, but not on the invitation itself,” she says.

When and How Do Invitations Go Out?

Invitations set the tone for the shower, so they’re a host’s first chance to establish the mood and theme. Aim to send them three to four weeks before the shower date. Although electronic invitations are becoming more common, Lutman feels that a snail-mailed invitation is always best. Electronic versions often get caught in spam filters or fail to reach recipients entirely.

What Refreshments Should Be Served?

Food and beverages depend on the time of day, Lutman says. There’s no reason you have to stick to the classic assortment of finger sandwiches and petits fours, though, so feel free to branch out. For a morning shower ending by 11:30am, Lutman suggests an English tea breakfast menu of yogurt, granola, bagels, lox, muffins, pastries, and mimosas or Bloody Marys in addition to punch, coffee and tea. For an evening shower, consider a dessert buffet. Coed showers might include a cookout, clambake or other casual meal.

At What Point Are Gifts Opened?

Gifts should be opened when dessert is being, or has been served, toward the end of the shower, Lutman says. The gift opening is the highlight of the event, so you don’t want guests filling their plates at the food table or the host opening the door to greet guests while it’s going on.

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