Who Plans It
Typically this responsibility is given to the matron and bridesmaids. It is very common for them to include others in the planning, including friends, siblings and the mother of the bride. Larger showers may require more legwork in which case you can delegate tasks to other invited friends outside of the bridal party.
The shower can be held anytime before the wedding, whether that be 6 months before the wedding or 2 weeks. The ideal time is 1-2 months before the wedding but this will depend on the bride’s availability as well as the guests. If there will be many out of town guests you may need to schedule it farther in advance. Also, this is a good time to decide whether the bride will be told about the shower date or if you want her to be surprised. Make sure a member of the bridal party makes up previous plans with her for that date so she will definitely make it to her shower! Also set up a planning timeline and spread out the responsibilities.
It’s important to set a budget in advance of the planning. Decide now who will be footing the bill or if it will be split between the bridesmaids. Let everyone know in advance how much they will be expected to contribute and make sure money is collected in the beginning. This will help save you from having to deal with any last minute confusion or disagreements.
Now begins the fun! Try to think of what the bride would like to do for her shower. Would she be happiest in a cozy home with good food, games and her best friends? Would she like something a bit more elegant like a tea or more relaxing like a spa day?
A good rule of thumb to help you start creating the list is that everyone who is invited to the shower must be invited to the wedding. Talk to the bride before you begin the list to see if she wants to provide you with the names or if she has advice. It’s important to invite the close family and friends of the bride as well as the groom. Don’t forget the future mother-in-law and sister-in-law!
No one likes to get an invitation and then spend days thinking about what kind of gift to give. Make it easy for the guests by shedding some light on this. This is the perfect opportunity to let guests know where the bride and groom are registered. Registry information should not be included on the wedding invitation, but it is perfectly acceptable with bridal shower invitations. If you are having a theme shower and gifts tie into the theme, make sure guests know this (for example, gifts for a kitchen themed shower). Also make sure the bride and groom have completed their registry before the shower so guests have many choices in different price ranges. Make sure someone writes down all gifts and the names of those who gave them so the bride can use the list later when writing the thank you cards.
Invitations do not need to be very formal for the bridal shower. Find a stationery store with an assortment of styles and pick what fits best. If it is a smaller shower, try creating hand-made invitations if you’re the creative type. If the guests are all local, invitations should be mailed out 4-6 weeks in advance. If you have out-of-town guests, 2 months is a safer bet. Also, make sure you include a phone number and email address where guests can RSVP. The RSVP date should be about 2 weeks before the shower.
If you’re having a shower theme, try to tie the food in. Indian samosas and chaat are great for a Bollywood theme and if the bride and groom are going to France for their honeymoon try French food! Food can be catered or prepared by friends and family. Keep the bride’s favorites in mind and realize also that some guests may have special dietary needs. Also, serve an assortment of desserts and have the bride cut a cake at the end of the shower.
No bridal shower is complete without favors for the guests. Favors can be anything from candles tied with ribbons to boxes of candies. Keep the theme in mind when choosing the favors. Arrange the favors on a table so everyone can admire them during the shower.
Showers are all about the bride having fun with her loved ones. Great food, lots of laughter and some games are all you need! Have some great background music playing and plan out a few games that will get everyone laughing. If a lot of the guests do not know each other include an icebreaker in the beginning.
A guide for those responsible for throwing a bridal shower for the bride-to-be. Learn about who should be involved, budget expectations, menu and entertainment ideas, and more!