There are countless events that take place before a wedding. From the engagement party to the bachelorette party to the rehearsal dinner, a wedding is far more than just one day. While a bachelorette party is a great way to celebrate your bride-to-be, a bridal shower is a more lowkey party involving the bridal party and the bride’s family members, which acts as an opportunity to show her how much you love and appreciate her.
Between the gifts, food and drinks, and decorations, there’s a lot to think about when planning a bridal shower. You may be asking yourself, “who pays for this?” or “am I supposed to be planning this all by myself?” Rest assured; we’re answering your questions and helping you plan the party that your bride-to-be deserves!
What Is A Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is a celebration honoring the soon-to-be-bride. It’s one of the first pre-wedding events to take place and is a great way for wedding guests to get to know each other. They typically include decorations, snacks, and gifts. Essentially it is a way for wedding guests to shower the bride with warm wishes, congratulations, and presents.
Everything To Know About Planning A Bridal Shower
Create A Budget
Just like with a wedding, creating a bridal shower budget is essential. To help you crunch the numbers, you’ll want to factor in everything from food, drinks, decorations, venue, any rentals you may need (such as chairs and tables), and flowers. While we all want to spoil our loved ones, you don’t want to break the bank putting together the celebration.
Set A Date
When organizing a bridal shower, you want to consult the bride on a date that works best for her. However, we recommend it is at least 3-4 months before the big day. Because there are other pre-wedding activities (such as the bachelorette party), you don’t want to stack events too close to one another. This will help your wallet get a little break too.
Put Together A Guest List
After choosing a date, it’s time to think about the guest list. This can determine where the party is held. Sit down with the bride and ask for a list of must-have invites and their addresses so you can be ready to send out invitations when the time comes. Ideally, you’ll want anywhere from 10-50 people. However, it’s entirely up to the bride. Just be mindful that anyone invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the wedding.
Choose A Venue and Theme
Traditionally the host offers to hold the bridal shower at their home, though this isn’t the only option. Other venue options include the bride’s favorite restaurant, an Airbnb, a winery, or a hotel. It’s just important that the space can accommodate every guest invited (even if they are unable to join). To ensure that it’s easy for everyone to attend, you may also want to consider the location and the parking situation.
Once you have chosen the venue, you can think about the theme. Some brides opt out of themes, while others enjoy having one. The venue can dictate the theme depending on the type (i.e., a champagne brunch at a restaurant or a garden tea party in your backyard). And while this isn’t necessary, having a theme helps dictate the decor, menu, and games, which makes planning much easier.
Send Out Invitations
When sending out invitations, you want to give guests ample time to check their calendars, save the date, and purchase gifts. Ideally, this is four to six weeks before the shower. Along with an RSVP line, it may also be helpful to include a space for them to specify if they have any dietary restrictions.
Now we get to the fun stuff–buying decorations! If you’ve got a theme picked out, shopping will be a piece of cake. But even if you don’t, you can include decor personal to the bride. This can be using her favorite colors as the color palette or covering the venue in her favorite flowers. Whatever you do, just don’t forget to create an Instagram-worthy photo backdrop!
Put Together A Fun Playlist and Games
This is another fun step in the bridal shower planning process. Although you likely won’t really hear the music over guests’ chatter, you still want to set the mood with an upbeat playlist. To tailor it to your bride-to-be, ask her to send you some of her favorite songs.
Once the music is picked out, it’s time to think about games. We’ve all likely been to a bridal shower and played the games that we may deem “silly,” but they are a great way to break the ice and get guests mingling. Some classics that won’t cost you a penny include bingo, trivia about the bride, and the newlywed game. Etsy is also another great place to look for fun games, too.
FAQs About Bridal Showers
Who pays and plans for the shower?
The bridal shower is typically planned and paid for by the maid of honor, bridesmaids, or closest friends. It’s important to talk to the bride and other bridesmaids early on, so there are no questions about who is doing the hosting. If you’re the maid of honor and doing all the planning, don’t hesitate to reach out to the other bridesmaids or family of the bride to ask for help. We know that planning can be overwhelming, and there’s no reason for you to struggle with it all by yourself.
How much does a shower typically cost?
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a straightforward answer to this question because every bridal shower is different. The price varies depending on the venue, the number of guests, the decorations you choose, and the food and drinks served. However, CostHelper.com found that a typical shower can cost anywhere from $15 to $150 per person. We understand that’s a large range, which is why we can’t recommend putting together a budget enough.
How long should bridal showers be?
Bridal showers usually take place in the mornings and last about two to four hours. It’s usually the same length as a brunch or lunch with your friends. As long as there’s enough time for eating, drinking, mingling, gifts, and a few games, you’ll be in good shape.
What is the dress code?
The dress code for a bridal shower is what you make it–whether that be as formal or as casual as you’d like. If you want guests in a specific attire, don’t forget to make a note of this on the invitations. The same goes for choosing a particular color palette for guests to wear.
Now that you know everything there is to know about planning a bridal shower, it’s time to think about decorations. There are so many decorations out there that it can be hard to choose the best ones. Luckily, we’ve done the shopping for you in our stylish bridal shower decorations round-up!