How To: Plan a Bridal Shower

by Lauren Sharkey

The most important, time-consuming, and stress inducing thing you’ll have to do as Maid of Honor will be planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Don’t panic – we’ve got you covered!

1. Timeline

According to Real Simple, “Showers should be held two weeks to two months before the wedding.”  So, it really depends on what works best for you.

TIP: As the wedding date gets closer, it may be more complicated to add in another event.  Consider having your bridal shower at least 2 to 4 months before the wedding to avoid schedule conflicts.

2. Talk to the Bride

As always, speak to your bride about what she envisions for this day.  Does she prefer a intimate brunch with close friends and family?  Is she more of a high-tea ladies only shower?  Would she prefer there not be games?  While you’re going to be making most of the planning decisions, you want her input as well.

3. Consult with the other important women in your bride’s life

The shower is typically hosted by the maid of honor and the bridal party.  When you’re ready to plan the shower, contact the bridesmaids and ask who would like to cohost.

REMEMBER:  Hosting the bridal shower is a choice, not a requirement.  Agreeing to cohost the bridal shower is an added cost not all bridesmaids may be able to afford.

However, others may want to co-host.  Here are some people you might want to consult with (after you’ve spoken to the bridesmaids) before pulling the trigger on important aspects such as date, location, etc.:

  • Sisters
  • Mothers (and mothers-in-law)
  • Aunts
  • Godmother
  • Close cousins
  • Grandmothers

Communicate via e-mail, phone, or small get together.  When it comes to speaking about bridal shower plans, you want to take a a firm, but friendly stance.  State that you are beginning to plan the bridal shower, and ask if they would like to be involved.

4. Dollars and cents

The host(s) of the party foot the bill.  Once you’ve got all your hosts assembled, organize a small get together (because it’s always better to talk money face-to-face) to talk about what your bride wants and how to cover the cost of the shower.  How much everyone can contribute to the price of the bridal shower will determine how you make your bride’s dream come to life.

5. Assign Tasks

As the primary host, the Maid of Honor should take point on most tasks associated with planning the shower: setting a date, booking the venue, save the dates/invitations, and all the tiny details (favors, decor, entertainment, etc.) that will make the shower complete.  However, you can ask for help when it comes to creating the guest list, getting the names and addresses for invitations, favor-making, decorating, etc.

6.The Crowd

It’s totally up to the bride whether or not she would like to make the shower co-ed or invite the groom.  Additionally, it’s also the bride’s call on whether or not children are invited.  Whatever the bride says, goes.

7. Gifts

Throwing the shower is your gift to the bride.  In terms of other guests’ gifts, you have a couple of options:

  1. Pull from the bride and groom’s wedding registry
  2. Themes: lingerie, recipes, etc.
  3. A year of date nights

TIP:  Make sure to keep track of who gave the bride what at the bridal shower so that thank you cards can be sent correctly!

8. The Deets

As with any event, it’s all in the details!  Check out our Pinterest page for inspiration on food, cocktails, favors, and games!





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