A paper invite is the traditional way to go and a nice change from the everyday email. You can create your own bridal shower invitation with pretty paper you find at the craft store or have one custom made through sites like Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy, and Minted. As an eco-friendly option, send a postcard, which cuts down on the use of envelopes. If you’d rather go the paperless and fast route, consider a digital invitation from places like Evite and Paperless Post. Just keep in mind the possibility that not everyone on the guest list uses the internet frequently; send those guests a paper invite or follow up with a call after you’ve sent the digital invitation. Details to include on the invite are: date and time, location/directions, dress code (if applicable), and any pertinent information, like menu selection or if guests should bring something.
Food and Beverages
The question is: how complex do you want the menu to be? Will the bridal shower include a sit down lunch or a buffet? Will there be finger foods or should guests bring a homemade dish for a potluck? The food and drinks you serve might depend on the party theme or how involved you want to be in the serving process (will you have to be in the kitchen the whole time?). There’s also the restaurant option where everyone can get exactly what they want. Whatever you decide to do, make it easy on you and the guests. If you’re cooking/baking, prepare as much as you can the day before and stick to simple, but delicious dishes that everyone can enjoy. Or forego the hassle and serve a variety of tapas/appetizers and set up a drink station with alcohol and non-alcoholic options.
How you decorate the bridal shower space is dependent on things like the shower theme and where it will be hosted. If it’s at a restaurant there won’t be much need for decorations; pretty balloons and flower centerpieces will do the trick. If the bridal shower will be hosted at home, consider what is already available and can be used along with any purchased decor items. Streamers, banners, table runners, flowers, balloons, candles, and backdrops can all be used to decorate the space. Keep the theme in mind, if there is one, to guide you in what kind of decor will work best.
A bridal shower may be all about the bride, but in a way it’s about the guests too. Most bridal showers have an activity or two to keep guests entertained, and in some cases, to break the ice. Think bridal bingo, scavenger hunts, toilet paper bride (where you create a wedding gown with toilet paper), Two Truths and a Lie, Pin the Ring on the Groom, word scramble, or What’s in Your Purse? You can find printable game cards and ideas online or purchase specific games through bridal shower and party websites.
There’s a plethora of favors to choose from these days and many can be personalized to fit the bridal shower theme. Places like Bridal Shower Co. offer a variety of items that can be gifted on their own or put together in goodie bags. I love the idea of trinket boxes/bags with things like lip balm, chocolate, and mini bottles of champagne. Or give a useful gift like a notebook, post-it note packs, and pens. If you’re more of the DIY type, bake a batch of cookies and put them in little handcrafted bags for each guest. For an eco-friendly shower, gift mini potted plants, succulents, or plantable cards.
These five essentials will get you on the road to planning and hosting a bridal shower that the future bride and her guests will love. If you haven’t already, start thinking about the themes and activities the bride would like, the best venue for the amount of guests invited, and other fun things you’d like to incorporate, like music playlists.
Cassandra Key is a freelance writer and native Texan based in the Philippines. She’s written about everything from real weddings and bachelorette parties to bridal showers and wedding fashion, and is the creator of Bridal Magic – a blog for brides with a fairy tale heart. When she’s not blogging, you can find her beach bumming, reading Francesca Lia Block novels, dancing up a sweat, and trying to incorporate a daily meditation practice.