Whether celebrating a lowkey bride or a big dreamer, everyone deserves to be showered with love and well wishes during this exciting milestone event. While it's easy to get overwhelmed when being tasked with bridal shower planning, don't worry - we’ve got you covered. If you’re finding yourself in the planning seat for an upcoming bridal shower, this guide is for you.
Learn How to Plan a Bridal Shower in 10 Easy Steps
Here we'll walk you through 10 easy-to-follow steps to planning the most picture-perfect bridal shower. One that is sure to keep everyone feeling excited and uplifted before, during, and after the festivities!
Step 1: Organize the Planning Crew
Photo by: Omar Lopez
While traditionally the planning responsibilities have fallen on the Maid of Honor or the Mother of the Bride, times are changing. These days, it's likely that there is a whole crew of friends and loved ones dedicated to co-planning the happy day. Be sure to decide who is in charge of what in your planning crew and delegate tasks accordingly so one person doesn't get too overwhelmed. After determining your planning crew, we’d also suggest starting a group chat so everyone can stay in touch on their progress.
Step 2: Choose a Date and Location
Photo by: Brooke Lark
Be sure that the date you choose is one you know for certain works for not only the Bride but also the loved ones that she would want in attendance. Decide what time of day you want to throw your bash and then look for a venue or a host that will be able to accommodate it. The time of day you decide to host can be influenced by the type of activity you want to do or the food you want to serve, so take this into consideration when initially planning.
Step 3: Create a Guest List
Photo by: Marissa Grootes
Is your bride into the hustle and bustle of a large-scale event? Or is her taste more suited to an intimate gathering of only the closest loved ones? Does she want a co-ed celebration with her partner present? Or will it be strictly reserved for the wedding party? These are questions to ask before formulating the guest list. If the shower isn't a surprise, it's a good idea to speak with the bride about who she does or doesn't want in attendance, so there are no unnecessary stressors on the special day.
Once you have a guest list of family members and friends, make sure to create a document that houses their contact information such as email, phone number, and address. You'll need these details later in the planning process when it comes time to mail out invitations or thank you cards.
Step 4: Choose a Bridal Shower Theme
Photo by: Thomas William
While a bridal shower doesn't necessarily need a focused theme, it can be fun to tailor the shower towards more unique elements of the bride's personality or interests. Whether that be a general garden party theme or a recently popular and highly specific 'Mammal Mia' party, it can help guide decor decisions. If you choose not to go with a theme, we would advise starting with a color palette so you have a cohesive direction to shop for decorations, party favors, utensils, and invites.
Step 5: Design and Mail Invites
Photo by: Katsia Jazwinska
There are various websites that are easy to navigate and offer beautiful templates to design a shower invitation or save the dates! Some that we recommend are Minted, Canva, and Shutterfly! Canva is a great user-friendly site if you want to be incredibly detailed and hands-on with the invite design. You can choose from pre-made templates or custom-design things yourself and print through their printing services or from your home printer! If you'd prefer to choose from pre-crafted designs with an easy order process, check out Shutterfly to proceed with ease.
Make sure your invites include key information such as time, location, dress code, and how to contribute gifts.
Step 6: Plan Activities
Photo by: Casey Chae
Think about who you're planning this shower for. What does she like? What will entertain the number of shower guests attending? You can opt for more traditional bridal shower games focused on the couple or you can tailor it towards a more structured activity such as succulent potting, canvas painting, etc.
While you don't need a minute-by-minute itinerary, it's a good idea to have a rough outline of how the occasion will flow, so you can ensure there is enough time for everything!
Step 7: Gather Decorations
Photo by: Omar Lopez
This is definitely an extra fun part! After you've decided on a theme or color palette, it's time to get crafty and plan out the event decor. Start with Pinterest and create an inspiration board with the colors and theme you’re going for. Look at sites such as Etsy, Amazon, Party City, and Target to source different elements at a reasonable price!
Make sure you have tableware (if it won’t be provided by a host or venue), tablecloths, balloons, signage, florals… and anything that may directly pertain to your theme. Also consider some of the traditional elements of a bridal shower such as a sash and veil for the bride, name tags for the guests, and anything you want to give as a party favor.
Step 8. Plan the Menu
Photo by: East Meets Dress
Depending on the time of day you're hosting the shower, the menu inspiration might change. For instance, if it's a breakfast or brunch bridal shower, consider mini quiches and personal waffles with mimosas. If the shower is later in the day, perhaps a sandwich platter or hors d'oeuvres make more sense! Make sure the options are things that can easily be enjoyed by all guests and are easy to assemble.
Keep in mind any dietary restrictions or allergies that guests may have, so you can create alternative options for those who may need it.
Step 9: Create a Gift Registry for the Bride
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Setting up a gift registry for the bride can be a unique treat for the bridal shower. The registry can focus on items that she may enjoy for her home, date nights for the couple gifted in the form of a gift card, or even a travel-inspired registry geared towards their first wedding anniversary or honeymoon. The possibilities are endless and can be personalized to her needs. Head to our home page for more information on how to set up your very own event or wedding registry!
Step 10: Work out Last Minute Details
Photo by: NATHAN MULLET
You've made it! All of your pre-planning has led you to this moment. When you've finally reached the day before the bridal shower, there are a few last minute details that you'll want to have in order.
- Ensure all food is purchased or catering pickup/delivery is confirmed
- Put together any time-consuming decoration pieces ahead of time (btw, balloon arches take much longer than you would think)
- If you have access to the space in advance, it may be easier to set things up the night before, so it's smooth sailing on the day of the bridal shower!
Now You're Ready to Party!
We hope you’re feeling more confident about planning a bridal shower. With your heart in the right place of celebrating your loved one, you really can't go wrong. So don't stress, just enjoy the day and be present for the special memories that you're about to make!
Have other celebrations coming up? Get a jumpstart on setting up your registry today! Click here to get started.