So, you have the esteemed honor of planning a bridal shower—cheers to you! But literally, planning a bridal shower might seem daunting, and you may need a drink. Or two. Like, where do you even start? Do people still play games? Do you have to invite the bride’s great-grandma? It can seem like a lot, but don’t freak out just yet. The event experts at PartySlate have you covered with tips on where the hell you even start. Follow these 7 manageable steps, and you’ll plan an amazing shower that the bride will love… and you won’t drive yourself crazy in the process.
1. Determine The Hosts
Almost anyone can throw the bride-to-be a bridal shower. However, the first right should go to the mother of the bride, bridesmaids, or female family members. But more often than not, the shower is hosted by more than one person, so that one person doesn’t get stuck with the entire bill—which is probably where you come in. If you’re reading this, we assume you’re a bridesmaid or the maid of honor (if not, maybe you’re just a sadist?). It doesn’t matter why you’re deciding to host, just figure out who’s doing the job.
2. Pick The Palette Or Theme
While a specific shower theme is not required, you might want to at least have a color palette. Number one, it makes decisions easier. Number two, themes and colors are a great way to relate to the couple’s style. Do they love Paris? Parisian theme it is (this theme in particular has the added bonus of giving you a great excuse to re-watch Bridesmaids). Obsessed with Italian food? Make it an Italian theme, and serve up some fresh mozzarella and chicken limone. Once the theme or palette is set, commit to it! (Unlike the FWB you sometimes Netflix and chill with.) It takes a little extra effort, but will make the shower look so much more chic and put-together. Carry theming and colors throughout the tabletop decor, invitations, and cocktails. But please, pick just a few colors. Do not make a hodgepodge of ROY G BIV— let’s be civilized, people. Not to mention, that just creates more work for you!
3. Choose The Venue & Set The Date
I mean, duh. Now that you have a concept in mind, use that inspiration to select the perfect venue. Try to keep things consistent with your overall vibe when choosing your venue, too. If you are going for a rustic, open-air concept, a restaurant’s dark, private dining room may not be the best choice for your shower. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to host the bridal shower at a venue or event space—hosting a shower at somebody’s home is always a great time, and offers some more flexibility (not to mention, you won’t have to pay to reserve the maid of honor’s backyard).
4. Invite Guests
We hope that we don’t need to explain this one. See: The One Where Rachel and Phoebe Plan Monica’s Bridal Shower.
5. Choose The Decor & Menu
Bridal shower decor can get cheesy—and fast. Trust us when we say that two tulips and a “Miss to Mrs.” banner are not decor. Make it a memorable event that will get people excited for the wedding (and the lead-up to it). Add personal touches that remind people of the bride-to-be. Like, if she loves peonies, add peonies. Is she lemon and lavender pancake-obsessed? Weird flex, but ok. Then the princess shall get all the pancakes. Which reminds us: do not forget the dessert. Whether it be a doughnut bar or a whimsical cake, everyone wants a sweet treat after their meal.
6. Set The Dress Code
Don’t go overboard with it, but give people some parameters regarding what the f*ck to wear to this shindig. Anyone who’s ever stood in front of their closet for 30 minutes, digging through racks of clothes, yelling, “I have nothing to wear!” will thank you.
7. Plan Activities
There are a few things worth mentioning here. While we do not consider gift opening a game, some consider it the main event that takes place at a shower. So that’s an option. But, if that’s not your route, you might want to create an eye-catching display table of unwrapped gifts, rather than an estate-sale-style pile of mix matched presents. For example, use linens, risers, and florals to create a visually stunning display of gifts for guests to check out. That way, you can just ogle the gift-wrapping instead of spending two hours opening each and every gift. Yes, it can really take that long.
As for real games, it can go a few different ways. We all know Aunt Bunny will want to play traditional games, like making a gown out of toilet paper or “Who knows the bride best?” quiz. Some basic games she might include: a quiz to find out who knows the bride the best, (s)he said/(s)he said where both partners are quizzed in advance, or the ever-engaging bridal bingo. Some contemporary showers are taking a different route, like having a craft cocktail bar or CBD oil-mixing stations. Dare I say, something original!
If you’re still feeling like you’re at a loss trying to plan a bridal shower,
read this article again head over to PartySlate.
Images: Keri Calabrese Photography, Krista Mason Photography (4), Jennifer Bowen, Roots of Life Photography, You Look Lovely