etiquette & advice

A Bridesmaid’s Guide To Planning A Shower

It’s an honor to be included in a friend’s wedding party, but it’s hard to know what’s expected of you when it comes to your pre-wedding role, especially if you’re a first-time maid of honor or bridesmaid.

Hosting a bridal shower requires organization and planning ahead, and we’ve got a step-by-step guide that will help you throw a memorable celebration for that special bride-to-be.

1. Choose A Theme. Choose a theme that reflects the bride’s personality and aesthetic. If she loves tea, why not have a bridal tea party with accents that match her wedding colors? It’s important to start with the theme because everything, including the invitations, decor and favors, will stem from there.

2. Get Inspired. Create a Pinterest board for the shower and pin decor inspiration, invitations, signature cocktails ideas, DIY projects, cute cupcakes, etc. Once you’ve built a solid inspiration board, you can meet with the other bridesmaids to delegate tasks.

3. Send Invitations. Ask the bride to send you a list with guests’ names and mailing addresses (or email addresses if you’re doing evites). Invitations should be sent out four weeks before the event and remember to include the couple’s registry information.

Tip: Ask the bride to bring thank you cards to the shower. Pass around the envelopes of the cards and ask each guest to write her name and mailing address on the front. This will save the bride time when it comes to writing her thank you notes!

4. Make It Personal. Make the guest of honor feel special by including all of her favorite things in the celebration. Incorporate her favorite foods (macarons, anyone?) into the menu and serve her go-to cocktail when guests arrive. For a personal touch, arrange photos of the bride and her fiance, friends and family throughout the room.

5. Decorate. Get creative when it comes to decorating your space and remember… the magic is in the details!

6. Plan An Activity. While some people find shower games cheesy, they can be effective icebreakers. Name That Spice is a popular game where guests have to sniff different containers of herbs and guess the contents of each. Give the game a modern twist for a tea-themed shower by asking guests to identify different varieties of loose leaf tea (camomile, Earl Grey, peppermint, etc.).

Tip: Click here for more non-cheesy bridal shower activity ideas.

7. Keep Gift-Opening Under Wraps. While most brides love opening gifts at a shower, it can be a little overwhelming. Ensure the gift-opening portion of the event runs smoothly by asking bridesmaids (or other guests) to help. Assign one person to pass gifts to the bride, one person to collect the gifts once she’s unwrapped them (including the garbage) and one person to record the gift that each guest gave them. It’s also wise to have a pair of scissors close by in case the bride needs them to open parcels.

Tip: Have one person collect the card that is attached to each gift and ask her to write down the person’s gift inside the card. This will help the bride know who gave what when it comes to writing her thank you cards.

8. Give Thanks. Thank guests for coming by sending them home with an on-theme party favor. For example, tea bags in pretty packaging are a perfectly sweet parting gift for a tea-themed bridal shower.

Image: Beano5