How to Plan a Bridal Shower She’ll Never Forget
If it’s up to you to plan a bridal shower, you’ve got big shoes to fill! The bridal shower is often the first event that kicks off the wedding and brides usually have fixed ideas about what the shower should be like.
Use this handy checklist to help you plan the bridal shower of the year and wow the bride.
At least three months before the shower
Tackle these tasks first:
- Have a tete-a-tete with the bride. Find out what she’s been envisioning for the bridal shower and her preferences. This conversation will help guide your planning. Should it be an afternoon tea? An outing at her favorite restaurant? At a spa? Or her family’s farm? Does she want to include the guys? Does she prefer a certain theme? You’ll want to use this input to guide all of the decisions that come next.
- Choose a date. Ideally, the shower should take place about a month or two before the wedding. However, if the bride wants to include certain family members that live far away and won’t be around until the week of the wedding, you may need to hold off until then. Once you have a date that will work, you can proceed with other planning steps.
- Book the venue. Whether you’ll be at a fine-dining restaurant, casual pub, or family member’s home, be sure to book the space as soon as possible.
- Choose the guests. Based on the bride’s input, come up with the guest list and start tracking down addresses. Keep in mind that good wedding etiquette requires that anyone invited to the shower should also receive a wedding invitation.
Two months before the shower
Here’s what to do as the bridal shower approaches:
- Alert the guests. Consider sending out a save-the-date message, either by email or postcard. Alternatively, you could call anyone the bride considers an important guest to ensure that she can make it. If you have some guests who will travel far to attend the shower, let them know now, too, so they can make advance arrangements.
- Budget. Yes, it’s awkward to discuss budget, but it’s best to do it now. Talk with the bride to determine if she’s covering the entire event, contributing to some of the costs, or if you’ll have to foot the bill. Before you start spending, it’s best to nail down the expectations. That way, if you’re paying for the bridal shower, you can make the decisions according to what you can afford.
- Buy the invitations. Or better yet, make personalized ones!
- Nail down the details. Now’s the time to make decisions about the little details, such as the menu, table linens, decorations, flowers, activities, music, etc.
- Place orders. If you’re purchasing a special cake, baked goods, tables and chairs or other items, order them now.
- Make lists. If you’re running the shower solo, make yourself a detailed checklist of things you need to do. If you have some helpers, delegate some of the tasks.
One month before the shower
There’s no time to waste, so get moving on these tasks:
- Send invitations. Get the guest list together, address the invitations, and send them out. Be sure the invitations include guest-registry information.
- Purchase decor. Take a day and shop for decorations, party items and paper goods. This is a good time to purchase favors, too.
- Get in touch. If certain guests are bringing food, give them a call or send an email to confirm.
Two weeks before the shower
Here’s what to do:
- Order flowers
- Buy a gift for the bride.
- Make a list of remaining items you need to buy.
- Buy ingredients to make cocktails, if you’re having them.
- Make the rounds and pick up items you’re borrowing, like cake stands are serving utensils.
One week before the shower
As the bridal shower approaches, get busy with:
- Confirming restaurant or venue reservations, orders, deliveries, RSVPs.
- Putting together party favors.
- Buying items and/or food.
- Organizing activities and games.
The day before the shower
Now, the time has come and the party is tomorrow. You’ve almost reached the finish line:
- Prep food.
- Receive deliveries and set up equipment.
- Start decorating.
- Call bridesmaids and make sure they’ll arrive ahead of time to help with the shower.
Phew! You’ve done it! You’ve prepared a bridal shower your friend will never forget.
If you’re looking for a unique venue to hold a bridal shower, contact HideAway Country Inn at (419)-562-3013 for more information!