It’s a very exciting time of my life – not only am I a new wife and mummy, but many of my close friends are also getting married and starting families as well. It seems like there’s always a new event to attend, and I love celebrating these huge milestones with the women in my circle. I recently hosted a bridal shower for one of my girlfriends, and I had so much fun designing it that I wanted to share all my tips with you on how to host one yourself. Being given the task of hosting a bridal shower is a huge honor, but it can feel a bit overwhelming. Here’s everything you need to know!
First – figure out the date, location & guest list
In my opinion, showers should be held about one to two months before the wedding. The bride is going to be extremely busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding, so having a shower two weeks before will probably be overwhelming for her. On that note, I’d ask her for any notes – such as a color theme, the type of decor vibe she’d like, or food, (plus any no-no’s, which is usually a stripper!), and then take it completely off her hands from there. This should be fun and relaxing for the bride, so little or no responsibility on her end whatsoever. Get all the attendees on an email or Whatsapp group and offer a few dates that work. Once you’ve nailed down a day, decide if you’re hosting at your home, at a restaurant, or elsewhere. There may be some costs involved with reserving or renting out a space, which is why hosting at your home is a great option if you can. The guest list may also dictate where you host the shower. Get the invitees from the bride and decide if it’s more realistic to host at home or elsewhere. Ps. Don’t necessarily tell the venue that it’s a bridal shower. Sometimes they hike up the prices or have a rule against them altogether! Conversely, some spas will pull out all the stops and serve complimentary Champagne if they know it’s your special day.
Design & send out the invites
There are lots of chic options for sending out cute invitations. A digital service like Paperless Post is quick, easy, eco-friendly, and cheap – plus they have so many cute designs to choose from. However, if you feel like going all out – you can DIY or pay for professional stationery. This depends on your budget of course, as custom/handmade invitations will cost much more. Typically the bride or groom’s mother, bridesmaids and close family members will contribute to the costs of the shower, but every situation is different. The bride certainly wouldn’t want you going broke over this event, so see what everyone wants to contribute ahead of time and adjust your budget accordingly.
Pick a theme, color scheme & decorations
This is the fun part! If you’re anything like me, designing a gorgeous spread is one of the funnest things ever. For this particular gathering, I wanted elegant girliness, without being over-the-top pink. I started with the color indigo and built from there, finding matching glassware and napkins – and later deciding on pinks and peaches as the accent colors. If you’re working with a florist (I was lucky enough to work with my good friend Eric Buterbaugh), find inspiration photos on Pinterest and send them as reference. I wanted to have a lot of citrus on the table, so having freshly cut fruit was a beautiful accent on the centerpiece (this is a really cheap and beautiful way to make the table look gorg). I wanted to let the flowers and table setting speak for themselves, but more great decoration options are garlands and balloons.
Design a menu
Whether you’re working with a caterer, cooking yourself, or doing a potluck – decide on a menu ahead of time and delegate the dishes. Again – Pinterest is an absolute goldmine for inspiration, and I was able to send ideas for salads, sides and entrees to our caterer. Usually healthy and light is best, but with a yummy sweet treat for dessert of course! If you’re doing a potluck, have contributors tell you ahead of time what they’re bringing, so that you don’t have any duplicate items and that you can tweak appropriately. One thing you should definitely provide? A custom craft cocktail. I played off the citrus theme and did a grapefruit vodka soda that was easy and delicious.
Plan a fun (non-cheesy) game or activity
There is no shortage of bridal shower games, usually involving a quiz on the bride and groom’s relationship. While this is cute, I always love showers that have an unusual activity like flower crown making, a pampering station, or photo booth. Try something outside of the box, to go along with your more classic games. Your guests will appreciate it, and it’ll be much more memorable.
Create a gifting station
Set up a table or area where guests can leave their gifts. While some brides choose to open gifts in front of the group, many today are choosing to do this in private after the party is over (myself included!). Ask the bride ahead of time which she prefers, to avoid any awkward moments. If she would like to open gifts at the shower, keep the cards with each gift, so she can send out thank you letters later.
Provide party favors
A fun party favor can be a great way to wrap up the shower and create a lasting memory. Items like a geode wine stopper, bath bomb set, candle or mini bottle of Champagne are simple and chic options – plus, handing or setting them out is a great way to signal to guests that it’s time to head out!
What are some of your tips on how to host a bridal shower? Tell me below!