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How to Plan a Bridal Shower for Your Best Friend

Instructions on How to Plan a Bridal Shower for Your Best Friend in Preparation for the Most Important Event of Her Life

Are you planning a bridal shower for the woman you spent your teen years getting into mischief with? The earlier you start, the better, as the duties of planning the bridal shower is your main role in giving the bride-to-be her dream wedding.  Whether you want simple decorations or an all out perfectly themed bridal celebration, you’ll want to start a checklist and refer to it often.

Throwing a bridal shower for your best friend is a tradition that is met with both dread and excitement. This is one of those parties that are fun and practical at the same time. But the underlying reason for the shower is that it’s a nice occasion for the close family and friends of the bride to spend relaxed time with her before the big wedding day.

The custom of the wedding shower is said to have grown out of earlier dowry practices when a poor woman’s family might not have the money to provide a dowry for her, or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. Another custom is to help the new couple set up a home, or to help the bride get together a trousseau. The shower is what kicks off the wedding festivities and it is important that just the right one is chosen and is A Bridal shower is commonly hosted by the maid-of-honor and bridesmaids or friends and family of the bride or groom.


First in how to plan a bridal shower is ordering and sending out invitations. You’ll be sunk without guests. Be sure to order your invitations at least 8-12 weeks in advance (see section below on themes). If you have many out of town guests, you may want to send your invitations out as early as six to eight weeks in advance. The invitations should not only invite your guests to the event, they should contain clear instructions on the location of the shower, any theme that is being used for the bridal shower and an RSVP card that can help you determine the number of guests attending you can expect.  Paying attention to the little details when it comes to bridal shower invitations can make a nice statement with your guests and provide them with an elegant keepsake of the Bridal shower.

When you’re trying to come up with a unique invitation idea, you can drive yourself crazy, but remember the shower invitation is the first impression of your bridal shower party.  Invitations can be costly, so decide what type of invitation fits into your budget.  Some of the most unusual invitations are those you make on your own.  Many people also use electronic invitations.  These invitations are free and the service keeps track of all the responses.  If you are planning a casual party, this is a great way to stay organized and save money!


The bride has probably been stressed from all of the ceremony planning, and the shower gives her some much needed time to unwind with her friends. The bride is the princess of the day, so be sure that in your planning you don’t do anything that will make her feel uncomfortable. Unless you feel it’s mandatory to surprise the bride, involve her in the planning. In order to take some stress off of the people involved in the planning of the party, you may choose a location that caters and also has beverages available for the guests. Try to pick a central location for everyone. Begin with the basics, such as planning the guest list, selecting the time and the date, as well as choosing a location.


If the location will be a venue that has a particular guest limit or that needs reservations, make sure to get the reservations as soon as possible to ensure the shower location. Once the location is decided, it is important to choose the date and time for the bridal shower. Be sure to consult the bride before deciding upon a location.

A country club where one of the hostesses is a member is an ideal location. The Club Manager and Catering Manager are highly trained in planning your event and their job is to please the member and her guests. They can help you select the theme, decor food and every other part of the shower.


Themes - How to Plan A Bridal ShowerA party theme is a way of designing a party around a certain subject, time in history, or part of the world. If you really want to know how to plan a bridal shower the right way, pay attention to this section. A theme creates inspiration and a more magical environment Bridal shower themes are as varied as the brides themselves and add a specific ambiance to the party and often makes the rest of the shower planning easier because invitations, decorations, and favors can all be coordinated to fit the theme.

The theme is very important when you’re deciding what kind of invitations to send. For example, if the theme of the bridal shower is a ‘Cinderella story,’ you can come up with a really unique bridal shower invitation that coincides with the theme.

There are so many themes from which to choose. Some of the most popular are: kitchen shower, exotic locale, the bride’s favorite pastime, using the bride’s heritage, plan a shower with her favorite ethnic foods. Read the bullets below to get your wheels turning:

  • Pajamas Theme: Have guests arrive in the evening dressed in their PJ’s.
  • A Halloween themed bridal shower in the Fall can be a fun and inventive way to celebrate the bride-to-be, as long as the event doesn’t scare her away from the altar.
  • The Beach Bridal Shower theme is a widely popular one because of the year round availability of terrific decorations and the party atmosphere suggested by anything Hawaiian. For a garden bridal shower theme, you can go casual or dressy. All it takes to come up with a great theme is a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm.
  • Couples Showers are a fun way to include the groom in the festivities. Choose from fun themes like a Hollywood party, wine tasting soiree or a simple barbecue.
  • Bridal Showers can be given with just about any theme under the sun. Try a lingerie party where guests are asked to purchase racy intimates, a party based on the bride to be’s favorite movie or book, or a recipe party.


Decorations for your wedding shower should pull together the look you’re trying to. The decorations at a bridal shower are very important, particularly if it will be themed. Your decorations can be bright and dramatic, or soft and romantic. Confer with the bridesmaids about the theme of the bridal shower, establish a budget, and finalize decision about decorations, menu, favors, and music and bridal shower games.

Many people think that centerpieces have to be lavish and expensive, but the simplest bud vase of flowers, monogrammed with the bride’s initials, can make a beautiful statement. Another idea for centerpieces is to incorporate your party favors into the centerpiece. Another interesting bridal shower favor idea is to create a breakaway centerpiece, where several smaller pieces comprise of the centerpiece. This saves time and money. A simple floral arrangement with a circle of theme related favors sets the table with a beautiful and meaningful touch. Favors can also serve as place cards. If your location does not offer a simple centerpiece, or you are looking for something more creative, consider saving money by making all of the decorations and favors.

Games & Activities

Deciding whether or not to have games & Activities to partake in as a group is a very important part of the shower planning. Bridal Shower Games make excellent ice breakers when the guests don’t all know each other. Games also keep things moving along and are a way to facilitate relations between the guests. It’s easy and keeps your guests sticking around until the very end, anticipating the fun that’s in store. About 20 minutes into the bridal shower, it’s time to test your guests with this fun little game that tests their observation skills. Today’s printable games can be downloaded from the internet and easily printed out on your home computer. Personalized games are also available. Make sure you remember to buy prizes or gifts for the game-winners. Personalized gifts or gifts incorporating the showers theme are inexpensive and can be ordered at the same time you order your favors. These gifts are a valuable keepsake of the shower.


Favors are not a requirement, but they are a fun way to share your wedding day memories. Bridal shower favors are often personalized with the name of the bride, or of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding. The most precious Bridal shower favors are those that celebrate the bride’s personal style and incorporate the theme of the party. The favors, which serve as small mementos for each of your party guests, should also fit the theme. The selection of party favors is endless. Just remember, the favors you choose should be feminine, elegant and practical.


Once the guests have been greeted and any games have been played, the bride should be led to her chair to open the gifts. After the shower is over, it’s proper etiquette for the bride to thank her guests, not only for the gifts, but for sharing the day with her. It is also proper etiquette for the bride to give a gift to the hostesses as a special ‘Thank you”. The hostesses of the luncheon or party should find the right gift for a Bridal shower is to show the bride how much you care. Choose from the Bride’s registry and select a gift that she might not otherwise receive.

Any Bride-to-be will tell you one of her favorite mementos of her shower is a miniature picture album filled with a photo of her and each guest (taken at the shower) and a handwritten bit of advice from that guest slipped into the adjoining page. Another great way to evoke these same feelings of nostalgia is with a recipe shower that your best friend can enjoy for the rest of her marriage.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

Whether you have chosen afternoon luncheon party, a spa retreat or night on the town, the shower is always a highly anticipated part of the wedding festivities. You’ve learned how to plan a bridal shower, carried out your knowledge, and this event is now a wonderful, long lasting, memory that the soon to be bride will cherish forever.

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