Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Stacy Averette

My daughter, Maddie, is getting married in November and I want to share the advice I’ve given this sweet bride-to-be about her bridal showers. As an old married woman for 32+ years, I’ve learned a thing or two and I feel called to share it!

Weddings are such fun even though they require lots of planning and preparation. You don’t have to look very hard to find wedding planners, checklists, and how-to guides to make the big day everything you’ve always dreamed of.

But before the big day arrives there’s usually a few bridal showers to attend. Even though it’s been over three decades since I got married, I still remember feeling a little awkward and self-conscious at my bridal showers. I’d never been a bride before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect! My daughter has expressed some of the same feelings and I know we’re not the only ones.

So if you, your daughter, or someone you know is a bride-to-be, this advice from an old married women AKA mother-of-the-bride might help you enjoy these special days and cherish the memories you’re making.

Bridal Shower Tips

Showers of Blessings

I fondly remember my own bridal shower given by the ladies at our church over three decades ago. I also remember the hideous haircut and perm I got on a whim one day at a walk-in salon just weeks before my wedding. I blame it on the 80’s and school stress. I was a college junior. Oh well.

I’m sorry to say I don’t remember the decorations, the food, or everyone who attended my bridal shower. Yet I vividly remember being humbled as a 20-year-old bride-to-be by their extravagant generosity. I couldn’t believe they were so willing to shower me and my future husband with so many beautiful and useful gifts. I was astounded that so many of them were willing to set aside a few hours on a Saturday afternoon to watch me awkwardly open each gift. I was amazed as I considered all the planning they had done for weeks, just for me.

I didn’t know how to cook or “keep house” or make a home yet but I was inspired by the kindness of those women, most of whom had watched me grow up.

As years passed, the towels and dishcloths became threadbare and were discarded. The dishes chipped or were accidentally broken with repeated use. The small appliances eventually quit working. But I still cherish the memory of those moments on a cold winter day in a small church fellowship hall, feeling loved and encouraged by a community of women.

Presents and Presence

When my son got married a few years ago, I experienced the kindness of the women I knew and some I didn’t, in a whole new way. I watched as my daughter-in-law to be blushed and giggled and oohed and ahhed over the piles of gifts showered upon her.

And now, watching my own daughter enjoy the abundant generosity of a community of Christian women is a double blessing for me.

Marriage is a sacred endeavor. It’s a wild and wonderful ride through life. And those who show up bearing gifts at its commencement know this all too well.

Toasters and towels are so much more than the necessities of housekeeping. They bear a greater purpose.

My daughter regrets receiving duplicate items and hates the thought of returning the gift someone bought for her. I’ve reminded her of a few truths I’ve learned.

The gift-givers are really saying to the bride-to-be:

  • We’re here to celebrate with you! You have “found the one whom your soul loves.”
  • You’ll need these things we’re giving you whether you know it now or not. Have fun learning!
  • We’ve been the recipient of the generosity of others and this is our chance to pay it forward.
  • We chose our gift carefully because we want it to be useful and bless your everyday life. If you already have one we want you to exchange it for something you need!
  • Most of all we want to encourage you for the journey ahead. Life is harder than you think and more beautiful than you can imagine.

Advice for the Bride

1. Wear something cute and comfortable

Of course, you want to be cute but comfort is very important and it’s easy to do both! You’ll be standing and moving and hugging and sitting and bending and eating. If you’re too focused on how your outfit looks or if “parts” are showing or falling out, you won’t be able to enjoy the moment. (This is good advice for every occasion in my opinion!)

2. Arrive a little early

But not too early! The hostesses are usually adding the finishing touches and setting out food just before guests arrive so only arrive about 15-20 minutes early. This gives you time to meet or chat with the hostess about the shower, get any final instructions, and ask questions you might have.

3. Designate a photographer

I love taking pictures and you’ll surely want at least a few to help you remember this day! Even if someone uses their phone camera you’ll have some photos to cherish in years to come. Be sure to get some group photos with family and friends who attend. Maybe even mention to the picture-taker some photos you’d like to have. I always seem to get caught up in the moment and miss the opportunity. (Be sure to print a few!)

Click here to read the 5 Best iPhone Photo Printing Apps

4. Designate a list-keeper

You’ll want to know who gave which gift and the best way to remember is to write it down. Cards inevitably get separated from their gifts so making a list is the best way to keep track. A legal pad or notebook and pen are all you need. The hostess may supply this but bring your own just in case. (My daughter has kept all her lists of gifts in one notebook which will make writing thank-you notes much easier.)

5. Be generous with your “thank yous”

Of course, you’ll be sending thank-note cards later, but be generous with your “thank yous” at your bridal shower.

  • “Thank you for coming.”
  • “Thank you for the (gift).
  • “Thank you for all your planning and hard work.” (hostesses)
  • ‘Thank you for taking time out of you busy Saturday, day-off, evening, etc. to come to my shower.”

Click here to see the thank you notes I love for any occasion!

6. Go with the flow

Sometimes the bride-to-be will be expected to open gifts one-by-one and pass them around, if possible, for others to see. Other times the hostesses will open the gifts and display them for everyone to see giving the bride time to greet guests and mingle. Be flexible and go with the flow. You may be tempted to feel self-conscious about being the center of attention and opening gifts while others watch but remember the list above about what the gift-givers are really saying.

7. Enjoy the day

It’s your special day! Be happy! Don’t sweat the small the small-stuff. Focus on the gifts given in love. Focus on the gift-givers who love you. Focus on the Giver of Life who is rejoicing over you with singing.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love, he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17


An Old (Happily) Married Woman


What advice for the bride-to-be would you add to the list? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Advice for the Bride


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