Before you walk down the aisle and say goodbye to singlehood, your girlfriends would want to send you off in style. This sendoff is done in the form of a bridal shower, a time-honored and fun tradition for brides-to-be. Read on to find out about the basic things you need to know about a bridal shower.

What is it exactly?

A bridal shower is a get-together with your gal pals, and it is your last hurrah as a single woman before you tie the knot. This is usually done days before your wedding (many brides and experts advise against holding it on the night before the big day--you want to get your beauty sleep!), and is essentially a gift-giving party thrown in your honor. With all the variations of bridal showers nowadays, these parties can range from an intimate gathering at home to a wild night out.

Who hosts it?

You'll be delighted to know that you won't have to stress yourself over planning your bridal shower--by tradition, your friends will take care of the program and foot the bill, too. All you have to do is be there on the day of the party--pretty easy, right? It might be considered in bad taste if a member of your family hosts the party, since it might look like they're asking for gifts for you.

What can you expect?

Friends definitely want to help you get ready for married life, so they might give you tokens which you can use for your wedding, honeymoon, or married life. The gift-giving part really is the core of the party; your friends might even prepare a short program where they'll present their gifts to you one by one. You can also expect games at the party. While they'll be showering you with presents, you'll also get something more valuable--advice about your new coupled life from friends who know you best.

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What are ways to celebrate it?

The bridal shower has come a long way from being a simple get-together with your girlfriends (although you can still do that). There are now more options for the shower activities: you can do something as laid back as a mani-pedi at home, have a pamper day at the salon and spa, or go on a road trip to a nearby destination. If your friends want a livelier setup, they might invite you out for a night of drinks and dancing or a major videoke session.

Whether your friends throw you a casual affair or a sophisticated party, they'll make sure that you'll have a great time. And this is one of the times when you'll find yourself extremely lucky for all your friends who have only the best wishes for your happiness.

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