Let's plan a Bridal Shower
Your best friend is getting married–exciting! Once the excitement and the champagne wears down, there’s actually a lot of planning to do. Let’s skip past the bachelorette party for now (but we can come back to that another day) and go straight to the shower. It depends on the situation, but typically you (and the other bridesmaids) cover most of what it costs to plan and throw your bride the shower of her dreams.
I’ve been on both sides of the coin–I’ve been the bride and I’ve been the maid. Truth be told, being the maid was way more fun when it came to the bridal shower. Maybe it was the social anxiety in me or maybe it was the designer in me, but I was way more excited to plan a dreamy shower than sit in front of a hundred people and open their gifts.
If your bride has a Pinterest Board, consider that a home-run. Take some of her ideas and run with it. This is actually the ideal situation, but also the least likely.
If she doesn’t–don’t panic. You and the rest of her girl gang are the girls she trusted to know her best. Channel your bride. Team together with all of the girls and think of what she would want most. Make sure you’re all thinking about what she would want, not you. One of the reasons this is so important is because a shower is a scary event. Your bride is up there as the center of attention and all eyes are on her, let’s make it an event she’s most comfortable in. If it’s not a surprise, feel free to even ask her what she wants (she definitely has some ideas and it would probably make her day to have them come true)!
So, she doesn’t have a Pinterest board…now what?
Make it! For the last shower I helped to plan, all of the girls and I teamed together and made a group (secret) Pinterest, that only the six of us could see and post. We all posted different decor ideas, champagne ideas, and everything so we all know what page we’re on with decor—it’s reeeeally important to make sure you’re all on the same page. Really, Pinterest is your best friend here. It helps you and your girls get to the same page. You don't want to have a bunch of different ideas that all clash together poorly.
Pro tip: Don’t buy anything until you have a concrete plan. Just because you’re in the planning phase of the shower does not mean you should run out and buy a bunch of random stuff you saw at Michael’s thinking “this might come in handy.” Write out everything you are in charge of (maybe it’s tablecloths, centerpieces, whatever) then write out EXACTLY what you’ll need for those things. If you’re in charge of the “Bubbly Bar” look at as much inspiration as you need until you know that you need gold confetti, straws, cups, berries, champagne, and ice before heading out to the store. It’s so easy to rack up unnecessary charges here.
Below is part of the champagne “Bubbly Bar.” For this, we needed rock candy (Amazon is your BEST, best friend), champagne flutes, paint markers (the favor was your own customized champagne glass), glitter and rhinestones. It’s easy to go overboard with the decor. Just stick to what you need!
Start a spreadsheet with the girls. Everyone writes in what they spent, then at the end, figure out who owes who what (if you’re into that sort of thing).
So what do you need for a shower? It depends on the venue. Sometimes you need everything from tables, chairs, and food to favors and decor, other times they supply it. Below is a quick list of some of the things you may need to turn the shower into your bride’s dream shower. It might not be everything, but it’s everything I’ve come across dealing with so far!
Tables, chairs, tablecloths, centerpieces (these are super fun to DIY–just look it up on Pinterest), table confetti (optional), food (appetizers, main, desserts, coffee, tea) alcohol (this could be your “Bubbly Bar”), bridal shower games, balloons, signs, favors, and music! There’s more or less depending on the venue, but that’s pretty much the gist of it.
Here’s a great idea for the bride-to-be for the shower: envelopes for all of the shower guests to fill one out so that when she sends thank you’s, the envelopes are already addressed and ready to go!
Now let’s talk gifts. As much as I love my bride-to-be, I don’t always have the funds to throw a shower and then buy one of her super-awesome registry gifts. As much as I’m sure everyone would love to, it’s not always possible. Sometimes the bridesmaids (after hosting a shower) can team together on one, big, registry item, or they can DIY something fun! We chose to DIY.
Below is a “year of firsts.” This is just a bunch of wine bottles for different “firsts.” You can have one girl buy all of the wine, the basket and the filling, OR you can each buy a bottle–that way each bottle is a little personal flair for the bride! The tags below are custom made from @hungryheartink (that’s me!) for the bride’s gift. If you’re in need of anything like this, please do not hesitate to reach out–there’s no project too big or too small.
Bonus: Here’s a picture of me sifting through my beautiful bride-to-be’s gift-garbage to make her a bouquet of bows for her rehearsal dinner. Why am I doing that? I don’t know. It’s just a thing people do. I’m sure there’s some deeper meaning to it, but on a surface level, it’s just a fancy, garbage bouquet used to practice walking down the aisle during your rehearsal.
My last tip before I leave you be: please have fun. Make sure the bride is having fun and make sure you and the girls are having fun. No matter what, when you draw together a group of friends and family, they’re going to have a good time just being around everyone. Don’t stress, have some mimosas, and celebrate your bride!