If you’re a friend or family member of the bride-to-be and you have taken on the task of hosting the bridal shower, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed if you’ve never hosted one before. There are many factors to take care of, including making sure all of the bride’s close family and friends are included and every detail is perfect. And even if you have hosted a bridal shower before, everyone can always use a little help.
We’ve come up with a step-by-step timeline for you to follow when you’re planning a bridal shower:
At Least Three Months Before
About three or so months before the shower, or preferably more if possible, get in touch with the bride and ask her what she expects for the shower. Bridal showers are traditionally just women, but more modern brides are choosing to invite the men as well. So ask her if she would like to stick with tradition or go co-ed. Also, ask her what her preferred style is for the shower: would she love a fancy, cocktail evening? Or, a more casual afternoon tea style? Also, ask her what her ideal venue would be: Outside at her parent’s house? At a posh restaurant or banquet hall? Or at a spa? Even though most of the decisions from here on out will be up to you, it is helpful to use these questions as a starting point so you can feel confident that the bride will love what you put together.
Once you nail these details down, call around if wanting to rent a venue and set a date. Often, the date you choose for the shower may depend on the availability of the preferred venue. But it should take place about one to two months before the wedding. When creating the guest list, make sure you only include people who are invited to the wedding.
Two Months Before
At the two-month mark before the shower, you should be sending a save-the-date email or phone call to see if any guests may have scheduling conflicts. If you are aware of any guests who will have to travel to attend the shower, calling in advance and notifying them will be appreciated. You should also get together with the bridesmaids and come up with a budget everyone can agree with, ask opinions about décor, favors, food, and activities, and start ordering any special menu items from the caterer or baker. Next, start gathering guest addresses and write out a detailed to-do list.
One Month Before
Now is the time to start addressing and sending out the shower invites. Remember to include any information about the couple’s registries, and if it’s themed, any gift specifications. Shop around for your decorations, buy the guest favors, and call or email any guests who may have offered to bring anything like dessert and confirm what they plan to bring.
Two to Three Weeks Before
We’re getting close to the date now! And you should be feeling pretty good and on top of things if you’ve been following our suggested timeline. Place your flower order with the florist, buy your gift for the bride-to-be, create a shopping list of the food and drink supplies, purchase the alcohol for any cocktails you’re having, and pick up anything that family or friends have offered up like cake stands, music equipment, and more.
One Week Before
Call any of the venues or vendors you have hired to confirm your reservation, and confirm orders and delivery details. Hopefully guests will have RSVP’d by now, but for those who haven’t yet, it will be time to call or email them with a confirmation. Assemble and wrap any favors, and ask the bridesmaids to get together with you to do so. You may also want to buy your groceries, and organize the games and activities.
The Day Before
One day before the bridal shower, you will be putting together any menu items that can be made in advance, including any prep work to make your life easier the day of. Set up any equipment you are receiving from family or friends and put together the decorations and favors. You can also set up the tables if the shower is at a friend’s or family member’s house. Also, contact the bridesmaids and confirm with them what they’re bringing and ask them to arrive early to help you set up. Run any last minute errands but do as many things as you can the week of the shower.
Phew! You’re all done! It seems like there’s a lot to be done to prepare for a bridal shower, but if you follow this timeline and stay on track, you should be able to get through it with ease and with as little stress as possible. This level of organization will result in a perfectly executed and thought-filled shower that the bride is sure to love and be so appreciative for.