planning a bridal shower

Planning a Bridal Shower: Bridal Shower Checklist

Throwing a Bridal Shower is one of the best ways to celebrate the bride-to-be. It’s time to make her feel special ahead of her big day and planning a Bridal Shower is a lot of fun. Filled with fun décor, gifts, and maybe even some bubbly, Bridal Showers are one of the first pre-wedding events where friends and family get to meet each other. That said, planning a shower can feel kind of daunting if you’re not sure where to start and what to focus your time on. We’ve put together an easy-to-follow bridal shower planning checklist to ensure each guest has a blast!

4-6 Months Before the Wedding…

1. Decide on a budget

Before choosing a theme and deciding on a menu, you’ll need to figure out some of the logistics of the shower. Arguably the most important part of planning is deciding on (and sticking to!) a budget. Without a budget, it’s easy to go overboard with things like flower arrangements, centre pieces, appetizers, cute wall banners, and more. Be honest with yourself about how much you can realistically afford – a bridal shower shouldn’t break the bank! Many memorable and beautiful Bridal Showers have been created on the tightest of budgets, so whatever you are working with, rest assured you and your girlfriends will have a wonderful party!

2. Set a date

Bridal showers should be held between two weeks and two months before the wedding. Be sure to check with the bride to make sure the day works for her and the key people she wants to attend.

3. Create a guest list

After settling on a date and time, you’ll need to figure out how many people will be attending. Once determining a ballpark number (usually between 10 to 30 guests), ask the bride to compile a draft guest list. Remember to include addresses and emails depending on how you intend to send out the invites.

4. Pick a location

Once the date is determined and you have a good idea of how many guests there will be, you’ll need to find a location for the shower to take place. Oftentimes, the bridal shower is held at the hostess’ house. However, depending on the number of guests and other factors, this may not be an option. If this is the case, look into nearby venues, such as local restaurants, bars, hotels. Free venues such as parks or woodlands can also be a great option.

boho bridal shower

5. Choose a Bridal Shower theme

This is where it gets fun! Although having a theme isn’t essential, it can be a fun way to add personality to the bridal shower and make it a little more memorable for friends and family. From Paris Romance to Beach Bonanza, try to go for a theme that fits the bride’s personality and interests. This will help you narrow down food, décor, and activities.

For our rundown on the top Bridal Shower themes of this year, check out our post here. If Boho is your thing then checkout our guide to Planning the Best Boho Bridal Shower here. 

bridal shower table

Four to Six Weeks before the Bridal Shower…

  • Send out the invitations about 6-8 weeks before the event to give guests enough time to RSVP.
  • Decide on decorations according to your theme. Make sure you’re able to order them online in time or find them in store.
  • Plan the menu and drinks. Even if you don’t plan on feeding guests a full meal, having some finger food appetizers and goodies are a must! A Bridal Shower cake makes a great centerpiece checkout out our top 10 Bridal Shower Cakes here.
  • A grazing platter can be a beautiful and easy way to feed everyone.

grazing platter


  • Prepare an activity. Games can be a great way to get everyone chatting and interacting. Fun games such as Bridal Bingo and Who Knows Bride Best are classics and really get your party off with a swing!

bridal shower games pack

The Week of the Bridal Shower…

  • Shop for and prepare the food and drinks, if applicable.

The Day of the Bridal Shower..

  • Set up décor.
  • Designate a gift-opening area. You’ll want the guest of honor to have a seat visible by everyone, with a pair of scissors, some trash bags, and a notebook and pen to record gifts.

And finally, remember to enjoy every moment! Take lots of photos (or get your friends and family to) and treasure your special celebration with those you love around you.

bridal shower planning

About Author

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Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mom of three. She started Darling Celebrations back in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating the special events in life.

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