Bridal Shower Planning Tips
The bride is in the middle of planning the most stressful and biggest day of her life; she deserves to be showered with love and gifts. If you have volunteered to throw her a bridal shower, congratulations. You are helping one of your closest friends enjoy her time as a bride.
While bridal showers are fun, planning them can be stressful and overwhelming. If you have found yourself in charge of throwing a bridal shower, do not fear. Here is a guide with some major tips to help you throw the bridal shower of the year.
Themes are always a fun way to spice up any event. Throwing a bridal shower with a theme could be a great way to enliven your party. When planning what theme to have, think about the bride. What does she love the most? Is there something that is really special to her?
For example, if the bride really enjoys breakfast, throw a bridal brunch. Maybe make the bridal brunch a pajama party, and have all of the guests show up in pajamas. You want something that the guests can join in on and be a part of. Having your guests be a part of the theme will help them get excited and make them feel like they are contributing to the party.
Note: If you are planning to have a theme, make sure that it is easy to pull off. The last thing you want to do is give yourself more work and stress right now.
Jack and jill
Jack and Jill bridal showers are coed showers where the bride and groom are the guests of honor. Deciding whether to throw a girls only bridal shower or a Jack and Jill shower should be up to the bride.
Before you begin planning, ask the bride if she would like her groom-to-be to be there. If she wants him to be there, but not the whole time, he can make a quick appearance. He can be the one that carries the presents to the car, or carries her out to the car at the end of the party.
If she wants him there the whole time, then throw a coed party. This means that you can invite both sexes to the shower as well. If she feels like having a girl’s only shower, no problem. The important thing here is making the bride happy. Make sure that you give her what she wants on her day.
Bridal shower games
Bridal shower games are a great way to make a shower fun. Without games, bridal showers can become a little boring. The guests don’t really have anything to do but sit there and watch the bride open presents. Which can be fun, but the guests want to get involved. They want to have something to do as well.
Bridal shower games are a way to get the guests involved in the fun. They are also great ways for people to meet each other and mingle. Out-of-town guests have a chance to meet other guests in a fun and non-awkward way.
Note: do not have a game that will make the bride feel uncomfortable. It might be a good idea to run the game idea by the bride before the big day. Make sure that she is comfortable with the game. The last thing you want to do is offend the guest of honor.
Make a plan for the food
This is where the theme can come into play. Serve food that aligns with the theme. For example, with the bridal brunch theme serve doughnuts and coffee. If you want to involve your guests, have a potluck dinner and have guests bring a dish. This will also alleviate the pressure on you to make all of the food.
It is important to note here that there is no rule stating that you have to serve a full dinner. Serving a light snack, hors d'oeuvres, or even just beverages are acceptable. If you plan to not serve a full meal, make sure to plan the shower during an off-time. Do not have the shower during a meal time or guests may expect a full meal.
Invites for the bridal shower should also align with the theme. If you are planning to have a themed bridal shower, then this is the first time your guests will encounter the theme. You want to make sure that your guests have a good first experience with the theme.
Invitations to the bridal shower could also be a fun time to stretch your creative abilities. Have fun and spunky invitations that will put your guests in the mood to party. This is a fun event and you want your invitations to mirror that.
Note: just because you want to have fun invitations does not mean you have to break the bank. This is an area where you can be a little bit stingy and try to save a little bit of money. Your wallet will thank you later for choosing cheaper bridal shower invitations.
This is a big question that a lot of hosts do not know the answer to. Who is invited to the bridal shower? Do I invite all of the female guests invited to the wedding, or only the ones closest to the bride?
Unless it is a very intimate wedding, you do not need to invite every female guest to the bridal shower. It is also important to talk to the bride about the guest list. Have her tell you who she really wants there and who she thinks doesn't need to be invited.
Most of the time the bride opts to only have her closest female friends and relatives invited to the bridal shower. This is a time to celebrate her and her future, you want to make sure that only guests who are genuinely happy for her are there. The most important thing to remember here is to only invite guests who are also invited to the wedding.
Thank you gifts
Just like any party, it is customary to give thank you gifts. If you really do not have the budget for thank you gifts, I’m sure no one will notice if you skip them. If you do choose to go the traditional route and give out thank you gifts, this could be a fun time to play into the theme. For example, to go with the bridal brunch theme maybe give thank you sleep masks. You always want to think about your budget when planning what thank you gifts to get. If you have a tight budget, then go with something small.
Take lots of pictures
You do not need to hire a professional photographer for the bridal shower, unless the bride specifically asked for one to be there. Even though there will not be a photographer at the bridal shower, make sure to have plenty of pictures taken.
In the hustle and bustle of hosting a bridal shower, you may forget to take pictures. I would suggest putting a trustworthy friend (maybe another bridesmaid) in charge of taking pictures. This is a big day for the bride, and she will be very thankful if you capture the memory for her to look back on later in life.
Don’t plan it all yourself
Ask for help from the bride's family, her close friends, and the bridesmaids. Do not plan the entire bridal shower yourself. It will put too much pressure and stress on you. I would suggest delegating smaller tasks to individuals. For example, have one friend bake the cake, have another make the centerpieces, and have another one help decorate. This way everyone feels like they were a part of the planning, and you can take some time to relax and destress.
Pick a good date
When deciding on when to have the bridal shower, the most important thing to consider is when the bride is free. If you plan the bridal shower and the guest of honor can’t even make the shower, than there will be no bridal shower.
You should also consider what the bride wants. If she wants to have an outdoor bridal shower, than pick a day that is not in the middle of winter or summer. But if your bride wants to have a winter wonderland bridal shower, than maybe a winter date would be better for you.
You want to have the bridal shower well before the wedding because you don't want the stress of the wedding crushing the bride on the day of the bridal shower. You also want to make sure that the VIP guests can attend.
Before you pick a date, talk to the bride. Ask her who she wants there the most. Then contact these VIP guests and see what dates work for them. Then plan the bridal shower on a date that works for the majority of VIP guests. This is a simple way to make sure that the bride has the best bridal shower she can possibly have, by surrounding her with the people she loves the most.
Have a loose schedule
When planning the bridal shower it may seem tempting to plan every second of the day. This way you can control the party and everything you want to achieve gets done before the end of the party, right? Wrong.
Planning every second of the day is a bad idea. It will put pressure on you to keep to a specific schedule, you will constantly be looking at the clock, and you won’t truly be able to enjoy the present moment.
Let’s face it, something will probably go wrong and mess up the schedule. That is why it is important to make a loose schedule. Have a list of everything you want to do and put spacious time frames around each activity. Leave room for transitions, and mingling.
Your guests do not want to be bossed around so make sure to not yell at everyone that it is time to move onto the next activity. Gauge the room and decide when it seems like a good time to move on, then make the announcement. And remember, if you do not get to everything on your to-do list, that is okay. As long as the bride is happy, you are happy.
Planning a bridal shower does not need to be stressful. Make it fun by following these tips. As long as you make sure the bride is happy, then everyone else will be happy as well.
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