Bridal Shower Planning Tips
A wedding shower is an excellent and fun way to launch a couple into their new life and get them off to a good start.
Who should host a bridal shower?
Traditionally, it's the maid of honor, with the help of other bridesmaids, but the shower can be hosted by anyone who feels close to the bride and groom.
How many and who should be invited?
A shower should be an intimate occasion where everyone gets to interact with the bride. Invite members of the bride and groom's families, bridesmaids and close friends. Keep it between 5-30 guests. Showers were once a woman's affair, but today's guest list often includes men. (Couples' showers have become very popular as well.) Consult the bride when making the guest list.
When should the shower be held?
Typically, the shower is held 1-2 months before the wedding. Avoid scheduling it too close to the big day with respect to the bride's busy schedule.
Shower themes can be carried through to the invitations, decorations, tableware and food. It can even revolve around gift ideas:
- Bathroom Shower (towels, soap dish, accessories)
- Culinary Delights (cookbooks, pots, dishes)
- Bedroom Shower (sheets, blankets, throws)
- Romance Shower (champagne, lingerie, chocolates)
- Great Outdoors Shower (tent, camping gear, lawn chairs)
- Best of Times Shower (Assign each guest a time of day that their gift should relate to, i.e. 8AM - coffee pot; noon - gym bag; 8PM - blanket)
- All Year 'Round Shower (Each guest is assigned a season/month to bring a gift for, i.e. Spring - gardening tools; Summer - beach towels; Fall - coffee maker; Winter - flannel PJ's)
- Holiday Shower (Each guest is assigned a holiday and brings the appropriate decorations, serving accessories, etc.)
- Accessories Shower (cake topper, cake server, garter, ring bearer pillow)
Send out invitations about six weeks ahead for out-of-town guests and about four weeks ahead for local guests. You can choose invitations that match a tableware pattern, customize them on the computer, make them by hand, or have them custom made. Here are a few suggestions for hand made invitations:
Heart Invitations: Write party details on a heart-shaped card and put a bit of heart-shaped confetti in the envelope.
Wedding Bubbles: Send your guests a bottle of wedding bubbles with a tag describing the party details.
Bell Invitations: Send a honeycomb bell in the bride's colors with the party details written on the inside.
The theme will usually dictate the decorations for a shower. For instance a kitchen theme might feature a basket filled with kitchen utensils. Top it off with a balloon bouquet utilizing your colors and use as a centerpiece. Here are some other ideas:
- Create a "wedding canopy" in the entryway by attaching streamers to the center of the ceiling and looping toward the doorway.
- Make a "towel cake" in the bride's colors (fold a washcloth, hand towel, and bath towel lengthwise into thirds, roll them up, secure with safety pins and stack on a doily. Decorate with ribbons and top with flowers or a cake topper).
- Please helium balloons in the bride's colors around the room and in the front yard.
A schedule for a typical 2-hour shower:
- Greet guests, serve beverages and light appetizers.
- Guests introduce themselves and their relationship to the bride-to-be.
- Play 2-4 shower games to break the ice.
- Serve food. Guests help themselves to a buffet.
- Give a party favor to each guest as they leave.
A buffet is a great idea and makes serving food easy. Having a potluck is fun and convenient. The guests could include their recipe for the dish they brought to give to the bride.
What is the Bride Wearing
Have the bride leave the room and ask guests to recall 10-12 things about her outfit. (What color is her shirt, is she wearing a necklace, watch, etc.
Kitchen Gadget Memory Test
Attach as many kitchen gadgets to the front of an apron as possible. Have the bride wear the apron in front of your guests for about 3 minutes. Ask her to remove the apron and hide it. Then have everyone list as many gadgets as they can remember in a minute.
Cover the names on ten spice bottles or place in a plastic bag. Number each bottle and keep track of which number is which spice. Pass bottles around to guests and have them write down what they think each one is.
Here Comes the Bride
If you have a large group, divide your guests into teams and have each choose a "bride". Give them several rolls of toilet paper and ten minutes to "dress" the bride. Award prizes for creativity, beauty, silliness, etc.
Party Favors and Prizes
While it isn't necessary, it's nice to give your guests a little memento - a prize from a game or a favor. Here are some ideas:
- Potpourri Sachet
- Scented Candles
- Candies Wrapped in Tulle
- Small Book of Poems
- Bubble Bath Soap
- See our unique gifts and favors.
Smart Party Tips
Corsage for the Bride: Make the bride feel extra special with a small corsage. She'll appreciate the keepsake, too.
Disposable Cameras: Provide one camera per five guests and ask them to take some shots. You'll end up with some special and unexpected photos. Pick a special one and send to each of you guests as a memento.
Rehearsal Bouquet: Punch a small hole in the middle of a paper plate. As the bride opens gifts, attach the bows and thread ribbons through the hole for a handle. At the end of the shower, give the bouquet to the bride to use at the rehearsal.
Gift Note Taker: While the bride opens gifts, designate someone to write down each one and who it's from. This will help the bride in writing her thank you notes. It's also a lovely keepsake.
Envelope Addressing: Have each guest self-address a "Thank You" card envelope. Put them in a box, draw one and award a prize. This quick and easy game will help the bride when she mails her thank you notes.
Visit Party America where you'll find numerous bridal shower tableware patterns with matching decorations, favors and invitations. Our sales associates are trained to help you plan your event. We have over 100 mylar balloons and a rainbow of latex balloons to choose from. We'll help you with your selection, including helping you create special balloon bouquets. We'll fill them with helium, or you can ask about our helium tank rentals.
Print out our Party Checklist.