Hosting a bridal shower for one of your dearest and nearest can be a challenging undertaking. You’re responsible for celebrating the soon-to-be missus in a way that all the invites will love, so you need to get it right.
To help you plan and host the best party for the soon-to-be bride, invited guests, and budget, we’ve compiled a list of essentials that make bridal showers unforgettable. The ideas you find here are all pulled from actual celebrations, meaning they are entire applicable to you, too.
Carefully go through this edit to find everything you need to plan and host a pre-wedding event to remember. From the venue to the guest list, the party favors and games to play, rest assured that we have it all covered.
1. Set a Realistic Bridal Shower Budget
Between customized sugar cookies and glamorous floral arches, hosting a picture-perfect bridal shower intended to be a social media showstopper can be quite pricey. For instance, a simple bridal shower in a private room at some mid-range restaurant can cost from $15 to $40 per person and $40 to $150 per head if you’re going all out!
As you plan to host the bridal shower, you may want to set a realistic bridal shower budget. Fortunately, this isn’t hard as you may first imagine. All you need is to employ a few creative bridal shower budget tips to ensure the event is memorable. You may want to consider the following effective cost-cutting tips:
- Zero in on essentials or important goals
- Delegate tasks
- Let the theme be the determining factor
- Do the decorations and invitations all by yourself
- Find ideal yet low-cost venues
- Cut the cost of food by keeping things simple
- Be wary of a huge guest list
2. Think and Plan Ahead
A few years back, bridal showers used to be relatively small events/gatherings. But lately, they’ve become increasingly elaborate with some soon-to-be brides opting for luxurious, large parties complete with entertainment and catering. Others find intimate gatherings where they can mingle and spend quality time with their loved ones ideal.
Regardless of the bridal shower style you choose, you need to plan ahead so that everything runs smoothly on the big day. 3 – 4 months before the bridal shower, you may want to have a sit down with the soon-to-be bride and gather her input on what she’d want to include or forego in her bridal shower.
1-2 months before the bridal shower, make sure that you finalize the ideal date that’s convenient for your guests, the location or venue of the bridal shower, the time, dressing etiquette, theme, food and drinks, entertainment, and other important essentials necessary for a wonderful event.
3. Delegate Duties
Traditionally, the maid of honor is the one in charge of throwing and paying for a bridal shower. However, that doesn’t meant that she is expected to handle everything. Even some of the top party planners rely on assistants, and you may want to gather up all the bridesmaids and figure out duties that fit each individual’s strength.
To ensure everything runs as desired, consider co-hosting the bridal shower with the rest of the bridal party or a member of the family, and delegate some tasks or duties to willing volunteers.
Some of the most common responsibilities you can dole out include:
- Prizes for games
4. Invite Wisely
Being the host of the bridal shower, you shouldn’t invite anyone you think the soon-to-be bride wants, or who you want. While a surprise visit from a childhood friend that she thought couldn’t make to the shower would be amazing, however, she needs to approve of all the persons on the potential guest list.
Even though the soon-to-be missus shouldn’t work on her own bridal shower event, being the host, you need to consult her regarding the guest list. Her input on the bridal shower guest list is important because those invited are expected to make it to the wedding guest list too.
If anything, you don’t want to rebuff someone since you didn’t realize how close s/he is to the soon-to-be bride, or worse – invite a person who she had a bad falling out with sometimes back. There’s no harm in asking!
5. Find the Perfect Invitations & Send/Mail Them Early
When looking at bridal shower invitations, you’ll be surprised to learn that the choices available are as varied or many as the wedding themselves. While most people believe that invitations need to be professionally printed, you can choose to have handwritten or DIY invitations.
With so many glamorous styles available, settling for the perfect invitation can be quite challenging. However, to effectively narrow down your choices and ensure that the invitations are on another level, it would be best to incorporate such invitations to the bridal shower theme or colors.
For example, if you’re hosting a Hawaiian theme bridal shower, ensure that the invite cards feature palm leaves, tropical and hibiscus flowers, to mention a few.
You can find several card stores where you can purchase glamorous blank invitations that you can write out by hand. Additionally, you can find websites that offer affordable templates that you can download and print your ideal invitations.
If you prefer to go paperless, you’ll be pleased to find out several websites where you can create, manage, and send your bridal shower invitations and RSVPs. Most importantly, make sure you include a link to the couple’s registry so that guests can find ideal bridal shower gifts to purchase. Furthermore, make sure that the RSVP contact isn’t the bride-to-be since she already has too much to handle.
6. Choose an Ideal Bridal Shower Venue and Theme
Once you have the date for the bridal shower event set, you need to select and book the event’s venue, if that’s necessary. In the modern times, you can host a bridal shower just about anywhere, including the host’s home, a friend or family member’s home. You can even opt to host the shower at a winery or spa!
Regardless of where you choose to host the bridal shower, make sure it’s a venue or location where the soon-to-be bride will enjoy.
The venue should complement the event’s theme. And since you can find plenty of bridal shower ideas, the quickest way to narrow down the list is to seek the bride-to-be’s input regarding a theme she likes. For example, if she loves all things Victorian and romantic, then an elegant tea party-themed shower will be in order.
7. Plan for the Bridal Shower Menu
Once you’ve settled for the ideal venue and established the best theme, it’s now time to think about the bridal shower menu (food and drinks). As you plan for the bridal shower menu, the day’s theme, bride’s taste, and time of day will most like determine the choices of food and drinks to serve.
Since most bridal showers usually take place in late morning to afternoon, you’ll find brunch and lunch foods such as pancakes, omelets, Belgian waffles, and French toast popular and appropriate. For a more personal touch, you may want to incorporate a few of the bride’s favorite foods into the menu.
There’s no need of serving full meals unless you’re hosting the bridal shower around dinnertime or you feel it may take slightly longer. Finger foods, appetizers, cheese plates, meat, and other light foods are ideal for bridal showers. Also, don’t forget mimosas!
Talking of mimosas, they make an elegant and fun beverage table, especially when presented with lovely champagne, metallic printed napkins, bowls of fresh fruit, or different types of juices. You can also whip up some dazzling glaring bowl of punch that you can match with crystal glasses.
If you’re serving alcohol, you may want to ensure the availability of several non-alcoholic options for bridal shower invites that don’t wish to imbibe. Another clever pro tip: create a custom bar and pay a mixologist to serve a signature drink while working a light bar. By doing this, you’ll keep the invites where the action is taking place instead of making them wait in line for a sip.
8. Plan for Bridal Shower Décor
While bridal shower decorations are necessary, there’s no reason to go wild with them to make your party. When it comes to bridal shower decorations, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s something ideal for every bride-to-be.
To ensure that you get everything right or don’t go over the set budget, you may have to talk to the bride-to-be and see the type of bridal shower she’d prefer to have. All you need to is to make sure that the decorations go with the theme.
Hundreds of bridal shower themes exist from beach paradises and tropical jungles to masquerades, roller discos, and backyard movie nights, to mention a few. But regardless of the theme, you’ll need essential like table centerpieces, banners or garlands, plates and cutlery, and bridal shower signs, among others.
9. Prepare a Playlist of Sweet Tunes to Play at the Bridal Shower
Bridal showers are mostly characterized with relaxing afternoons with the soon-to-be missus’ closest female friends and relatives. Fun, low-profile bridal shower games with delicacies and light snacks rule this day.
It’s true that almost all parties need some music and entertainment, and you’ll want the bridal shower playlist to match the entire event’s atmosphere. Theoretically, while putting on commercial-free radio stream may seem like a brilliant idea, on the other hand, coming up with a bridal shower playlist that you curate specifically for the event means you’ll only play appropriate music.
The above isn’t just in reference to explicit songs, but rather music with substance that fit the occasion. Punk rock or loud club music may sound out of place for bridal showers, and so are somber breakup songs that could actually kill the mood.
It’s a good idea to play slow and wedding-related music or funny songs that will bring the ladies together for a dance.
10. Plan for a DIY Photo booth
Bridal shower photo booths are very popular these days at many of such events. At these photo booths, visitors can take pictures to remember the occasion years later.
You’ll be amazed to learn that, with a little creativity, you can actually make the same kind of fun with less money. Instead of paying for a photo booth, you can make your own DIY selfie station by creating a colorful backdrop and adding a few inexpensive props.
11. Group Chat
As mentioned earlier, while working as the bridal shower host, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. You may want to form a group chat, preferably on WhatsApp or a shared Google Drive folder for anyone who’s helping you in hosting the shower.
It would be best to centralize communication with all those helping you to host the shower so that co-ordination becomes easy. This way, you’ll be able to know what has been done, what’s missing, or other areas that require attention.
12. Bridal Shower Games & Activities
For more fun at the bride-to-be’s bridal shower, it would be a good idea to have a few bridal shower games. These games are an ideal way to help all your invited guests break the ice, especially if most of them are meeting for the first time at the bridal shower.
The idea of fun bridal shower party games are many from DIY bridal shower games to beautifully designed games you can find on our page. Some of the best games that you may wish to incorporate at a bridal shower you are hosting include:
13. Provide Bridal Shower Favors
Giving some small tokens of appreciation to each person who attends the bridal shower is a considerate act. There are several creative and entertaining favor ideas accessible. They don’t have to be large or costly to be valued. Any little, practical, or sentimental item works well as a bridal shower favor.
Popular bridal shower favor options include candles, potted herbs or plants, biscuits, jars of preserves or honey, bath salts, nail polish, and nail polish remover. Another stylish approach to continue the theme of the shower is with favors.
So there you have it: 13 tips to hosting an amazing bridal shower party. We hope that you’re now well-prepared with everything you need to arrange a great shower, whether it be preparing food for a sizable gathering, setting up food stations, looking for unique recipes, or planning a themed bridal shower party.