So, you’ve been tasked with planning the bride-to-be’s shower? No sweat, we’ve got your back. You can easily host a wonderful shower that won’t break the bank. We get it, it’s expensive being a part of the bridal party. You’re paying for your dress, bachelorette gifts and more. Even though you’re spending a lot, it’s worth it because you get to be a part of your friend’s wedding.
A bridal shower is a great opportunity to bring together everyone who is nearest and dearest to the bride to celebrate and shower her with gifts. Most of the time the gifts given are to help her establish a new home with her future husband. Bridal showers are a great place to share stories and marital advice with the new bride, eat and drink and play games with good friends.
In the past it was considered frowned upon for a family member to plan the bridal shower as it was considered rude for family members to ask for gifts for their relative. Because of this, showers were often planned by the maid or matron of honor. These days, unless it’s a surprise, it’s common to involve the bride in her own shower by asking her if she has a preferred theme and having her register for the shower.
As the host, you can ask the other bridesmaids or family members to chip in or if you’d like, pay for the shower yourself. Besides asking for help financially, you should also involve the bridesmaids and family in planning, set-up, decorations and more.
If you’re hosting a Co-ed shower or just the bridal shower in general, remember to invite friends and family of both the bride and groom. This is a great way to get all of the guests together before the wedding.
Make sure you ask the bride for the guest list as you don’t want to invite anyone who wasn’t invited to the wedding. These co-ed showers are often called “Jack and Jill” showers and can be a fun way to give a 21st century update to the “bridal shower” tradition.
When hosting a Co-ed shower you should ask the groomsmen and best man to chip in financially or when it comes to planning. Most Co-ed showers are typically more low-key and involve less bride-themed decorations which can save you money.
Make sure if you’re hosting a Co-ed shower that you’re planning the shower with the idea that games such as the “toilet paper dress” game and others probably won’t appeal to a mixed crowd. Instead come up with fun activities for couples to enjoy together and plan the party with a theme that appeals to both the bride and groom.
You want the shower to go off without a hitch, right? Come up with a schedule! You don’t want a schedule that’s too detailed or strict but you should have a general idea of what’s going to happen during the shower at the beginning, middle and end. If something interrupts your schedule and is enjoyable to the bride and guests, then let it go but your plan will come in handy if there’s a lull during the party.
A schedule can help you save money if you’re limited by time that you can be at your venue as it will help you make sure that the bridal shower stays on track.
12:00PM – Guest arrival. While guests are arriving it can save you time later on if you give them an envelope from the bride’s “thank you” cards to write their address on so the bride isn’t tasked with addressing all the envelopes later.
12:15PM – Game or entertainment starts.
12:30PM – Food served. You can help out the bride by fixing her a plate so she can focus on her guests.
1:15PM – Take Photos. You’ll want to get photos of the bride with her family members and bridesmaids plus any additional guests that the bride wants.
1:45PM – Game or entertainment.
2:15PM – Gift opening or final piece of entertainment and speeches. Whoever hosted the shower may want to thank the guests for coming and say something about the bride-to-be.
Guests of a wedding shower include a mix of different people from the bride and groom’s lives. In order to break the ice, a shower game can be a great way to get everyone together and get them talking. Be sure to ask the bride if there’s anything she’s uncomfortable with before you begin planning one of these bridal shower games.
“Guess the dress” – Provide your guests with a piece of paper where there’s a sketch of a bride in a slip. Challenge the guests to design/draw what they think the bride’s gown will look like. Make sure to include plenty of colored pencils or crayons for the guests to use. Give a prize to the guest who has drawn the dress that most closely resembles the bride’s dress.
“Professional Lesson” – Maybe the bride doesn’t want a game at her shower. In that case, you can suggest hosting a professional lesson for the guests instead. Something like a “how to” would be a great way to entertain guests at the shower. You could do a “how to create the perfect smoky eye” or “how to make your own bouquet” and invite a professional to host the lesson.
“Who said it” – This game is a great way to get your guests laughing. Make a list of ten quotes from both the bride and the groom without their name attached to the quote. Ask your guests to write whether they think the bride or the groom said either quote. Review the answers with the guests once everyone is done for a good laugh at the bride and groom’s expense!
“What’s in your purse” – This is a fun way to get your guests involved in the bridal shower. It’s also a great way to find out who carries the most random things in their purse. Create cards and award points in different categories. Items can include things like tweezers, lipstick, pepper spray and more. Whoever ends up having the most points at the end wins the game!
It’s easy to ask around and see who might have a spacious home or backyard for you to host the bridal shower at, so do it! You won’t be imposing, especially if it’s a family member or member of the bridal party. This is an easy way to save money on the venue for the shower. Some communities even have free or low-cost community centers or clubhouses that you can rent for special occasions. Make sure to thank whoever let the wedding party use their home by giving them a “thank you” bottle of wine after the shower.
If you can’t find a home or clubhouse to throw the shower in, another great option would be a local park. Make sure you book a spot where there’s a pavilion and if the weather is dicey in your area plan for rain by renting a few pop-up tents. You can also contact your local rotary or VFW hall as many of these organizations have large rooms or meeting spaces that you could rent for a relatively low price.
Bridal shower invitations can be costly, especially if you’re getting them from a specialty stationery store or getting something unique designed. Save yourself the trouble and the money by doing it all online! Even though the bride or groom may have a grandmother or two that don’t use the internet, you can send out special paper invitations to those people instead of twenty to forty paper invites to everyone. You should send out invites at least two months before the shower to give guests (especially the out of towners!) time to plan their trip to the shower location.
Caterers can cost an arm and a leg. It’s much more cost-effective to join forces with the other bridal party members and family and make the food for the shower yourselves. You can also save money by having some non-alcoholic drinks on hand and one alcoholic drink such as sangria or mimosas.
A Mashed potato bar – This can be easily served with a crock pot and having small bowls filled with toppings for the mashed potatoes such as bacon bits, scallions and sour cream.
Melon prosciutto skewers – These classy skewers which are made up of melon, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil and drizzled with balsamic are a classy summer appetizer you can easily make.
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill crostini – Toast or use fresh baguette slices with cream cheese, add a piece of thinly sliced smoked salmon and fresh dill if you know that bagels with lox are a favorite amongst your crowd.
Crab artichoke dip – This dip is easy to make and you’re sure to impress with it. Grab a great recipe for it from Delish.
Tiramisu cheesecake – If you have fans of tiramisu and cheesecake, this will definitely be a favorite. Grab a great recipe from a Taste of Home.
Devils on horseback – These hor d’oeuvres are easy to make. You wrap dates and goat cheese in bacon, put them on a toothpick and these appetizers are ready to go!
Donuts – You can create a donut bar yourself! Hang donuts on hooks or put them in stacks. Donuts are affordable and you can get them at several different locations easily.
Decorations can be expensive, especially if you’re buying everything new. If the theme of the bridal shower is involved, you’ll need a lot of decorations to pull it off accurately. You’re also probably thinking, once the shower is over, what happens to these decorations? They’ll either need to be sold or given to someone else or thrown away. So why waste a ton of money on decorations that you’ll most likely only use once?
Often at weddings or bridal showers guests get a favor that they’re likely to throw in their junk drawer when they get home. Don’t give your guests another favor that’s useless. Instead there are many options for great favors that guests will appreciate.
You know the bride and we’re sure that one or two different bridal shower themes immediately pop into your head when you think of what she loves most. When planning a wedding shower you should consider several factors before deciding on the theme and be sure to clear it with the bride (unless the shower’s a surprise, then clear it with her mother). You should think about where the shower’s being held, the time of day that the shower’s happening and what the bride’s tastes are.
At the end of the bridal shower, it’s a wonderful gift for the bride-to-be to receive a personal gift or memento commemorating her shower. A truly thoughtful gift will be sure to make the bride feel especially loved. A more DIY gift will also help save you money instead of buying an expensive gift.
Memories – Ask your guests to write down their favorite memory with the bride and put them all in a book to give to the bride at the end of the shower.
Kiss picture – Ask all your guests to kiss a piece of white card stock and sign their name underneath it. Have extra lipsticks on hand in case a guest doesn’t have any. Frame the card stock and give it to the bride at the end of the shower.
Polaroids – Take polaroid pictures during the shower and at the end have guests glue or tape them to pages of construction paper and write on them with markers before putting them in a book for the bride to take home.
No matter what you do, your bride-to-be is sure to love the shower you put together in her honor. Remember to include everyone who wants to be involved and to relax and breathe while putting the shower together. When looking for ideas and great reusable items, attend one of our Wedding Flea Market events to get items cheaply and easily that you can use. Above all, have a wonderful time at the bridal shower!