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We share why the traditional bridal shower is an I DO in our series: I Do/ I Don’t, where we split the pros and cons between the hottest wedding trends.

A traditional bridal shower is generally held a month or two before the wedding day. Hosted by the maid of honor, the bridal shower usually encompasses a lunch or brunch spread or various appetizers, wine and champagne, party games and socializing. It’s generally finished off with a showering of gifts on the bride-to-be.

It’s been done this way since the beginning of bridal shower history—and in this week’s I Do/I Don’t wedding series, I DO Traditional Bridal Showers.

There are so many fun and creative party planning ideas for traditional bridal showers! You can incorporate your wedding colors into the affair, or have a completely separate theme. The food is always a fun aspect of these parties, too. Let’s look at the real benefits of the bridal shower, both for guests and the happy couple.

Most brides tend to register for all of the household items they would need or want in their lives. With this being said, the registry usually includes a number of gift options—many of the smaller of which are satisfied through bridal showers. While the bride herself or immediate family members rarely host the shower, there is often a duplication of guest attendance between showers if there is a large bridal party or more than one event being thrown. As the bride—it’s important not to expect excessive gifts at a shower, and as a guest—if you’re invited to more than one bridal shower and the wedding, it’s important not to feel like you have to present the most spectacular gift at each affair.

Whilst the event is considered a “bridal shower,” it’s very traditional for the groom to show up with a bouquet of flowers right before the bride-to-be opens the gifts so they can do it as a couple. This way, if some of the guests haven’t met the groom before, it’s a great opportunity!

It’s also traditional for someone at the shower to take on the role of creating a makeshift bouquet out of the ribbons on the gifts at the bridal shower. This is traditionally used as the bouquet for the wedding rehearsal. Lot’s of family photos are generally present at the bridal shower, especially photos of the bride’s mother on her special day.

Shower guests should always be the people included on the wedding guest list. It’s often difficult to include all work colleagues on the wedding guest list, and while they may want to present the bride with a gift, it’s important not to invite them to the shower and leave them out of the wedding festivities.

Other bridal shower traditions can include gift themes: perhaps satisfying the less expensive items on the brides registry like kitchen gifts, linens, or lingerie. Martha Stewarts guide to Bridal Shower Etiquette even suggests an around the clock theme: assigning guests a time of day and recommending that they purchase gifts relating to that time: If the guests are assigned 6 pm and the bride is cooking dinner then on a regular basis, an apron could accommodate this time of day. If your time is noon and the bride would typically be at the gym: perhaps an mp3 player, new work-out attire or great running shoes could suffice.

The bridal shower traditions have withstood the test of time because they work. Bringing in new traditions to an affair of this caliber is fun—but takes away from the essence of the traditional Bridal Shower affair.

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