Updated: Oct 18
The big day is almost here! You’ve helped your bride plan all the small details from what color yours and the bridesmaid’s dresses will be, to the type of music she wants the band to play. Everything is all finally starting to come together and become real. But there’s one last stop before the bride and groom say the big “I Do”: The Wedding Shower! Even though the wedding shower is much smaller and a more intimate event than the actual wedding, you still want to let the bride sit back and relax and show her how much she is loved by her closest friends and family during this important time in her life. Wedding showers can be a small, exciting party, but they also can be a lot of work too. There are many details that go into a wedding shower that are sometimes forgotten. For the host of the shower, we have curated a guide to help you through planning and executing the best wedding shower for your bride!
Phase One: Location + Guest List
The beginning stages of planning any event is focusing on when and where the event will take place and your guest list. The wedding shower should be at least a month or so out from the wedding, so double check with your bride which weekends she has free. Planning the shower too close to the wedding can be stressful and very hectic, so make sure the shower isn’t too close to the wedding to avoid any issues. Also, where the wedding shower is taking place can also be a challenge. You have many different choices in picking a location for the party.
If you want a smaller, more intimate gathering, you could choose one of the bridal party’s or mother’s houses to throw the shower at. If you are wanting a bigger, more formal event, there are plenty of venues that host wedding showers such as a tearoom, a nice restaurant with a private room, an art gallery, or there may be designated venues around you that have set-ups just for wedding showers. When choosing a venue, it is critical to keep in mind your budget and the type of theme you are wanting to go for. Your guest list is also important to remember when picking out a venue. Many of the guests invited to the wedding shower are close friends and family of the bride. Once you have your set number of guests for the shower, create an invitation to send out at least 2-3 weeks in advance. This gives the guests plenty of time ahead to plan to attend and get a gift for the bride.
Phase 2: Budget Planning
Next and probably most important, is figuring out the budget. Some wedding showers can put a dent in your pocket, so be prepared to have a budget created beforehand so you don’t overspend. Make sure you budget for each detail of the party such as food, décor, invitations, drinks, and even party favors if you plan to have them. Also, asking the bridal party to chip in isn’t such a bad idea either. Creating a budget and splitting the final cost and having the contributors send you money may be the easiest, or you can assign each person an item they are in charge of getting.
Phase 3: The Theme
Now the fun part comes into play: Figuring out the theme and type of shower you want to throw for your bride. There are millions of themes out there but picking one that fits your bride can also be difficult. But the Gray Girls do have a few ideas in mind for a few classic themes anyone can enjoy. See these ideas below!
Seen on Paisley and Polka Dots
Main Squeeze Shower:
This theme is a great idea for spring or summer wedding showers. The main idea of the theme is pretty yellows and whites, lemons, and greenery all around. Incorporating a lemonade bar with some mixers and add-ins can be a fun way to jazz up the party. You can also include lemon flavored snacks such as cookies, fruit, and small cakes to incorporate the theme.
Shower by Gray Gatherings (us!)
Another classic wedding shower theme is the Boho Theme. Including florals, greenery, pampas grass, and neutral tones makes this party a classic look everyone will love. Having a large charcuterie board and even a donut wall would be a fun way to involve the bohemian theme. Party favors are also an easy choice for a bohemian theme such as succulent party favors or even flower crowns.
Shower by Gray Gatherings (us!)
Garden Party Shower:
An easy, inexpensive, and classic theme would be the Garden Party Theme. Think of colorful flowers, white linen, and an outdoorsy aesthetic. This theme is extremely easy to accomplish because the majority of the décor is floral arrangements and greenery which resemble a garden. An actual garden would be the perfect place to have this shower too! The food is also an easy task, which can include fruits, veggies, and small desserts.
Seen on Fashionable Hostess
A classic but fun theme is always Taco Tuesday or a Fiesta Theme. Get ready to bring out the tequila, tacos, and guac for a colorful and yummy wedding shower. This theme is extremely easy because there are countless things you can do with a fiesta theme. Having a margarita or daiquiri bar along with a taco station will have every guest that attends VERY happy.
Gray Girl Tip: Having a cute snapchat filter would be a fun, final touch to the shower. You can quickly create one for less than $20 for the day at the place you are having the event.
Phase 5: Shower Type
Having a certain theme is one thing, but the TYPE of wedding shower is important too! There are a few different types of wedding showers to throw.
The first would be the classic bridal wedding shower where the bride is the guest of honor and is surrounded by her closest friends and family.
The second type is a couple’s shower or a Jack and Jill shower. This shower is where the bride and groom are the guests of honor and include the entire bridal party and family from both sides. This shower is usually a bigger event than a normal bridal shower, but also can be just as fun!
The next type of shower is a Stock the Bar Shower or Stock the Kitchen Shower, which are both couple showers. Instead of buying the couple gifts, the couple is given bottles of booze/barware or kitchen items which they will definitely use! It is a unique celebration but is great for couples who already have everything they need on a classic wedding registry.
Phase 6: Final Touches
Lastly are your smaller, but still important, details such as food, games, and favors at the wedding shower. Picking out the type of food you want at the shower can have a lot to do with which type of theme you choose such as tacos for a fiesta theme or lemonade for a main squeeze theme. Having small finger foods and desserts are usually the most common types of food that is served. Serving a sit down or buffet style meal is not as common but can be a good idea for a larger crowd or couple’s shower.
Games and party favors are also a few fun things to incorporate at the wedding shower. There are hundreds of games to choose from, whether it is trivia or a classic scavenger hunt game. There are many ways to combine your theme in the games as well! Party favors are also a great way to incorporate your theme. You can choose to include these, or not – whichever you prefer. But having a little happy for each guest to thank them for coming is a nice gesture, no matter how small the party favor may be!
Now that you have your complete guide to wedding showers, it’s time to let the bride know how much she is cherished and loved by her closest friends and family. Don’t worry about throwing the most perfect wedding shower there ever was, just as long as the bride is surrounded by her closest friends and family, she will be grateful and will remember her wedding shower forever!