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  • Eight to ten weeks before the bridal shower
    • Guest list Check with the bride to see who she wants invited – it’s her shower and her choice.
    • Budgeting You’ll need funds, so hit up family and friends to show the bride to be a good time.
    • Date Bridal showers are traditionally a morning or early afternoon affair, and so should be held on a weekend.
    • Location The shower may be held at home, in the dining hall of a nice restaurant, in a church or many other venues.
  • Four to six weeks before the bridal shower
    • Theme Ask the bride if she desires a particular theme,. If not, you can get creative.
    • Invitations Invitations should be pretty and feminine, and request an RSVP as well as include directions to the event.
    • Menu Call around and select a caterer, and decide on a menu. Brunch items are lovely for morning showers, or afternoon showers may feature teatime treats.
    • Registration Register the bride online for items the couple will need to set up housekeeping.
  • Three weeks before the bridal shower
    • Flowers Floral arrangements should be tasteful and understated. Ask the florist about specials.
    • Balloons You may wish to opt for balloons instead of flowers if the budget is tight or some guests have allergies.
    • Seating If held at home, the shower may be large enough to require extra tables and chairs to be rented.
    • Cake A bridal shower cake is traditionally a white cake, but layered cakes with jelly filling are coming in style. Order early.
  • Two weeks before the bridal shower
    • Games Select fun games to play at the party, and shop for any needed supplies – including pencils and small pads of paper for word games.
    • Prizes/favors Plan on a small favor bag for each guest to take home. Also have some small prizes for the games.
    • Dishware/flatware You can go for casual and a quick clean up with paper and plastic, or get out Grandmother’s china for a formal bridal shower.
    • Caterer Double check with the caterer concerning the menu and game-plan for the party.
  • One week before the bridal shower
    • Guests Contact those who have not RSVPd, and find out if they will be attending.
    • Video/photos Someone should be in charge of videotaping the event, and another person can take pictures. A professional may be hired if the party is very elaborate.
    • Gifts Purchase gifts for the lucky couple, and check the registry to ensure there are no duplications.
    • Decorations These should be already purchased and ready to put up.
  • The day of the bridal shower
    • Set up Everything possible should be delivered the day before to make set up stress free.
    • Cake. If the cake is not being delivered, assign someone to pick it up
    • Flowers The florist may deliver, or you may have to pick these up as well.
    • Gift list One person should use the invitation list to note who gave what gift, so thank you notes can be mailed later.
    • Cleanup Large trash bags should be stocked for discarding trash and wrapping paper during the party, making final clean up easier.

Traditionally, bridal showers were held to make sure that the bride would not lack for items such as linens, dishes and other important household wares. Today, more and more people hold bridal showers for fun, with gifts ranging from the sensible to the absurd. The main goal of today’s bridal shower is to make the bride feel special and provide her with things to take into her marriage.


  • Showers are best held approximately a month before the actual wedding. Usually the mother of the bride takes charge, planning and executing the shower, although a sister, or close friend or even the mother-in-law-to-be may step in if needed. The best showers are a collaboration between many of the bride’s friends and family members. In some cases where the couple met at a place of employment, their coworkers may choose to throw them a shower. Guests for the shower can include immediate family on both sides, close friends and neighbors or co-workers.
  • Many showers nowadays are mixed gender, with fun things planned for couples to do and appropriate gifts. A theme may be chosen to up the fun factor, and guys may be pitted against girls during team games. Alcohol may be served if desired, although it should be confined to light drinks such as wine, beer and margaritas or daiquiris as a bridal shower is generally a daytime event.
  • Planning ahead for the shower is part of the fun. Guests can coordinate gifts to prevent embarrassment such as might occur if two people bought identical coaster sets, or the bride ended up with four toasters or bread makers. A registry can help such duplication to be avoided. For couples showers, also, make sure you double check everyone’s plus one to ensure that an uncomfortable situation does not arise in the form of an unwanted guest!
Bridal Shower Checklist
  Sherry M. Lewis

on December 28, 2011

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