How to Plan the Perfect Bridal Shower

Stumped on how to plan a bridal shower? Relieve your worries with our helpful bridal shower planning to-do list!

Whether you’re the maid of honor, a bridesmaid, friend or family member of the bride, figuring out how to plan a bridal shower can be a bit stressful. There’s no sugar coating that. But, it really doesn’t have to be.

Luckily, we’ve laid out the ultimate bridal shower to-do list to help get you started on the right track. From choosing bridal shower favors to bridal shower drinks, you can sit back and relax (and maybe enjoy a mimosa, or two) knowing that we’ve got your back with this handy guide.

What is a Bridal Shower?

Bridal showers celebrate the bride before her big day. Traditionally, it’s an event where the closest women in the bride’s life get together to shower the bride with bridal shower gifts and well wishes. They usually consist of an afternoon of games, snacks and gift opening. Bridal showers are typically three months before the wedding and last for about 2-4 hours.

Who Throws the Bridal Shower?

Traditionally, it was frowned up for the bride’s family to plan the bride’s shower. It was seen as “gift grabby.”  Now, there aren’t as many rules for who wants to host. Whoever wants to host the shower, can! Well everyone expect the bride, of course. This is her time to sit back and relax. Most commonly the bride’s mother, her future mother-in-law, her bridesmaids, family members or friends usually step in to party plan.

Who Should I Invite?

There is one rule you must abide by for invites: you cannot invite anyone who is not also invited to the wedding. This is a big bridal shower no-no. Only exception is for coworker bridal showers. But, everyone else is fair game! Depending on what you think your bride would prefer, some showers are now co-ed. Coined a wedding shower, these large co-ed parties are typically in the late afternoon compared to a bridal shower which is thrown during the day. Bridal showers can range from an intimate gathering of 8 people to a co-ed “wedding shower” of 50+ people, so it’s really up to what the bride would prefer.

Where Should the Bridal Shower Be?

You can hosts bridal showers anywhere. Truly, anywhere. From a destination bridal shower to one in the bride’s backyard. The venue, in addition to the decor, food and drinks choices, are typically based off of a bridal shower theme. If you’re hosting a rustic themed bridal shower, a beautiful barn venue would be the stunning. Or is your bride a huuuge brunch lover? Try a bridal shower brunch at a fancy brunch spot instead. The options are endless!

What do I Serve at a Bridal Shower?

Now, here’s the fun part. Showers always have the best snacks and drinks. Usually bridal showers serve small plates or appetizers, in addition to some fun alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks and some beautiful bridal shower desserts, of course. Another to keep in mind is that the food and drink menus are typically based off of the bridal shower theme.

What are some Bridal Shower Gift Ideas?

Bridal shower gifts are typically based off of the bride’s registry. But if your bride is an absolute foodie, you’ll want to check out these foodie bridal shower gifts. She’ll love it all from ___ to ____. I mean, check out those ___!

Bridal Shower Checklist:

Early Planning:

  • Chat with bride about expectations and wishes for the party (unless it’s a surprise shower!)
  • Pick shower theme
  • Compile guest list
  • Set date and time of shower
  • Make reservations for venue or rented equipment (if necessary)

Month of:

  • Send out invitations
  • Purchase or create DIY decorations and bridal shower favors
  • Select food and drink menu and purchase nonperishables
  • Plan games and activities for shower

Week of:

  • Confirm guest list, reservations and any delivery items
  • Buy last minute food, drinks or decorations
  • Assemble favors and DIY decorations
  • Compile the perfect bridal shower playlist

Day of:

  • Set up shower’s gift, food and drink stations
  • Organize a surprise visit from her fiancée (with flower in tow, of course)
  • Lead the day with games, activities and of course, a toast to the bride!

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Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.