You might think that it’s the easiest thing in the world to plan a wedding shower for your beloved friends. But this party really needs time, money, and effort to organize it – though not as much as the actual wedding planning. Still, you have to remember some focal points that will help you make the perfect bridal shower party. If you’re the one responsible for the wedding shower, don’t worry, we’re here to make your planning easier. Here are the main things you should know about the wedding shower prep.
When to have a bridal shower? Usually, this event is organized about 1-2 months before the wedding. There are different formats of a wedding shower – it can be a small gathering of a few friends or a large party, both the bride and groom may come or, sometimes, it is sort of a girls’ night and only the bride is present, it can be a simple evening with presents, snacks, and talk or you can have a big and costly party. Most often, a bridal shower is organized by the Maid of Honor (or some other close friend from the bridal party) and at her place. Another popular option is to have this party at the bride’s parents’ house or even her own house. But usually, the bride doesn’t participate in organizing the event because she already has enough on her hands with the wedding planning.
The main purpose of modern wedding showers is to give the couple small presents and talk through the future wedding. But originally, this party was organized only for the bride, especially in those cases when she didn’t have parents or her parents were against the wedding and didn’t want to give her dowry. The bridal shower was made by her friends and relatives to present her with some gifts that will serve as her dowry after the marriage. That’s why presents were useful household items, clothes, money, and other things the newlyweds might need as a family. Today, wedding shower gifts are often lingerie, funny knickknacks, makeup items, and other funny rather than useful presents.
Wedding shower planning. What to do?
If you are the one who’s responsible for the bridal shower, what should you do? What is expected of you? How should you start planning a wedding shower? Let’s highlight the main things you must do.
Talk with the couple about their vision of bridal shower
First of all, you should ask the bride and groom if they have anything specific in mind as to how their wedding shower has to look like. There is a myriad of details: what time of day to choose for a bridal shower, whether it should have a theme, how many people to invite, what location you should pick, and so on and so forth. Try to understand at least the general idea and then work with it.
If you’re planning a very small and simple bridal shower, you can cope with everything by yourself. But if this event is going to be bigger and the number of tasks is long, find help – you don’t have to plan the party all by yourself. Talk with other friends and family of the bride and groom, find people with whom to divide the work and the expenses. Two heads are better than one.
Even if you’re going to be the main wedding shower planner, assign smaller tasks among other participants. Usually, there are active people in any group who are willing and happy to help. So, you can engage others to do some of the tasks. Maybe they even have the needed experience in this particular task. For example, if you have a chef in the bunch, ask this person to help with appetizers. Or a florist can help with the décor, etc.
Next, think about the location of a party. It can be your home (or some relative’s house), it can be a backyard event, or you can book a restaurant, cafe, small wedding venue, etc. It depends on how official or casual you want the bridal shower to be. Most often, it is just a cozy and friendly gathering and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it.
Also, usually, this party isn’t held in the bride’s or groom’s house because, obviously, they’ll need to clean before and after the celebration, and they’re already busy with planning the actual wedding. If some food or drinks are delivered for the wedding shower, the couple shouldn’t worry about it. Just like they shouldn’t spend their time on décor and prep. That’s why they choose a person responsible for the bridal shower, so it’s your job now to organize everything for them.
Create a list of wedding shower guests
With this, you also need the couple’s help because only they know who they would like to see. So, together, make a guest list.
Note that people invited to the bridal shower should be invited to the wedding as well. Unless you have a micro wedding with only a few closest guests. If some of the people invited to the bridal shower won’t be invited to the wedding, you or the bride and groom have to talk with them and explain why – people will probably expect an invitation to the wedding and be offended otherwise.
Decide on budget
Establish some budget limit or something to help you plan the event optimally. You’ll have some costs and you need to understand how much to spend. The major items of expenditure are venue (if you’re not hosting at home), food, drinks, and décor. It’s totally ok if you try to make it cheap and homey rather than fancy and expensive. But still, you have to count your expenses to know how much money you need for this party.
When to buy supplies?
About a month before the date of the bridal shower, start sending the invitations and buying the supplies. In this case, you’ll have plenty of time to change plans a bit, if need be, or re-arrange something. And never leave shopping for supplies for the last minute.
Also, this is the perfect time to check the work done by those people who are helping you. While assigning tasks, don’t rely on others fully, check their progress from time to time to be sure everything goes according to the plan. And in case your help fails you, there is still time to finish the prep in time.
Of course, you can’t buy food a month before the shower, but you can buy alcohol beforehand and avoid leaving this not so easy task for the last moment.
Do floor plan
When there’s 1 week till the wedding shower, create a floor plan of the party and the plan of activities. Think about the possible activities and where to organize them. For example, you need a place for the guests to leave their bridal shower presents and a place to open them. There should be a location for food and drinks (whether you’ll use the kitchen or serve a buffet in the living room, etc) and a location for games or entertainment. Don’t leave this planning on the day of the shower because it will be a mess.
Dude corner at wedding shower
Some grooms aren’t really interested in a traditional bridal shower, with all those ladies presenting lingerie to the bride, sexy jokes, discussing the details of a future wedding, and other girl stuff. So, you can have a dude corner at the wedding shower where guys will be able to gather and talk about the topics interesting for them. If the couple has a wish list of presents for the shower, it’s great to add there some useful manly gifts, like tools, BBQ items, and etc so that men could separate from the girls and examine these presents.
Buy food and finalize details
A few days before the wedding shower, you can at last buy groceries and finish all the little details. Try to finish everything you can before the “big day” because there are always issues that appear at the last moment and you have to deal with them quickly.