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Bridal Shower vs. Bachelorette Party

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Pre-wedding customs help prepare the future bride and groom for their conversion into the positions of wife and husband.

The bridal shower is a ceremonial custom generally reserved for the would-be bride that celebrates her development from unmarried to married life. This event also shows the acceptance of her future status as a married woman.

The tradition of throwing a bridal shower started in America in the early 1900s. They executed everything in the same way as we do today. Despite being independent and liberal, women still celebrate their role as home keepers in these events.

A gift-giving ceremony is a vital part of the event. According to conventions, people should give gifts related to homemaking. Typical presents include ceramics, pottery, or other things related to the kitchen.

three woman drinking champagne and having fun on bachelorette party

Throwing a bachelorette party for the prospective bride before her wedding day is also a convention. This tradition started in the 1960s, at the time of the women’s rights movement.

This party helps women in breaking stereotypes. Traditional gender roles have begun changing since that time. Women started their journey towards equality at that time.

Gender roles allowed men to celebrate their bachelorhood while it was not common for women. That is why bachelorette parties are different from bridal showers. It rebels against the concept of acting feminine all the time.

Women also started planning cocktail parties at bars to celebrate their pre-wedding days. Sometimes it’s hard to plan a bachelorette party because there are few conventional sources to guide them. However, women still manage to arrange them in the best way possible.

A wedding is a massive breakthrough in someone’s life that encompasses all the occasions that lead up to that beautiful day. It might be difficult for some people to differentiate between a bachelorette party and a bridal shower because of the slight difference between them.

Each occasion carries particular excitement and experience for the bride and the attendees.

Following are some of the differences that could help you identify both events.

Bridal Shower

Table set up for bridal shower on bright spring day with flowers and vintage tea cups on each plate


At the bridal shower, you commonly serve brunch. If it’s taking place at a restaurant, sometimes they provide the food. You can also use a catering service if you don’t have time to cook.

If you arrange the shower at home, guests usually bring food with them, and the host also makes some dishes. A bridal shower is more fun with a variety of dishes like pasta, cakes, brownies, etc. The maid of honor and the bridesmaids could also cook together to make preparation more fun together.  

After the food, everyone plays games and does fun activities. It helps people socialize more and learn about each other and the bride amusingly. Games usually revolve around the bride because the event is to make the bride feel special.  

To make things more enjoyable, you could arrange a themed shower and ask questions regarding the wedding. The gift opening ceremony makes things even more entertaining.

You can set up a decorated spot specifically for gift-opening time, where the bride could open the gift and feel special. There should be a cake to cut to wind up the event.


You arrange a bridal shower for the bride-to-be to prepare her for her upcoming life as a married person.


You can arrange bridal showers at the time of brunch or afternoon.


It would be best if you invite the bride’s immediate family. For instance, her mother, grandmother, female-in-laws, and close friends.

If you are not throwing a surprise shower, you can ask the bride to come up with the list. The bride’s mother or maid of honor can also decide which guests to invite. Apart from the guest list, the bride should not know any other plans regarding the event.

Financer and Organizer

Whoever hosts the bridal shower should pay for the event. Usually, the bride’s mother and maid of honor throw the shower, so they cover the cost of the event.

If the bridesmaids are throwing the shower, they can divide the expenses.

Bridal Shower Party Food Table


Traditionally, if the guests are local, invitations for bridal showers go out six weeks prior to the event.

If you are planning to invite distant guests, it requires almost 7-8 weeks before the event to plan their transportation accordingly.


You can arrange a bridal shower wherever you want.

It could be at the host’s house or a restaurant. Nowadays, people also prefer arranging outdoor bridal showers.


Usually, people get together, bring gifts, and play different games at the bridal shower. There are also many other fun activities that you can perform.

In the end, the bride receives the gifts. However, it depends on the bride if she wants to open the presents or not.


Bridal showers should not last more than 2-4 hours. If you plan it for less than 2 hours, guests might not manage to eat food, play games, and spend quality time with the bride.

If you plan it for more than 4 hours, guests might start yawning at the event.

Dress Code

A bridal shower is an intimate event where the bride has her closest people around. This event calls for a not too formal and flashy dress code.

As the bride will wear white on her wedding day, she should not go for white or other pastel colors. Otherwise, there is no strict limitation to a dress code.

If you feel confused about what to wear as a guest, invitation cards often prove to be your guide. You can also contact bridesmaids to guide you about the dress code.


It is not necessary to have a theme at the bridal shower, but many people do like to follow a specific theme. However, it is entirely up to the person who hosts the party.


Giving presents to the bride is basic etiquette of a bridal shower. It is one of the vital parts of the event.

Even if you hosted the whole shower, it is still mandatory to give a beautiful present to the bride which she can use after her marriage. Giving personalized gifts is the best idea for a bridal shower.


When calculating how much the bridal shower will cost, the best idea is to focus on the number of attendees. It depends upon how you arranged the party. If you are throwing the shower at a special venue, it is going to cost you so much more than the home-based shower.    

One cannot get the exact cost but, a simple shower might cost up to $15-$16 per head. If it is an elegant theme shower, then it might cost you almost $60 per person. The best thing is to stay within your budget.

Bride with girlfriends in silk robes at a bachelorette party

Bachelorette Party


Bachelorette parties differ a lot from bridal showers. Brides don’t have to be poised and feminine in this event because the party includes only her close friends.

The primary motive is to mingle with the bride’s best friends and have a fun and amusing night. This is the best event to make memories, recall old memories, and have a great conversation about the future.

The bachelorette party begins with an unforgettable dinner at the bride’s favorite venue.

Dinner is arranged to give a push to the party, and then the fun begins. After dinner, you can choose to go to a bar or a spa to have a magical and charming time.

A bachelorette party is all about celebrating, playing games, singing songs, and living the best life as a single woman.  

As a bachelorette party is usually a night out, and often an overnight, there are some essentials that one must consider while leaving home.

Extra clothes, shoes, comfy pajamas, bathroom essentials, etc.


You plan a bachelorette party to celebrate the bride-to-be and help her commemorate her current life as a single woman.


The bachelorette party is generally an evening out, and sometimes an overnight event.


For the bachelorette party, you should invite the bride’s sisters, best friends, and bridesmaids. It’s your choice to invite the bride’s relatives or not, as they are not a vital part of the event.

Financer and Organizer

At the bachelorette party, it’s up to guests to bear the expenses of refreshment. The host should be responsible for entertainment and transport expenses (if you arranged the party at a venue).

You should divide the bride’s tab and never let the bride pay for herself.


You should send the invitations 3-4 weeks in advance of the bachelorette party.

However, if you are planning to take the bride to another venue, you should inform the guests eight weeks prior to the event so that everyone can plan accordingly.


You can arrange bachelorette parties at bars, inns, spas, or a participant’s house.

If you want to arrange a budget party, you can decorate your terrace or rooftop with lights and posters.

Friends celebrating bachelorette party in a nightclub


Bachelorette parties depend on the bride’s choice. If the bride wants to spend the night out or have a spa day, you should plan it accordingly.

Bachelorette parties can also happen at a beach or a certain destination. If you want to have a classic event, you can choose to begin the night with an elegant dinner and then a night out at a bar. Playing games at a wine bar could also be a great idea to make the event fun.


The duration of the bachelorette party relies on your budget and the activities you planned. These days people tend to devote more than one day to this event.

Dress Code

A bachelorette party is more like a fun and relaxing party, so you can choose to wear anything fun. Try not to wear formal dresses.


People love to have a themed bachelorette party, but not everyone has the budget to dress according to the theme.

So, it’s a great idea to choose whatever fun costumes you have. After all, the purpose of the event is to have fun.


Bachelorette parties do not demand a present giving ceremony. However, if you still want to surprise her, go ahead.


The cost of a bachelorette party depends upon the games and activities, and venue. If you arrange it within your city, it might cost you $500-$600. However, an out-of-town bachelorette party will cost you a lot more than that.  

The main motive is to have a good time and make remarkable memories with friends.

Is it Necessary?

Is it necessary to throw a bridal shower and a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be?

Yes! A would-be bride deserves to have both before her big day. If your budget is low, you can arrange both events on the same day because both events usually happen at different times of the day. 

There is no need to be worried about what to expect from the event you are invited to because the invitation cards will tell the venue, time, and other particular instructions.

Beautiful Women Friends In Robes Having Fun At Bachelorette Party

Bottom Line

When someone invites you to their intimate event, it means that you are special to that person. They want you to be a part of their special day.

Even if you were not chosen to be a maid of honor, they still consider you important enough to join them, so take part financially and try to give the best present to the bride.

As the bride will soon be busy with wedding preparation, bridal showers and bachelorette parties are the best way to give her relaxing days with her favorite people around before busy days.