What should be in my checklist when planning a bridal shower?
- Find the most convenient date.
- Pick out the closest friends and family to attend.
- Pick a theme to bride-to-be will appreciate.
- Choose a venue that will fit the guestlist and theme.
- Make the invitations and make sure everyone gives their RSVP.
- Pick out the food based on the time and theme of the shower.
- Decorate the venue before the event.
Imagine this situation: your best friend just asked you to be one of her bridesmaids in her upcoming wedding. But not only that; she also requested that you plan her bridal shower. Of course, you say yes, because you love her. The thing is, you don’t know the first thing about planning a bridal shower! Oh no! Your mind starts going crazy and you begin hastily canvassing the best hotels, hosts, and catering in Manila. There are also gifts to find, guests to talk to, and food to taste – it’s all so confusing and overwhelming!
Nonetheless, there’s no need for you to panic and, if this ever happens to you, always remain calm. Just take it step by step by creating a checklist and you’ll see how simple it actually is. No matter what your best friend’s preferences are, you need the following items on this checklist to organize any bridal shower:
The Most Convenient Date
First, you have to set a date. Conducting it two to four weeks before the big day is a safe bet. Ideally, this is the time when the bride would’ve finished majority – if not all – of the wedding planning already. She will be ready to relax and de-stress with you and the girls. This will also give the bride’s closest (socially) but farthest (geographically) friends a chance to attend the shower; especially since they’ll be travelling to the bride’s city or nearby for the wedding proper.
A Guest List of the Closest
Traditionally, bridal showers are reserved for female guests only. The usual firsts on this list are the family members and relatives of the bride and groom. However, bridal showers nowadays don’t follow these customs too closely anymore. More and more male guests are invited to these parties and the guest lists even favor more friends over family.
With this in mind, you should never assume the guest list. Your best friend may want it more or less traditional than usual. It all really depends on her and who she wants to unwind with at her bridal shower. So when making the guest list, the best approach is to coordinate with the bride regarding who to invite. Make sure that everyone who is important to her will be attending and you will ensure that your best girl will have the time of her life; even if the shower is just a simple dinner.
The Best Theme
After setting the date and guests, you need to plan the theme because this will dictate the remaining items on this list, such as the decorations, program, venue, invitation design, and food.
It doesn’t have to be so complicated; it just has to make the shower meaningful and memorable. As a best friend, you would know best what the bride-to-be would love. But if you’re not entirely sure, then brainstorm with the other bridesmaids in order to come up with a theme that the bride would appreciate. You and the girls can get inspiration from bride’s favorites when it comes to cuisine, destinations, movies, etc.
Consider the mood as well! Ask yourself if your best girl would like a formal, casual, or semi-formal party. You can base the theme off of this! Of course, you wouldn’t want a masquerade theme if she wants a more casual celebration.
A Fitting Venue
Now that you have a guest list and theme, you have to decide where to hold the shower.
As mentioned above, it has to be fitting to the theme. Some locations would fit more with a theme than others. For example, holding a formal shower on the beach would be uncomfortable for everyone. This is why the location is important. In fact, the perfect venue can elevate the theme and the entire shower to the most memorable party your best friend will ever experience. After all, you’re looking for the perfect send off for the bride-to-be.
Of course, you also have to make sure that the location can accommodate the number of guests invited. So, when you find the perfect venue online, you must schedule an ocular to see for yourself. Keep parking, tables, chairs, and accessibility in mind.
Invitations and RSVPs
It’s time to let the guests know that they’re invited to the bridal shower! Include essential information in your invitation, such as location, theme, attire, and the RSVP deadline. After all, you don’t want to go through the trouble of getting the perfect location to the theme if people don’t show up with the right clothes at the right time.
Chances are, some will not reply immediately. Be patient when this happens; people get busy and forget. But just make sure to follow up by calling these guests. It’s important to note that, somehow, RSVP etiquette has been lost throughout the years. But you just need to give people a kind reminder at times. So when you do call for a follow up, politely mention to them that you need to know because you’ll need to make the proper accommodations.
As for the invitation design, again, you must take inspiration from the theme. It must give the guests a sense of cohesiveness and anticipation for the event. Look at Pinterest and similar websites or articles for great ideas that can possibly save some money as well.
Food and Time of the Event
It’s mentioned again and again, but the theme will dictate this as well. You would want the food and drinks to be fitting to set the mood and make the event cohesive.
But food is also dictated by the time. Of course, a bridal shower set during lunch time will require full meals. When it comes to an afternoon shower, light snacks would suffice. Whatever time you decide to have the event, you just make sure that you don’t overspend. If you’re getting catering, then the RSVP is even more important because you will need to know how much food to ask the service to prepare. For a more informal celebration, talk to your friends and see if you can provide the food yourselves.
Decorations and Ingress
Finally, decorate the location just to add icing on top of the cake. If you conducted an ocular of the venue, then you should know exactly what decorations are needed; but make a second visit if you need to. Then, arrive at the venue early on the day of the celebration to set up the necessary décor. If the locations should allow, then you can ingress these the night before so you and the bride can rest well on the day itself. No matter when you choose to do it, check if the theme is reflected. Make sure that all the elements – such as lighting, centerpieces, tables, and chairs – are as you want them to be.
Now that it’s broken down, planning a bridal shower isn’t that complicated anymore. Just make sure that the bride, or someone close to the bride, is part of your planning so that you can organize the shower that she deserves.