There are traditions involved in throwing a bridal shower, and one of them is that the event is held during day, often at lunchtime. That’s how it’s been for decades so why change that custom now? Actually, why not change it now? If the hosts (most likely the mother of the bride or the bridesmaids) think that you, the guest of honor, might prefer a celebration after the sun has set, they should abandon outdated etiquette and choose an evening start time. There are a couple of things to keep in mind as they start planning, which we’ve outlined here.
If you want to invite the groom, his pals, and other male friends and family an evening shower seems more appropriate. The gifts are still the same—towels, dishes, linens—but some guests may opt to give a groom-pleasing gift, which would be anything involving new technology or beer.
As with any evening party, if the shower falls during a standard mealtime—in this case, dinner—it’s polite to serve a real meal. During a daytime affair, you could get away with dainty hors d’oeuvres and light, fruity cocktails, but not so at an evening bash. You don’t have to serve steak and Champagne but something as light as mini quiche just won’t do.
Hire a sommelier and get the party started. Guests will be expecting light cocktails but will be pleasantly surprised when they find themselves comparing fine vintages instead. A plus: The opening of the gifts, which many guests find excruciating, might not seem so bad after a tasting.
If the bride and groom’s grandmothers and other older relatives are being invited, find out if they’re comfortable traveling at night; if not, arrange for them to get a lift to and from the event space.
Nighttime parties during the week or on Sunday aren’t as much fun for guests who have to go to work the next day. Assuming only a handful of your guests work weekend, go for Friday night or Saturday night instead.