More in News
Planning a bridal shower? Follow this timeline for success
The bridal shower (or couple shower) is the maid of honor's pre-wedding piece-de-resistance. Rise to the challenge! Even if someone else is hosting the bridal shower (like the bride's aunts) or you're holding it at a restaurant or spa, it's up to you to take the reigns. So here's a handy bridal shower checklist to help you plan a perfect party for the bride-to-be. Feel free to adjust the timing to suit your showering style.
3+ Months Before
Talk to the bride. Does she want all women or co-ed? Afternoon tea or Saturday night soiree? Does she want a particular bridal shower theme, style or color? Does she want to gather at a Chinese restaurant, a quaint tea salon, her grandmother's house, a spa, your apartment? Does she want to serve cocktails? While most of the bridal shower details and decisions will be up to you, make sure you plan according to her input.
Set the date -- shoot for a month or two before the wedding. (If certain bridesmaids and important family and friends can't convene until a few days before, hold off until then).
If the bridal shower will take place at a tea salon, private dining room, restaurant, or nightclub, make the reservations.
Create the guest list for the bridal shower. (Knot Note: Anyone you invite must also be invited to the wedding).
2 Months Before
Send a "save the date" email and/or call important guests such as the bride's best friend from high school, her favorite cousin, the groom's mother, etc. to see if there are any scheduling conflicts.
As a courtesy, call any guests who will have to travel some distance to attend -- they'll appreciate the advance notice.
Confer with the bridesmaids to establish a budget.
Purchase bridal shower invitations or materials to make them.
Hold a brainstorming session to finalize decisions about table linens, flowers, menu, decorations, favors, music, and activities.
Order special menu items through the bakery/caterer and linens, coffee urns, and other equipment from a rental company, if necessary.
Compile addresses for the guest list.
Make a detailed to-do list and assign tasks.
1 Month Before
Assemble and address invitations. (Include information about the couple's registries. And, if it's a theme party, make sure to provide proper gift-giving instructions.)
Shop for decorations, paper goods, and other party props.
If guests have offered to bring desserts and other treats, call to confirm what they plan to bring -- adjust your recipe plans accordingly.
2+ Weeks Before
Place flower order.
Buy your shower gift for the bride.
Figure out what you're going to wear to the shower. Why not treat yourself to a slick new outfit or dress (you're the hostess, after all)?
Make a shopping list for the food and drinks. Buy any hard-to-find ingredients.
Purchase spirits, if you're having cocktails.
Pick up any baskets, CDs, cake stands, punch bowls, tea services, stereo equipment, or serving platters that friends or neighbors have offered to lend.
1 Week Before
Confirm orders and delivery times.
Assemble and/or gift-wrap favors.
Create a mental floor plan to facilitate decorating and setting up.
Prepare shower games and activities.
1 Day Before
Prepare any menu items that can be made in advance (or just do prep work).
Receive and set up equipment, assemble decorations and favors, set table(s).
Touch base with the bridesmaids -- confirm who's bringing what and ask them to arrive early to help.
Run last-minute errands.