Bridal showers are a great gift for any bride to be. Traditionally, they were an excuse to put together home essentials for the new bride. Stuff like cookware, linens, and other household necessities were commonly given at bridal showers.
But today, bridal shower parties have evolved. They've come a long way from traditional to modern and fun. It's a really good excuse to show that special bride, just how much she is loved by friends and family.
So if you're planning a bridal shower, focus on the bride. She will remember it for a very long time, so you must endeavor to make it an unforgettable experience.
Bridal Shower Pre-planning Questions
Hosting a bridal shower takes a lot of work and can be a daunting task for the planner. Figuring out where to start in a sea of information is where the problem lies.
If you're not the only one hosting the party, then things can get very confusing really fast. A bridal shower checklist is a welcome tool for times like these, it is one tool that you should have handy.
But before you start ticking off items on your bridal shower checklist, preplanning is highly adviced.
The first thing you must do is choose a theme. Without a theme, you cannot put all the other nuts and bolts together for an amazing party.
To get started though, you must ask yourself several important questions:
What does the bride enjoy doing?
The success of the bridal shower ultimately depends on the bride and how much she enjoys the party. That is why her likes and dislikes have to be taken into consideration. For example, if she is a hopeless romantic, then a classic romance theme will do just fine.
If she loves the beach, then a bridal beach theme will be perfect. You can incorporate some seashells and starfish into your decor if you can't throw the party at a beach.
Who will be attending?
Your main focus should be on the bride, but knowing more about the attendees will help you throw a great bridal shower. The bride cannot have fun if her guests are not! So you need to be creative to ensure that everyone has a good time.
One way to do this is to assess the age groups and social status of the guests. Are they in their mid-20s, 30s, 40s or 50s? Are they work colleagues or longtime friends? The information will help you plan effectively so that majority of the guests are at home with your choices.
What is the bride's favorite color?
No matter the theme you choose, you must settle on a color for the day. The bride's favorite color is usually the best way to go, but you can also decide to try something different. Your theme and color should complement your tableware, banners, and balloons.
You can decorate with any color you choose, but make sure that there is symmetry in your color and theme. For example, you can't do a gothic theme justice with loads of whites and bright colors.
Check out the below bridal shower decoration ideas from
What's your budget?
Every great party starts with a budget. Your budget should be your guide when choosing your location, menu and the total number of guests.
Traditionally, the maid of honor is responsible for the cost of the bridal shower, but anyone can foot the bill. Just don't ask the bride or her guests to contribute - it's seriously tasteless. Instead, set a budget from the onset and stick with it.
Bridal showers can run into thousands of dollars and can easily spiral out of control if you're not careful. If you're not the only host, a bridal shower checklist and a budgeting app can help keep you in check.
Download this free party budget spreadsheet. It's great for managing budgets when planning parties and weddings. You can input your budget and expenses as you go along.
Party Planning Template
The above spreadsheet will also help you stay on track so you don’t lose sight of the big picture – your total spend.
Are there any deal breakers?
If there's something you absolutely don't want, then you should know what it is before you start planning. The excitement of planning the party can sometimes take over and make even the sanest of people cross unexpected lines.
For example, if you definitely don't want to go out bar hopping or don't want alcohol at the party then you need to know from the start.
Most deal breakers are out of respect for the bride. If it is a surprise bridal shower, then you must know the bride well enough to outline the things she absolutely will not condone. The last thing you want is an uncomfortable party or an unhappy bride😩😢😡.
When do you want to hold the shower?
Bridal showers are typically held about 1 month before the wedding. But you can be flexible and choose anywhere from 1 week to 2 months before.
Find out the brides' schedule and when she will be available for the party, then let her set a date that will be suitable for her guests. Consider out-of-towners when choosing a date for the shower.
If you choose a date that is one week before the wedding, it might not be conducive to people coming from out of town.
The typical rule is to pick a weekend day - Saturday or Sunday. This way, work or business schedules can be cleared up for the event. Let your guest list guide you in picking the best day for most of the attendees.
Where will you hold the bridal shower?
A bridal shower can be held anywhere as long as the attendees are comfortable. You can have it at home, a restaurant or even outdoors. The location you choose must be comfortable and easily accessible to everyone.
There are several factors that you should consider when deciding on a location for the shower. Your budget is ultimately the main factor, but if money is not an object, then the number of people attending and your theme are important considerations.
If there are more than 50 people on your guest list, then you don't want to hold the bridal shower at home. There's nothing worse than a bridal shower party in a cramped space. However, if the party is taken outdoors, then home can be a really comfy and affordable choice.
The theme you want to create is also another factor to consider during your search for the perfect bridal shower location. Whatever choice you make, don't let the location take a big bite out of your budget because you still have some more bills to settle.
Bridal showers held at restaurants are usually more expensive, but if you're holding it at a restaurant that allows you to bring your own food, then this will also be cost effective.
These bridal shower preplanning questions will help you get started on your planning. When you know the answers to all the above questions, you can decide on the type of shower that you want to throw. Now let's get down to the actual planning.
Lora Akyazi's Bridal Shower Checklist
So you have a date for the shower, a theme and a budget to work with, now it's time to create your bridal shower checklist. You can download this checklist in pdf form so that you'll have a paper copy for your day to day planning.
The guest list
Decide on the number of people that will be attending the party. If this isn't a surprise bridal shower, consult the bride before creating the list. Remember your budget and location as you create the guest list.
Buy or make an invitation card
Some people prefer to make their invitation cards because it's more customizable. But nowadays, there are many design services that make it easy for you to get personalized and uniquely designed invitation cards.
Try 99Designs. They have many creative designers that will deliver truly unqiue invitations. If you want ready-made invitation cards that will stand out without the fuss of designing, then Minted's invitations are my number one choice.
I like the fact that I can order a sample before placing my final order. Here's the link - Minted's bridal shower invitations
When the invitations are ready, send them out as early as possible. If the wedding is taking place one month after the bridal shower, then you want to send out the invitations at least a month before the party. This will give the guests ample time to plan and prepare.
Shop for decorations
Since you already have a theme, next thing to do is to shop for decorations and centerpieces. For your theme to come alive, there are certain items you'll need to nail your theme. List them all out first before hitting the shops.
Shop for party favors
You can choose a variety of party favors as long as it's within your budget. You can choose small trinkets or expensive gift baskets. Just make sure that each guest has a favor to go home with. Limit your choice to affordable items that will not break the bank.
There are many great ideas for party favors, but we highly recommend Wedding Favors because they offer unique and affordable bridal shower favors. Check them out here...
Plan the menu
There is no hard and fast rule for planning a bridal shower menu. You can choose a light lunch or snacks. You can also go all out with a 3-course meal. It doesn't really matter what you choose, just endeavor to stay within your budget.
Bridal shower activities and games
The heart and soul of a bridal shower are the games and activities. So you must choose activities that will be fun and engaging. You want everyone to enjoy taking part in the games, so pick games that you know the guests will enjoy. The idea is to hear a lot of giggles all around.
Buy the bride a gift
The preparation and planning can get hectic and you could easily forget one important task - to buy the bride-to-be a gift. The gift doesn't have to be an expensive one. You can budget $50 to $100 and still get a kick-ass gift.
Book your location in advance
If you're not having the bridal shower in a home, make sure that the location is available in advance. Book your space by paying a down-payment and securing the location for your desired date.
Don't leave this to chance, many bridal showers have ended up being a flop because the event location wasn't available on the day of the party.
Pay for catering in advance
The same rule applies to catering. If you are cooking the food, then you don't have a problem. But, if you'll be using the services of a caterer, then make sure that you pay a down-payment.
Ensure that the caterer is aware of the date and is prepared to deliver on time. Choose a vendor that understands the importance of a bridal shower. You don't want a tardy caterer, so it's highly advisable you make your choice a local one.
Bake a cake or order one
Bridal shower cakes are an important tradition that some people overlook. This is supposed to be the best party of the bride's life, so it's impossible to achieve that without a cake.
If you want to give it a personal touch, or can't afford to order one, baking a cake should be a fun and personal way to show how much you care. An example is this graffiti chocolate cake. It's simple, fun, and easy to make.
Ordering a beautiful bridal shower cake is also acceptable. But remember to place your order early. Your baker or cake shop should have the right date and can deliver on the eve of the party.