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wedding home > unique wedding ideas > bridal shower > how to plan a bridal shower

The Guide to Planning a Bridal Shower

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Bridal Shower Overview

A party that is both enjoyable and sensible, a bridal shower is a more than just close friends getting together but it is also an event where the bride-to-be receives gifts that will help her start her married life. It's the perfect time for friends and family to get together and share stories before the big day.

Traditionally a bridal shower is an all-female party, but it can be a co-ed event. Typically, the host is the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. Sometimes it takes place months before the wedding, but most often it takes place a few days before the big day.

The Host's To-Do List

Pre-planning: A month or two before the party

Since you also are part of the wedding entourage, you need to find enough time to coordinate the event without interfering with your maid of honor duties. Here are some of the things you need to consider for the occasion.

  1. It's a date. Consult or surprise. If you're not planning a surprise party, it is best to consult the bride for an open date in her schedule. But if it is a surprise party, send out feelers to determine the bride's free date for the bridal shower.
  2. Pick the venue. Most bridal showers happen near where the bride lives or where the wedding will take place. It can be a tricky choice since they can be far from each other. Either way you have to consult the bride for this, or make sure that the guests and the bride can go to the venue with relative ease.
  3. Set a budget. Before starting any project, setting a budget is the most basic thing you need. Ask the other bridesmaids to chip in for the shower party.
  4. Send your invitations. Once the basic details of the party are finalized, it's time to send your bridal shower invitations. Order online and mail it as soon as possible so people can make travel arrangements if the location is far away.

Planning the Details: 4 to 6 weeks before the party

An important event like this comes just once in a bride's lifetime so make it special for your guest of honor by ironing out the important details of the party.

  • Food – Some of the most popular food for bridal showers includes BBQ's, finger foods, chicken salad sandwiches, chips and dips, cookies, and brownies. Keep it light and easy to eat as guests would probably be concentrating more on mingling.
  • Decorations – spruce up your venue with beautiful bridal shower decorations that the bride will appreciate. Take into consideration her preferences like color and setting. Or tie the décor to the location of the wedding? a beach perhaps?
  • Entertainment – games are important to keep the party lively. Make sure that you prepare well so that the guests will have fun and not embarrass themselves in the process. Some bridal shower games you could consider are Bridal Shower Bingo, Missing Ingredients, and How Well Does She Know the Groom?
  • Favors – ensure that guests get their bridal shower favors before leaving the party. It's a good idea to put them by the door so the guests can just pick one up before leaving. Favors should fit the theme of the party.

Bridal Shower Etiquette FAQs

Planning an event is not supposed to be easy that is why guides are written to help those who are tasked with the honor.

Who should host the party?

The bride should never host her own bridal shower. It is usually the maid of honor who should host it. However, family members may be scheduling a shower as well and it is best that you consult with them before you start planning. You don't want guests to buy gifts for 2 bridal showers and a wedding, too.

Who shoulders the cost for the event?

Traditionally the host shoulders the cost of the party, in this case the maid of honor. However, she can ask the other bridesmaids to chip in to ease the financial cost. The family can also assist financially if they request a more elaborate fete for the bride to be.

How do I choose the perfect shower theme?

It's always a good idea to consider the bride-to-be's favorites, after all it's a party in her honor. But if you know the bride is game for anything, then some of the most common bridal shower themes include: Around-the-Clock, Bed and Breakfast, Lingerie Shower Party, and Tea Party Theme.

Who should be invited to the party?

It is just right that the bridal entourage be invited to the bridal party. Don't invite someone who will not be invited to the wedding. Also, never invite the same people to a bridal shower twice. Since the guests are expected to give gifts in a bridal shower and at the wedding, this will become too much of a burden for them. That is why it is also important to know if there is anyone else throwing a bridal shower for the bride to be.

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