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The Perfect Bridal Shower Checklist

By Thedreamery

The Perfect Bridal Shower Checklist If you’re a maid of honor, bridesmaid or special person for a bride-to-be, you may be enlisted to help plan a bridal shower this wedding season. But where to start? Last week I shared my ultimate wedding planning timeline, which can be a great resource for just about any party, but for the non-event planner minds, a more detailed checklist could be useful. So I’ve made planning a bridal shower a “piece of cake” with a checklist that breaks down dates tasks should be completed and important details to make a beautiful pre-wedding gathering. You can download the pretty checklist print below in a printable pdf here.

The Perfect Bridal Shower Checklist
It’s a special gift to give one of your family members or best friends an afternoon with her favorite people, but it doesn’t happen by magic and there are a few things to consider first. I decided to answer a few basic questions I’ve been asked and seem to be the most popular questions when planning a bridal shower.

“Who should throw the bridal shower?” There isn’t a definite person who has to organize it, but most times the Maid of Honor, along with the bridesmaids take control of all major duties. In cases where there isn’t a bridal party, a sibling or close friend willing to take on the responsibility and work can do it. Mothers and mothers-in-law often get involved, and often a work colleague can throw a mini-shower for the bride at work. There isn’t a rule that says the bride can’t plan her own shower, which can happen most times when she has a vision for her day or her bridal party lives out-of-town. Whoever the lead host is, remember to involve friends and family who are interested in helping.

“Who will be attending?” The first thing to do is to run through the couple’s wedding guest list, and the women on it, with the bride, because only she knows who should definitely be there. The bride knows she’s getting a shower, so confirming the guests with her won’t be ruining the surprise. The one GOLDEN RULE you should follow is to not invite anyone who isn’t invited to the wedding, unless it’s someone whose been invited but can’t make it the day of the wedding.

“When should we hold the bridal shower?” Bridal showers should be thrown within a month to two months before the wedding. There are cases where a shower may need to be held closer to the wedding date, say the MOD or important person needs to be there and they are traveling from a different country and can only be present days before the wedding. In these cases, it’s important to work with the bride, so she can plan around any pre-wedding week things she has planned.

“What type of shower should we plan?” Your starting point here again will be the bride. Keep in mind any vision or ideas she’s already had, then consider her likes, hobbies…the more personal, the better. Choosing a theme is an easy way to make the planning easier, it can be as simple as choosing an inspirational color or a full-out Gatsby themed brunch. Remember the wedding is the important day and where the money will be spent mostly, so consider the venue and budget when planning the shower. Be creative, and think about ways that you can save money by either having it at a home, an outdoor picnic or even a cooking class. You don’t have to, but planning a few fun games keeps things interesting and allows guests to interact while getting to know each other a bit better.

“What about gifts?” If the couple has a registry, then gifts will be expected no matter the location of the shower. If there isn’t a registry, then depending on the type of shower you’ve organized, as well as who is throwing it {from an etiquette perspective, it’s never considered good for someone to ask for gifts for their own family member or themselves}, the issue of gifts can be confusing, as most guests will more often just bring their gift to the wedding. But you don’t want to show up and be the only one without a present either. A creative and  personal way to overcome this, is with themed gifts – like having everyone bring a family recipe to build into a book for the bride, wine to stock her cellar, or better yet, you could ask for pictures and memories to be used to create a scrapbook. These don’t cost a lot of money, but they make sure everyone is involved and allow the bride to connect with each guest.

More Helpful Tips

  • Check with guests about food preferences and allergies, especially when hosting at a home. To appeal to all tastes, make sure you offer at least one completely vegetarian option.
  • If a lot of the guests don’t know each other, including the bridal party of them, name tags can be quite helpful. Guests can write their first name, and on the bottom write their relation to the bride. The bonus: it helps guests get over their shyness and start conversations.
  • If the bride chooses to open her gifts during her shower, don’t forget to keep track and  write down a list of gifts and givers. She will definitely not remember who gave her what, so designate someone in the bridal party, or another planner to take on this task.
  • Consider giving your guests favors, but it’s not an obligation. Instead of a cha-chi, gift something geared specifically towards women that they’ll use, say a body scrub, pretty candle, lovely quote print or single wrapped flower.
  • If the bridal party, other family members or friends are fronting the bill for the shower, make sure to hash out how much each person owes and payments before the day of the shower. The bride doesn’t need to see the hosts discussing money at her shower.

Remember bridal showers are fun, and a sweet and simple way for the women in the bride’s life to spend more time together during this exciting time leading up to the wedding day.

Hope these helpful planning tips and checklist help!

top photo via HWTM

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