Bridal showers are a lot of fun to plan but like any get together can become overwhelming. Here are five simple sets to follow to help you throw a stress free wedding shower.
Traditionally, bridal or wedding showers are typically the responsibility of the maid-of-honor or matron-of-honor (M.O.H.). If there are extenuating or special circumstances such as the maid-of-honor living out of town/state, is of a younger age or have special circumstances that enable her to plan the party another member of the bridal party would step in to take over the lead roll in planning the bridal shower. The maid-of-honor is also in charge of the cost of the shower. Usually all of the bridesmaids help out with the costs and preparations.
The first steps would be to set a budget. The M.O.H. should get together with the bridesmaids and set a budget. There are different ways to go about setting the budget. You can either ask each bridesmaid to contribute what they can to the fund because some may be able to contribute more than others. Or you can set a budget and divide it equally. Be sure to except any assistance offered financially from either side of the bridal party. Many times mothers-of-the-bride or groom will want to help with costs as well.
There are many ways to cut costs as well by utilizing the help of your bridesmaids. It is a good idea to try to include all the bridesmaids in the planning process; they will feel like they are a part of the process and not just handing over money. This is very beneficial to you too because each bridesmaid may bring something to the table that can help you plan a successful and memorable event and save money in the process. Who knows, maybe one of those bridesmaids is an experienced baker or a pretty good home chef. Maybe there are some scrapbookers or crafter among you that could help make decorations. Or perhaps someone might “know a guy” that could help give you a discount on supplies, entertainment or a venue.
Once you set your budget you will be able to start planning. Again, recruiting the help of your bridesmaids will prove to be beneficial. There is no reason to stress out over all the details and trying to plan this event yourself. The bridesmaids are there to help you. They can help with making decorations, food, games, etc.
When and where and what time are the obvious points that you need to take care of when planning a shower and it is a good idea to start with that. Showers are typically thrown in the afternoons on Saturday or Sunday between 1-4 pm. However, you could do something a little different and have a shower in the evening if you are having a co-ed party. Or have a brunch and start around 11 am.
You could hold a shower just about anywhere. The shower can be held at the maid-of-honors home, at the home of someone in the bridal party, rent a room at a restaurant or bar, country club or community center. You could also do an outdoor shower during spring, summer or fall at a park or in someone’s backyard. Thinking outside the box can be a lot of fun for those more adventurous brides. For example, if your bride or bride and groom were sports fans perhaps renting a space at a sports venue they would both enjoy. Or rent out an art gallery or think of places that are more non-traditional for your party space.
Once you have decided this you should start working on the guest list. The guest list should be compiled of just about anyone the bride wants to invite, mainly the brides closest friends and family. If you are having a co-ed shower you will want to include the grooms closest friends and family as well. Also it is VERY important to contact the mothers-of-the-bride and groom to make sure they do not have any additional special friends and family members that they would like to be invited. The most important thing to remember when making the guest list is that you should not invite someone to the bridal/wedding shower who is not invited to the wedding.
Next you will need to plan the food and games or entertainment. This is another time the bridesmaids will come in handy. You can all split up the duties so it is not so overwhelming for one person.
After date, location, time and guest list has been set then it is time to send out the invitations or the save-the-dates. Invitations should be mailed 2-8 weeks prior to the event. If you are sending save-the-dates you could send these out up to a year in advance. In this day and age, it is acceptable to include the bridal registry information. Personally, as a guest I prefer to receive an invitation that includes registry information.
With the invitations sent and the shower only weeks away it is time to prepare for the special event. Having get-togethers with the girls to work on decorations, games and food can be really fun. Make an event out of the preparing stage. Have the ladies over for cocktails as you make decorations together. Have a baking or cooking party to prepare foods if you are not having it catered. Or spend the day shopping together to get supplies.
Now it’s time to execute your awesome party plans! Be sure to greet all your guests as they walk in. Direct them to their designated table, if applicable. When it is time for gifts, be sure to designate one of the bridesmaids to keep track of whom the gifts are from and what the bride has received so that she can send off proper thank you notes later to her guests. Be sure to have someone designated to take photos of the entire event and don’t just concentrate them all on the bride. Be sure to take pictures of the guests. The bride will be so busy she won’t be able to visit a long time with everyone especially if it is a large shower so it is nice for the bride to have photos of others so she can remember all of those who came to celebrate with her big day!