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#WeddingWednesday: Planning a Bridal Shower

#WeddingWednesday: Planning a Bridal Shower

A wedding alone is extremely costly for the bride, groom and their families.  Due to this, it is typical for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to pay for their own ensembles.  The bridesmaids also may have to help with the cost for the bridal shower.  This #WeddingWednesday we have some tips to help the bridesmaids plan a great bridal shower on a reasonable budget.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: Etsy

A large sum of the budget for the bridal shower goes to the venue but there are many ways to get that cost down or eliminate it altogether.  If the bride and a majority of the wedding party all live near you, you could consider having the bridal shower in your own home as long as you have the space.  You can always see if someone else in the wedding party is willing to let you use their home for the shower if you do not have the space for the shower.  If no homes are available to use then you can always have it at a park, fraternal organization buildings such as the VFW, a historic home, or the community center at your apartment building if it has one that can be rented out.  Just make sure that you have a rain plan if the wedding is outside.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from:

Another way to save money is to cut down on the cost of invitations.  Invitations do not have to cost anything at all.  You can send an evite or create a Facebook event instead of shelling out money for paper invitations.  Not everyone is regularly on the internet though.  If using online invitations is not an option then go online and find a website that can create invitations.  From there look for a coupon code for that website so then you are only paying a fraction of the cost for the invitations.  You could also get blank invitations from a store for a relatively inexpensive price or you could make your own invitations.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: The Wall Design 1

To save on food costs have everyone who is helping out with the shower make a dish, therefore eliminating the cost of having a caterer.  Find recipes online that go with the theme and voila! You could also craft your own decorations for the shower or find things lying around the house to use for the shower.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: Swan So Sweet

You know your bride, so if she is one that would appreciate bridal shower games, go for it! Create your own cost-effective games and activities for the shower.  One game is to create a list of questions and answers about the groom for the bride to see how many she can get right such as: what is the groom’s shoe size?  You could also get some cheap toilet paper and have an activity where groups are told to create the best looking wedding dress out of the toilet paper.

If the groom is going to make an appearance at the shower you could do the “shoe game” where they sit back to back holding one of their own shoes and one of their partners. Someone asks a questions like “who is the better driver” and they each hold up his or her shoe based on what they think. This game always brings some comedy to the event. You can check out our Bridal Shower Games Pinterest Board for different game ideas and even printable templates!

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: Shay Lynne Weddings

Now that you have some great ideas on how to save money when throwing a bridal shower, you are all set to start the planning process.  Here is a suggested timeline on when things should be done to help keep you on track as you plan the shower.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from:


Preparation: First Things First

  • Create the guest list: You, as the host, should decide how many guests that you are comfortable inviting.  Speak with the bride to ask who she would like to include if it is not a surprise. Anyone invited to the shower must also be invited to the wedding.
  • Talk to the bride and ask what she wants for the shower.  Discuss with her whether she wants all women or co-ed.  Also, ask if she would like a particular theme, style or color.   Does she want it at a specific location or time of day?  She may want to synchronize the event with other wedding activities such as a dress fitting.  Although you will be the one making all of the decisions for the shower, it is very important to get her input as long as it is not a surprise.
  • Set the date: The date should be around a month or two prior to the wedding and ensure that the bride is available for that date.  Also, make sure that any important guests such as the bride’s mother and future mother-in-law can attend.
  • Make the reservations if it will be at a restaurant, private dining room, etc.
  • Choose a theme if you would like
  • Select a location for the shower
  • Get invitations together:  Include the fact that it is a surprise if it is one and also include registry information

Two Months Before the Shower

  • Send “save the date” emails
  • Call anyone who has to travel a greater distance to attend the shower.
  • Establish the budget with the bridesmaids
  • Order all rental items needed for shower such as the food, linens, etc.
  • Make a list of addresses for the guest list.
  • Create a to-do list and assign tasks.
  • Get invitations together:  Include the fact that it is a surprise if it is one and also include registry information

    Bridal Shower
    Retrieved from: B. Hanson Designs

Four to Six Weeks Before the Shower

  • Send invitations: Include the couple’s registry information and if there is a theme provide the guest with instructions on proper gift-giving
  • Decide on decorations
  • Plan a menu, if needed
  • Prepare an activity

One Month Before the Shower

  • Shop for all party items: this includes décor, paper goods, etc
  • Purchase favors
  • Confirm with guests who have offered to bring food and adjust the menu if necessary if they are unable to follow through

    Bridal Shower
    Retrieved from: Pinterest

Two Weeks Before the Shower

  • Order flowers
  • Buy shower gift
  • Decide on your apparel for the shower
  • Make shopping list for food and beverage items
  • Buy alcohol if needed
  • Pickup items that people are lending for the shower

One Week Before the Shower

  • Confirm reservations
  • Confirm any orders and their delivery times
  • Assemble favors
  • Buy groceries
  • Make a setup plan so that you can facilitate decorating and setup with ease on the day of the shower
  • Prepare any planned activities

    Bridal Shower
    Retrieved from: Greek Boston

Day Before the Shower

  • Cook any food that can be made in advance
  • Do the prep work for anything that cannot be made the day before
  • If you are able to: set up equipment, décor and favors, and set tables.
  • Touch base with the bridesmaids to confirm what they are bringing and ask them to show up early to help
  • Run any last-minute errands

    Bridal Shower
    Retrieved from: She Knows

Day of the Shower

  • Designate an area for the bride to open gifts: Place scissors, large trash bags, a notebook and a pen under the bride’s seat
  • Assign someone to write down the full name of each attendee and what present each attendee purchased as the bride opens her gifts.
Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: Ultimate Bridesmaid

After all of this hard work not only will you throw a great bridal shower but you will have thrown a great bridal shower that is cost effective.  You will also have a happy bride in the end.

Bridal Shower
Retrieved from: ABP Live

Share your wedding hashtags in the comments.  We would love to see your creativity!  For more tips and wedding fun, make sure to check back every Wednesday at