ready for toast

How to host a bridal shower?

The bridal shower is a pre-wedding party where the bride's loved ones can gather and have a good time in honour of the bride. It's also a chance for guests to "shower" the bride-to-be with presents that will assist her and her future husband set up housekeeping.

Traditional bridal showers date back centuries to when dowries were common. Women whose families disapproved of their choice of husband often had their friends pitch in to assist them get their new home ready in the absence of a dowry.

These days, the bride-to-be is the centre of attention during a wedding shower when guests share stories and advise while feasting on food and drink.

Be sure the bride actually wants a shower before you go to a lot of trouble to throw one. Though most brides enjoy their showers, some may feel awkward or even greedy because they want to receive too many gifts.

Celebrating the stunning bride-to-be with a shower is a great way to get the wedding party and guests acquainted before the big day. The maid of honour typically works with the bridesmaids to organise the celebration. We made a bridesmaids' checklist to make sure the big day goes off without a hitch and that the bride has a wonderful time celebrating her special day.

Who is Responsible For Hosting This Event?

Customarily, the hostess duties would fall on the maid of honour, the rest of the bridal party, a close friend of the family, or the in-laws. It used to be frowned upon for members of the bride's immediate family, such as her mother, to plan and host the event, but this is no longer the case. The mother of the bride, however, may already be in over her head with preparations for her daughter's wedding and hence choose a more subordinate role. It depends on who wants to hold the shower and where they live (the bride's relatives, in-laws, family friends, college roommates, and even coworkers).

Who Gets to Attend?

If you just follow one rule while compiling your guest list, make it that everyone who is invited to the bridal shower is also invited to the wedding. After that is settled, the bridal shower guest list can be shaped by the host's discretionary funds and the bride's desired atmosphere. Tiny, cosy, and just for the ladies? She should invite her immediate family, her closest friends, and the female relatives of her future husband. This group can be expanded for a couple's or mixed-gender shower to include their prefered guests. It's also common practise to have more than one wedding shower so that guests from far-flung regions can attend.

Does The Bride Need to be Part in The Preparations?

Unless the bride expressly requests a surprise, you can presume she has some preferences in mind. While the host will ultimately decide on the specifics, it's helpful to have a conversation with her about the event's vibe, setting, and other important details. She could care less about having a central theme for the party, or she could have strong feelings one way or the other. In other words, you won't find out unless you ask her, and once you do, you'll have a good place to start.

Should She Also Bring a Thank-You Gift For The Host?

Even though a simple handwritten note of thanks would be fine, many brides like to give their attendants something more tangible, such as a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, or a meal out on the town.

Who Should Foot The Bill When Eating Out?

Let's pretend that two of the bride's pals have decided to hold her bridal shower meal together. Is it appropriate for them to pay for everything themselves, or should the rest of the group (excluding the bride) chip in? Unlike the traditional bachelorette party, when guests often cover all of the costs (and sometimes the bride's as well), this one is on the bride. Cohosts should be the ones to foot the bill as a sign of good manners. Perhaps a light tea, wine and apps, cake and prosecco, or a self-catered event at someone's home might be more manageable than a full lunch (which is understandable).

But What if The Bride Doesn't Want a Shower?

It is your responsibility as the maid of honour (or any close loved one) to be there for the bride, to listen to her requests, and to fulfil them. If she insists that she doesn't need a shower, confirm her conviction before moving on. But we understand; it's only normal to want to surprise her with a thoughtful gesture. As a low-key way to celebrate, you could suggest a mani-pedi, dinner and drinks, or a romantic brunch for two.

How About You Tell me When it's Ideal to Have it?

Bridal showers are traditionally held between five and two weeks before the wedding (approximately based on a 12-month engagement timetable; however, your wedding couple's timeline may be different). The purpose of the shower is to help the bride and her party relax and get in the wedding spirit by showering them with love and presents. Any announcement made too soon after the engagement may be seen as insensitive, as the bride may not have fully comprehended her to-be-wed status or even asked her wedding party yet. Guests need time to RSVP, travel, and find gifts, while the host needs time to allocate funds, arrange, and select the ideal company. It's wise to leave some space between the wedding and other major events on the calendar to avoid adding unnecessary stress.

Ideas For a Fun And Informative Bridal Shower

Engage the Bride in the Preparations

Although the bride's participation in the planning of her wedding shower was often frowned upon, modern custom has made it acceptable for her to be engaged in as much or as little of the planning as she likes. If keeping the bride in the dark is a requirement, just let her know when the shower will be held. That way, she can feel like she had a hand in the preparations, while also being pleasantly surprised by all the personalised touches. She'll appreciate the extra time to get ready so much more than if she had to just wear her workout clothes to the party.

Involving the bride in this process also guarantees that just the people she wants invited will be on the list. You can also ask for her opinion on what kinds of things she would like to do or skip. As a last step, it sets a deadline for the couple to fill up their register information and checks if the planned shower date is convenient for them.

It is important to verify the availability of the bride, the bridal party, and the bride and groom's immediate families as you begin to organise the shower. Dates can't possibly work for everyone, but you should pick one that works for the majority.

Find a Suitable Location And Decide on a Theme For The Shower.

After settling on a date, it's time to start thinking about where to hold the event and making any necessary reservations. Venues for bridal showers can be anywhere from the house of the host or a close friend or relative to public spaces like parks, hotels, spas, and even wineries. Clubhouses, fraternal organisation halls, and community centres typically have kitchens, dining areas, and meeting rooms large enough to accommodate large parties. Make sure the bride will have a good time at the shower location.

You and your fellow event organisers will benefit from staying on theme for the wedding shower. Everything from the invitations and tablecloths to the food and party favours may be planned with more ease. The best method to narrow down the vast number of possible themes for a wedding shower is to find one that the bride herself finds appealing. If she is a sucker for Victorian-era romance, for instance, a sophisticated tea party-themed shower would be perfect for her.

  • Serving salad in teacups and setting out various types of tea and dainty finger sandwiches are just a few examples of how you may put a modern spin on a time-honored tradition at your next tea party. Shower visitors can be encouraged to don their most colourful and eye-catching headwear, or they can borrow one of the many hats that will be provided. Table linens can range from toile to lace, and place settings can range from mismatched china to lace napkins. Vintage and glam are only two examples of extra motifs that might be incorporated.
  • The colours of the wedding can be used as a starting point for the shower's theme and incorporated into the tableware, flowers, and other decorations. The bride, too, will definitely be on board with this.
  • Coed: These days, many engaged couples choose to host a Jack-and-Jill shower, or a shower where both men and women are invited. Coed showers are an alternative to the more traditional wedding shower, and typically feature activities like sports and wine or spirit sampling.
  • Guests at a party with a "Kitchen Party" theme bring something useful and entertaining for the future bride to use in her kitchen. When you shop for the happy couple's kitchen needs from their wedding registry, you know they'll get exactly what they want. Making your own pizza or waffles at a "create your own" station is a fun way to incorporate this theme into your event.
  • With 37% of the vote, the "spa party" theme was runner-up in the same Ultimate Bridesmaid survey we looked at above. Consider reserving a real spa if your guest list is large enough and your money allows. There are many do-it-yourself spa treatments and activities that may be incorporated into a spa party if you'd prefer host the event in the comfort of your own home. In addition, guests can feel free to don their most comfortable fuzzy robes and slippers.

The shower presents might also be themed. Popular "wishing-well" items include souvenirs from the couple's honeymoon, barware, literature, and even lingerie, all of which will assist the newlyweds get settled in their new home.

So that you and the girls can throw her a day and night she'll never forget.

Formulate a Menu for the Wedding Shower

Once you've decided on a theme for the bridal shower, it's time to start planning the menu. The menu for a bridal shower should reflect the theme, time of day, and the bride's preferences, among other considerations. It's common to provide lunch or brunch items at showers because they are held in the afternoon. To make the dinner more special, consider include some of the bride's favourite dishes.

Have everyone in the bridal party and any other friends or family who are helping host the shower bring a dish or gift to share at a potluck brunch or lunch. This guarantees that food taxes are uniformly applied while also helping to keep prices low. Catering can be arranged for all or portion of the meals. Make your food selections early and discuss the menu with the caterer or banquet manager if you're holding the shower at a restaurant.

Unless the shower is scheduled for dinnertime or will go for more than a few hours, there is no need to offer a full meal. At a bridal shower, guests might expect light fare such as appetisers, finger foods, meat and cheese platters, and the like. Brunch may be both refined and full with the help of continental breakfast items like quiche, pastries, fruit, and coffee. The mimosas must not be forgotten!

A mimosa bar, complete with metallic-printed napkins, gorgeous champagne flutes, various juices, and bowls of fresh fruit, makes for a lively and sophisticated beverage table. You might also make a beautiful bowl of punch and serve it in crystal goblets. For those who choose not to imbibe, provide a non-alcoholic beverage alongside the alcoholic ones.

The inclusion of food stations at bridal showers is on the rise. These are a simple method to keep your visitors full while also encouraging them to roam around and socialise. As the bride greets guests and opens gifts, guests can peruse the food tables to pass the time.

Some alternatives for food stands are:

  • All the fixings for a taco, including meat and cheese, are available at the taco bar.
  • Miniature crostini bread topped with a variety of sauces and spreads, such as tomato, pesto, and tapenade.
  • Yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola in a parfait bar. Ideal for a Sunday brunch baby shower.
  • Candies, cookies, and other sweets are available at the candy and sweet bar. Give out bags for guests to fill with treats and take home as wedding party favours.

A sweet reward at the end of the shower is essential for maintaining guest satisfaction. While it's customary to have a shower cake, you might also serve decorated little doughnuts or cookies. To keep things moving, consider having dessert served while the bride is unwrapping her presents.

Pick the Invites and Get Them Out On Time

Invitations for a bridal shower can be as diverse as weddings themselves.

You can send out invitations by writing them yourself, having them professionally printed, or making them yourself. With a plethora of sophisticated options, finding the right invitation might be a challenge. However, if the wedding or shower has a certain colour scheme or theme, integrating those elements can help you limit down your options. Send out invitations around a month before the baby shower.

As it is customary to invite only wedding guests to the bridal shower, it is important to obtain a guest list from the bride or someone involved in the wedding plans. The bride may like to limit the guest list to only immediate family and close friends, so it's important to check with her before finalising the guest list.

Blank, formal invitation cards can be found at stationery shops. Etsy is just one of several places where you may get lovely invitation themes you can download for free and use to print your own. Most art and office supply shops have pre-packaged sets of card material and envelopes. Many sites also provide a service to have invitations professionally printed, along with a wide variety of templates to choose from.

Going paperless with your wedding shower invites and responses is possible with the help of certain websites. Not everyone in your guest list may have access to your Evite or Facebook event, so don't assume they'll see it just because you sent it. It's possible to send electronic invites (Evites) to guests who are guaranteed to get them, while also sending paper invitations (paper invitations to parents, grandparents, and other close relatives).

The correct details of the bridal shower, such as the time and location, as well as any other requests, such as those for gifts for a wishing well, words of wisdom, or recipes, should be included in the invitations. It's important to note the locations where the partners have their names on file. Tell your guests what they can expect to eat and drink at the wedding shower. Make sure the postage you're paying covers the whole weight of your invitation, including the envelope and any other extras. Finally, before sending out invitations, double-check them for accuracy.

Activities And Games For a Bridal Shower

Participating in activities at a bridal shower is a great way to keep guests entertained. Since most of the guests at the shower will also be at the wedding, these games are not only a lot of fun to play together but also a great opportunity to get to know one another. The visitors of all ages can easily participate in games centred around the couple and how they are familiar with them.

There is a wide variety of possible games for a bridal shower. They should, however, be kept tasteful. It's important to remember that you'll probably have family members of the couple in attendance. Therefore, now is not the time to play any racy wedding shower activities or tell any scandalous anecdotes that would cause Grandma to blush.

Usually, there's one person who can't wait to start working on the games. Recruit that individual to take charge of the shower's preparations, including coordinating the acquisition of necessary materials and the management of the activities. One enjoyable strategy for maintaining visitor interest is to award modest prizes (such as chocolates, nail polish, or gift cards) to the victors.

Here are a few examples of popular wedding shower games:

  • Bridal shower bingo, where the word BRIDE appears across the top of the cards instead of BINGO, is a standard activity for numerous reasons. For starters, it's a game that just about anyone can pick up and play, and secondly, it's easy to switch things up by changing the rules based on factors like the couple's location or the gifts they receive.
  • This interesting and entertaining game, called "Purse Raid," consists of a scavenger hunt inside the visitors' handbags. Make a list of things, from everyday to out of the ordinary, and read them out in order. In this game, the winner is determined by who can remove the item from their pocket or bag first.
  • Advice: Have visitors fill out attractive blank note cards with words of wisdom, recipes, or anything else they'd like to give the happy couple. At the shower, guests can take turns reading these to the bride. After that, you can compile them into a scrapbook and give it as a thoughtful present. If you go this route, make sure to specify what you need in the invitation and have people who can't make it send gifts in the mail.
  • Memory Lane: Players try to recall who did what with whom in a married couple's past. Invitees can share their most memorable experiences or stories (such as who helped the bride perform a prank in college). When you have gathered a sufficient number, read them aloud and your visitors will have a good time making guesses and listening to the stories that go along with them.

The typical wedding shower games have been replaced by more creative options by some hosts. Spa treatments, cooking demonstrations, yoga courses, and even painting parties have all become standard fare for wedding showers. These are great additions to showers with Jack-and-Jill, culinary, or spa-party themes.

Express Your Appreciation by Providing Each Guest with a Bridal Shower Favor

bridal party

Giving each guest a little something as a thank you for coming to the wedding shower is a nice touch. Favorite ideas might come from a wide variety of entertaining and original sources. They need not be grand or costly to be valued. A great favour for a wedding shower might be something simple, practical, or sentimental that the bride and groom could share.

Popular modern-day favours include things like bath salts, nail polish, jars of preserves or honey, biscuits, candles, and potted herbs or plants. The use of favours is a stylish method to continue the party's theme after the guests have left.

Hosting the shower at home was a lot of work, but it was worth it because it was more personal, cheaper, and gave me an excuse to spend the day baking. We were so well prepared, the event went off without a hitch. Even if the shower doesn't go exactly as planned, everyone will still have a great time if they approach it with a good mood and a willingness to laugh and enjoy themselves.

Conclusion

A bridal shower is a party thrown for the bride before her wedding by her friends and family. Guests can help the bride get settled into her new home by giving her practical gifts at her shower. The host's discretionary budget and the bride's prefered vibe are two factors that can shape the bridal shower guest list. She should invite the women in her life, including her friends and the women in her future husband's family. It is also common practise to host multiple bridal showers so that guests from far and wide can all celebrate the happy occasion.

There is a custom of holding bridal showers between the weeks of the bride's wedding, between the 5th and 2nd week. The shower is meant to help the bride and her bridal party unwind and get excited for the wedding. Get the bride involved in the planning process; she can do as much or as little as she likes. It's impossible to find a date that works for everyone, but you should try to find one that suits the majority. The homes of the host or a close friend or relative are the most common locations for bridal showers, but other options include public places like parks, hotels, spas, and even wineries.

The shower's theme and decor can be inspired by the wedding's colour scheme. Coed showers are a fun alternative to the typical bridal shower, and often include events like sports competitions and drink tastings. The food served at a bridal shower should be appropriate for the occasion, the time of day, and the bride's personal tastes. Because most showers occur in the afternoon, it's customary to serve food typically served at lunch or brunch. Meals, or just some of them, can be catered.

Baby shower invitations should be sent out about a month in advance. Shower invitations can take on as many forms as the celebrations they announce. You can either mail them out yourself, have them professionally printed, or create your own. The bride might only want close friends and family members to attend the wedding. The invitations to the bridal shower should have all the pertinent information, including the correct time and place.

Provide an overview of the food and beverages that will be available at the wedding shower. Guests can be entertained with games, but they should be appropriate for the event. Bingo is a common game at bridal showers, and it's a lot of fun for the bride and groom's friends. As a married couple, players must recall who did what with whom in the past. A scavenger hunt in the guests' purses is another fun activity.

Whoever can get something out of their bag or pocket first wins. Games at a wedding shower no longer have to be the same old thing. Nowadays, a typical shower will feature a spa treatment, a cooking demonstration, a yoga class, maybe even a painting party. Any small, useful, or sentimental item that the bride and groom can enjoy together would make a wonderful favour for the shower.

Content Summary

  • The bridal shower is a pre-wedding party where the bride's loved ones can gather and have a good time in honour of the bride.
  • Celebrating the stunning bride-to-be with a shower is a great way to get the wedding party and guests acquainted before the big day.
  • The maid of honour typically works with the bridesmaids to organise the celebration.
  • If you just follow one rule while compiling your guest list, make it that everyone who is invited to the bridal shower is also invited to the wedding.
  • After that is settled, the bridal shower guest list can be shaped by the host's discretionary funds and the bride's desired atmosphere.
  • It is your responsibility as the maid of honour (or any close loved one) to be there for the bride, to listen to her requests, and to fulfil them.
  • The purpose of the shower is to help the bride and her party relax and get in the wedding spirit by showering them with love and presents.
  • If keeping the bride in the dark is a requirement, just let her know when the shower will be held.
  • Make sure the bride will have a good time at the shower location.
  • The colours of the wedding can be used as a starting point for the shower's theme and incorporated into the tableware, flowers, and other decorations.
  • Guests at a party with a "Kitchen Party" theme bring something useful and entertaining for the future bride to use in her kitchen.
  • Once you've decided on a theme for the bridal shower, it's time to start planning the menu.
  • Send out invitations around a month before the baby shower.
  • As it is customary to invite only wedding guests to the bridal shower, it is important to obtain a guest list from the bride or someone involved in the wedding plans.
  • Bridal shower bingo, where the word BRIDE appears across the top of the cards instead of BINGO, is a standard activity for numerous reasons.
  • At the shower, guests can take turns reading these to the bride.
  • Giving each guest a little something as a thank you for coming to the wedding shower is a nice touch.
  • The use of favours is a stylish method to continue the party's theme after the guests have left.

FAQ's About Bridal Shower

According to this history behind bridal showers, ladies in the Victorian days would gather to wish the bride well. They would then spoil her by bringing small gifts, notes, and home goods. These gifts were put in an open parasol and they would then “shower” them over her.
Traditionally, the guest list consists of the bride-to-be's closest female friends and relatives. It's also considered proper etiquette for close relatives of the bride-to-be's spouse to attend the shower. This could include their mom, sisters, grandmother or another family member they're super close with.J
"Many people spend around $50 to $75, whereas closer friends and family may spend upwards of $100," she says. "However, the amount you want to spend is up to you." It's important to consider that there are no set rules for gift-giving when it comes to bridal shower gifts, and items can certainly range in price.
Bridal showers aren't required, so if you're not interested, here's how to spread the word. Not every to-be-wed wants a bridal shower, and that's totally their call. While saying "no" to having a bridal shower should be simple in theory, declining a friend or family member's offer to throw you one can be tricky.
 
  • Bride and Groom Photo Challenge. Guests will love this fun wedding shower game that features favorite photos of the bride and groom! 
  • Bingo Gift Game. Download and print blank bingo cards for each guest.
  • Wedding Ring Toss.
  • Romantic Movie Quotes.
  • Love Songs. 
  • Ball and Chain Game.
  • Bride and Groom Trivia.
  • Married or Not Married.
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