If you’ve never been a bridesmaid or Maid of Honour, you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of planning a bridal shower. Who is supposed to host the shower? Who pays? Who should you invite? How many showers are you supposed to have?
These are all legitimate questions and enough to make you question whether or not you actually want to be a bridesmaids. However, there is no reason to fret. I’ve got all the answers for you so you know just what to expect.
What is a bridal shower?
In order to answer this question, you should know that there is a difference between a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. A bachelorette party or “Hen’s Night” is typically for the younger women and closer friends of the bride who will enjoy a night out on the town. A bridal shower is a more tame version of that, where the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, grans, aunts and other female wedding guests are invited to spoil the bride and help her stock up her kitchen.
Traditionally, the bridal shower is hosted by the Maid of Honour, the bridesmaids, the mother of the bride or another close friend or family member. The shower can be co-hosted by the Maid of Honour and all the bridesmaids. Remember that hosting or co-hosting a bridal shower is never an obligation but rather a choice to be involved in spoiling the bride.
Who should be invited?
The bride should provide a list of the ladies she would like to attend her bridal shower. This list includes close friends and family members that are attending the wedding. Don’t be tempted to invite guests who are not invited to the wedding. It is considered rude and can come across like “I can’t have you at the wedding but I’d still like a present”.
Who is responsible for paying?
Traditionally it is the host or hosts who are responsible for covering the cost of the bridal shower. At a bachelorette party, guests are encouraged to chip in and cover the costs of their own food and drinks, while the host of the bridal shower is usually the one to cover costs. It is not uncommon for guests to be asked to bring a plate of sweet or savoury treats or to pay a small fee and be treated to a high tea.
When and where should the shower be held?
There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when considering when and where to host the shower: Do the bride and most of her guests live in the same city? Will this be a destination wedding for most?
If the wedding is out of town, it make sense to have the shower as close to the wedding as possible.
Generally the bridal shower is held anything from two weeks before the wedding right up until three months beforehand. The location can be anything from the host’s home to a cute coffee shop, a wine farm or another lovely location that can accommodate all the guests.
What should you do at a bridal shower?
There are many ways to host a bridal shower. Usually there are treats and beverages and some form of activity. This can be a game or two, a crafting session, spa treatments or a cooking class. The options are endless, but it is important to keep your bride in mind and think about the things you know she would love to do.
Should the bridal shower be a surprise?
This is entirely up to the bride! I’ll share my experience of how my lovely bridesmaids handled my bridal shower because it worked well and I think it is the perfect blueprint for surprise bridal showers.
My ladies first asked me if I would like to be surprised and I said “YES”. I love surprises and I know how fun it is for the bridesmaids to plan things behind the scenes without the bride knowing.
My Maid of Honour said that on the morning of my bridal shower, she will contact me to tell me to start getting ready. That way, I ended up having enough time to do my hair and makeup and still be surprised! My fiance ended up fetching me and taking me to a surprise location – while I was blind folded – so I really only knew what was happening when I opened my eyes and saw a room full of people waiting for me. It was perfect!
Should the shower have a theme?
You don’t have to have a theme, but like any party planning adventure, it’s more fun putting together a themed party. There are lots of creative and doable ideas that are fun, so keep an eye out for tomorrow’s blog post to get some bridal party theme inspiration.
What type of gifts are given at a bridal shower?
Some people refer to a bridal shower as a “kitchen tea” and that’s because most of the gifts are going to be used in the kitchen. Cookbooks, baking utensils, luxury pantry items, pots and pans, tea cups, etc. Guests often bring a tried and tested recipe to share with the bride!
Should you give each guest a party favour?
If money allows it, then providing a small party favour for each guest is a lovely way of thanking them for attending! You can put together a “Thank You” note and a small gift that is in line with the theme. For example: for a tea party, give each guest a fragrant bundle of Earl Grey tea bags.