Inspiration & Ideas

How to throw a bridal shower

A woman in a white, lace dress smiling.

Love is in the air which means you are in the right place: We are here with top tips and ideas for planning the best bridal shower EVER. Bridal showers are wonderful events full of joy, laughter and (hopefully) plenty of awesome gifts. Not that it’s all about the gifts, but hey, no bride-to-be has ever turned up her nose up at a 4-in-1 air fryer!

But we digress. In order to help you plan a fun and memorable bridal shower, we’ve put together this guide full of etiquette tips, game ideas, food suggestions and decor finds to make sure the bride-to-be in your life feels thoroughly celebrated.

Once you’re ready to start planning, browse our selection of bridal shower invitations and print out our downloadable bridal shower planning checklist to help guide your pre-party process.

Bridal shower FAQ

When should you host a bridal shower?

Traditionally, bridal showers are held a few weeks to a couple of months before the wedding day. This gives the bride time to fully embrace the excitement of her upcoming wedding while still leaving enough time to handle any last-minute preparations for the big day. Ultimately, it’s important to consult with the bride-to-be to help determine the perfect timing for her bridal shower.

Who should host a bridal shower?

While the maid of honor traditionally hosts the bridal shower, other common hosts include close friends or family members of the bride-to-be, such as a childhood BFF or a cool aunt. Often, all of the bridesmaids will also help out with the event, regardless of who the official host may be. Immediate family members usually don’t serve as bridal shower hosts, though it is not uncommon for an immediate family member to host depending on the bride-to-be’s preferences and specific situation.

Who should you invite to a bridal shower?

The bridal shower guest list will usually include individuals who are significant to the bride-to-be and will contribute to the celebratory atmosphere! This will typically include close friends, family members and female relatives of the bride, including her mother, sisters, aunts and cousins. 

It's customary to invite the entire bridal party, including the maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girls, as well as the mothers of each of the betrothed! Depending on the bride-to-be’s preferences and the size of the event, coworkers, neighbors and other close acquaintances may also be invited. 

Ultimately, the goal is to create a warm and supportive environment where the bride-to-be feels surrounded by love and well wishes as she prepares for her wedding day.

When should you send out bridal shower invitations?

When sending out bridal shower invitations, you’ll want to consider the bride-to-be’s schedule, how many out-of-town guests you’re inviting and the date of the wedding day. Often, hosts will send out bridal shower invitations between six and eight weeks before the wedding day, erring on the earlier side if more guests will be coming from out of town.

Bridal shower activities

Guests will typically play a variety of fun, wedding-themed games at bridal showers to bring out plenty of laughter. In fact, we put together this list of top bridal shower games to try for yourself! 

But, in addition to playing games like bridal shower bingo and bridal scattergories, it’s also fun to offer interactive activities at any bridal shower. This is a great way to get everyone’s creative juices flowing and often doubles as a party favor!

Build-your-own bouquet

Purchase an assortment of fresh or dried flowers and arrange on a table. Set out ribbons and twine and invite guests to create their own bouquet and secure with a ribbon of their choice.

Cake-decorating station

Bake or order mini cakes or cupcakes and set up a decorating station complete with frosting, fruit, flowers, candies and other decorations. Bring out guests’ competitive spirit by holding a vote for everyone’s favorite!

Make-your-own infused olive oil

Order small glass jars like these ones from Amazon and set up a table with various spices and flavorings like peppercorns, lemon, thyme, rosemary and more. Have guests fill their jars with flavors of their choosing, then top off with quality olive oil and close the bottle.

Date night idea jar

Purchase a large mason jar and set up a station with pens and note cards. Invite guests to come up with their favorite, most creative date night ideas to place in the jar. This is a great way to give the spouses-to-be a fun, functional and personal keepsake to enjoy together as newlyweds.

Recipe cards

Cooking for two can get real boring real fast, so help the soon-to-be spouses out by having the bridal shower guests jot down their favorite dishes. Bonus points for full-on recipes, though meal ideas sans instructions can still be helpful!

Candle-making station

Candle-making has become a super popular activity at bridal showers, birthday parties and more. The easiest way to offer this activity is by ordering a DIY candle-making kit like this one from Amazon. Another great activity that doubles as a party favor!

Photo station

You’ll be making plenty of memories at your event, so why not set up a station for capturing said memories? Plus, everyone is usually lookin’ super cute at bridal showers anyway! Capture the moment by setting up a colorful backdrop and ordering cute, patterned disposable cameras.

Bridal shower decor

When it comes to the decor, you’re going to want to consider the bride-to-be’s taste, your venue and budget. If you are having a themed bridal shower, make sure your decor aligns with the vibe you’re going for. To create a stunning atmosphere, plan a combination of sweet floral arrangements, balloon displays and photo-worthy tablescapes. Having a variety of shapes and textures, from burlap table runners to sleek signage, can help give your event a complete look.

Floral centerpieces

Arrange beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers in elegant vases or mason jars to create stunning centerpieces for the tables. Choose blooms that complement the bride-to-be’s color scheme or wedding theme for a cohesive look.

Balloon garland

Wow-worthy balloon displays are becoming more and more common at bridal showers. They help guests enter celebration mode and they double as backdrops for photos! Choose balloons in the bride's favorite colors or order a bridal shower balloon garland kit like this one from Amazon.

Personalized signage

Personalized anything has been a huge theme on the party circuit in recent months and bridal showers are no exception. Welcome guests with custom signage featuring the bride's name, wedding date and a sweet message. We love this one from Etsy! Scatter additional personalized signage throughout the event at the food station, gift table and more.

Enchanted lighting

Depending on the time of day you’ll be hosting your bridal shower, add a touch of magic to the venue with twinkling fairy lights draped across the ceiling or wrapped around pillars and beams. The soft glow of the lights will create a romantic ambiance perfect for celebrating the bride-to-be.

Themed tablescapes

Elevate the table settings with themed decor elements that tie into the bridal shower theme. Whether it's rustic chic with burlap table runners and mason jar centerpieces or glamorous with gold charger plates and sequin tablecloths, coordinating table decor will enhance the overall aesthetic of the event.

Bridal shower food

Make sure to keep your guests fueled throughout all the game-playing and gift-opening! Typically, hosts will arrange a variety of fun appetizers and hors d’oeuvres for a bridal shower, including cute finger foods and tasty cheese platters. 

Mini caprese skewers 

These elegant and delicious appetizers feature cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls and basil leaves skewered onto toothpicks. Drizzle them with balsamic glaze for an extra burst of flavor.

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are a classic finger food and always a crowd-pleaser. This deviled egg recipe walks you through how to make this classic appetizer in under an hour! Can be prepped the day before and refrigerated overnight.

Fruit kabobs 

Create colorful fruit kabobs by threading a variety of fresh fruit onto skewers. Think strawberries, pineapple chunks, grapes and melon balls. Serve with a creamy yogurt dip for a refreshing and healthy snack.

Finger sandwiches

Delight guests with an assortment of dainty tea sandwiches. These three finger sandwich recipes are easy to make and fun to eat. Flavors include cucumber, egg salad and BLT—talk about YUM!

Dessert and charcuterie boards

No party is complete without at least one tastefully arranged snack platter. Up your grazing board ante with this 2-in-1 recipe for a savory charcuterie board and a sweet snack platter. And yes, there is a surprise 21+ drink recipe at the bottom, too!

Mini dessert shooters

Satisfy everyone's sweet tooth with a variety of mini dessert shooters. Layer individual servings of cheesecake, mousse or tiramisu in shot glasses for a decadent treat that's as cute as it is delicious.

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