Tips to Planning the Perfect Bridal Shower

If you have the privilege of planning a bridal shower and have never done it before, you might be surprised at the undertaking that it can quickly become. Although you might feel inundated with ideas of pulling off spectacular do-it-yourself (DIY) creations and expensive foods and favors, don’t feel pressured to drive yourself mad in a quest to throw the shower of all showers. Unless the bride feels the need to run the party herself, chances are high that your shower idea will be successful. Here are some additional tips to throwing the perfect bridal shower.

Get the Bride’s Input

Getting the bride’s input can be very useful for creating a shower schedule. You want to have the shower at a convenient time for the bride and make sure that people she wants to be there are included. You can also get theme ideas from the bride, either by explicitly asking her or being sneaky and asking her questions about herself and the groom in order to build on your own secret theme. If you should get stuck on ideas and want the shower to remain a surprise to the bride, then get input from someone close to her, such as her mother. At the very least, you should get the following input for planning the party:

  • Best date and time
  • A guest list
  • Whether or not gifts are requested

Choose a Theme Based on the Bride or the Couple

Not every bridal shower is required to have a theme. You can just throw a party with food and general decorations, if you want. However, creating a theme can make the shower more personal and provide ideas for decorations or bridal shower invitations. When choosing a theme, select something specific about the couple. It could be the year that they met or went to high school, their shared passions or interests, or where they’re going for their honeymoon. If you’re throwing a couple’s shower, definitely make sure the groom’s interests are also included.

Take Advantage of DIY Activities

You don’t necessarily have to supply the gifts for every guest or be responsible for a plethora of games and activities. DIY crafts make the perfect party favors and activities. There are ideas from create-your-own-fragrance bars to arranging a flower bouquet. Simply supply the materials and let your guests go crazy. 

Enlist Help

Planning a shower can turn into a big undertaking if you have grand plans. In addition to planning for activities, you likely need to consider decorations and food. Rather than stressing yourself out, create a shower committee and enlist the help of other friends or family members of the bride. If you don’t mind handing over the reins, assign specific tasks to individuals and let them figure out the details. Again, having a theme already established can give everyone a great starting point. If you have the budget for it, then hiring a caterer or having the shower at a location where they will provide the decorations and food for you will save you a lot of time and stress.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Dollar Store for Favors

When planning a bridal shower on a budget, your wallet might be stretched thin when it comes to supplying favors or gifts for the guest It is fairly traditional to have shower guests leave with something as a memory of the party. Luckily, your local dollar store should have plenty of items at an affordable price. From votive candles and bubble bath to wine glasses and picture frames, take a trip down the aisles to get inspired. It does not have to be expensive and your guests will appreciate the gesture.

Check Local Businesses for Ideas

If you’re really strapped for ideas on where to plan the shower and what to do, check out your local businesses. You might be surprised at the different activities that are available for showers. You can reserve a room at a local restaurant or schedule a wine tasting. Set the bride and her guests up for a spa day, or maybe see if a local professional will come and teach a class such as cooking, makeup, or painting. You might be able to find a variety of ideas for any budget.

Keep Your Guests in Mind 

The bridal shower is not the same thing as a bachelorette party. While you might be tempted to include funny, racy games, keep in mind who will be attending the party. If there will be elderly family members of the bride in attendance, you might want to forgo the lingerie theme. Then again, perhaps the elderly family members will be fine with it! If you’re planning anything that might be considered a little racy, check with the guests to get an idea of what is and is not appropriate.

Make It Memorable and Keep It Manageable 

Throwing a bridal shower is the creation of memories for the bride leading up to her big day. It doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. Just make sure to give it plenty of thought and time for preparation. Whether you’re having it at a restaurant or in the living room of your home, a solid theme with a few activities, food, and favor ideas for the guests will likely lead to the throwing of a perfect shower.

Bryan Passanisi is online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

Photography Credit: All photos from Karen Up On the Hill

Anne Churchill