Traditionally the planning of a bridal shower is done by the mother of the bride, close friends, or even the maid of honor. From every little detail of managing a fluctuating guest attendance to ordering the cake, there are a lot of elements to consider when planning the perfect bridal shower. While I love tradition, I also love designing, hosting, and planning events, so I decided to take the lead on planning my own bridal shower. I wanted my guests and family to show up to the special occasion and enjoy the day without the hassle of planning the event. Whether you are a planner, like me, or you prefer that someone else take the lead, I’m sharing a few bridal shower planning tips I learned along the way to help you plan your perfect bridal shower.
After you have set your date and decided on a venue, start your bridal shower planning with the invitation. Select an invitation that fits the theme of your wedding and reflects your personal style. Selecting the invitation design early in the process will help to guide you through the rest of your bridal shower planning and selections. The style and colors reflected in the invitation will help you when you meet with your florist, choose your linens, select your cake and other details on your special day.
Tip: When you meet with vendors take a long an extra copy of your invitation so that they can clearly see your vision for your bridal shower.
There are a few other details to consider when designing or ordering an invitation that will help your guests. Include the RSVP deadline with a contact name and phone number on the invitation. This detail is important so you will have an estimated headcount when coordinating with vendors, such as a caterer or estimating the amount of food you will need to have at the bridal shower. Typically, you will need to provide a headcount to the venue and caterer at least one week ahead of time. On the invitation, include where you are registered and consider adding a map for out-of-town guests, especially if the venue is not easy to get to using GPS.
Details, details, details. This is my favorite part of the event planning process. I love creating special focal points for my guests to stop and enjoy. For a bridal shower, I think it’s important to have photos of you and your fiancé throughout the event. This is a great time to show off all your engagement photos and include your groom at the bridal shower.
Dedicate a space at your venue where everyone will take group photos, I love the new balloon garland and balloon wall trends happening right now. I took full advantage of the beautiful fireplaces inside the Kyle House and created a great spot for my guests to have their pictures taken.
Directional signage is a must. Small signage helps to welcome your guests the moment they walk through the door, it tells guests where to place gifts and cards, and where to pick up their favors when they are ready to leave.
Health and Safety
During the pandemic, it was important that I helped guests feel comfortable by offering a hand sanitizing station with face masks, a touchless thermometer, and hand sanitizer. Spacing out the tables and chairs, along with creating sectioned areas for activities, helped to give everyone comfortable seating and plenty of space to enjoy the day.
One of my favorite details of the party was my flower bar. Flowers can bring so much joy and life into each day, so when I was planning my bridal shower, I knew that flowers had to be the focal point and they needed to be incorporated into an activity for guests. I recreated a flower market and created an experience for guests to DIY take-home flower bouquets to enjoy at home. This activity was done at the end of the shower, and it was a way to say thank you to everyone who was able to attend.
Don’t forget the music! I love live music and that was also an important detail that I wanted to include at the bridal shower. Connecting with a local vocalist is a great way to create a memorable event. If this isn’t in your budget, consider putting together a playlist on Spotify or whatever streaming service you use, but just remember to bring your speakers!
A bridal shower is typically hosted around brunch time, so guests might expect light finger foods, cocktails, and sweets. I offered personalized selections that ranged from traditional continental breakfast foods to a “to-go” charcuterie board in a cup. The miniature breakfast items were a big hit, and they were so delicious!
A small cake, cupcakes, and or cookies with a hint of your bridal colors is perfect for a bridal shower.
Cake Tip: If you decide to order a cake and have a cake stand that you want to use, make sure and provide the dimensions of the cake stand to your baker so they create the right size cake based on the stand and number of guests you are expecting. This could be the difference between a one tiered or two-tiered cake.
Floral tip: If you are planning to include floral, like I did on my cake, you will need to let your florist know ahead of time and coordinate with your baker. The flowers in the photos above were placed on the cake only an hour before the event so they were fresh and not wilting. If the flowers are still on their stems you will need to pack an extra pair of sheers to trim each flower before placing them on top of the cake.
And finally, when planning the special occasions leading up to your big day, consider my bride-to-bride advice when it comes to managing wedding planning during varying global health and environmental concerns.
Laugh, smile, and enjoy the moment you were gifted. Allow yourself to be accepting of the moment and although the day may bring on challenges and it might look different than what you dreamed or even planned, you will be surrounded by people who love you and care about you. And the ones who can’t be there, they will be there in your heart and in spirit.
Tip: Consider recording portions of the bridal shower on your cell phone to create a short film or even live stream portions of the day so that you can share the special occasion with family members who are unable to attend.
Photographers: Shelby Tsika Photography and Rebecca Firth Photography
Floral: Tricia Barksdale Designs
Linens: Party Time Rentals
Venue and Catering: The Kyle House + Polite Coffee
Vocalist: Andrea Young Music