How to Shower the Bride in Style

Have a friend or family member getting married soon? How exciting! So, how to celebrate and shower her with love and well-wishes before the big day? A bridal shower is a centuries-old tradition that was created to help set the bride and her betrothed up with gear for their new home. With some modern touches, you can update this still-relative custom and throw a pre-wedding bash the bride and her guests will love.

Start your planning by consulting the bride about the party. Some people enjoy the spotlight while others don't like to have anyone make a fuss. Shy brides might prefer a couple's shower where they don't have to be the center of attention. Others might want to skip the traditional shower format and just have fun with their friends.

No need to get hung up on who's hosting or where to throw the bash to make sure everyone can make it. Many brides have multiple showers (friends, family, co-workers, college pals), so don't feel like yours needs to be the end-all-be-all for your friend. Just focus on having fun and honoring the bride. 

Pro Tip: Create a secret Pinterest board for inspiration and to share ideas among planners.

Still, you want to coordinate guest lists, particularly in the case of multiple showers. Guests who aren’t invited to the wedding typically shouldn’t be invited to the shower, and you want to make sure each guest just gets invited to one party. Note: In cases of small or destination weddings, the bride may want to make an exception. Be sure to check. 

5 Tips for Your Best Bridal Bash

  • Be sure to discuss and agree on your shower budget ahead of time. That helps dictate location, design, food and more. A solid plan means less stress for everyone involved. Think ahead on things like venue, decorations, party favors, menus and games. You also want to invite guests 4-6 weeks prior to the event.
  • Delegate the duties so you don't get overwhelmed. Many hands make light work, plus the opportunity to help with tasks is a great option for people who can't contribute as much financially. Use volunteers to arrange flowers, bake treats, address invitations, set up decorations, or pitch in with cooking and cleanup. 
  • Tradition, schmadition. Break out of the usual bridal shower box for fun party options. Maybe invite guests on a trip to a winery or a spa, to a group cooking class, or throw an outdoor yoga picnic. Does your bride have a favorite charity or plans for buying a new house with her hubby-to-be? Consider asking for donations in lieu of a registry.
  • Keep cringe-worthy bow-hats at bay with updated versions of shower games. Maybe hang a line to display "silky little somethings" as your bride opens presents, or entertain guests with a fun game of "Name that Gift" with prizes for the best or funniest guess. Pass around a pretty notebook where guests can offer marriage tips, or write a sweet memory of the bride for her to take home. 
  • Customize your event just for your bride with personal touches like her favorite candy or flowers, her initials on cupcakes, pictures of the happy couple, or pitchers of her signature cocktail. Use a theme to set the scene, especially if you’re throwing a traditional sit-down party: a color combination, her honeymoon destination, or even a favorite food (wine and cheese, chocolate, Mexican, sushi, pizza). Carry your theme through the invitations, decorations, and favors. You can even invite guests to dress accordingly.

What was the best bridal shower you ever went to?