How to Plan a Perfect Bridal Shower

September 16, 2022

Your Guide to Planning the Dreamiest Bridal Shower

There are so many exciting events to celebrate the newlyweds before their big day, from the engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and the bridal shower. If you or someone you know is recently engaged, it’s time to start thinking about the shower! But how exactly do you plan a bridal shower? 

Look no further to learn the ins and outs of throwing the very best shower for the bride-to-be – I’ve got you covered!

bridal shower

Bridal Shower Basics

So, you’ve got a bridal shower to plan? Let’s start with some bridal shower basics to help you kickstart the planning process!

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a small gathering to celebrate the bride-to-be. It usually includes a small meal or finger foods, fun games, and “showering” the bride-to-be with gifts. 

Who hosts the bridal shower? 

A bridal shower is typically hosted by the mother of the bride, maid of honor, bridesmaids, or a close family member. There are usually plenty of hands enlisted to help plan and decorate the event.

No matter who’s hosting, be sure everyone stays in close communication to avoid different people planning multiple showers. Although, it’s not unusual for there to sometimes be two showers to accommodate both newlyweds’ families. 

Who do you invite?

This event is usually for the bride’s closest female friends and family. Recently there’s been an increase in Jack and Jill showers where the guest list includes both men and women.

Regardless, keep the guest list small and manageable, avoiding inviting the same people to multiple showers. Unless the shower is a surprise, have the bride approve the guest list before sending out invites. 

When should you have it?

Traditionally, the bridal shower takes place two to six months before the wedding. 

Keep the bride and her guests in mind when choosing your date, ensuring it doesn’t conflict with any other wedding events. 

Where should you hold a bridal shower?

Regarding location, a shower can be wherever you’d like – at a friend or family member’s house, an outdoor venue, or a local restaurant. Some people choose a specific location that aligns with the shower’s theme.

No matter, choosing a location close to most invited guests is recommended.

Now that you know the basics let’s dive into the fun part: planning!

wedding events

Create a Vision Board and Choose a Bridal Shower Theme

I recommend starting the planning process by creating a vision board full of bridal shower ideas similar to the bride’s wedding aesthetic. Use an app like Pinterest to help inspire the shower’s look and feel.

Colors, tones, and textures all play a significant role in the wedding events’ cohesiveness and are a neat taste of what’s to come at the wedding itself.

Once you’ve found your inspiration, choose a bridal shower theme to go along with it. The options for themes are limitless, from a vintage tea party, ice cream social, or floral arranging fun. Get creative with it!

When deciding on a theme, you should always keep the bride-to-be’s interests, hobbies, and dislikes at the forefront. You’ll want to make sure your theme is personal but achievable. 

Your theme will also help inform your bridal shower menu. You can choose to bring in a caterer or make a fun to-do out of cooking everything yourselves – be sure first to ask your guests about any dietary restrictions. 

Most people opt for lunch or brunch foods, while some choose to offer finger foods. Pair your food menu with some tasty non-alcoholic drinks or cocktails, such as mimosas.

Often, a dessert is served towards the end of the shower. You could have a cake decorated to the theme or simply make the bride-to-be’s favorite sweet treat!

Bridal shower themes 2022

Find the Perfect Vendors

Now, you’ll want to plan the bridal shower decorations! I recommend renting as much of the decor as possible – buying everything can be very expensive.

Most event rental companies offer a wide selection of tables, seating options, place settings, and other miscellaneous decor items such as umbrellas, arbors, and signage.  

Finding a high-quality event rental company will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Thankfully, Oregon has a variety of fantastic event rental companies to choose from!

While some things may be better to rent, some basic decor would be just as cost-effective to buy and use again, including decorative candles and tablecloths.

Hiring a florist is another way to elevate the bridal shower. It can be helpful to take inspiration from the shower’s theme and the bride’s vision for her wedding flowers.

bridal shower photography

Plan Your Bridal Shower Games and Activities 

It’s common for a bridal shower to feature an activity that aligns with the theme, such as flower arranging, a wine and paint day, or a mixology class.

You should also include bridal shower games to amp up the fun, celebrate the couple, and help guests get to know one another. These games always make for the best candid photographs to remember your bridal shower.

There are many fun bridal shower game ideas like bridal trivia and vow mad libs, or consider a team game such as paper bride (teams compete to make the best toilet paper wedding dress).

It’s traditional for the bride-to-be to also open gifts from the guests. Make sure to have someone on standby to write down which guests gave her what so the couple has this for thank-you notes later.

The main goal of the bridal shower is to shower the guest of honor with love and well wishes. A unique, heartfelt addition to the bridal shower itinerary is to add speeches or toasts to honor the bride. 

It’s also a good idea to create an upbeat playlist of the group’s favorite songs beforehand to keep the laughter and energy high the whole time.

bridal shower decorations

Adding Bridal Shower Coverage to Your Wedding Package

Have you considered having a photographer at your bridal shower? If not, I highly encourage you to do so!

You want to capture all the important, memorable moments of your engagement, including your bridal shower. By adding bridal shower coverage to your wedding photography package, you’ll forever have the sweetest photos of this time spent with your closest friends and family. 

Ask me about adding bridal shower photography coverage to your wedding package – and don’t be afraid to inquire about capturing it on film too! 

Use inspiration from this super sweet bridal shower I shot entirely on film for my dear friend, Karina:

Rentals: Eden Rentals

Florist: Florals by Oksana

Candles: Twisted Taper Candles

Table Covers: Threshold Solid Tablecloth

Easy Lunch Recipe: Chicken Sandwich Melts

White Bridal Shower Dress: En Saison Sveta Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Portland wedding photographer
Bridal shower ideas
Bridal shower themes