What is A Bridal Shower?
The bridal shower is an adopted practice from the Western culture. In Asia, similar pre-wedding celebrations are held to commemorate the upcoming union between two families, that is the Mehndi party for the Indians and the Akad Berinai for the Malays. In recent years, the lines have been blurred and formalities have morphed. Technically, there is no hard and fast rule on how to throw a bridal shower. However, to get a brief idea on the basic etiquette, the following is all there is to know about the bridal shower and step by step guide on how to plan one.
Related: The Difference Between A Bachelorette Party and A Bridal Shower
Common FAQS About The Bridal Shower
Who will plan it?
Quite possibly the biggest pre-wedding role a maid of honour will have is the planning of her bestie’s bridal shower, alternatively bachelorette party. Having said that, the honour of planning this event can be taken on by a sister, a close relative, or even the mother of the bride.
Who to Invite?
Traditionally, the bridal shower is an all-female gathering. The invitations are extended to those who are invited to the wedding. It is usually a much more intimate affair involving only those who are close to the bride, her family and future in-laws.
- Bride’s immediate family members
- Bride’s close relatives
- Bride’s friends
- Bride’s future in-laws and their close relatives
Who Pays For the Party?
In the Western culture, the host (aka planner) traditionally foots the bill for the shower. However, in Asian cultures, the tab usually goes to the parents of the bride.
When Should The Shower Take Place?
Ideally, the shower should be held about 1-2 months from the wedding. Avoid planning a shower too close to the date of the wedding to avoid getting flustered by the influx of to-dos in the days to weeks leading up to the actual day.
Where Should It Be Held?
Depending on the size of the guest list, you can either host the shower at the bride’s home or book a restaurant.
What Sort of Gifts To Gift ?
Since this is a celebration of the bride-to-be, gifts should be personally tailored to her. The gifts presented at a shower are separate from the wedding gift and are commonly less in value.
What happens During a Bridal Shower?
The bridal shower typically lasts a duration of 2-3 hours. The bride and guest mingle over games and food. Some time during the festivity, the bride is ‘showered’ with gifts from her guests. She opens them and thanks her guest.
Step-by-Step Guide To Planning And Hosting A Bridal Shower
Whether you’re an expert at party planning or clueless about how to host a bridal shower, this is a step-by-step guide to help you get started and avoid missing out on anything
1. Decide On The Budget
Traditionally the hostess foots the bill for the shower, as tempting as it is to go all out, set a budget that you’re comfortable spending and stick to it. The bride will be pleased no matter what. In Asian cultures, the parents of the bride or the bride herself are the host and therefore are expected to take the tab. If so, consult them before getting started.
2. Consult the Bride
Ask the bride if there is a specific theme or food item she would like to include in this party. Work out the guest list and preferred dates with her too. Once you’ve finalized the guest list, save their contacts.
Things to run by the bride:
- Preferred theme
- Preferred menu
- Guest List
- Set the Date
3. Figure Out The Theme or Style
Next, select the theme of the bridal shower. It should reflect the bride’s personality and interests. The venue, décor, and menu will be dictated by the theme of the bridal shower as well so get it out of the way before moving on.
4. Pick A Venue
Most bridal showers are held in the home of the bride, depending on how large the party is, you may have to host the shower somewhere else.
5. Send Out Invitations
Send out invitations at least 4 weeks prior to the bridal shower so guests have enough time to pick out their gifts and clear their schedules. Regardless of the method by which you’re inviting guests, remember to include the bride’s name, location, time, a way to RSVP, contact person, and dress code (if applicable)
6. Finalize the Menu
The menu depends on the theme and the time of the day in which the event is taking place. Hosting an afternoon party? Serve canapes, sweet treats, and tea. For a late morning soiree, organize a waffle or pancake station and dish out breakfast foods.
If you can afford it, hire a decorator. Otherwise, scroll through Pinterest and source materials for your DIY project.
8. Create A Playlist
A good playlist is essential to any party. It does a great job of lifting the mood and creating the right vibes. It also drowns out any initial awkwardness there may be when guests first arrive and especially if they are not yet acquainted with one another.
9. Prepare Personalised Games
Games are a great way to break the ice, especially amongst guests who are not already acquainted with one another. Prepare 2-3 personalised games with the aim of breaking the ice. Since there will be elders in attendance, remember to keep them family-friendly. One such idea is to personalise the ‘Did you know?’ Bingo games simply include how the different guests are related to or have had experience with the bride. This is a great idea to get everyone talking and introducing themselves. If being creative is not your forte, there are also tons of super fun shower games we love available for purchase on sites like Etsy.
10. Enlist Help From Others
Even if you’re assigned the task of planning the shower, delegate some work to your friends. Chances are they would be more than willing to support you. Set reminders and keep tab on everyone’s pace. Lastly, once everything has been set, relax a little. We promise you, the bride will be more than pleased with the end result.