Updated: Feb 15
Bridal showers are the perfect opportunity for your girlfriends to gather together and celebrate you and the life-journey you’re about to embark on with your soon to be husband. These gatherings traditionally involving games, gift-giving and lots of laughter are fun and a real milestone event, but it can be daunting when it comes to organizing the who, when, what and where. Fortunately for you, the task of organizing the bridal shower is not part of your wedding planning ventures as it falls on the hands of your maid of honor, girlfriends, even family members. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be 100% hands off—unless you want to.
While some brides are happy to be completely surprised, many want to have a say –how much? Well, that is up to you and your MOH. One thing for sure, she will be thrilled to have a guide to follow and your input in certain key factors.
Whether you want to keep your bridal shower party traditional and sophisticated or you prefer more casual gatherings, there are no rules when it comes to designing a dream bridal shower, just some steps to follow to make sure everything is covered in a timely and organized fashion.
Take a sneak peek on this guide before handing it to your MOH. Feel free to edit it to add your own preferences.
How to Plan A Bridal Shower In 8 Steps: The Ultimate Guide
So, you are the MOH!! What a privilege that is. Someone has you as that very special person to accompany her throughout the exciting journey that takes her from bride to wife. There is so much planning and sharing, right? One of the most important duties you have is to organize, host or co-host the bridal shower. Yes, that special event where you, my dear, take center stage in making it possible. Now, this can be a big job so gather the bridesmaids to give you a hand. Don’t be shy at delegating some of the tasks. It is a great opportunity to get everyone to feel included in this fun event.
Don’t know where to start? No problem. Here is your step-by-step guide sure to take you from brainstorming a theme to reminding the bride of her ‘Thank you’ note writing.
Step 1: You need a date.
This is something you want the bride to be fully involved in choosing. Help her narrow down dates making sure they don’t conflict with other events surrounding the wedding, or holidays that may make securing a venue for the bridal shower more challenging.
Step 2: Bridal shower theme
Whether you have a theme for the bridal shower or not, that is totally your choice. Bridal shower themes can be subtle as including gradients of the bride’s favorite color in decorations and invitations.
On the other hand, you can, of course, go all-out and weave your passion into your planning. Is the bride a huge Disney fan? Have everybody come dressed as a Disney princess. Is the bride an absolute child of the ocean? Hold the bridal shower at the beach and go for a bridal party swim. There are no limits, this bridal shower is for her!
As a starting point for building the bridal shower theme, ask yourself the following three questions Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? What are you going to eat and drink?
If you need inspiration, check my blog “25 Shower Theme Ideas Sure to Get Your Creative Juices Going”.
Step 3: Choose a location
When it comes to choosing a location, deciding on a theme is a great way to narrow your decision down. If you want it to be a sophisticated and intimate affair, you may choose to have the bridal shower at home, with just the bridal party and serve afternoon tea.
If the bride loves being with nature, you may want to hire an Air B&B in the countryside. If your theme is ‘bottomless brunch,’ your perfect location may be the bride’s favorite brunch-spot in the city. If she is all about the Zen-lifestyle it would be amazingly soothing to take everyone to a yoga retreat.
Step 4: Plan a set of activities
Deciding a theme can also help you get ideas for activities you would like to do at the bridal shower. If, for instance, you were going for a tranquil, spa day vibe, everyone could make homemade bath-bombs, or you could invite a nail artist to do the guests’ nails ahead of the big day.
How about a French-theme? Alongside serving croissants, you could set up a crepe station and hire a crepe maker, so that everyone could have a go at making their own. There’s bound to be some hilarious crepe-related mishaps!
Step 5: Plan a menu to match your theme
Whatever theme you choose, at some point bride and guests are going to get hungry and thirsty. If the bridal shower is a casual event, you may just want to set out a few party snacks on a table for guests to pick at or ask everyone to bring a dish. Alternatively, you can hand over all catering responsibilities to a restaurant or food delivery service so that you and guests can spend more time eating and less time worrying about making food. There is, of course, nothing to stop you from going all-out.
Throwing a beach-themed bridal shower? Hire someone to make tropical cocktails. Having a Hollywood-themed bridal shower? Serve champagne and Martinis. Keeping guests fed and watered is an essential part of any gathering, so you may as well have some fun with it.
Step 6: Choose your perfect bridal shower invitations
Firstly, you want to have the bride provide you with the guest list. Aim to give the bridal shower guests at least six weeks’ notice. Once the guest list is confirmed, it’s time to get those invitations out! There are so many bridal shower invitation options to choose from and each can be personalized to the bride’s style. In this whole planning process, it is smart to start with the theme first, that way the invitations give guests a hint of what to expect.
Step 7: Plan fun bridal shower games
Games are often the most memorable part of a bridal shower. The best games will have girlfriends laughing and reminiscing about them at the bride’s 20th wedding anniversary party. Aim to choose games that will appeal to the tastes of the bride and guests. Tongue-in-cheek, risqué games may be fun for you and your friends but may become slightly awkward for the bride’s mother-in-law to-be. Know your audience when planning these games. Check with the bride on this one.
Step 8: Memorialize the opening of the bridal shower gifts
Opening the shower gifts for the bride is a big part of the celebration and one that elicits major anticipation for all. Often left for the end of the event, it is a great opportunity to memorialize the moment with a video that can also serve to document the origin of the gifts. Keeping track of who gave what, will allow the bride to mention the gift in her thank you note.
As you may have noticed, bringing a bridal shower to fruition, has a series of items to keep track of. This is why I have included a checklist you can download to help you monitor your progress as you move along.
You’ve got this.
Time to start planning for one of the most exciting events you have been entrusted to organize for the bride.
Dr. Liliana Wolf, psychotherapist, former professor of psychology and international relationship expert, has been preparing couples for marriage at her Coral Gables office for over 20 years. She is an approved and certified provider of online premarital courses in all states extending incentives. Favored by couples about to be married, her courses have achieved a consistent 5-star rating, positioning her in the top 1% in sales of online courses by the Teachable platform worldwide. Ranked at the top 1% in the specialty of marriage and family nationwide by HealthGrades, Dr. Wolf is at the top of her game both as a clinician and professor.
Enjoy the process!