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lingerie shower etiquette

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about a lingerie shower. But if you’ve never been to one, you may be scratching your head over the proper etiquette. Of course, you know that you’re expected to bring a lingerie-focused gift for the bride. But as with any other wedding-related gathering, there is a special etiquette to abide by.

If this is your first lingerie shower and you’re not sure what the protocol is, don’t fret — we’ll reveal everything you need to know, whether you’re planning the shower or invited to it.

If you’re planning…

In order to be respectful of guests’ busy schedules, it’s super important to send out the invites at least six to eight weeks in advance. That way, invitees have plenty of time to make travel plans and request off work if need be. Mailing the invitations at the last minute not only causes unnecessary stress for guests but may result in fewer people at the shower.

The invitations

When designing the invitations, there’s one thing you definitely don’t want to forget: the bride’s sizes. After all, you want to make sure the unmentionables she’s given fit her flawlessly, and with all of the wedding-related madness, she may not have time to exchange or return items that don’t fit. Rather than including her sizes directly on the invitation, consider printing them on an insert to slip inside of it. And remember: You’ll need to include not only her bra size, but also her panty size and loungewear size for robes, chemises and other pieces (XS—XL).

The bride’s size isn’t the only thing to include, either. It’s important to ask her about her preferences for gifts, as that information could prove immensely helpful for invitees. For example, if she prefers particular stores, or is planning on launching a lingerie registry, those are details to include in the invitation. Or, you might ask her to specify a certain theme for guests to stick to in their shopping.

The guest list

The guest list requires careful consideration as well. It’s likely that the bride may not want to unwrap racy unmentionables in front of grandma or the mother-in-law, so be sure to ask her who she’s comfortable with having present. Some may opt to only invite a small group of gals (such as the bridesmaids and other close friends) and have a separate traditional shower with the rest of the wedding guests.

Related: How To Throw A Lingerie Shower

The location

Another aspect that demands consideration is the location. It’s crucial not to choose a place where the bride might feel awkward opening her presents. Most people choose to host a lingerie shower at someone’s home, as this offers the most privacy, so the guests will be able to let loose and have fun. However, you can also rent a private room at a restaurant or even host it at a lingerie boutique — but be sure to ask the bride about her preferences before making a final decision. You want to ensure that she feels totally at ease while she’s unwrapping lacy underpinnings, after all.

Don’t be afraid to divy up the tasks when it comes to planning the shower. Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you have to take on all of the responsibilities yourself. You could enlist other bridesmaids or family members to help with designing or mailing to invitations, making decorations, baking some sweet treats, or even devising the party playlist. And as a general rule, the bridesmaids will split the costs of the shower evenly. That’s why it’s critical to discuss any shower-related expenses throughout the planning process to ensure everyone is comfortable with the costs, and that they don’t break anyone’s budget.

Other considerations

Also, it’s typical for someone to take on the responsibility of recording information about all of the lingerie that the bride receives — that way, she has a much easier time writing her thank you notes later on. The host or any of the other bridesmaids can take on this task. In addition to recording the name and mailing address of the guest, they should also record details about their specific gift.

If you’re attending…

Finding the perfect gift

Before you start eagerly shopping for the perfect gift, it’s super important to check the invitation for key details that can help guide you. Hopefully, the invitation will include the bride’s size — but if it doesn’t, feel free to reach out the maid-of-honor to find out more info. The invitation may also provide some guidance on the bride’s preferences. If you’re not sure about her taste, you can ask the maid-of-honor (or even the groom) for some tips on where she likes to shop, or her favorite colors. Still stumped? A silky robe, cute PJ set, or a basic bodysuit are always a safe bet, and a little less risky in terms of fit than a bra. Or, you could always opt for a few pairs of basic thongs or bikini panties, which are a surefire crowd-pleaser.

If the bride has invited you to both a regular shower as well as a lingerie shower, you may be confused as to whether you’re expected to provide gifts at both. Ideally, the bride will have specified that you’re only obligated to buy one gift. If she hasn’t, rest assured that it’s par for the course to only purchase a gift for one or the other. If you want to buy two gifts, that’s your choice. However, if you’re on a tight budget, rest assured that you can pick which shower to buy for.

All of these etiquette tips should come in handy in preparing for a lingerie shower. That said, there’s one more tip that’s equally important: Don’t forget to have fun. A lingerie shower presents a phenomenal bonding opportunity for all the bride’s closest friends and family members, and the best thing you can do is show up with an party-ready attitude.

Related: The Best Places To Shop For A Lingerie Shower Gift

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Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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