Wait, aren’t they the same thing?! Well, not quite. There are some important differences to note here. There aren’t a lot of them, though, so it’s no wonder why people have these two mixed up all the time.

What Is a Bridal Shower?

What’s a better way to celebrate the bride-to-be than showering her with love and wedding gifts? That’s exactly what a bridal shower is all about — it’s a bridal party similar to a birthday. Many people mix it up with a bachelorette party, so let’s talk about what happens during a bridal shower.

First and foremost, someone has to plan this celebratory event. Most of the time, that’s the maid of honor’s task. In case she feels like she can’t make it, other people can step up and do it, for example, a close friend or even family. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who plans it as long as the shower goes smoothly. 

The purpose of this event is to celebrate the bride, as well as give her gifts. These gifts are usually things she will need when settling down in her new home. That can be anything from kitchen appliances to bed sheets.

Bridal showers can have a theme, dress codes, snacks, activities, and games. It all depends on the person planning it. They should keep in mind the bride’s personality and preferences and orchestrate the bridal shower accordingly. These parties are usually similar to casual cocktail parties. 

Who Is Invited to the Bridal Shower?

There are certain rules and etiquette when it comes to parties like these. One of them is definitely who’s going to be invited. Some people might think the more, the merrier — the bride gets more presents, right?!. It’s not always like that. 

The planner of this event should be careful about who they’re inviting. Traditionally, only female members from both sides of the family can receive an invitation to a bridal shower. Sorry boys, but you’ll have to sit this one out. The bride has the final say with everything, though, so the same applies to the list of invitees. 

The bride doesn’t need to know everything that will happen, but you do need her seal of approval. This is the time to get creative about how you’re going to ask for her confirmation without revealing too much. 

The fact that the members of both families are invited is great for bonding. Some of the people might not even know each other yet, and this is the perfect setting for them to get to know each other. 

These showers are also suitable for young adults. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind when creating a guest list.

What Is a Bachelorette Party?

Now, let’s talk about the real party. A bachelorette party is something every future bride wants to have. After all, it’s her last chance to have fun and go crazy before settling down. So, how does it all go down? It’s pretty simple most of the time. 

The person who organizes this event is, again, the maid of honor. If she’s unable to, a close friend can step up to the task. No family in this case, though. Why? These parties can turn quite raunchy.

A bachelorette party can have many themes, activities, and games. It can be tame and include no alcohol as well. It all depends on the kind of party the bride will enjoy. However, it’s usually a big party with lots of booze. Think about club hopping because that’s pretty much what it looks like. Even though the maid of honor will try her best to make the party unforgettable, being drunk is what will ensure nobody remembers half of it. 

This party definitely isn’t suitable for youngsters, and it requires no gifts. If gifts are included, they usually consist of naughty presents such as sex toys and other things the bride can use to surprise her partner on their first night together as a married couple. 

Who Can Attend the Bachelorette Party?

These parties aren’t for the faint of heart most of the time. That means that the guest list looks quite different than it does for the bridal shower. You can’t expect your sweet grandma to show up and congratulate you. She probably shouldn’t know all that is bound to happen during this party. 

As bachelorette parties usually involve alcohol and clubs, there should be no underage guests. Being safe is crucial, and the last thing you want is having to take care of a minor while you should be having fun. 

That means that this party is exclusive to the bride and her close friends. No relatives or in-laws. Well, you can invite some of them if the bride is good friends with them. So, we can say that they are optional guests. The party can do without them. 

The bride’s entourage, though, is a must. It includes the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and any other close friends she might have. Every bride has a different idea of what she might want. Why are we saying this? If you don’t end up on the bachelorette party guest list, don’t worry. The party would probably just be too much for you to handle. So, see ya at the wedding!

How Are They The Same

At their core, these two events are pretty similar. Sure, there are some major differences, but their purpose remains the same.

Both the bridal shower and the bachelorette party are events that honor and celebrate the bride in one way or another. They serve to send her off into the married life with a lot of gifts and an unforgettable night of partying. 

These events are usually planned by the maid of honor or a close friend. The bride is always there to help ensure hassle-free festivities. But who pays for a bridal shower or bachelorette party? Well, the person planning it is expected to pay, of course. That means that the maid of honor has to buy and pay for everything she needs. 

So, if the bride wants both a shower and a party, it’s unlikely that the maid of honor will step up to plan both and cover the cost. That’s unless she’s got the budget for it.


People usually mix up these two events or use one term to describe the other. However, even if they are similar, there are still some key differences. 

The bride has the last say during wedding planning, and it’s the same when it comes to how both of these events will look like. So, ultimately, she could make them one and the same if she wants to.