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Pre-wedding Parties

Bridal shower vs wedding shower difference

I've heard a few differences between a bridal shower (mostly women-gifts include lingerie,perfume,ect) and a wedding shower (can be both sex,mainly household gifts) but are there any other differences besides that?

Anyone have any preferences or suggestions for either side? I'm torn as to which one I would like my mom to plan and it has to be soon.

Also,if I go ahead with the wedding shower,does the groom have to attend? He is 450 miles away and probably won't make it up.

Finally,if I have a bridal shower,how will people know my size for lingerie? Dumb question but I don't know!
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Re: Bridal shower vs wedding shower difference

  • Kristin789Kristin789
    2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    >>I've heard a few differences between a bridal shower (mostly women-gifts include lingerie,perfume,ect) and a wedding shower (can be both sex,mainly household gifts) but are there any other differences besides that?

    I'm in a region of the country where there are both bridal showers and wedding showers, and the difference you point out is the main difference.

    I've found that the actual party conversation/vibe/theme is different too. 

    Like at the wedding showers, the talk is all about setting up a house, setting up a kitchen with appliances and gadgets, where to buy washer/dryer/sofa, and when something not common to the bride's single life is opened, there's some talk about what to do with it, like sugar tongs or a gravy boat.  There seems to be a pretentiousness on the part of the already-marrieds to flaunt that they have all of this DONE and their lives are now COMPLETE and WONDERFUL, and they are welcoming Bride to their secret society of MARRIED WOMEN.

    At the bridal shower, the talk is about entering into marriage, building a good foundation during the first year, how to deal with difficult situations like holidays, how to notice and deal with problems before they become big problems, typical challenges faced by newlyweds, how to share spaces like the kitchen or split household tasks, etc.  There seems to be a genuine helpfulness around the room, where people share their own experiences and how they deal with those experiences so that that Bride isn't blind-sided when these things happen in her own marriage.
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited December 2011
    And by contrast, around here they're interchangeable terms for the exact same party - a gathering of women to shower the bride with gifts.  Sometimes (tasteful) lingerie appears, usually it doesn't.  It's usually stuff for the home.  But it's generally women.  Conversation about anything and everything, but mainly girl stuff, marriage advice, wedding talk, etc.

    Sometimes brides get a personal shower or lingerie shower.  Then you get... pretty much underwear.  Sometimes personal stuff like spa items, lotions, makeup.  But it's billed as such, and people know not to bring a toaster or power drill or something.  It's not so much a family thing.  Lots of times this is combined with the bachelorette party.  I've always seen the bride's sizes and preferences on the shower invitation. 

    Sometimes the bride and groom get a couples shower or a coed shower. Then it's for both of them, and the gifts reflect that.  Usually attended by more friends than family.  No lingerie (except for the occasional gag gift), but the toaster or power drill is equally appropriate. Or liquor.

    Gosh, this stuff is so regional.  I never would have guessed that bridal shower and wedding shower could be two different things.  Learn something new all the time.
  • DanielleZZDanielleZZ
    500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    In my circle the two are used interchangeably.  I got a few "sexy" gifts and my shower but mostly household items.  We had two (different locations not one bridal and one wedding) FI came to one (the one with his family) but not the other.  I assume I am getting "sexy" gifts from my friends at my bachelorette party 1)because they didn't bring gifts to my shower and 2) After the invite was sent out I started getting calls asking for my sizes.
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  • loop0406loop0406
    1000 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    In my circle, there is only a bridal shower. The 'sexy' items are given at the bachelorette party.
  • orangecrush32orangecrush32
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its
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    edited December 2011
    I didn't know there was a difference...
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  • SuMmErKuTiESuMmErKuTiE
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    Please don't listen to Kristin789, I've never heard of that type of bridal shower. That sounds more like a birthday party.. perfume..who would give that as a bridal shower gift?!

    Bridal showers and wedding showers have the same central theme.. to "shower" the bride or the bride and groom with gifts off their registries to start their new home and life together. If it's a bridal shower, that means it's the bride and her close female friends and family. If it's a wedding shower, that usually means it's co-ed so the groom and other male members of the family and friends are also invited.

    I prefer bridal showers, because that's what I've always attended and I'd feel bad for the poor guys trying to be a good sport about attending and sitting through it. I know my DH and my brother wouldn't want to spend a second at a bridal shower even if it was co-ed.

    To answer your original question, if you do have a co-ed wedding shower, no your FI doesn't have to attend, but he should help with the thank you notes after. But since your FI can't make it most likely, you should just have a bridal shower for the ladies who are close to you and in FI's family.

    Also, as for the lingerie, that's usually not at the bridal shower (imagine opening up a sexy nighty in front of Grandma or Great Aunt Millie?) usually the sexier type gifts are given at the bachelorette or opened in private.
  • lashalinlashalin
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Here's my confusion....if you have a bridal shower and everyone brings gifts off the wedding registry then no one brings gifts to the actual wedding?!  I was always under the impression that a 'bridal shower' was gifts for the bride....you aren't giving her a toaster off the registry. A themed bridal shower can be anything from 'honeymoon' to 'first year of marriage' to 'sex in the kitchen'...make it fun and spoil the bride.

    Also, I've been to only a few bachelorette parties in which the 'naughty' gifts are given, but it's completely appropriate to give those gifts for the shower as well.  Guess it just depends on your family and what they feel is appropriate.  My grandma would be the one to buy me the sexiest lingere and not think twice about it!

    I'm getting married in May and i'm convinced the wedding registry gifts should be given at the wedding...not the shower. It's all about me anyways, why not make up my own rules!
  • SuMmErKuTiESuMmErKuTiE
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Bridal shower vs wedding shower difference:
    Here's my confusion....if you have a bridal shower and everyone brings gifts off the wedding registry then no one brings gifts to the actual wedding?!  I was always under the impression that a 'bridal shower' was gifts for the bride....you aren't giving her a toaster off the registry. A themed bridal shower can be anything from 'honeymoon' to 'first year of marriage' to 'sex in the kitchen'...make it fun and spoil the bride. Also, I've been to only a few bachelorette parties in which the 'naughty' gifts are given, but it's completely appropriate to give those gifts for the shower as well.  Guess it just depends on your family and what they feel is appropriate.  My grandma would be the one to buy me the sexiest lingere and not think twice about it! I'm getting married in May and i'm convinced the wedding registry gifts should be given at the wedding...not the shower. It's all about me anyways, why not make up my own rules!
    Posted by lashalin
    Usually the bridal shower is when the bride is showered with gifts off of the registry to fill up their new home (or in most people's cases who are already living together or have lived on their own.. they're upgrading to nicer and newer things for the home). Then at the wedding most people give money. Most weddings I've seen people bring a card with a check or cash in it. Some may choose to bring a boxed gift and go off the registry because usually the registries aren't completely depleted after the bridal shower. I got a lot of gifts off our registries at my bridal shower, and we got mostly cash gifts at the wedding, but some people gave us boxed gifts off our registries, but there was still plenty left on our registries that we used our completion discounts after the wedding to purchase ourselves.
  • bnmartinezbnmartinez
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    There is a difference. Where I live I have been to both. I understand that there are multiple etiquette rules, but there are a lot of cultural differences as well. We had two co-ed wedding showers: one for my side of the family hosted by my mother, the other for his side of the family hosted by his mother. There were no games. The gifts were from our registry, so household items (plus some money and gift cards). It is understandable that the guys do not want to go to a co-ed shower, but the environment is different. We had ours at a restaurant for my side of the family, so it was like a nice dinner party. The guys didn't mind it at all. If your fiance doesn't live there, then you should have the bridal (all girl) shower. These can be themed: lingerie (some sexy gifts for bride) shower, garden shower, kitchen shower, etc. You can get sexy gifts at shower and possibly bachelorette party. I have always viewed the bachelorette party as less of a gift giving event and more of a fun girl night out. Just my opinion. In all honesty, your mom should plan according to what makes you feel most comfortable. It is all about you, your fiance and your bright future.
  • tinamijatinamija
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011

    Does the bridal shower theme need to be the same as the wedding theme or can it be different? If I'm doing a destination wedding with a Japanese/zen theme does my bridal shower need to be the same? Or can I do a travel theme for the bridal shower?

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