An American tradition that has swiftly crossed the pond, a bridal shower is a chance for the bride and all her friends to get together to celebrate her upcoming wedding. These events are usually planned and executed by the Maid of Honour, as well as the bridesmaids, and usually involve cake and gifts. While not an essential aspect of a UK wedding timeline, we love any excuse to have a party. If you want to throw your bride a bridal shower, here’s a fool proof timeline for getting every aspect of it right.
Before Planning Begins:
Decide on Budget
Any event will cost money, so it is important that you lay out how much you want to spend beforehand. If you are throwing the party for the bride, it is traditional that you should foot the bill. However, if the bride has requested the bridal shower then we think it is fair that you ask her to at least contribute.
Once budget is set then you have the parameters to start planning everything else!
Curate Your Guestlist
Tradition dictates that a bridal shower is an all-female event. However, it makes sense to us that you invite the bride’s closest friends and family no matter their gender. You wouldn’t want her to be missing any of her nearest and dearest just because of a tradition!
Make sure your invite list correlates with your budget. You want to make sure you have enough people for a good party, but not so many that the snacks and drinks will be spread thin. You should also prepare for people who will not be able to attend. Getting the sweet spot right for guest numbers is vital.
Determine a Venue
Once you have an idea of how many people will be attending you can select a venue which can cater to your needs. If you are on a budget this will probably be your home, or the home of a friend. A garden party theme works really well for a bridal shower, wedding permitting.
Otherwise you could book a room at the bride’s favourite restaurant, or a function room in a pub. Just make sure you have the space to do all of your activities, and permission to bring any decorations, cake or catering items that you want.
The Essential Next Steps:
Choose a Bridal Shower Theme
This one really comes down to the bride. Is she a Pinterest girlie who would love mason jar and doughnut wall décor? Or is she more minimalist with a preferred neutral colour palette. You could even go all out with a comedy theme and make references to her interests as a teen. We would love to see an ironic horse girl or Jonas Brothers bridal shower.
Themes can be as extra or as subtle as you want. It simply helps keep everything cohesive when making planning decisions.
Send Out Invitations
Now it’s time to send your invites! Make sure you do this with plenty of time for people to RSVP so that your carefully chosen guestlist can be realised. Ensure that you do include a rough timeline of the day with your invitation, and if gifts are expected. This would also be a good time to ask guests to notify you of any food allergies so you can adjust catering accordingly.
Decide on Catering
People gotta eat! Catering for a bridal shower really depends on budget. It can range from homemade sandwiches and cakes to charcuterie boards, to full-blown professional canapes. Whichever avenue you choose to go down make sure you include plenty of the bride’s favourite dishes. A cake is not necessary but definitely adds to the party feel.
The Icing on the Cake:
Decide on Decorations
The sky (and the budget) is the limit where décor is concerned. It is lovely to include the bride’s favourite flowers, perhaps as a centrepiece. You could also source photos of the couple to display creatively around the venue. Other great décor ideas are festive bunting, dried flower bunches, eco-friendly confetti, and banners.
Plan Out Any Games or Activities
A bridal shower is a really fun opportunity to be a bit cheesy. You could play the newlywed game, or quiz the bride on her partner. Other creative ideas are “pin the veil on the bride” or a practice bouquet toss.
If it aligns with the bride’s interests, you could also include cookie or cupcake decorating. You could even do a garter making workshop.
Set the Tone With a Playlist or Entertainment
A Spotify playlist of all of the bride’s favourite music is a must. Include songs that you know she loves, as well as songs which remind you of her. Perhaps there’s a certain playlist that you always put on while getting ready together for a night out.
If you’re feeling fancy and budget allows you could always hire a DJ, or a live performer to really get the party going.
And if all else fails? You could always set up karaoke! You may need to ensure the drinks have been flowing for quite a bit first.