Difference between a bachelorette party and a bridal shower?

What’s the difference between a bachelorette party and a bridal shower? As a bridesmaid are we suppose to throw both parties?

Nancy Tucker

The bachelorette party is just prior to the wedding and includes primarily female attendants in the wedding. This party celebrates the bride. The shower is a gift giving shower where friends and relatives that are also invited to the wedding can shower the bride with gifts for the wedding. Normally the bridesmaids and maid of honor arrange both parties.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely agree, except that both parties are optional and not obligatory. And, many brides do not need the ‘extra’ gifts, which many guests find as double gifting these days. So, the gift-less shower is gaining in popularity, albeit slowly. That is also an option.