For many brides, the bridal shower is one of the most important prewedding parties. Historically, this is a chance for female members of the wedding party to gather to celebrate the bride and to offer gifts that may be useful on her big day. Traditionally, the maid of honor (and sometimes her bridesmaids) host this event, although it’s perfectly acceptable for anyone who is close to the bride to plan and execute a shower for her.

Typically, the guest list includes female friends and family, but some couples choose to include male friends as well. Guests might play games, participate in activities, and/or share stories that bring back happy memories. Often, the bride will open her gifts surrounded by her friends and family. In some cases, the bride may prefer to keep her gifts and only show them to her future husband on their wedding night.

While there is no set timeline for when to hold a bridal shower, most women choose to have theirs between two and six months before the wedding. This gives her a chance to try on dresses and receive helpful feedback from those she trusts.

It’s also an ideal time to buy her dream gown, as many retailers will extend their sales for the occasion and have a wider selection of sizes and styles to accommodate all shapes and budgets. The best way to find a dress is to check out Instagram/FB pages and websites for local boutiques to see what styles they carry and read reviews. Then make a list of the styles that you’re interested in and call ahead to make sure they have them in stock.


Bridal fashion has a knack for embracing both tradition and modern design. This season, a number of designers looked to historical precedent and pre-Raphaelite vibes for designs worthy of the pages of a period drama. Embroidery and beadwork are major highlights in collections from Soucy, Galia Lahav, and Chana Marelus. Meanwhile, allover lace and dramatic, romantic silhouettes are signatures of the season for designers like Anne Barge, Justin Alexander, and Savin London.

A sleek updo is a timeless and polished option that works for most hair lengths, and it’s a look favored by celebs like Sofia Richie and Vanessa Hudgens. For a more relaxed and romantic style, consider loose waves or a braided crown that adds bohemian or rustic charm. And if you have natural curls or coils, embrace them by styling your locks in a textured or messy bun for a relaxed red carpet look.

The term “bride” is derived from the word bride-ale, which means “wedding feast.” This tradition, dating back to the Roman confarreatio, an upper-class form of marriage that was celebrated with the eating by the couple of a cake made of salt, water, spelt flour and currants, and the holding by the bride of three wheat ears symbolizing the blessings of plenty, is still practiced today in some cultures.

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