When hosting a bridal shower, it’s all about making the bride happy. It’s her day. Traditionally, the maid or matron of honor hosts the bridal shower. The Wedding Etiquette Adviser at Martha Stewart Weddings states that a shower shouldn’t be hosted by the bride’s immediate relatives, as it may be seen as a plea for gifts.
To surprise or not to surprise? Brides know a shower will be held before the wedding. Eliminate stress and the hassle of keeping the shower secret by including the bride in some of the planning. Ask her what would make her shower perfect. Listen to her ideas, and if she’s always dreamed of a cupcake tower in her wedding colors, then order one instead of a sheet cake.
Coordinate with others involved in the wedding. If your bride has employed a wedding planner, be sure to consult with him or her when planning the shower. You should attempt to coordinate the shower to match the theme the planner has created with the bridal couple. Also involve the other bridesmaids when planning the shower. However, if there is discord among the bridesmaids for any reason, this is not recommended.
Guest lists. Bridal showers should take place about two to four weeks before the wedding. The invitations should be mailed four to six weeks before the bridal shower date. Typically, if someone is not on the wedding guest list, she should not be included as a shower guest. The exception is the office shower, usually hosted by officemates of the bride for just her work friends. Share the guest list with the bride. She should have final say on the invitees.
Invitations. Any party invitations must include specifics such as name of person being honored, the date, time (start and end), location, and a phone number or email address for R.S.V.P. replies. Bridal invitations also should include a list of places where the bridal couple has completed gift registries. Choose an invitation style the bride will love to include in her wedding memory book.
Food. A bridal luncheon shower can be a beautiful event, one that the bride will never forget. If guests are traveling from a distance, serving a meal is an appropriate plan. Other options include a brunch or even dessert party. For a couples’ shower, consider throwing a cocktail shower, and be sure to have the bartender create a signature drink for the bridal couple.
Décor, games and gifts. Coordinate the bridal shower décor with the wedding, unless it’s a theme shower. Theme showers can range from a tea party theme to a location-inspired theme based on the honeymoon destination. Listen to the bride’s ideas for theme so she will love her special party. Plan a few games that incorporate the theme and are age-appropriate for all guests. Leave the racy games for the bachelorette party. Assign a bridesmaid to record each gift as it is opened so the bride has a complete and accurate list for thank-you notes.
Party day. The day of the shower, stay calm and organized. This is the best way to ensure the bride has the best shower day.