Q: Do the guests of the bridal shower have to be invited to the wedding? The bride is planning on having a small wedding. What can we do?
A: The guests that are invited to a bridal shower have to be invited to the wedding. The main purpose of the bridal shower is to shower the bride with gifts so if you invite someone who isn't invited to the wedding it looks like you're just asking for gifts. This means that if the wedding has 10 guests, then only those 10 guests could be invited to the bridal shower. Yes, even if the wedding is a destination wedding, these etiquette rules apply.
Be sure to double-check that everyone you're inviting to the shower is invited to the wedding-if the shower is a surprise ask the groom or the mother of the bride.This doesn't mean though that everyone invited to the wedding has to be invited to the bridal shower. The bridal shower can be smaller than the wedding (and it should be.)