Ideas for planning a bridal shower

April 14, 2019
bridal shower ideas

Bridal Shower Planning

With all the stresses of planning a wedding, bridal showers are often put on the back burner. The shower is one pre-wedding soiree that the bride should have little to do with in terms of preparation.

The last thing she needs as the big day gets closer is another bullet point to add to her to-do list. We’ve all sat through those disorganized showers that seem to go on for five hours and it’s not easy for the generous guests.

Thoughtful planning, time management, and delegation are all required to create a memorable shower that keeps guests engaged. Every shower should be personal and reflect the unique personality of the bride.

It may seem like a lot of work, but don’t fret. In the next few days, I’ll give you the basics of shower planning, ideas for every budget, suggestions, inspirations, and etiquette tips so you will feel as confident as a professional event planner when it’s over.

I have included photos galore and some common answers to dilemmas that brides, bridesmaids, and hosts often face. Hostesses, just remember to plan ahead, make it personal, and follow my tips and you’ll throw a shower guests will never forget!

The Basics

Historically, it was in poor taste for a relative of the bride, especially her mother, to host the shower. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for the mom, sister, aunt, future mother-in-law, or other relative to foot the bill for the shower and be listed on the invitation as host.

Especially if the shower is being held at a restaurant, country club, or other venue with a sizeable guest list, the age-old rule can be overlooked.

The bridesmaids are still responsible for planning much of the shindig, but if mom is handling the logistics, the bridal shower can usually have a larger budget and guest list.

If your best friend’s wedding is in a few months, start thinking about what she would plan for her own shower, and offer to help mom with the essentials anyway; your suggestions will be appreciated and there’s nothing wrong with a joint effort between the mom and the maids. With a few extra details you can turn a generic shower into one any bride will be amazed by.

It’s All In The Details

Start by brainstorming and pick a theme- does she have a favorite color or season? Does the couple have specific hobbies or shared interests? What is her style and what are her obsessions? Once you have this to work from, coordinating the details will be much simpler.

When planning any event, I always start by piecing together any cute ideas and products I find from the Internet, past showers, pictures, or shopping trips related to the theme.

I come back to that real-life “pinboard” over and over until each element has been chosen and I know I didn’t leave anything out. But with all the great ideas out there on websites like Pinterest, it will be key to stay organized and avoid getting overwhelmed. Make decisions based on your theme and budget.

Let’s get inspired with some pics from my favorite showers that I either planned or attended as a guest. (Later on you’ll see photos from the same showers when we talk about gift and bridesmaid ideas.)

For Rebecca’s autumn shower, plush cranberry tablecloths and twig-and-berry napkin rings adorned each table. Pine cones, branches and berries were mixed in for table decor.

Soup was served in butternut squash bowls. The favor bags, table numbers, and escort cards were ordered from to match our “Falling in Love” theme at a reasonable price.

This shower was so fun to plan because there was an added bonus: a fall-themed candy bar for a candy-obsessed bride. Everything from sour peaches and caramel apple candies, personalized M&Ms, candy corn, and custom initial lollies were included.

The set-up was gorgeous and guests took home their treats in fall-colored custom candy bags with mix and match bows.

At Meredith’s bridal shower menus were printed on placemat-sized versions of her invitation. Turquoise was the focus of the day and showed up everywhere, from the bathroom tissue to picture frames at the bar. Each girl took home a personalized leather photo holder that doubled up as place settings and Vera Bradley mint tins.

The Wedding Company in Manhasset, NY helped design the details for Mallorie’s pink shower: pink menus, napkins, personalized advice cards, a framed seating list, table number signs with directions for an activity on the back, rose Champagne favors, and custom mint tins.

Pink peonies and a miniature bride decorated each table. Pink parasol cake pops and pink Baked by Melissa cupcakes at the dessert table made for delicious treats both during the shower and after.

*Budgeting Tip: You can often rent props like a parasol or bride bodice to place at the gift table or use as centerpieces from a professional event company.

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