10 Tips to Be Less Nervous at Your Bridal Shower

Manage anxiety at your bridal shower.
Bridal showers can elicit social anxiety. Getty / Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap

If you dislike being the center of attention or suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD), having a bridal shower thrown in your honor can stir up a lot of emotions.

You may worry that your guests are bored.

You may be anxious about having to open gifts in front of everyone.

Fortunately, although the bridal shower is all about the bride, it is usually up to the maid of honor to make sure the event goes smoothly.

Try telling her about your anxiety and between the two of you, see if some of the following tips can be incorporated into the gathering to make things easier on you.

  1. Keep it small. Have the hostess keep the shower small and intimate, inviting only people that you know well.
  2. Have a time limit. Limit the shower to a couple of hours. Most guests will tire of a longer shower, and keeping it short gives you a break if anxiety starts to become too much.
  3. Take a seat. It is the job of your hostess to greet people at the door. Don't feel bad about taking a seat and letting people visit with you instead of trying to become a social butterfly.
  4. Don't feel guilty. Remember that your guests want to celebrate with you and want to give you gifts. Don't feel guilty for all the attention you are receiving—everyone has their turn and this is yours.
  5. Banish worry. Don't waste time worrying about guests being bored. Most guests are interested to see what gifts you have received. For those that aren't, too bad!
  1. Ask for help. If you are really nervous about opening gifts in front of everyone, have someone else help you out. Your future spouse or a younger relative could help, or you could even pass gifts out to the group and have everyone open a gift one-by-one.
  2. Register. Gift registries may take the spontaneity out of gift giving but they can be a lifesaver for the anxious bride. By giving guests a registry list, you avoid having to pretend to like something that you will never use.
  1. Plan games wisely. While games designed to embarrass you should be avoided, games that keep guests busy and interested can be useful. For example, during gift opening, your guests could play bingo. Hand out blank bingo cards and have everyone write in the gifts that they think you will receive. As the gifts are opened, guests mark their cards until someone yells "Bingo!"
  2. Serve cake. As another alternative, have the hostess serve cake right before gift opening to take the focus off of you.
  3. Be gracious. No matter how anxious you are during the shower, remember to be gracious. Hold up each gift for everyone to see, smile at the person who gave it to you and thank them. Thank your guests for coming as they leave. After the shower, be sure to send out thank you cards to your guests. Take the time to write a special note to each person, especially if you feel that your anxiety prevented you from connecting with them at the shower.

In the end, remember not to feel guilty about being the center of attention for an afternoon. Your friends and family want to celebrate with you and give you gifts. Try to take some enjoyment from the event and treasure your special time in the spotlight.


Weddings. Throwing a Great Bridal Shower. Accessed February 27, 2016.