Getting engaged is the beginning of an exciting journey of wedding planning, which will include a bridal shower. Just in case you are like most of us and have a few questions about planning a bridal shower, we have a checklist with a few tips to help you plan.
Bridal Shower Tradition
A bridal shower is usually a daytime celebration and an opportunity to shower the bride with gifts and good wishes. This gathering brings close friends and family of the bride together to celebrate with food and games. The maid of honor will usually plan this event with the help of the bridesmaids. The bridal shower is meant to shower the couple with practical gifts for their marriage, but it is also an opportunity to get creative with themes and games. Traditional games include designing a wedding dress with toilet tissue, bingo, the wedding ring toss and bride and groom trivia. There is no right or wrong way to plan this event, but there is a little bridal shower etiquette to consider.
Bridal Shower on the Timeline
Where does a bridal shower fall on your wedding planning timeline? This all depends on the length of the timeline. Typically, the bridal shower occurs about two months prior to the wedding day. If the wedding is being planned on a very short timeline, it might be held a little closer to the wedding date. Try to avoid holding events too close to the wedding. Keep in mind there will be other events just prior to the wedding, such as the rehearsal dinner and the bachelorette and bachelor party. The bridal shower can be held on the same day as the bachelorette party, if the same guests will be in attendance at both celebrations. Make sure the date is convenient for the bride and guests.
Hosting the Celebration
Traditionally, the maid of honor will host the bridal shower with the help of the bridesmaids. If someone other than the maid of honor is hosting the bridal shower, make sure the information is properly communicated to avoid two separate events. Typically, the mother of the bride does not host the bridal shower to avoid the appearance of directly asking for gifts. However, it would be perfectly acceptable if she decides to host the event. Unless this is a surprise bridal shower, the bride is usually involved in some basic planning, such as the theme, location, date and activities. Whoever is hosting the event will use the bride’s input to bring the ideas to life.
Creating the Guest List
The guest list for the bridal shower is created by the bride. Just as with her wedding day, she gets to decide who is in attendance. This party will not be on the same scale as the wedding. While you should never invite someone that you are not inviting to the wedding, you will not invite everyone that will be at the wedding. Keeping a smaller list will keep it manageable. The guest list usually includes the bridal party and close friends and family of the couple. If this is a surprise bridal shower, the maid of honor and mother of the bride can work together to form a guest list that should include the wedding party, the mother of the bride and mother of the groom. Traditionally, this event is reserved for females that are close to the bride. However, it is completely acceptable, if the bride chooses to include the men.
Bridal Shower Invitations
A bridal shower usually requires invitations. They can be digital invitations provided by email or decorative print invitations to match the theme of the celebration. Invitations should be mailed or emailed approximately four to six weeks prior to the bridal shower. Make sure to include all the important details, such as the bride's name, date, time, location, dress code and registry information. Make sure to include a RSVP slip and the names of the hosts.
The Bridal Shower Venue
A bridal shower is usually much smaller than a wedding and does not require a large venue. It can be a backyard gathering in a garden, a private clubhouse, a wine tasting event, restaurant or a smaller venue. You can create a formal or casual event. Make sure your venue and designs properly convey your theme. It is important to choose a venue that is convenient for the bride.
Bridal Shower Budget
Planning a bridal shower requires a little budgeting. There will be a cost associated with securing a venue, catering, entertainment, photography, party favors, games, prizes and décor. Depending on how extravagant of an event you are planning, the cost could be anywhere from $10 to over $200 per person. It is important to consider the budget before planning.
Planning the Details
When you are ready to start planning the details, you will want to choose a central theme that will be significant to the bride and groom. Choose food, games and entertainment that effectively convey the theme. Floral arrangements and decorations will express your theme dramatically. The bridal shower will have a timeline of events. There should be an order to when you serve food and engage in the games. If your budget allows, purchase small gifts to distribute to the winners of each game. Get creative and have fun planning all the details.
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