If you’ve been chosen as the Maid of Honour for your BFF or sister, your first reaction is probably to be thrilled. However, as reality sets in you’ll start to realize it comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the biggest things you’ll need to take care of is planning the bridal shower.
Today, this puts a lot of pressure on you to come up with ideas that compete with all the other bridal showers your friends have thrown. But don’t sweat it. These ideas will help you plan the perfect bridal shower, hands down.
Set a Budget
This can be tricky because you need to determine who is footing the bill. Unfortunately, the bridal shower is traditionally covered by the host who tends to be you. However, feel free to speak to the bridesmaids, and mother of the bride and groom to see who is willing to pitch in on the planning and costs. This way you’ll know how much money you have to work with and can set a budget.
Time it Well
You want the shower to be close to the wedding while also giving you time to plan it without getting too stressed. Ideally, you want to give yourself at least four months to plan everything. Bridal showers tend to be about two months before the wedding day, but this isn’t written in stone. Also, although bridal shower surprises can be fun, the bride has a busy schedule with planning and events of her own, so you are probably better off working with her to choose the right date. Major guests such as close friends and family should also be consulted to come up with a date when everyone can attend.
Choose the Guest List
Not everyone invited to the wedding has to be invited to the shower. However, everyone invited to the shower does have to be invited to the wedding! The guest list tends to be more fun with a group of people the bride is closest to. Ask the bride for a list of who she wants to attend, hopefully with their home or email addresses to make sending out invitations easier.
Find a Location
With the guest list and date finalized you can start looking for a bridal shower venue. Many smaller gatherings are traditionally held at someone’s home. However, for fancier or larger gatherings, you’ll want to find a special venue. You want a venue with enough space for everyone, and that is easy to reach for the guests, especially the bride. If this is a catered affair choose a Vaughan banquet hall that can handle the food to make your life easier. This often tends to be more affordable as well.
Come Up with a Theme
You don’t have to choose a theme, but themes can be fun. Use the bride as your inspiration, or her wedding theme. It can be as simple as a décor theme, or more involved with activities and even guest attire tying into the theme. It can also include your menu and drinks.
Just remember the bride is the key here so avoid doing anything she won’t enjoy or might even find annoying or embarrassing. Some popular ideas might include a martini or wine tasting theme, a retro theme, or even a series of movie-inspired themes like Sex in the City, Downton Abbey or Bridgerton. It could also be a high tea, garden party, cocktail party or retro dance party.
Finalize the Guest List and Send Out Invitations
Once all the details are confirmed you can finalize the guest list and send out the invitations. Keep in mind you’ll want to send them out at least six weeks out from your event. Be sure to have people RSVP so you can finalize with the caterer and venue. Always include relevant info including attire, themes and what food will be served.
Choose a Menu
Keeping your theme in mind and your bride’s preferences, work on the menu with the venue. If it is a home party, find a caterer or arrange a potluck meal with guests. These details have to be well-planned and ironed out so every detail is perfect. Working the theme into the menu is always a good idea as it helps make sense of everything. Don’t forget drinks with plenty of glasses and champagne to toast the bride. You can also have fun creating a unique cocktail or making yummy mimosas if it’s a lunch or brunch.
Shop For Décor
This is where the fun begins in the planning. Use your theme to get out and shop for décor. This can include everything from flowers or balloons to special details for serving the food, and from special glass and dinnerware to fabulous linens and lighting. Don’t forget to include a photo backdrop where people can take pictures for social media.
Not every bride will be keen on activities, so choose them wisely. Games can be fun, especially if you include prizes. You can do something like a trivia bride game where guests compete to see who knows her best or have some sort of sharing game where guests get to know each other. Create a schedule so you know when each activity will take place, and don’t forget to include food and gift opening on your itinerary.
Make a Playlist
Music helps create an ambiance and can be used to enhance your theme. If there isn’t theme-specific music to worry about, consider choosing music that appeals to everyone, with a good mix of modern and retro tunes and of course, your bride’s faves. Avoid depressing music that will spoil the mood, and don’t forget some mushy love songs to help celebrate the occasion.
Create a Gift Idea List
Whether it’s through a registry, or just a fun list of suggestions, sharing a gift idea list can make it easier for guests to come with something the bride will truly appreciate.