Whether you’re the sister or cousin of the bride, a bridesmaid or a colleague, if you’re throwing a bridal shower for the first time, it can be a daunting task!
But have no fear, we’ve put together this simple step-by-step guide for you:
Follow these do’s and don’ts to make sure the bride’s big day is everything she’s dreamed of -- and fun for her friends and family as well.
Do: Think About What the Bride Would Like
For the bride-to-be, a shower isn’t just a party, it’s a day she will remember forever. So, it's time get creative!
Think about the bride’s favorite foods and drinks, her personal style, the activities she enjoys, and where she likes to hang out.
Try to incorporate those things in her shower theme. If she’s a glam girl, plan a “cocktail hour shower” with girlfriends, martinis, and passed appetizers. If she’s a more casual, outdoorsy type, plan a beach picnic instead.
Don’t: Do it Alone
Just because you’ve been deemed shower hostess doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.
Recruit some co-hostesses by asking your fellow bridesmaids, co-workers, or mutual friends to pitch in. Shared planning will not only spare your pocketbook, but your sanity, too!
For the smoothest division of labor, assign each hostess a different element of the party:
Invites and RSVPs, Menu, Games, Favors and Prizes, and Décor.
Most importantly: Don’t forget to include everyone who’s helping as hostesses on the invitation!
Do: Keep the Theme In Mind
Once you have decided on the perfect theme, be sure to incorporate the invites into it, so you can really show the bride how much you care!
Some popular theme wedding shower themes to consider are:
Season (Fall is a beautiful time for a bridal shower!)
Nautical (Always popular, and good for any time of the year)
Classic (Keep things simple with dress or ring related designs)
Glam (Show off the bride's glitzy style with some gold and glitter!)
Don’t: Forget Anyone!
You should ask the bride for her guest list, but before you do, think about whether you want to have a traditional bridal shower, which typically includes all female family members of both the bride and groom, girlfriends, bridesmaids, and sometimes even neighbors and co-workers. If you aren’t sure you want to host the entire clan (and yes, that’s OK), think outside the box and plan something that suits everyone.
Do: Include Registry Information
While it’s not typical to include registry info on the wedding invitation, it is perfectly acceptable to have it listed on the shower invitation.
Save guests a step by sending registry info to them right on the invite, which helps to ensure that your beloved bride gets what she really wants.
To avoid any possible confusion, be sure to include the bride-to-be's full name, or even the registry number, if the name is a common one.
Don’t: Forget the Thank You Cards
Here is yet another opportunity to tie in the bride-to-be's theme!
Ordering thank you cards that match the invitations is a nice touch that is sure to please the bride, and show her how much thought and consideration you put into the planning of her shower.
You can also use the thank you envelopes in a raffle to win a prize:
Set up a "raffle table" and have guests fill out their addresses, place them in a bowl (or other container) and they will be entered to win a prize.
It saves the bride-to-be from having to fill out guest addresses during wedding madness, and also helps keep track of who attended in a simple way. This is a usually much appreciated time-saving tip.
Do: Make it Fun AND Personal!
The most interesting and enjoyable shower games are the ones that not only bring guests together, but also offer the bride a chance to create memories.
A classic and much-loved example is sending recipe cards (don't forget to match your theme!) with the invitations, so guests can share one of their favorite recipes with the bride-to-be.
She can save the cards, and they will give her something to remember the shower by, and cherish for years to come.
Don’t: Overdo It
While games are a necessary element of a bridal shower, unless the bride is a gung-ho competitor, keep them to a minimum. Stick with one or two, skip the ones that don’t have any special meaning, and leave time for the guests to socialize and relax.
The most important thing about planning a bridal shower is making sure the bride has a happy occasion, thrown by her nearest and dearest, that she will always remember.
In short, make it all about the bride -- but, with these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to make it fun for everyone else, too!