It’s wedding season — and bridal shower season!
At the first sign of spring, wedding invitations and announcements begin to flood mailboxes across the country. But before the big day is the bridal shower. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, the last thing a bride wants to do is stress over the bridal shower. But from my own experience as a bride, I’ve broken down the entire planning process into 10 simple steps:
1.) Date & Location
First things first, pick a date for the bridal shower. A bridal shower should be 4-6 weeks before the big day. Once you have a date selected, pick a venue. Most brides have their showers at home or a family member’s house, but if you’re having the party somewhere else be sure the place you want is available and book it at least 2 months in advance.
2.) Gift registries
Register at a minimum of two stores to give guests more options. You will no doubt need more for your new home than you realize. Yes, you need bath towels but you also need washcloths, hand towels, kitchen towels, etc. Walk through every home aisle in the store and add anything and everything you might need. Whatever you don’t get as gifts at your bridal shower, many stores offer a discount when you purchase items there after the wedding so the more the merrier!
The bridal shower theme doesn’t have to match the wedding theme. If the two match you could save money on decorations, but I would recommend having a different theme so that the big day is even more special. The decision is entirely up to you, though!
Pick a theme that is well suited to the party location and time of year. Make the theme evident in all aspects of the party; from the food to the tableware to your clothing. I think it’s fun to ask guests to dress accordingly — for instance a garden party or black tie affair. Everyone will feel included and your fun theme is unmistakable!
It doesn’t matter how big of a bridezilla you are, please don’t try to handle everything on your own! I like being in charge and having a say in even the smallest of details — but there’s just simply too much work for one person. Recruit bridesmaids, mothers, cousins: whoever you need to get everything done. If you divide the work, everyone should be more than happy to pitch in!
Your theme can easily be incorporated here, as well! Be sure to include event date, time, location, RSVP information, registries, and any other important details your guests may need. Send out invitations at least 4 weeks before the bridal shower to allow your guests plenty of time to prepare.
Finger foods are the name of the game. You’re not expected to provide a full meal at events like this but your guests will need something to munch and sip on (and will appreciate it, too)! Pastries, quiche, fresh fruit, and coffee are perfect for a morning affair and more hearty appetizers are well suited for evening events. Whichever you decide – don’t forget something sweet!
Details, details, details! It’s the final decorative touches that really pull a party together. Use place cards to label items on the food table, wrap silverware in paper napkins with small bows, or set up colorful plates on dining tables rather than leaving them in a pile like a traditional buffet. Trust me – these small touches will not be overlooked!
What’s a party without entertainment? Host two or three games to liven things up and keep guests engaged. A bridal shower favorite of mine is the “What’s in your purse?” game. This game lists a wide variety of items that may or may not be in one’s purse. Every item on the list is worth points and the lady with the most points wins!
Another game I like is bride trivia. Create 10-15 questions that guests need to answer about the bride. Questions could include: What are the colors of the wedding, where was the bride born, or what’s her favorite band? Whoever answers the most questions correctly wins the game. Prizes are a plus!
If you use Instagram, don’t save your personalized wedding hashtag for the big day. Share it with guests at the bridal shower so that you can have even more pictures of this monumental milestone. Take it a step further and create a feature wall that will create a fun backdrop for photos. If handmade paper flowers sounds a little too complicated, try streamers or even string lights!
10.) Thank you’s
A small party favor that ties into your theme will provide the perfect finishing touch to this special event. I prefer practical gifts over trinkets that can easily be tossed out. A packet of freshly-ground coffee or small jar of jam are well suited for a brunch bridal shower and you can never go wrong with scented soaps or lotions!
Be sure to have a guestbook of some sort so you can keep track of who to send thank you cards to. Have a family member or friend keep track of what gifts are from which guests so that you can personalize each card.
Follow 10 simple steps and you’ll have a beautiful celebration you and your guests will not soon forget! Are you engaged and planning a bridal shower and wedding? Let us know how you’re going about the planning process in the comments below!