The bridal shower is a beautiful tradition where the ladies closest to the bride hold a party in her honor and shower her with gifts to prepare her for married life. Traditionally held by the maid of honor (or matron of honor) and bridesmaids, anyone close to the bride or groom can host the bridal shower.
In addition to celebrating the bride, bridal showers are also a nice time for the bride to celebrate her bridesmaids by giving personal and unique bridesmaid gifts! The bride may present her bridesmaids gifts following the gift giving portion of the party or at a more informal moment after all of the guests have gone. The bridal shower theme may inspire memorable bridesmaid gift ideas!
Planning a Brilliant Bridal Shower
A bridal shower can be held at a variety of local places or planned around a number of activities – the key to a successful bridal shower is to make it a fun, interactive, and appropriate experience.
Bridal Shower Themes to Consider:
● A Personal Shower encourages guests to give gifts that will pamper the bride, such as silk pajamas, exquisite body lotions, or a spa package
● An Appliance Shower asks guests to give gifts from the couple’s registry, such as kitchen appliances
● A Couple Shower is a joint shower for the bride and groom (usually held as a cocktail or dinner party) where guests may bring registry gifts that both can enjoy.
Unique Bridal Shower Venues
Bridal showers can be as lavish or low-key as your budget and your imagination allows.
● Plan an afternoon tea in your own dining room (there are classes that teach you how to host your own exquisite tea party)
● A dinner cruise is fun and provides the drinks, dining, and entertainment for you!
● An art class at a local gallery brings out the kid in everyone and is a great way to keep guests involved
Getting to Know You
Interactive activities really get the party started and help guests get to know one another. Some ideas of how to get guests to interact include:
● Bridal shower games that encourage guests to share fun stories about the bride and groom help break the ice
● Ask everyone to write down a favorite recipe prior to the event and make a recipe box together
● Decorate a scrapbook page for the bride that everyone can enjoy
● Make a video at the shower for her to keep afterwards
Bridal Shower Dos & Don’ts
● It’s most acceptable to invite the bride (and groom's) closest female friends and relatives who are also invited to the wedding – but don’t feel pressure to include every female wedding guest just because they’re invited to the wedding ceremony
● Traditionally, the hostess or hostesses are expected to pay for the bridal shower and for all of the guests – but there are many ways to cut costs when dealing with a tight budget, such as hosting a shower at a private home
● It’s important to ask the bride’s party preferences and to get her input, but the hostess should ultimately plan the entire shower
● Remember that some guests may not know one another – make nametags, introduce guests, and plan interactive activities to help guests mingle faster
● Avoid awkward and embarrassing bridal shower games that may make the bride or other guests uncomfortable
Bridal Shower Countdown
● Ask the bride for input and confirm that everyone’s free on the date you’d like to hold the bridal shower. Do this well in advance.
● Bridesmaids or hostesses should meet to discuss theme, bridal shower decorations, budget, bridal shower favors, and responsibilities
● Set the date and make any necessary reservations at least three months prior to the bridal shower. Bridal showers should ideally take place one to two months before the wedding
● Compile a list of invitees and send bridal shower invitations two months prior to the bridal shower
● Purchase any supplies you may need and your bridal shower gift two weeks prior to the party
● Order the bridal shower cake well enough in advance but make sure it's not made (or picked up) until the day before or day of the bridal shower
● Have fun! The shower should be a time of celebration for the bride and her guests!