From engagement parties to bachelor and bachelorette parties, the wedding planning season is packed with events that shower the soon-to-be couple with love. One of our favorites is the wedding shower. Typically taking place two to three months prior to the wedding day, this pre-wedding party gets everyone excited for what’s to come. And now that your loved ones are officially engaged, it’s time to get the planning started.
If you’re the lucky one that gets to plan the wedding shower, we’re here to help. This ultimate guide has everything you need to know–from timelines to creative ideas the couple is sure to love!
FAQs For Planning A Wedding Shower
1. Who’s responsible for planning a wedding shower?
There are so many events that take place while planning a wedding. It can easily get confusing as to who is supposed to take responsibility for the planning of each event. When it comes to the wedding party, we typically see parents or members of the wedding party taking over the planning duties. This gives the newly engaged couple a little break from the stresses of planning.
2. Who should cover the costs?
Traditionally, those hosting the event will cover the costs. But we understand this isn’t always the case, and we’re all about doing things the non-traditional way. . Perhaps the newly engaged couple wants to take care of the bill, or maybe their family members are willing to pitch in some cash. Whatever the situation, it’s important to remember this doesn’t have to be an over-the-top affair. A wedding shower should simply be a time to celebrate the couple and gather everyone before the big day.
3. When should you host a wedding shower?
Wedding showers typically occur two to three months before the wedding day. It’s close enough to get the couple and guests excited for what’s to come. But, it’s also far enough from the big day, allowing everyone to make arrangements to fit both events into their schedules. You’ll want to make sure to announce the date at least two months in advance so everyone can plan accordingly.
4. Who should be included on the guestlist?
No matter who takes on the planning responsibilities, you’ll want to consult the couple on the final guest list. While you might have a good idea of who they’ll want to attend, it’s important to ensure the couple gets the final say.
A good rule of thumb is to extend an invitation to all family members on both sides, along with your closest family and friends. Keep in mind that if the couple is eloping or planning an intimate celebration, it’s a great event to invite those that might not have made the final wedding day guest list.
5. Are guests required to bring gifts?
Gifts are welcomed at a wedding shower but are not necessary. If you want to shower the newly engaged couple with gifts, you’ll want to think of something that is useful for both since this is a joint celebration.
Wedding Shower Planning Timeline
3 to 4 Months Before the Wedding Shower
- Compile a guest list with contact information
- Discuss all ideas, dates, etc. with the couple
- Finalize a date and time
- Establish a budget
- Reserve location (as needed)
1 to 2 Months Before the Wedding Shower
- Order and send invitations
- Purchase decor, party favors, etc.
- Prepare games and activities
- Finalize the food and drink menus
- Delegate a team to help with clear responsibilities (as needed)
2 to 3 Weeks Before the Wedding Shower
- Make follow-up calls to guests and confirm their attendance
- Confirm any vendor arrival times
- Touch base with your food and drink team or make a grocery list for your shopping trip
- Buy a notepad or book to record gifts received for the couple
Wedding Shower Day
- Arrive early to the wedding shower location to prevent rushing (you should enjoy this day, too)
- Decorate the venue space
- Prep any food or drink items
- Welcome guests
- Help write down and record gifts (as needed)
Creative Wedding Shower Ideas
Now that your questions have been answered and you have a rough planning timeline, the real fun begins. Hosting something a little different for your newly engaged friends will surely make them feel loved. And if you’re looking to plan a unique wedding shower, these creative ideas will help kickstart the planning process.
Take Over A Coffee Shop
Instead of hosting a backyard celebration, consider hosting a morning party at a local coffee shop. Guests are sure to love the experience of having their own personal barista. Bonus points if they can make personalized designs on friends’ and families’ lattes.
Host A Movie Night
If your couple loves movies and snuggling on the couch, they’ll love the idea of hosting a movie night surrounded by all of their loved ones. Order some pizzas, play a few wedding party games, and then let the movie-watching begin.
Schedule A Wine or Cocktail Tasting
If you’re looking for an unforgettable wedding shower idea, a wine or cocktail tasting might be the move. It makes for a unique way to toast to the upcoming wedding day. Plus, it makes planning easy for you—say goodbye to the set-up and clean-up duties.
Plan A Themed Party
You can’t go wrong with hosting a more traditional backyard wedding shower. And by adding a themed twist, you can pack the party with personality. Here are a few of our favorite wedding shower themes to get your creative juices flowing:
- Garden tea party
- Decades theme (think roaring 20s or hippie 70s)
- Sitcom (ex: The Office, Friends, Parks & Rec, Seinfeld)
- Charity (animal shelter visit, anyone?)
Lawn Games Tournament
There’s nothing more fun—for some couples—than a little healthy competition. If you’re hosting an event at home, a lawn games tournament can be an awesome way to create memories and re-live your favorite childhood games.
Wedding Shower Games
Cheesy (in the best way) games are a classic part of every kind of shower. While they may seem silly to some, they’re great icebreakers and a way to lighten the mood. Here are a few of our favorite wedding shower games:
The Shoe Game
See if the couple is “on the same page” with silly questions via The Shoe Game. With this game, you’ll seat both partners back-to-back, have them hold one of each of their shoes, and then the MC will ask questions while the couple raises the shoe of who they believe fits the question.
Find the Guest Bingo
If you’re bringing together a lot of strangers, a game of Find the Guest Bingo may be a great idea to get everyone mingling and learning a little more about each other. Each person will have a Bingo card that requires them to find another guest with certain qualities like being left-handed, being a bridesmaid, being engaged, etc. We know it can be a bit intimidating to plan a wedding shower, but this game will get everyone enjoying each other’s company!
Find out who knows the couple best by playing a round of couple trivia. Before the event, come up with 10 to 20 questions about the couple and have them answered in advance. Whichever guest has the most correct answers gets a prize and bragging rights at the wedding.
Date Ideas Jar
For something a little more subtle, have every guest put a date idea into a jar or basket when they arrive. By the end of the event, the couple will have a ton of creative date ideas for their first year of marriage.
With these tips on planning a wedding shower, we are sure you’ll be on your way to creating the most memorable celebration for your newly engaged loved ones. Already dreaming of your wedding-day outfit? You’re sure to fall head over heels for these wedding guest dresses fit for every style of celebration.