Unsure of how to plan a bridal shower? Below is everything you need to know about planning and hosting the perfect bridal shower!
Steps for Planning a Bridal Shower
Here is a list of steps to help you as you begin the process of planning a beautiful and entertaining bridal shower.
Set Your Budget
The first step in the planning process is to create an all encompassing budget. It is important to set a budget for everything including food, drinks, decorations, rentals, venue, photography, and any other vendors and expenses that may come up throughout the process.
Pick Your Date
The next step is to select a date for the event to occur. Discuss potential dates with the bride to ensure that they work for her schedule and fit seamlessly into the wedding timeline.
As previously mentioned, the shower is a pre-wedding event that should occur between two weeks and two months before the wedding. It is better to be safe and aim for a date further out from the wedding. This will decrease the likelihood of wedding events overlapping with one another.
Make a Guest List
After deciding when the bridal shower will be, it is time to decide who will be in attendance. It is helpful to refer to your budget during this part to ensure that there is enough money to cover the cost of all potential guests.
Be sure to consult with the bride when creating the guest list and have her check it over before sending out invitations.
Select a Location
At this point, it is time to select the location of the bridal shower. Generally, the bridal shower host tends to offer their home for the shower. Having a bridal shower at home is a common tradition, so you don’t necessarily need to book a separate venue for your shower.
Learn more about planning a bridal shower at home with these bridal shower tips!
If having the event at home is not in line with the theme, look for other alternative venues that fit better.
Other venues can include the bride’s favorite restaurant, a winery or beer garden, a banquet hall, or something else entirely. Depending on the bride’s preferences and the number of guests in attendance, the shower can also be held somewhere unique like at a glass blowing studio or a paint and sip studio.
It is helpful to potential guests if you send out invitations four to eight weeks before the shower. This will give guests ample time to RSVP, purchase any gifts, ask any questions, and make any other necessary arrangements.
Be sure to include the theme and dress code if there is one as well as the names and contact information of whoever is hosting. If you’re using a hashtag to share photos from the bridal shower, add it to the invitation!
Learn more about what to write on a bridal shower invitation before you send them out.
Create a Menu
Now that invitations are out and RSVPs are coming in, begin creating a menu. It is best to serve foods that you know the bride will enjoy. Additionally, choose foods that are simple and easy to serve. This will help with ease of preparation and distribution.
If your event has a theme, cater the menu to fit that theme. For example, if you’re hosting a brunch include drinks like coffee, tea, or mimosas, and breakfast foods like pancakes, bacon, or eggs.
Depending on your food budget, you can have the meal catered, you can cook it yourself, or you can host it potluck style with each guest bringing a dish that fits the theme.
Gather Shower Decorations
As the event gets closer, begin to look for and purchase any decorations. The decor can range from simple to elaborate depending on your theme and the bride’s preferences. Find a comprehensive list of shower decoration ideas here.
Make A Joyful Playlist
While it is not necessary to have music playing, it is always nice to have uplifting and fun music playing in the background as guests file in, chat, and indulge with drinks and food. Create a playlist based on the bride’s favorite songs.
Be sure to include songs about love and marriage to fit the occasion. To make the playlist more enjoyable for the guests, you can include a song request line on your shower invitations so guests can suggest their favorite songs be added to the playlist.
Bridal Shower 101
The etiquette and expectations for a bridal shower event have evolved overtime, which can make the process seem very daunting. It also brings up many questions about how to prepare for and host a fun, unique, and personal shower your bride will love. Read on to find out more about bridal shower etiquette!
What Happens at a Bridal Shower?
What happens at a bridal shower is up to those hosting it to decide! Bridal showers tend to be a wonderful and fun mix of food, drinks, games, and gifts.
Depending on the bride’s style, the host can prepare exciting games for the guests. Between games and socializing, guests can eat and drink while watching the bride open gifts.
Best Time to Throw a Bridal Shower
Bridal showers always happen before the date of the wedding. How soon before the wedding is up to the host, but they tend to be thrown between two weeks to two months prior to the date of the wedding.
In deciding when to host the event, it is important to ensure that there is enough time for any venues, caterers, or other rentals to prepare!
Bridal Shower Guest List
When creating the guest list, it is important to coordinate with the bride to ensure all of her closest family and friends are in attendance. If the shower is a surprise, it is usually the job of the maid of honor and the bride’s mother to create a guest list they believe will please the bride.
Be sure to only invite those people who are on the guest list for the wedding. If a person is not invited to the wedding they should not be invited to the bridal shower. Keep the gathering small and intimate to ensure it is manageable and fun for everyone involved.
When to Send Bridal Shower Invitations
Invitations should be sent out anywhere from three to six weeks before the event is scheduled to take place. It is important to give guests as much notice as possible in order for them to make any necessary arrangements.
The invitations should include the name of the bride or couple, the time, date, and location of the event, and a way for guests to RSVP ahead of time. If there is a gift registry, that should be included on the invitation as well.
The dress code is up to the host to decide. The dress code can range from casual to formal depending on the host’s plans. Though a dress code is not required, it is helpful to include some guidelines so guests have an idea of what would be appropriate.
Planning a bridal shower is an intimidating yet enjoyable task to undertake. Be sure to ask for help, seek out the opinions and desires of the bride, and have fun making all of the bride’s dreams come true.
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