– Ask a Real Bride – Should the Mother of the Bride Host a Shower?

Throughout the wedding planning process, the mother of the bride takes on many roles: she often plays the part of organizer, budgeter, coordinator, counselor, and confidante. But is “shower hostess” a title that should be taken on by the MOB?

With the help of our Ask a Real Bride Instagram audience, let’s explore the traditional etiquette behind moms hosting, and hear what brides and moms have to say about whether or not that etiquette should evolve.

The Etiquette: Mothers Should Not Host

Traditionally, the mother of the bride does not host the bridal shower for her daughter. Why? Because showers are centered around giving gifts, the mother hosting can be perceived as an overt “gift grab” for her daughter.

Here’s what some real brides and moms had to say:

“The parents of the bride are usually paying for the wedding, and shouldn’t be expected to host anything else!”

“Mother of the bride hosting is absolutely a ‘no.’ Much too close a relationship!”

“This is new info to me, but it does make sense. I felt the gift-grabbing ‘ick factor’ conceptually but I didn’t know it was an actual tradition. Makes sense!”

“I agree-bridal showers should be small, intimate events hosted by the bride’s friends or other family members. The MOB shouldn’t be hosting. Too many special events have gotten so expensive, and are such a production. It’s gotten way out of hand.”

“Please spread this far and wide! The mom can do things behind the scenes, but [she should] not host!”

“The mother of the bride should enjoy the shower as a guest.”

“Amen! The MOB has enough to concern herself with!”

“I completely agree-mamas hosting is a no-no here in the South.”

“My friends will give a bridal shower for my daughter, and several of us gave a bridal shower for their daughters. It’s not up to the bride or her mother [to plan]. Wait for friends to do this!”

“The mother has too much to do. Friends should take the responsibility, if possible.”

Who should host the bridal shower

Who should host the bridal shower, traditionally speaking?

 In short, anyone other than the bride herself or her mom.

Often, the mother of the bride’s friends, who have the homes and resources to host, would plan this event and honor their friend (the MOB) alongside her daughter.

Other times, the bridesmaids plan the event, though they aren’t required to. In fact, with the rise of bachelorette weekends, expecting them to host a bridal shower can be overburdensome. Many moms wrote in to tell me they were helping behind the scenes:

“As a mom, I was happy to contribute some time and money, but I let the maid of honor and bridesmaids do the planning. It was a win for everyone.”

“My way around this etiquette rule was to help with the finances but let the bridesmaids send the invitations.”

The Evolution: Sometimes, Modern Moms Do Host

Many brides and moms wrote in to say in their opinions, that moms can and should host the bridal shower. Sometimes, it’s a cultural difference, but other times it’s about the mom not wanting anyone else to shoulder the costs and planning. Here’s what our real brides and moms had to say:

“In Boston, times have changed. The bridal party hosts the bachelorette weekend, and mostly moms host the shower. Ideally it’s great if others can help out, but today, families live in many different states making that tricky.”

“In Italian culture, moms usually host! My mother is excited to host and me and my bridal party will definitely offer to help if she needs it.”

“My mother hosted a beautiful bridal shower for me 32 years ago and I just hosted one last September for my daughter. I think all of the bridesmaids were relieved they didn’t have to come up with more money to host something.”

“I think it’s really changed. The bridesmaids now organize other events like an exotic bachelorette weekend so the shower now seems to fall on the MOB.”

hosting a bridal shower

The Verdict: Instead of hosting a bridal shower, find other ways to celebrate your daughter.

While I understand that moms don’t want anyone else to feel burdened by hosting, bridal showers are not a right or requirement–this is one pre-wedding ritual that can certainly be skipped.

If the bridesmaids are focused on the bachelorette weekend, that’s ok! They shouldn’t ever feel pressured to host a bridal shower, and in fact, no one should. If a friend or relative doesn’t offer to host, there’s no need for mom to step in to fill the hostess gap.

A few moms and brides wrote in to share that instead of a shower, they’re planning a bridal luncheon the week of the wedding. I love this concept because instead of hosting an event that involves guests bringing gifts for the bride, a bridal luncheon is about honoring the bridesmaids, too–and it’s often a relaxing, intimate time for everyone to enjoy before the rush of the wedding weekend!

“I (MOB) along with my sister are hosting the bridesmaid brunch at my house the day of the rehearsal. To me, that is like a gift to the bridal attendants. This is when my daughter will give each of them a thank-you gift and say something sweet about each one.”

“I’m getting married in December, and I’m having a bridal brunch the week of the wedding instead of a bridal shower, and my mom is planning and paying for it. This feels more intimate, relaxed and cost effective.”

For more bridal shower do’s and don’ts for brides (and their moms), head to this post: we cover it all, from the guest list to hostess gifts!

Have a Question for our Real Brides?

Let me know what topic you’d like us to tackle next! And if you’re interested in learning more about etiquette, gift-giving, and celebrating in style, be sure to subscribe to the RegistryFinder GiveIt blog for weekly posts on wedding etiquette, bridal showers, and, of course, wedding registry guidelines and tips! And as always, refer your guests to RegistryFinder.com, where they can conveniently locate all your registries in one place!

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