It's all about the Bride-to-be!

bridal shower checklist tips wedding planning

The bridal shower (or couple shower) is the maid of honor’s pre-wedding piece-de-resistance or in plain English your MOST IMPORTANT duty. So that means you must rise to the challenge! Even if someone else is hosting the bridal shower (like the bride’s aunts) or you’re holding it at a restaurant or spa, it’s up to you to take the reins. So here’s a handy bridal shower checklist you can download + print for free to help you plan a perfect party for the bride-to-be. Feel free to adjust the timing to suit your showering style.

3 + Months Prior...

  • Talk to the bride. Does she want all women or co-ed? Afternoon tea or Saturday night soirée? Does she want a particular bridal shower theme, style or color? Does she want to gather at a Chinese restaurant, a quaint tea salon, her grandmother’s house, a spa, your apartment? Does she want to serve cocktails? While most of the bridal shower details and decisions will be up to you, make sure you plan according to her input.

  • Set the date -- shoot for a month or two before the wedding. (If certain bridesmaids and important family and friends can’t convene until a few days before, hold off until then).

  • If the bridal shower will take place at a tea salon, private dining room, restaurant, or nightclub, make the reservations.

  • Create the guestlist for the bridal shower. P.S. Anyone you invite must also be invited to the wedding - you don't want to be in an awkward situation

 

2 Months Prior...

  • Send a “save the date” email and/or call important guests such as the bride’s best friend from high school, her favorite cousin, the groom’s mother, etc. to see if there are any scheduling conflicts.

  • As a courtesy, call any guests who will have to travel some distance to attend -- they’ll appreciate the advance notice.

  • Talk with the bridesmaids to establish a budget.

  • Purchase bridal shower invitations or materials to make them.

  • Hold a brainstorming session to finalize decisions about table linens, flowers, menu, decorations, favors, music, and activities.

  • Order special menu items through the bakery/caterer and linens, coffee urns, and other equipment from a rental company, if necessary.

  • Compile addresses for the guest list.

  • Make a detailed to-do list and assign tasks.

 

1 Month Prior...

  • Assemble and address invitations. (Include information about the couple’s registries. Make sure to provide proper gift-giving instructions.)

  • Mail those invitations!

  • Shop for decorations, paper goods, and other party props.

  • Purchase favors.

  • If guests have offered to bring desserts and other treats, call to confirm what they plan to bring -- adjust your menu accordingly.

2 + Weeks Prior...

  • Place the flower order.

  • Buy your shower gift for the bride.

  • Figure out what you’re going to wear to the shower. Why not treat yourself to a slick new outfit or dress?! (You’re the hostess, after all)

  • Make a shopping list for the food and drinks. Buy any hard-to-find ingredients.

  • Purchase alcohol, if you’re having cocktails.

  • Pick up any baskets, cake stands, punch bowls, tea services, stereo equipment, or serving platters that friends or neighbors have offered to lend.

1 Week Prior...

  • Confirm reservations.

  • Confirm orders and delivery times.

  • Confirm RSVPs.

  • Assemble and/or gift-wrap favors.

  • Buy groceries.

  • Create a mental floor plan to facilitate decorating and setting up.

  • Prepare shower games and activities.

1 Day Prior...

  • Prepare any menu items that can be made in advance (or just do prep work).

  • Receive and set up equipment, assemble decorations and favors, set table(s).

  • Touch base with the bridesmaids -- confirm who’s bringing what and ask them to arrive early to help.

  • Run last-minute errands.

Day of...

Relax and have a good time showering the bride! Don't forget to take loads of pics but remember to be in the moment. Next up - the bachelorette party!!!

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