How to Throw a Bridal Shower

If you're wondering how to throw a bridal shower, think of it as a throwing a romance-themed birthday party. Like planning a birthday party, you're going to need a type, budget, date, time, location, guest list, decorations, refreshments, entertainment and favors.

Bridal showers can be thrown anywhere from eight to two weeks before the wedding. Guest invitations should go out about four weeks before the shower. This gives enough time for everyone to receive the invitation, get around to opening it and submitting their RSVP.

Planning a Bridal Shower

  1. Type. The first thing you need to do when planning a bridal shower is the type of shower to throw. Consult with the bride, or the bride's family for a surprise shower, to check on what kind of shower is desired. Should it be located in a home or bar? Should it be formal or casual? What is the best date and time to choose? Who should or should not be invited?
  2. Budget. Once you know the bride's basic desires, set a budget for the bridal shower. Decide if you're paying for everything yourself or if you will ask guests to chip in by donating money or bringing refreshments. Make sure your budget covers invitations, decorations, refreshments, entertainment and favors. If the shower is being held somewhere other than a private home, you also need to budget for any location booking or room rental fees.
  3. Date/Time/Location. After you determine the budget, you need to pick a date, time and location for the bridal shower. Think about what would be the most convenient time for the bride and her guests. If the location is not in your home, check to see if you can book the date and time desired.
  4. Guest List. Make up your guest list and check it over to make sure there aren't any mistakes. Gather the required addresses and write out what you want the invitations to say. You can have fancy invitations printed up, but it's much easier and cheaper to do the invitations yourself. Jump online and find some printable bridal shower invitations. Type the invitation text into the form, print out the invitations and send them out.
  5. Decorations. Decorations for a bridal shower can be simple or elaborate, but you need to add at least a few decorative touches to the room. There should always be some sort of centerpiece on the refreshment or present table, regardless if it's made with balloons, flowers, streamers or whatever. Add streamers, bows, wreaths, garland or a sign to bare walls and doors.
  6. Refreshments. Bridal showers require refreshments, regardless if the style is catered or potluck. Depending on the type of shower being thrown, you may want to offer coffee, tea, juice, beer, wine, hard alcohol, punch or soda to drink. Try offering finger sandwiches, veggie platters, fruit platters, dessert platters or chips and dip to eat.
  7. Entertainment. Every bridal shower needs some sort of entertainment to keep guests engaged. You can play silly bridal shower games, such as toilet paper bride or a trivia game about the bride and her fiancé. You can watch a live performance, feature movie or home movie about the bride. You can also play classic board or card games with wedding favor prizes.
  8. Favors. Favors are highly recommended as a way to say thank you to guests for attending the bridal shower. They are a token of appreciation and don't have to be expensive. Offer a wrapped decorative soap, scented candle, box of candy, fridge magnet or mini-bottle of fancy lotion.
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