Bridal Shower Planning 101

What is a bridal shower? This is  a pre-wedding celebration in honor of the bride. Below are some basic questions and a timeline to help you plan this shower for the future bride.

Who should host a bridal shower? In the past there have been so many rules about who can host a bridal shower, but now anybody but the bride and groom can host it.

Who should be invited? This is typically a very intimate affair. A rule of thumb anyone invited to the event should also be invited to the wedding.

Can there be a bridal theme? Yes, of course! Some themes include: tea party, lingerie, spa, travel, garden party, nautical, picnic, crafty, glam, kitchen, pool and glamping.

Who pays for the shower? The host will be the one to pay. You can also co-host, but remember hosting is a choice not an obligation.

Can you have more than one? Yes, but guests should not overlap. For example you can have a bridal shower with your family and friends and a different bridal shower with your fiances family and friends.

Bridal Shower Timeline:

Three (or More) Months Before

  • Talk to the bride. Does she want all women or coed? Afternoon tea or a Saturday night soiree? Does she want a particular bridal shower theme, style or color? Does she want to gather at a fun restaurant, tea salon, her parents’ patio, a spa or your apartment? While most of the bridal shower details and decisions will be up to you the host, make sure you plan according to her input.
  • Set the date—shoot for a month or two before the wedding. If certain bridesmaids and important family and friends can’t make it until a few days before, hold off until then.
  • If the bridal shower will take place at a tea salon, private dining room, restaurant or nightclub, make the reservations as soon as possible!!
  • Create the guest list for the bridal shower. And take note: Anyone you invite to the shower must also be invited to the wedding as stated above.

Two Months Before

  • As a courtesy, call any guests who’ll have to travel some distance to attend—they’ll appreciate the advance notice.
  • Confer with any co-hosts to establish the budget.
  • Purchase invitations or materials to make them.
  • Hold a brainstorming session to finalize decisions about event details and activities.
  • Order special menu items through the bakery or caterer, and get any rentals reserved if needed.
  • Compile addresses for the guest list.
  • Make a detailed to-do list and assign tasks to any co-hosts.

One Month Before

  • Assemble and address invitations. Don’t forget to include information about the couple’s registry. And, if it’s a theme party, make sure to provide proper gift-giving instructions based on that theme.
  • Mail invitations to all guests.
  • Shop for decorations, paper goods and other party props if needed.
  • Purchase favors if needed.
  • If guests have offered to bring desserts and other treats, email or call to confirm what they plan to bring.

Two (or More) Weeks Before

  • Buy your shower gift for the bride.
  • Make a shopping list for the food and drinks. Buy any hard-to-find ingredients.
  • Purchase spirits, if you’re having cocktails.

One Week Before

  • Confirm reservations, orders and delivery times, and RSVP’s.
  • Assemble and gift wrap favors if providing favors.
  • Organize shower games and activities.

One Day Before

  • Prepare any menu items that can be made in advance (or just do prep work).
  • Receive and set up equipment, assemble decorations and favors, and set table(s) if necessary for your location.
  • Touch base with the co-host(s)—confirm who’s bringing what and ask them to arrive early to help.
  • Run any last-minute errands.







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