The fact that you’re here means you’ve probably been chosen to host a bridal shower for a close friend or family member who is getting married. This may have you feeling a mixture of emotions – enthusiasm for throwing a memorable party for your bride-to-be and anxiety from not knowing where to start. Have no fear! This blog post contains advice and tips on how to plan a bridal shower, from choosing a theme to making a list of to-dos and sending out the invites.
What Is a Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is a terrific opportunity to formally honour the soon-to-be bride. It is one of the initial pre-wedding gatherings where the bride’s and groom’s families have the chance to become acquainted with each other. Generally, it is customary for the bridal shower to be a ladies-only celebration. Nonetheless, nowadays co-ed wedding showers have become very common.
How to Plan a Bridal Shower
1. Decide on a Bridal Shower Budget
Before settling on a menu or theme, the initial step in bridal shower planning should be determining a budget. Usually, the host covers the cost of the shower. So, as the host, your first step is to determine the budget for the bridal shower. Your budget must include your major elements including invitations, food, decor, favours, and a gift for the bride. We recommend you select a reasonable amount that you can afford without breaking the bank. Your budget will help you decide on the bridal shower location, food and drinks, decorations, and favours.
How Much Does a Bridal Shower Cost?
The expense of a bridal shower depends on your venue, the number of guests and the food selection. Usually, a daytime bridal shower in a venue like a hotel or a restaurant in the UK starts at £15 per person. Your spending will increase with each invitee and the cost may go higher when including decorations, entertainment, favours and more.
2. Discuss the Bridal Shower with the Bride/Groom
You will be the main planner of the bridal shower, but it is important to get the bride’s/couple’s opinion as well before planning a bridal shower. Do they even want a shower? Are there certain dates or times that are not good for them? Would they like a large or small shower? Who do they want to invite? Is there a specific theme they would like? While most of the details are in your hands, it is important to take their desires into account when planning.
3. Set the Bridal Shower Date
Choosing the perfect date is the most difficult task in planning a bridal shower. This event is usually held two to three months prior to the wedding but can be closer to the big day if necessary. Before you make a final decision, make sure to check with the bride that the date fits into her schedule and that her family members can also make it. Remember that the bride may already be heavily involved in wedding planning, so you need to check with her pretty early before her and her family’s calendars are too full.
4. Create the Guest List
The number of people on a bridal shower guest list should be determined by the size of the party you are arranging and the capacity of the venue. It is essential to include the wedding party, the couple’s close family and friends. An important rule to adhere to is that anyone who is invited to the shower must also be invited to the wedding.
5. Choose a Theme
You don’t have to make your party follow a specific theme, but it can be a great way to add a personal touch to it. A theme will help you decide on the decorations, refreshments, and party favours, as well as the overall atmosphere of the bridal shower. You can use the bride’s interests or hobbies as a basis for the theme, though it’ll be more fun to have some surprises for her and the guests. When you have a better idea of the bride’s likes and dislikes, you can begin researching theme ideas.
Creative Theme Ideas for a Bridal Shower
When deciding on a theme for a wedding, the possibilities are endless. It can range from something classic such as a rustic decor or a vintage-style tea party to something more unique and personalised to reflect the bride and groom’s individual personalities and interests. Alternatively, you can opt for a more modern and creative approach, allowing your imagination to run wild. Here we’ve put together a list of creative bridal shower themes for your inspiration:
- Amalfi Coast
- Country Western
- Garden Party
- Gatsby Party
- Movie Night
- Paris Romance
- Pyjama Party
- Tropical Island
6. Pick Your Venue and Book It
A bridal shower can be held at different venues such as a family member’s house, a restaurant, a bar, a country club, an event space, a spa, and more. The bridal shower venue will set the tone for your special day. When choosing a venue, make sure to consider the size of the space, the amenities offered, and the overall atmosphere. Additionally, you should consider the number of guests that will be attending, your theme and the type of activities that you plan to have at your bridal shower. Once you have chosen the perfect venue, be sure to book it as soon as possible to ensure that it is available on the day of your bridal shower.
7. Compile Addresses of the Guest List
Prior to sending out bridal shower invitations (whether in print or digitally), it is essential to obtain the mailing or email addresses of the guests. If you have guests who live far away, make sure to get in touch with them and also double-check that all of the addresses are accurate. Prepare a comprehensive list of your invitees’ full names and mailing addresses early to avoid any last-minute confusion.
8. Plan the Bridal Shower Menu
Planning the bridal shower menu can be a fun and creative experience. Consider the bride’s tastes and preferences, as well as your theme when deciding on the menu. Make sure to plan a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury, as well as drinks. Finger foods are a great option, as they are easy to serve and can feed a large group. To make the menu more special, consider adding items that are meaningful to the bride, like her favourite dish or an item that is traditional in her family. Finally, don’t forget to plan a delicious dessert to finish off the meal.
9. Hire Vendors
From caterers and photographers to florists and rental companies, there are many vendors to choose from to help create the perfect bridal shower. It’s important to do your research to find the right fit for your needs and budget. Be sure to read reviews, get referrals, and ask plenty of questions to make sure you’re working with the right vendor.
10. Decide on the Dress Code
The dress code for your bridal shower depends on the bride’s preferences and the theme of the shower. If the bride is going for a casual, relaxed atmosphere, then something like denim and a nice top or even a sundress would be appropriate. For a more formal shower, a cocktail dress or an elegant maxi dress would be a great choice. The options are endless!
11. Send Out the Invitations
It is best to give guests plenty of time to make arrangements to attend the bridal shower, particularly if they need to travel. Invitations should be sent four to six weeks prior, either through mail or electronically. RSVPs should be due roughly two weeks before the event. Printed invitations are conventional, but digital ones are more budget and environmentally friendly.
When crafting invitations for the bridal shower, make sure to include the date, time and location of the event, registry information, a way for guests to RSVP, and the names of whoever is hosting. Make sure to include any relevant gift-giving instructions. Additionally, let guests know if the occasion is formal or casual and if there’s a particular theme and dress code.
12. Purchase Bridal Shower Favours
Bridal shower favours are a great way to thank your guests for attending your special day. Whether you are looking for something unique and special or something small and inexpensive, there are many options available to suit your needs. You can purchase customised gifts, or even pre-packaged favours to match your bridal shower theme. There are many online stores that offer a range of bridal shower favours, making it easy to find something perfect for your guests. When purchasing bridal shower favours, be sure to order in advance to ensure they arrive on time and in perfect condition.
13. Create a Music Playlist
Music can be a great way to set the tone for your bridal shower. To make sure it’s just right, it’s important to create a playlist in advance. The best bridal shower playlists will include a mix of upbeat and romantic songs. Add some classics and some new tunes with a wedding theme. Don’t forget to include some of the bride’s favourite songs or ones that are special to her and her partner. A few good selections include “Love On Top” by Beyoncé and “I Do” by Colbie Caillat. Finally, don’t forget to include some modern, upbeat songs like “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO or “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars to get everyone on their feet and dancing.
14. Confirm RSVPs
It’s important to confirm bridal shower RSVPs in a timely manner. This helps ensure that the right amount of food and drinks are ordered and that the space is large enough to accommodate the number of guests that will be attending. The best way to confirm RSVPs is to send out gentle reminders via email or text message a few days before the event. This will give guests time to confirm their attendance and let you know if they are unable to make it.
15. Plan Bridal Shower Activities
A bridal shower generally takes place over the course of two to four hours. During this time, people will usually eat either a fancy meal or some finger foods, play games, and socialise. The most exciting part of the event is when the bride opens her gifts, which are usually things from the couple’s wedding registry.
At a bridal shower, your guests can have fun with a variety of games, from the traditional couple’s trivia and toilet paper wedding dress to more personalised activities. To ensure that everyone has a good time, you need to prepare all the necessary supplies for the games. Additionally, you can incorporate some more creative activities to make the celebration truly memorable. Here are some ideas for creative bridal shower activities:
- Crafting DIY wedding projects
- Going to a beauty salon or spa
- Having a bridal shower brunch
- Having a chill barbeque
- Having a dreamy picnic
- Having a pool party
- Hiring a dance instructor to teach you
- Host a movie night
- Learning DJing
- Paint-your-own-pottery session
- Practising a group dance performance on the wedding day
- Taking a cooking class
- Taking a makeup class
- Wine or champagne tasting
16. Day-of Bridal Shower Checklist
It’s essential to ensure that everything is in order on the day of the bridal shower. Do a thorough check of the area to make sure that all the decorations, food, and other items have been delivered. Once you’ve confirmed that the necessities are there, it’s time to start setting up. You can assign tasks to the bridesmaids, but you should keep the reins in your own hands.
- Create a sequence of events.
- Make a seating chart.
- Bring supplies to the venue.
- Pick up the cake or other desserts.
- Decorate the venue.
- Arrange the tables and chairs.
- Set up the food and drinks.
- Assemble bridal shower favours.
- Prepare bridal shower games.
- Check the sound and music.
- Prepare food and beverages.
- Greet and introduce guests to each other.
- Host and play games.
- Record gifts as they are received.
- Have fun!
Planning a bridal shower may seem daunting, but careful planning and preparation can make it an unforgettable experience for the bride and her guests. Think about the bride’s tastes, budget and wishes, then get your family, friends and vendors on board to make it special and stress-free. After all, a bridal shower is a cheerful way for the bride to enjoy time with her nearest and dearest, and receive well-deserved congratulations and gifts.
Enjoy the experience and have fun!