A wedding shower has two purposes. One is to help the newlyweds with basic household necessities, as they start out their lives as a couple. The other purpose is to celebrate the upcoming event by holding a party.
Wedding shower comes from the expression to shower with blessings. In this case, gifts. Usually, the shower is hosted by a close friend or family member. A sister is often the best hostess, as she is likely to know what the bride needs or wants. She is also the person, who can identify the people, who would like to be invited to the shower. Guests usually come from a circle of close friends and family members.
The hostess usually holds the shower in her home, so that will determine the number of people to be invited. She may decide that her home can comfortably accommodate 20 guests. The shower is rarely a surprise to the bride. She would be consulted about the guests she would like to have there in her celebration. The hostess would send invitations to these prospective guests at least 10 days before the event, with the request for RSVP (a call or note so she will know if the guest plans to be there).
The hostess will decide on a theme, such as kitchen items, and if the bride has registered with a retail store’s gift registry, will be sure to include that information in the invitation.
Many wedding showers are held on a weekday evening. It is up to the hostess if this will be a meal or just a desert offering. Since most women, including the hostess, work full time during the day, the shower food will probably be simple and easy. A homemade crock pot stew, with bread bowls for serving containers is an easy example. A sheet cake, with an appropriate message from any store can be served for dessert. If something light is desired, a build your own ice cream sundae dessert offering is a good way to go. Things that can be made ahead so the hostess can also enjoy the party are best. Wedding showers are usually for women, but there are no rules that say it cannot be an event for couples.
At some wedding showers, the hostess decides to involve all the guests in short games. At others, they simply talk with one another while the bride opens her gifts. The hostess will provide a small notebook to record the gift and person giving, so the bride can get her thank you notes out. Most wedding showers last less than 2 hours.