Here’s exactly when to send out bridal shower invites

A bridal shower invitation with a light purple, abstract depiction of a bridal veil and white envelope lies beside two rock candy pops and a glass of rosé.
Paperless Post BlogWedding > Here’s exactly when to send out bridal shower invites

From engagement photos to the bachelorette party, there are so many exciting events a bride gets to enjoy before her walk down the aisle—and one of the most beloved traditions is the bridal shower. It’s a chance for the most important ladies in her life to celebrate the bride-to-be, all while adorning her (and her future spouse) with gifts. It’s not only an opportunity to make the bride feel special, but a fun occasion where close friends and family get to bond over yummy treats, delicious beverages, and good company.

Generally, the maid of honor or a relative like the bride’s sister or mother is in charge of planning the bridal shower. This means deciding on a theme, building the guest list, finding a venue, coordinating snacks, decorating, and so many more details that go into planning a bridal shower. Once all of the logistics have been decided, it’s time to bring the event to life. The first step? Sending bridal shower invitations to the bride’s nearest and dearest so that your party space will be filled with love. 

Paperless Post offers myriad options of bridal shower invitations for every bride, including floral beauties like “Fiore” and “Rose Rows.” Want to grab your guests’ attention with bridal invitations that really pop? Try a bright, sunny design like “Main Squeeze” and “Garland Shower.”

Are you currently planning a bridal shower? Here are some helpful tips on when to send out bridal shower invites, as well as bridal shower invitation etiquette to take into consideration when organizing this special occasion. 

An infographic depicts when to send out invitations for a bridal shower: Send save the dates 12 weeks prior to the shower, invitations to out-of-town guests 8 weeks prior, and send invitations to all other guests 6 weeks before.

When to send out bridal shower invitations 

One of the most important elements of a successful bridal shower is ensuring that everyone the bride wants to be there can attend. To make sure this happens, it’s important to send out bridal shower invitations with plenty of notice. 

A general rule of thumb when organizing a bridal shower is to make sure the invitations are sent out at least six to eight weeks before the date of the event. If there are guests coming from out of town, you can give them extra time to make travel arrangements by sending your invitations a couple of weeks earlier. If you have a date in mind but haven’t planned the other details yet, you may want to consider sending bridal shower save the dates. That way, guests can mark it in their calendar while waiting for the official invitation to follow. 

As for when to host a bridal shower, it really depends on the date of the wedding. However, it’s recommended that the bridal shower take place anywhere from two weeks to two months before the wedding itself so that it doesn’t interfere too much with the couple’s wedding planning and other events. If you have a lot of guests coming from far away, take their travel plans into consideration as much as possible. 

When sending out bridal shower invitations, make sure to include a specific deadline on when the guests should RSVP by. That way, you can plan accordingly when it comes to choosing a venue, organizing refreshments, and more. 


Left: Two women (one in a lacy white dress) open a bottle of sparkling wine over a rattan bar cart with pink balloons in what appears to be a greenhouse. Right: A bridal shower invitation with an illustration of orange slices and mimosas and a border of red checkers above a sage green envelope.Image via Inspired by This; “Delightful” by Paperless Post.

Who should be invited to a bridal shower?

Now that you’ve determined when to send out your bridal shower invites, it’s time to decide who should get one of the coveted invitations. One common misconception when it comes to bridal shower invitation etiquette is that only people on the wedding guest list can be invited, but this isn’t the case. 

The bridal shower guest list can include any women who are important in the bride’s life. This can range from a small group of close friends, the members of her bridal party, and family to a larger gathering that includes friends from high school, co-workers, neighbors, and more. It’s perfectly acceptable to invite guests that aren’t invited to the wedding, and your guest list can include people of all ages, including nieces or younger family members, if you wish. (Still, it may be a bit awkward if all but a few bridal shower guests are invited to the wedding.) 

If you’re unsure of who to put on the guest list, you can consult with the bride to see who she wants to attend—something we’d recommend either way so that you don’t miss anyone.


What to include in a bridal shower invitation 

When settling on your bridal shower invitation wording, keep the theme or style of your event in mind. For example, for a more formal, upscale garden party, you might include wording like, “[Host name] cordially requests your presence at a bridal shower luncheon in honor of [Bride’s name].” Or for a laidback celebration, you can keep your wording more casual—such as, “Please join us to celebrate [Bride’s name] before she ties the knot.” 

You’ll also want to make sure you’re as clear as possible and include all of the relevant information that guests need to know. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate details when writing your bridal shower invitation, as you want to avoid confusion or getting tons of questions from guests. 


A bridal shower invitation with a chartreuse border and pink flowers and blue leaves, plus an infographic element pointing to various details on the card: Theme, date and time, venue, and whether drinks are provided.Phlox” by Paperless Post.


Here are some key elements to include in your bridal shower invitation: 

  • Date and time of the bridal shower
  • Address and name of the venue, like “Maid of Honor’s home, [address]” or “[Restaurant name], [address]” 
  • The theme of the bridal shower, if there is one 
  • A link to the bride’s wedding registry (if applicable) or gift suggestions if there’s a theme like lingerie or wine
  • Whether drinks will be provided 
  • If food is included or if you’re hosting a potluck 
  • If children are allowed to attend 
  • If other friends or plus ones are allowed 
  • An RSVP-by date
  • Parking information, if applicable 
  • An option to share food allergies or dietary restrictions with the host

With Paperless Post’s online invitations, you can use Blocks to provide all the details and logistics of the event without cluttering your invitation’s design. You also can poll guests to collect answers on things like food preferences and allergies so you can easily share and collect all the information you need before you start spending money.


Should you have a wedding shower instead of a bridal shower?

Another common question that comes up when planning a shower is the difference between a bridal shower and a wedding shower. While they’re both pre-wedding celebrations, the wedding shower is for the couple (or someone who doesn’t consider themself a bride in the traditional sense), and a bridal shower is just for the bride. 

Couples with many mutual friends may choose to have a couple’s wedding shower so everyone can be included. While gifts at a strictly bridal shower may tend to be a bit more cheeky and stereotypically feminine, such as lingerie and novelty items, wedding shower gifts are generally items that will be useful in the newlywed’s home or new life together. 

Either one can be a lot of fun; it really depends on how the couple or bride want to celebrate their upcoming union.


Paperless Post offers an incredible selection of customizable, stationery-inspired online Cards that make for beautiful bridal shower invitations and wedding invitations, too. With so many to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect invitation in a shower theme the bride-to-be will love. For extra assistance in creating your bridal shower invitation, our Personal Design Services team is ready to offer their expertise and help you along the way. 


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Hero image: “Veiled” by Paperless Post.