Calling all bridesmaids, maids of honor, and bridezillas: it’s bridal shower time.
The bridal shower is one of the bare essentials of every wedding itinerary. It’s an exciting “prelude” to the festivities to come—the celebration before the celebration.
Got your mind stuck on how to kickstart yours? We’ve compiled the ultimate bridal shower planning checklist to help plan an unforgettable event for the bride-to-be. So sit back, grab your clipboards, and let’s get planning.
The first step in planning any memorable bridal shower is determining the date and choosing a theme (if any) that reflects the bride’s personality. Even if she won’t fancy a specific theme, it’s still important to consider the types of accents and details that will set the tone for the entire event.
Whether it’s a garden tea party, a boozy brunch, or a sunny beach bash, consider the bride’s preferences, hobbies, and interests while crafting the recipe for the perfect bridal shower—and mark your calendars.
Next up: the guest list. Keep in mind that the bridal shower traditionally includes close friends, family members, and bridesmaids. Ensure you have each guest’s contact info to send out invitations later.
Now it’s time to ship out those beautifully designed invitations. No design yet? You can go the traditional route with printed cards or opt for digital invitations, which are convenient and eco-friendly.
It helps to match your invitations to your bridal shower’s theme or look and feel. Top it off with all the essential details-like the date, time, location, theme, dress code, RSVP information, and gift preferences.
Ask any event planner they’ll tell you that the venue is everything. You can host it at a traditional event hall, in a foreign country, or even in your own backyard. It’s safe to say that the bridal shower is typically more low-key than the actual wedding, so you most likely won’t have to bust out the plane tickets just yet. But even if you’re “go big or go home,” you still need to consider how things like the location, accessibility, and event date flexibility affect your guests’ arrival.
Going down our list of How to Choose the Perfect Event Venue for Special Occasions, we recommend setting the scene with a party venue that has a gorgeous backdrop, indoor and outdoor seating, exquisite dining with talented chefs, and an easily accessible location.
Here’s the big opportunity to let your creativity shine. Bust out the on-theme table settings, centerpieces, banners, balloons, and flowers. Make like an interior decorator and pay close attention to the color palette—choosing decorations that don’t clash but radiate a welcoming, visually appealing atmosphere is vital.
Finally. The moment foodies have been waiting for. First, determine whether you’ll host a sit-down meal, buffet, or cocktail-style gathering. Once you’ve sorted that out, coordinate with the venue or caterer to select a menu that best suits your event and accommodates any dietary restrictions.
It’s important to note that not everyone is a posh fan of caviar or a die-hard baby-back-ribs lover. Check out our wedding food reception list that names 13 different inclusive foods/drinks that can easily be incorporated into your bridal shower.
Don’t let your bridal shower become a snooze fest. Keep guests entertained and make lasting memories with games and activities like bridal bingo, “How well do you know the bride?” quizzes, photo booths, DIY crafts, make-your-own sundaes (or cocktails), and sports (like shooting hoops, beach volleyball, or cornhole). Remember to tailor the activities to the bride’s specific interests and personality.
Encourage the bride to envision a gift registry with items she truly desires. This is a win-win for both the bride and guests because the guests can choose meaningful presents, and the bride actually gets what she wants (goodbye relationship-help books). Include the registry details on the invitations or share them via email or a social media post.
Party favors show your appreciation to guests in a thoughtful way. These can be small, personalized gifts (like a slice of wood with their name burned into it) or just a simple token of gratitude (like a custom golf ball for a golf course wedding venue). The possibilities are endless, so get creative!
As the bridal shower approaches, double-check all the arrangements and confirm the details with the venue, vendors, and guests. Notify everyone of the schedule, parking instructions, and other relevant details that ensure a smooth, enjoyable event.
Ultimately, bridal shower planning is no piece of cake—but it could be. Choosing a golf course event venue is the perfect way to start. It’s a surefire way to check off everything on the wedding shower planning checklist.