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A Bridesmaid Planning Guide to a Memorable Bridal Shower

Photo: Free Pik

“I am getting married!”--- with a loud shriek, your best friend decided to announce the news of the century. You held each other's hands, gave a hug, and cried happy tears.

After a few minutes of taking it all in, your best friend broke away from the hug, wiped her tears, and asked, “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

You gave her a look that said, “Is that even a question? You didn’t have to ask!” Without batting an eyelash, you said, “I Do.”

You both gave louder shrieks and laughs. But in the middle of all the merriment, it hit you, “Now what?”

Whether you got invited to be part of the bride squad of a high school best friend, a dear family member, a friendly coworker, or someone you have known for years, being a bridesmaid is a great honor.

But let us be realistic for a second. The role comes in quite a few responsibilities. You have to
give out emotional support to the bride-to-be, attend pre-wedding meetings and practices,
participate in the actual ceremony, and the list goes on.

And here is another truth bomb coming.

Some of these responsibilities entail shelling out money before the actual wedding. Just like
planning the bridal shower.

What is a Bridal Shower?

The bridal shower is a famous pre-wedding event attended by the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and female family members of both sides and friends. It is a much more intimate event compared to the actual wedding reception. But it can be as fun too.

The bride is showered with gifts and well-wishes to help her fight off the pre-wedding jitters,
appreciate the hard work she has done so far in the wedding preparations and to make her feel
loved. It is a special day dedicated to the bride.

Who should host the shower?

When you look up the internet, the most common answer you will get as to who should plan a bridal shower is the maid of honor.

But of course, the maid of honor cannot do it alone. The bride squad, also known as
bridesmaids, is expected to help. Also, times have changed. Bridesmaids can also do the hosting, especially if these girls have a different special bond.

Who should you invite?

The bridal party is an all-female celebration. Therefore, aside from the maid of honor and
bridesmaids, close female family members and friends from the wedding guest list should be

Take note that the invitees should be on the guest list already. Otherwise, you might end up
surprising the couple and paying for an additional guest for the actual wedding day.
The close female family members should come from both sides of the bride and groom. That
will include the grandmothers, mothers, aunts, nieces, and even kids. Other female friends can be the bride’s coworkers.

Should the bride know about the shower?

There are two answers to this question. Yes, the bride should know that she will be attending a shower soon. But she should not know what will happen on the day of the party.

Should you invite the groom?

We have mentioned earlier that the times have changed. And part of that change is that,
sometimes, the groom gets invited to the bridal shower. He appears at the end of the party as a
surprise. He thanks the guests for attending, all the gifts, and the moral support. But, it is your call.

When to throw the shower?

Ideally, the bridal shower should happen three months and three weeks before the wedding.
Make sure the date is convenient for both the bride and the guests.

At one point, you might experience difficulty matching the schedules of the attendees and the
bride. Some might be flying from the other side of the world, attending someone else’s event,

In this case, prioritize the bride's availability.

After all, it is her special day.

When should you send out the invitations?

Inform the guests four to six weeks before the party. Ideally, this will already be enough time to align their schedules and trips, buy gifts, prepare their outfit, etc.

You can consider handing or shipping out printed invitations. But, if you like to keep things
handy, a digital invitation sent to the guests' email addresses will be a good idea.
Where should you throw the shower?

Two things you need to consider in choosing a location for the party are the type of shower you wish to have and your budget. You can go all out with a destination trip to a beach and enjoy the sun and sand for a bridal shower.

You can also consider doing it in someone's home or garden, at a local restaurant, or
somewhere related to the party theme (such as a yoga studio, salon, karaoke room, or cooking
school). Here you have to keep in mind that the bridal shower is not the only responsibility where you will have to spend money. So, be wise but make sure you don't also kill the fun.

What happens in a bridal shower?

Welcome your guests when they arrive. Encourage them to sign the guestbook and to leave a
sweet message for the bride. The guestbook will come in handy, especially if the bride plans to
send thank you notes to the guests. Also, make sure you have a gift table.

Usher your guests towards the venue and hand out light refreshments to enjoy.
Start the program with some ice breakers as soon as all the guests and the bride had arrived.
These ice breakers will encourage interactions among the guests, especially those who do not
personally know each other.

After, you may make an announcement or say a prayer to bless the food. You can go with
cocktails, bites, and pastries or as grand as a themed spread.

After maybe an hour and a half, you can start the bridal shower games. If you see many gifts to open, you can cut short the number of games. Don't forget the prizes!

After the games, you can play a sweet song to signal the start of the next part of the program, which is the gift opening. Request the bride to head over to the gift table. You can read the message of the gift giver before the bride opens the gift. After the gift opening, you can request the bride to give a short speech. You can also hand party favors to thank your guests for attending the shower.

Don't forget to take group photos after the party.

Photo: Free Pik

Your Bridal Shower Planning Checklist

Now that you have a grasp of the basics of a bridal shower, here is a simple checklist you can
use. It's a short guide that you can refer to as you plan a memorable bridal shower without
breaking your bank.

✓ Create a budget

✓ Pick a date

✓ Create a guest list

✓ Select a theme

✓ Choose a location

✓ Send invitations

✓ Finalize shower decorations

✓ Plan the program

✓ Create a shower playlist


Technically, there is no one-size-fits-all way to plan a bridal shower. But considering this
planning guide can save you time and money. Because again, reality check. You still have other
things to spend on for the wedding such as your dress, makeup, hair, shoes, hotel, and many

Also, who knows, you might be invited to be a bridesmaid again or better yet, be the next bride.

Have fun planning!