– Ask Cheryl – Are Aunts Expected to Host a Bridal Shower?

Hi Cheryl,

I am officiating my niece’s wedding and am wondering if it’s appropriate, or expected, for me to help pay for the bridal shower? I already donated $100 toward the shower and bought a gift. There are only a few bridal attendants: 2 bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid, and a flower girl, so expenses for each of them are a bit high. 

Should I contribute more to the shower? I’d like to help if needed, but I don’t want to appear as though I am trying to make myself the same status as the attendants and take away from their important roles. Thoughts?


Hi Brenda,

Let me put your mind at ease. Just because you are the bride’s aunt, you are not expected or required to pay for a bridal shower unless it’s a tradition in your family. It is certainly appropriate for an aunt to host a bridal shower, but not required. 

From your note, I gather that the two bridesmaids will be hosting the shower. It’s not that you “should” be giving more, but if you want to offer to cover more of the costs, I think it would be OK to broach the subject. Have a conversation with the maid of honor and let her know you are happy to help share the burden, offering to contribute financially or with whatever they need.

Most people would be glad to accept an offer of help, whether financial, planning, or tasks like setting up and decorating. Additionally, you can help without having your name on the invitation as a host if you are worried about upstaging them.

If these attendants are so on the ball that they don’t need help, I’m sure they will still appreciate your offer.

People also ask:

1. Who should host a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is hosted by someone close to the bride that is not in the bride’s immediate family, such as the bridesmaids, an aunt, cousins, or godmother.

It’s a big commitment of time and money and not everyone’s cup of tea, so a bride should not be offended if she’s not flooded with offers.

Brides who love party planning often want to jump in and control a shower by getting their mother or sister to host. But brides should wait and not take away the opportunity for someone to honor them with a shower.

2. Who should be invited to a bridal shower?

Bridal showers are gift-giving events, so only those that will receive a wedding invitation are invited to the shower. This rule should be followed even if the couple plans a small wedding or destination wedding with only family.

Invite only those closest to the bride, such as best friends and family members. Remember, it’s not a mini-wedding, and it’s not necessary to invite every female on the guest list to the shower. Also, don’t invite those who will have to travel a great distance unless you are sure they want to make the trip.

More questions? We have answers in the bridal shower section of our blog.

Emails in this column are received from readers. Emails may be edited for spelling, length, and grammar or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

If you have questions or comments about gift giving, bridal showers, baby showers, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Cheryl Seidel is the founder and President of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations, and more.

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