How Katie Sands Had Two Bridal Showers—One on Each Coast

By Katie Sands | Photography by

Miranda Kay

Style expert and television host Katie Sands is getting married this weekend in Florida, and she revealed to us that she actually had two bridal showers—one in California and one in New York City. This rings true for brides that have spent chapters of their lives in multiple places, and Sands is breaking down for Over The Moon the reasons for both of her parties, how they were different, etiquette tips, and more!

Weddings come with multiple celebrations as they are a major, beautiful milestone in many people’s lives and signify starting a new chapter with the person they love. One of my favorite celebrations for the bride-to-be is, of course, the bridal shower–and I was lucky enough to have two!

Why I Had Two

I always knew that my mom and sister would host a shower in New York as they have been waiting for the day when they could. But my fabulous mother-in-law wanted to host one with her friends and family as well in California, so I agreed to both as I knew different people would be attending and it wouldn’t require people to travel from one coast to another to be able to attend. I felt so lucky to be able to celebrate twice with so many people I love and those that have close relationships with both my mom and my MIL. There’s something about strong, smart, beautiful women lifting each other up that makes the day so special.

How They Were Different

Both showers were so beautiful and filled with love, but unique in their own ways. My LA shower felt more formal, elegant, and glam at Hotel Bel-Air, and incorporated a lot of the quintessential bridal shower traditions. From the illustrious, over-the-top floral arrangements, to the decadent food and warm welcome speeches, the shower felt like I was living like a Kardashian for a day. And my New York bridal shower felt more intimate and whimsical at L’Avenue at Saks because New York is where a majority of my friends and female family members live. My friend Christy curated romantic, ethereal flower arrangements, and my mom and sister pieced together beautiful presents for our guests in peach gift bags that perfectly matched the flowers and chairs in the room. Both showers were just beautiful beyond words, I get choked up thinking about them.

Etiquette Tips for Both Showers

I have been asked often what the etiquette is for inviting people to showers and my thoughts are that you should invite the friends and family that are local to the area and not ask people to fly in for it, as it’s not the wedding and should be more intimate. However, I think you should always speak to your mom, MOH, or whoever is planning the shower to ensure they are doing what they feel is most appropriate and comfortable.

Bridal Shower Tips for Guests and Hosts

Dress up, have fun, bring something special for the bride, or buy a gift from the couple’s registry if you’re stumped. Bridal showers are all about making sure the bride and her closest friends and family are excited and feel supported for the big day. If you’re hosting, try to incorporate things that have meaning for the bride, and include close friends and family members in on the planning as they’ll want to be involved and know what they can bring to make the day feel special. They should feel meaningful, fun, and most importantly, showered with love!

Bridal Shower Tips for Brides

It’s always a good idea to have someone do your makeup before a bridal shower or bachelorette because you know there will be photos and you’ll want to feel and look your best. You can hire a professional and use it as a trial for your wedding itself, or have a friend do it. I would not stress too much about your outfit as there are so many options for brides-to-be, it can feel very overwhelming. If you like something and feel confident in it, stick with it, and incorporate your style through unique accessories like shoes and earrings. There are so many different looks you can go for, just choose what feels most authentically you, and something you are comfortable in. Below are more tips I recommend to all brides-to-be…

  1. Get your friends involved — As I mentioned earlier, my friend Christy Doramus curated the beautiful florals for my New York shower and it made the shower feel so much more intimate rather than hiring a florist who didn’t know me. My friends brought rubber duckies, shower caps, candy rings, crowns, and confetti, and made little gift bags for each seat. Everything felt like a lot of love and fun went into the day, and I was felt really honored by that.
  2. Hire a photographer – We chose to have a photographer at the shower because my family is just a tad photo obsessed if you couldn’t tell. Plus, I love photography and wanted photos I can put into an album to look at to remember the day. We used the talented Miranda Kay, who was wonderful. Whether you use a photographer or not, I recommend creating a shared album on your phone and asking all your guests to add to it! This is a great tip for weddings too because it lets you see all the behind the scenes photos and videos your friends capture. You see your day through their eyes, which is always fun!
  3. Play the shoe game without shoes – If you have a friend or family member planning your shower you can tell them things you do or do not want included at your event, but let them take the reigns with the creativity because they are excited to host the event for you! I told my sister that I personally didn’t want to open gifts at the event, and I didnt want to have to take my shoes off. So instead of shoes she ordered two sets of barbie and ken dolls, one for each of us to hold during the game. It was a fun little detail that I’ll always remember.
  4. Have friends or family speak – My cousins and college friends gave the most hilarious speeches of all time at my shower in New York. While I would love to have everyone speak at the wedding itself, there is only so much time! These kinds of events are a great opportunity to add in speeches from loved ones that aren’t speaking at your wedding or rehearsal dinner. I think it’s a great honor to be asked to speak, no matter the event, and the people close to you will always be honored to be included.
  5. Give friends jobs, trust me they want them – If you are a close friend and want to participate in the shower but aren’t hosting it, a cake is really a nice contribution. My mom’s childhood BFF brought the most fabulous cake by Andrea Green. It was such a sweet way for her to be involved, no pun intended.