Amazing you’re a bridesmaid! Prepare yourself girl, because you’re about to embark on a crazy journey. From the time you receive your bridesmaid invitation to the wedding day, you’re going to be there supporting the bride and being with her every step of the way.
This means you’ve been tasked with throwing a bridal shower. You want to throw her the best bridal shower ever, but you’ve never done this before. Is this an easy task? It can be, but remember you have to coordinate this with the other bridesmaids and probably the bride’s mother and soon-to-be mother in law as well! This can make planning a little bit tricky since you’ll have a number of opinions on how to throw the shower but this is also one of the fun and traditional aspects of a bride’s journey to her special day and so it’s important that it’s a memorable celebration! No pressure or anything.
Now that I have stressed you to the max take a deep breath and relax. I got you! No matter what type of shower you’re hosting, it’s important to remember some basic rules for organizing the perfect bridal shower. So here’s a handy bridal shower checklist to help you plan an amazing party for the bride-to-be.
Photo Credit: Kennedy Grace Photography
Three (or More) Months Before
- Talk to the bride. Before you start planning, make sure the bride wants a shower in the first place. A bridal shower is often a fun afternoon, but some brides might feel uncomfortable with all the attention or greedy for asking their friends and family for more gifts. Does she want all women or a coed shower? Afternoon tea or a Saturday night party? Does she want a particular theme, style, or color? Does she want to gather at a fun restaurant, her parents’ home, banquet hall, a spa or your cottage? While most of the bridal shower details and decisions will be up to you, make sure you get her input.
- Set the date- aim for a month or two before the wedding. If certain bridesmaids or important family and friends can’t join until a few days before, hold off until then.
- If the bridal shower will take place at a private dining room, restaurant or any other public spot, make 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. You want to be absolutely sure that you’re not inviting anyone to the shower who isn’t invited to the wedding, and the only way to know that is to get the guest list. Ask the bride for a copy. If the shower is a surprise ask her mother or fiancé.
Two Months Before
- Send a save-the-date email or call important guests to see if there might be any scheduling conflicts.
- Chat with the bridesmaids to establish a budget.
- Purchase bridal shower invitations or materials to make them.
- Hold a brainstorming session to finalize decisions about table linens, flowers, menu, decorations, favors, music and activities.
- Order special menu items through the bakery or caterer, and rent linens and other equipment from a rental company, if necessary.
- Compile addresses for the guest list.
- Make a detailed to-do list and assign tasks. Don’t forget to assign someone to write down the gifts and their giver. This makes thank you note making so much easier!
Photo Credit: Kennedy Grace Photography
One Month Before
- Assemble and address invitations. Don’t forget to include information about the couple’s registries. And, if it’s a theme party, make sure to provide proper gift-giving instructions.
- Mail invitations.
- Shop for decorations, paper goods and other party props.
- Purchase favors.
- 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
- Place flower order.
- Buy your shower gift for the bride.
- Make a shopping list for the food and drinks. Buy any hard-to-find ingredients.
- Purchase alcohol, if you’re having cocktails.
- Pick up any cake stands, audio equipment, décor items or serving ware that friends or neighbors have offered to lend.
One Week Before
- Confirm reservations.
- Confirm orders and delivery times.
- Confirm RSVPs.
- Assemble and gift wrap favors.
- Buy groceries.
- Create a mental floor plan to facilitate decorating and setting up.
- 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).
- Touch base with the bridesmaids—confirm who’s bringing what and ask them to arrive early to help.
- Run any last-minute errands.Spending a ton of money on a bridal shower won’t guarantee a good time. These parties are fun for the bride because she gets to see friends and family, open a pile of presents, and be the center of attention. Focus on making the event enjoyable instead of extravagant. The guest of honor – and your wallet – will thank you.
Planning a bridal shower doesn’t have to be super stressful or cost you a lot of money. The shower is meant to be a celebration and for the bride to spend time with her closest friends and family. Follow the items above and you will have a soirée that the bride will love.
What other tips do you have to prepare for a bridal shower?I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your comments below.
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