How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower

There are many parties to plan for after an engagement is announced.  Bridal showers can be a lot of fun.  But what is a bridal shower?  Who plans one?  Who attends?  What do you do at a bridal shower?  A bridal shower is very similar to a baby shower in that it is a time for the, usually female, family and friends of the bride to gather, have fun, and give gifts to the bride.  Here are some things to consider when planning a bridal shower.


1. Who?

According to etiquette, a bridal shower should be thrown by the maid of honor or other bridesmaids, as opposed to family, but it is becoming more appropriate for family to fill that role, if needed.  Traditionally, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom are invited, along with members of the wedding party and female wedding guests.  It is not polite to invite someone to the bridal shower but not the wedding, as the purpose of the shower is to give gifts to the bride.


2. When?

Start planning the shower six to eight weeks before the party date.  Send out invitations at least a month in advance.  If the party is to be held in a hall or restaurant that needs reservations, make these at the earliest possible time.  Meet with the other party planners and decide on a budget, theme, games, food, and other particulars.


3.  What?

A bridal shower is a party thrown to tease the bride, gossip about the wedding, and have fun, like any other party, but its main reason for being is to hand out gifts in a forum where the other guests can see them.  Like a baby shower, there will also be refreshments and games.


You may want to choose a theme for the bridal shower.  Consider high tea, wine-tasting, honeymoon theme, lingerie, garden, Christmas ornament, or a stock the pantry theme, where the guests bring recipes and pantry items that the new bride might soon need.


You can hold the bridal shower in a restaurant, but make sure it is one you can afford to pay for.  Guests should never have to pay for their dinner at a bridal shower, and it will be the responsibility of the party planners to pay for all refreshments, decorations, and other costs.  Keep this in mind when drawing up the guest list.  You don’t want to invite so many guests that it breaks your budget.  At a non-restaurant venue, refreshments might be related to the shower theme, they might be as simple as crudites and tiny appetizers or as formal as petit-fours and finger sandwiches.


Games are often an integral part of the bridal shower.  Some popular games are:


Don’t do this: In this game, guests are given a clothes pin and instructed not to perform an action, such as crossing their legs or saying the bridal couple’s names.  If they do, the first person to notice it gets to take their clothes pin.  The guest with the most clothes pins at the end of the night wins a small prize.


Famous couples: In this game, the name of one half of a famous or known couple is named and guests must guess the other half of the couple.


Bridal showers can be ornate and formal or completely laid-back.  When planning a shower, take the bride’s personality, your budget, and her likes and dislikes into mind.  Plan just enough activity to keep the party going, and it should run nicely all by itself.

Alex Lemone enjoys writing about weddings, bridal showers, and other events.  For more tips on bridal etiquette or to see more wedding ideas, visit Wedding Ideas Etc.

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