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Bridal Shower Ideas You Can Use

Also see bridal shower teas, bridal shower invitation ideas and wedding planning help

If one of your best friends or close family members is getting married, it may fall to you to arrange her bridal shower.

Nowadays the bridal shower is a significant pre-wedding event, so planning a fantastic bridal shower takes more than games, gifts and finger food. Modern bridal showers are festive events that reflect the personality of the bride. Often with a theme, they can range from formal brunches to casual co-ed barbeques and everything in-between.

They also give family and friends a chance to honor the bride (and perhaps the groom too) by showering them with gifts and socializing in a fun setting. If you want the bridal shower you're planning to go off without a hitch, read on for the top tips and bridal shower ideas.


How much will you spend?

One of the first steps you should take is to determine the budget for the shower. Find out who will be involved in paying for the wedding shower (i.e. all of the bridesmaids or family members) and decide as a group how much everyone is willing to spend. After you decide on a general budget, it will guide some of the future decisions you'll make while planning.

Who will attend?

You'll need to create a guest list for the shower. The guest list should include anyone that the bride will want to be there. Be aware, however, that bridal shower guests should also be on the wedding guest list. Check your guest list with the other planners to make sure that you haven't left anyone out who should attend. Give a copy of the list to the bride for her input. While you compile the list of guests, you should also collect contact information for those guests. Be mindful of your budget and limit the list accordingly.

What will the bridal shower theme be?

Choosing a bridal shower theme for the shower can be one of the most fun parts of planning. Consider the bride's personality and interests and go from there. There are many bridal shower themes to choose from, so have some fun with it. If the party is themed around an interest of the bride's, such as travel, the shower gifts can be themed as well, like a travel journal for the new couple or a digital camera for their next trip. Also be sure that the theme for the shower will be appropriate for all guests. Would the bride's grandmother appreciate the fun in a lingerie gift shower? Maybe not.

Where will the wedding shower be?

When you decide on the venue for a shower, there are no hard rules. You should consider your budget and the theme of the shower to determine the venue. Obviously if you have to pay a rental fee for the venue it will affect your budget, so if you have a tight budget, choose a location that is free of charge like someone's home, a local park or party room.

When will you hold the wedding shower?

As long as the bride and groom have already set their wedding date, you can set the date for the bridal shower as soon as possible. This way, you'll have plenty of time to plan without stress. If you set the date far in advance, you still don't need to send out invitations until 4 to 6 weeks before the shower. Also, be sure to clear the date with the bride as well as the key people in the bride's life (like her mother and sisters) so she won't be disappointed that someone important couldn't attend.

Who will help you with the wedding shower?

As you might have already guessed, planning is a big job and it will be a lot easier if you have some help. Accept help where it's offered and give helpers specific tasks. Areas where you'll probably need some assistance are planning and conducting games, recording gifts, post-party clean up and food preparation.

What will the wedding shower guests eat?

Like determining the venue, your budget and the theme of the wedding shower will guide your menu choices. For a less expensive alternative, you can prepare the food yourself and enlist others helping with the shower to do the same. If you have the cash, consider hiring a caterer because it will be less stressful for you. But, on the other hand, a home-made menu adds some charm and character to the shower. The menu need not be elaborate, as guests won't expect a full meal. A light lunch, brunch, hors d'oeuvres or just some snacks will be appropriate. Cake is generally served at bridal showers, but you can have fun with the cake by ordering one in an unusual shape if you so choose.

What will the guests do at the bridal shower?

As the hostess of the shower, it's your job to make sure that guests enjoy themselves and have fun. Set up a cd player or mp3 player with pre-set playlists for the party. Plan activities and bridal shower games to break the ice and enliven the party. There's a certain hokey quality about a lot of bridal shower games, so think outside of the box and plan some unusual games for the guests to play. Again, the theme can help guide the type of games that you use. There are many bridal shower games available on the internet. Do whatever you can to encourage conversation among the guests and above all, make sure the bride is the center of attention in all activities.

Will the shower guests receive a bridal shower favor?

Though they're not expected, it is a nice gesture to give guests a small token of appreciation for their attendance at the shower. The party favor can be simple like an individually wrapped cookie or a fancy milled soap. Like with other aspects of the shower, your budget will dictate what shower favor is used, if one is used at all.

Now that you know the basic steps in planning the perfect bridal shower, you'll get though planning in a breeze. Remember that no matter what your budget is, you can make it fun through creative ideas that don't cost a thing. And, once she sees all of the hard work that you've put into it, the bride will truly appreciate the time and care that you've taken to make her shower special.