Your bridal shower is meant to be your special time during which you get together with your family and friends to celebrate your upcoming nuptials. But, planning a bridal shower can become somewhat overwhelming, especially if you have never been involved in planning one before. Just remember, a bridal shower is meant to be a fun and enjoyable experience. Don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget to enjoy yourself!
Create a Guest List
Traditionally, the maid of honor is responsible for throwing the bridal shower. This does not, however, mean that the bride-to-be is not involved in the planning. In fact, the bride-to-be has a great number of responsibilities, when it comes to planning the bridal shower.
The first of these jobs is to sit down with the hostess of the bridal shower and determine a guest list. This list should always include the bride’s mother, her future mother-in-law, her female siblings, the bridesmaids and, of course, the maid of honor. It should also include other close family members and friends. Co-workers can also be included on the list if the bride desires.
Before making the list, determine the budget for the bridal shower. This should help you decide how many guests you can invite. Also, keep in mind that those you invite to your bridal shower should also be invited to the wedding itself.
If you are planning a bridal shower for someone and you want the shower to be a surprise, you will have to consult with the groom-to-be and with the bride’s mother to make sure you create an accurate guest list.
Set a Date
After you have created your bridal shower guest list, it is time to set a date for the celebration. Typically, the bridal shower should be as long as two months, before the wedding date and no less than two weeks. If the bridal shower is to be a surprise, discuss possible dates with the groom (you will likely need his help in more ways than one to ensure the shower is a surprise, anyway!).
Otherwise, the bride-to-be should work closely with the bridal shower hostess to determine the best date. Sundays are a popular choice for bridal showers because most people are off from work on this day.
Choose a Theme
Picking a theme for your shower can help make it more fun for both the bride-to-be and the guests. In addition, a bridal shower theme often makes the rest of the shower planning easier because invitations, decorations, and favors can all be coordinated to fit the theme. Some popular bridal shower themes include household gifts, wine, lingerie, and romantic gifts.
Select and Send Invitations
Now that you have set a date and determined a theme for the bridal shower, it should be much easier to find the perfect invitations. If you can’t find the right invitations, however, you can make your own. No matter which way you choose to go, be sure to mail out your bridal shower invitations at least two weeks before the shower. This will give your guests plenty of time to make arrangements to attend.
Unless you are sending invitations to guests who will need to travel a long distance to attend the bridal shower, you shouldn’t send the invitations out more than a month in advance. Otherwise, you risk having your guests forget about the celebration.
When sending out bridal shower invitations, be sure to include all of the vital information. This information includes the shower theme, the time and date of the shower, the location of the shower, and where the couple is registered. With both a theme and a registry to guide them, your bridal shower guests should have no problem finding the right gift. You should also include an RSVP date to help you with making the final plans for the bridal shower.
Purchase Decorations and Favors
The decorations at a bridal shower are very important, particularly if it will be themed. The favors, which serve as small mementos for each of your party guests, should also fit the theme. In fact, every part of the bridal shower should follow the theme as much as possible – even the food! A nicely decorated bridal shower will help set the tone for the rest of the shower.
Create a Menu
It is traditional to feed the guests who attend a bridal shower. Exactly what you decide to serve may vary depending on your theme. It is acceptable to serve either a full lunch or dinner or to provide light snacks. In either case, there should be a cake and it should certainly match the theme.
Select the Entertainment
Usually, the entertainment at bridal showers consists of games. You can have music at a bridal shower, but it should serve as background music rather than music for your guests to dance to. Games help get everyone talking and getting to know each other. Be sure to include prizes for those who win at the games. If possible, the prizes should match the theme as well. Otherwise, prizes such as candy, candles, and journals make good substitutes.