How To Plan The Perfect Bridal Shower And Mistakes To Avoid

Planning a bridal shower is the one thing that not many people know about. We have all seen it happen in films, but when it comes down to us actually having to organize one, then a lot of people struggle.

However, planning a bridal shower doesn’t have to be a daunting task, in fact it can be a lot of fun. It will provide the bride and her party some great memories to look back on.

If you are still unsure how to plan the best bridal shower, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have prepared a guide to planning the perfect bridal shower.

While also including mistakes that we think it is best that you try to avoid, so that everything can go ahead without any issues. 

Origins Of A Bridal Shower

Those closest to the bride-to-be come together for an extraordinary occasion known as a bridal shower. This bridal shower usually contains female friends and family members.

In The Netherlands around the 16th century, bridal showers first appeared. A dad allegedly refused to allow his daughter to wed a miller because he preferred that she wed a rich man from the city.

The woman was so deeply in love with the miller that she decided against her father’s wishes and went ahead with the wedding.

The dowry, which is the cash or items given by the bride’s family to her new husband when they get married, was threatened to be withheld by the father of the bride. The miller and his intended bride would have nothing without the dowry.

Due to the miller’s kindness and generosity toward the village’s poor residents, which was one of the reasons he was unable to amass fortune for himself.

The villager’s banded together and presented the bride-to-be with token gifts to support her in the start of her marriage. All these little gifts turned out to be worth more than her dowry. Remember to keep the bride’s preferences in mind when planning the shower, as it’s her special day and the focus should be on her.

That’s why it’s referred to as a “bridal shower”.

Think About Your Budget

Determining what you can spend and what you wish to spend on should come first when planning any bridal shower. This will let you decide which way to steer the party planning.

Furthermore, your budget will help you figure out where to hold the shower, how many people to invite along, and any other details you wish to include. 

The wedding shower is traditionally paid for by the host, however in today’s world, anyone can contribute.

Nowadays, many couples pay for their own weddings, so asking the bride’s parents for assistance is not at all problematic. You might even ask the other bridesmaids if they want to chip in for the expenses.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the bride won’t have extravagant expectations. Avoid going over budget by throwing a smaller party which you can afford.

Even if the bridal shower is held in a living room with homemade cuisine, the bride-to-be will enjoy celebrating with her family and friends. 

If you have more money to play with, you could even go to a nice restaurant and have a meal. There are a lot of options out there for you to choose from depending on your budget. 

Typical Price Of A Bridal Shower

A wedding itself can vary in price. Thus, the same can be said for a bridal shower. However, we have brought together a couple of estimates, to give you a rough idea of the kind of prices that you may be looking at for your bridal shower, 

  • Budget $15–$25 per attendee for a low-key gathering held in a home or backyard. 
  • You should budget $20 to $50 per guest if you’re entertaining at a restaurant. 
  • A small venue area, for a bridal shower, will cost $50 to $150 per participant. 
  • You should budget $150 and up for larger gatherings that call for a bigger venue, a spa visit, or an overnight stay.

The two primary expenses that will consume the majority of your budget are the venue and the food. However, the number of guests you invite will affect how big or small the budget ends up being. 

Check with your neighborhood community hall or a park to see if there are any discounts for larger parties.

Also consult with the institution’s event space if any members of the group are local college students. You may also ask about hiring catering services, or you can prepare all the meals yourself to save a ton of money.

How Many Bridal Showers Should A Bride Have?

Traditionally, a bride used to have just one bridal shower, yet nowadays, it is becoming more common for a bride to have more than one shower.

Often a bride will have a bridal shower with her bridal party, friends, and family. Then she may have another bridal shower which is thrown for her by her coworkers. 

In other situations, the bride may have one bridal shower with her bridesmaids that is more exciting. Then she’ll have another bridal shower with her close family, which is more formal. In this case, the maid of honor may have to organize both events. 

Who Is In Charge Of A Bridal Shower?

The maid or matron of honor usually hosts the bridal shower. However, anybody close to the bride can be the host.

If you want or need help, other friends, bridesmaids or family members can assist with tasks like cooking and decorating.

Can A Bride Organize Her Own Bridal Shower?

The rule is that the bride should not organize her own bridal shower. The whole event ought to be a surprise for her that she can enjoy and not need to worry about.

There is no harm in the host speaking with the bride to ask her if there is anything particular she is hoping for.

However, this is one aspect of the wedding experience that the bride doesn’t need to be involved in. All she should need to do is turn up and have a good time. 

Could The Mother Of The Bride Be In Charge Of The Bridal Shower?

The bride’s mother does not often organize the shower, but this is becoming more prevalent. In all honesty, anybody could throw the bride a shower, including the bridal party, parents, siblings, coworkers, and friends.

If you’re wondering who usually hosts or plans the celebration, it’s the maid of honor.

Who Will Be Paying For The Bridal Shower?

Traditionally, the maid of honor would cover the cost of the bridal shower or the person that is hosting the bridal shower.

Many of those customs are now no longer being followed. In fact, a lot of showers are being paid for by various people in the bridal party and part of the bride’s family.

If the host does not wish to pay for the whole bridal shower, then they are more than in their right to ask those attending to help out. The host shouldn’t feel bad if they need others to chip in, as a bridal shower can easily become quite expensive for one person. 

It is important to establish your guest list. Then, when you can see who will be coming, you can ask those people if they would be willing to help out. 

Who Is Invited To A Bridal Shower?

The people that are invited to the bridal shower should be close to the bride herself. Usually, these events are an all female gathering. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t invite males if they are best friends of the bride or part of the bridal party. 

The people that are closest to the bride should be invited. This can include:

  • Mother of the bride,
  • Bridal party,
  • Aunts,
  • First Cousins,
  • Grandmothers,
  • Sisters,
  • Best friends.

You can include people from the groom’s side of the family, if the bride wishes, such as the mother of the groom. However, it can be easy to invite a lot of people.

Ideally, you want to keep the guest list as short as you can. Otherwise, the amount of people that turn up will be more than expected or budgeted for. 

With a bridal shower, you don’t usually invite co-workers, extended or friends that the bride isn’t really close to.

The guest list should stay short, as it means you’ll create a much more intimate bridal shower where the bride can spend time with everyone. 

Is There Anyone To Avoid Inviting To A Bridal Shower?

As mentioned above, you don’t want to invite extended family, co-workers or friends that the bride isn’t really close to.

In addition to that, another rule to follow is that you shouldn’t be inviting anyone to the bridal shower that isn’t also going to the wedding.

It could be quite awkward for someone to turn up to the bridal shower that wasn’t invited to the actual big day. 

Average Number Of People To Invite

When it comes to how many people you should think about inviting to the bridal shower, it is a good idea to get a guest list off the bride. However, usually, a bridal shower guest list can involve around 15 to 50 people. 

Some brides prefer a more personal shower, so you should invite fewer people. However, you can invite as many people as you want, but you need to make sure that the bride will be happy to see them there. 

When Should A Bridal Shower Take Place?

Although it’s customary to have your bridal shower around 1 to 3 months before the wedding, more and more couples are choosing to follow their own preferences.

In all honesty, throwing a big celebration a month before the wedding may be a little stressful. It appears preferable to host the bridal shower at least 1 to 2 months in advance.

Hold your bridal shower at a time that is suitable for both you and your guests after your wedding date has been determined and save the dates have been distributed.

This way, your bride can enjoy her bridal shower and not have to worry about how close her wedding day is. As there are probably still lots of things she needs to do.

Does A Bridal Shower Take Place Prior Or After The Bachelorette Party?

Normally, the bridal shower and bachelorette party take place two to three months before the wedding.

These festivities will take place according to the bride, her bridal party, and her family’s schedules. It makes no difference which occurs first.

However, it is important that you start planning as early as you can. You don’t want events to clash with one another. Also, you have to make sure that you have enough time to plan everything.

It would be good to make sure that there was enough time between both events so that people can really enjoy them both. 

When Do Bridal Shower Invites Need To Be Sent Out?

Send out invitations six to eight weeks before the event. This gives guests enough time to make travel arrangements.

Make certain that each guest only RSVPs to one individual. All RSVPs should be sent back to the maid of honor if she is hosting the shower. This way the host will know how many people to expect as she’s been given all the information directly. 

Where Should You Host A Bridal Shower?

The bride should be asked to see whether she already has a chosen location before making a decision on the venue.

This might be her family’s house, the host’s house, the backyard of a family member, a nearby restaurant or park, a wedding location, a college campus, or a community hall. In fact, you will be surprised how many choices are available to you. 

If the bride doesn’t know or wants a surprise, then we recommend asking the mother of the bride where the shower could be held. 

What Happens At A Bridal Shower?

Simply put, a wedding shower is a wonderful chance for the bride to enjoy herself with her closest relatives and friends. Most wedding showers feature delectable food and beverages, entertaining games, presents, entertainment, and plenty of laughs.

The general idea behind this gathering is to “shower” the upcoming bride with presents and affection, as the name suggests.

Potential Bridal Shower Timeline

Generally, a bridal shower will take around 2 to 4 hours, depending on the type of bridal shower that is being thrown. Below is a sample timeline of a generic bridal shower that you could base yours off:

  • From 12 – Your guests will arrive, and you could play an icebreaker game, if not all the guests know one another. 
  • After this game, food can be served. 
  • Around 2pm – Once everyone has eaten, the bride may wish to start opening presents and more games could be played. 
  • 3pm/4pm – Between 3 to 4pm, the party starts to wind down a little.

This timeline works if the bridal shower is hosted in someone’s home. Your timeline may look a bit different if the bridal shower is being hosted in a restaurant or other venue.

Although, we would advise making some form of timeline. This allows you to see what should happen when and generally should make the bridal shower flow more smoothly. 

What Decorations Are Needed At A Bridal Shower?

When it comes to decorations, you can go wild or keep it quite simple. Even with a bridal shower being hosted at someone’s house, you can still purchase beautiful decorations to make the space fit your theme. 

Decorations can be as simple as a sign that welcomes your guests, and a banner. Usually, you will find with a bridal shower that there are plenty of balloons or flowers that match the color theme of the bridal shower. 

You don’t have to go mad, and you could easily make a lot of the decorations yourself. It is important that you try to get all the decorations to match with one another. Hence, choosing similar colors or colors that go well together. This will then make pictures taken on the day look even better. 

Does The Bride Have To Open Presents During The Bridal Shower?

The bride isn’t forced to open the gifts that she receives at the bridal shower immediately. Although, some people can see it as rude to accept a gift and not open it in front of them. This is often the case for elderly family relatives. 

It could be more sensible to do a bridal luncheon without presents if the bride doesn’t want to open them in front of people. 

Although, as the bride opens her presents, we suggest playing a few entertaining bridal shower games. Additionally, we advise having some background music playing. The awkwardness of the prolonged gift-opening process will be lessened by these two things.

Does A Bridal Shower Have To Follow A Theme?

Although there is no requirement for themes for showers, choosing one will make preparing much simpler. It would be simple to just stick with a color theme, such as pink and white or green and gold.

Themes make organizing the location, food, and even the decorations a lot easier. Then everything looks more thought through when it all comes together on the big day. There are a lot of themes out there for you to choose from, some of the more popular ones are as follows:

  • Tea party, 
  • Vintage,
  • Pool party,
  • Color themed,
  • Music,
  • Rustic,
  • Travel destination.

If you are ever struggling with inspiration, then Pinterest is always a great place to look. It will give you ideas on your theme, and decoration ideas.

What Is The Dress Code For A Bridal Shower? 

The dress code for a bridal shower will differ depending on where the shower is being held. For example, a bridal shower that is held at someone’s house or in their backyard will usually have a much more casual and comfortable dress code. 

Compared to a bridal shower hosted in a restaurant where everyone will be expected to dress up a bit. Furthermore, no matter the theme or where the bridal shower is being held, it is important for the guest to avoid white. Typically, for these kinds of events, the bride will wear white. 

Thus, the bride can have her moment and be the center of attention.

Bridal Shower Tips

A bridal shower doesn’t have to be a scary thing to plan, but you need to make sure you are organized. Ensure you follow all these tips to create the perfect bridal shower.

  • Talk to the bride and see what she wants. This is a great way to gauge what kind of bridal shower she wants. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to see who she wants to be invited to the party.
  • Set yourself and stick to a budget.
  • Choose a theme to base your bridal shower around. 
  • Start organizing your bridal shower as soon as possible, to give you enough time to sort everything out.
  • Create a timeline for you to follow on the big day, so everything runs smoothly. 
  • Don’t invite people who aren’t invited to the wedding. 

Follow all these tips and your bridal shower should be perfect. Also, check out these other related post for a memorable shower:

Final Thoughts

It can seem overwhelming at the start, but when you break it down, it is quite simple to hold the best bridal shower.

It’s all about being organized and allowing others to help you when needed. When done right, a bridal shower can create amazing memories for the bride and all those invited. 

We have offered you all the steps and tips you need to follow in order to plan the perfect bridal shower for your bride.

Follow these tips and avoid the mistakes outlined, and your bride will love the bridal shower you have planned for her!