A bridal shower is one of the most important events leading up to a wedding. It’s a time for the bride to get together and celebrate with close friends and family while they plan out details for the big day. This means the pressure is on to get it right no matter what.
If you’ve never planned a bridal shower before and you’re the host, then you might be in a spot of trouble. Don’t worry! We’re here to help with this guide to planning a bridal shower. Keep reading to learn about bridal shower traditions, how to plan a bridal shower, and what’s acceptable and what’s not.
A guide to bridal showers
Since the bridal shower is so special, it’s important to make it as magical as possible. Let’s dive in to some tips, customs, and other suggestions to help you prepare and host the best bridal shower possible for your unique situation.
Know that not everything is set in stone and that these are just suggestions. Feel free to get creative!
Planning the bridal shower
Bridal showers aren’t as rigid as some other major events, but there are still certain rules to follow when hosting a bridal shower, mainly to do with the timing and the theme. The bridal shower is normally held by the maid of honor, one of the bridesmaids, or a close friend of the bride.
Most showers are held between two and six months before the wedding. This is to ensure that all the guests are able to attend. It’s also a convenient time for the bride, who’s presumably got her hands full planning the wedding and reception.
It’s common practice that the family of the bride helps out with the planning of the shower. If that is not possible, then the responsibility usually falls to the bridesmaids.
Traditionally, only women are invited to the bridal shower. Today, many couples opt to host a wedding shower instead. These events are coed and celebrate both the nearlyweds. Wedding showers are typically less formal and allow the families and friends of both partners to mingle and celebrate the happy couple.
Sending the invites
This is where we get to some of the formal bits. The guest list for a bridal shower should be smaller and only include those people who will actually be at the wedding. Like with other pre-wedding events, if you don’t want them at the wedding, don’t invite them to the events leading up to it.
You’ll also want to send out formal invites to the bridal shower as it is a special occasion. The invites are typically mailed four to six weeks before the shower, with the date set in stone well before then. This gives everyone time to plan and purchase gifts for the shower.
What gifts to bring
This can be difficult to answer. Gift-giving trends for bridal showers change from year to year. A typical rule of thumb is to choose things the new couple will need after their marriage, or to offer personalized gifts that the bride will enjoy. There is no hard and fast rule on what to buy, but standard gift-giving etiquette should be followed.
Speaking of etiquette, it’s good manners to bring a gift to the bridal shower, even if you’re a bridesmaid or you’ve already purchased a gift for the wedding. The wedding gift should be the most lavish, while you can get away with a smaller gift for the bridal shower. Before purchasing your gift, check to see if the couple has a wedding registry. Choosing a gift from the registry isn’t just good etiquette, but it will also make things easier for everyone involved.
All that being said, it is generally suitable to give younger couples money, whereas it is usually considered a faux pas to do this for older, more established couples.
Where to hold a bridal shower
You’ll find an array of bridal shower venues near you to suit the bride’s tastes. This can make it hard to choose just one venue! Whatever you do, choose a space that’s accessible to both the bride and guests. If the bride is out of state and the guests are local, then have the event closer to the guests and have the bride travel to the destination.
The main rule to remember when picking a bridal shower venue is to consult the bride and consider the logistics involved in the event. You must be sure that the venue is large enough for all the guests that are coming.
You also want to consider things like accommodations, food, drink, and access to lodgings and other things guests will need. If it’s a short-term affair and everyone is local, then this may not be as much of a consideration. However, if you have guests flying in from out of town or the event is on the longer side, then planning these things will take precedence over other concerns.
Planning a bridal shower – final thoughts
There you have it. Hopefully we’ve given you enough tips and information to make your next bridal shower a smashing success. Be sure to try these tips and suggestions out for yourself or pass them on to someone you know who is hosting a bridal shower.