Guide to Planning a Bridal Shower – Part 1

Bride To Be

Photo Credit: Timothy Marsee, Flickr

Planning a bridal shower can be a stressful task.  But knowing the basics and where to start can help make the process flow quite smoothly.

The history of the bridal shower is said to have grown from early dowry practices.  This happened on occasions such that a poor woman’s family could not provide dowry for her, or if the woman’s father disapproved of the marriage.  In such instances, friends of the woman would gather to bring gifts that would compensate for her dowry.  This would then allow her to marry the man of her choice.

Today, the custom of having a bridal shower is most common in the United States, Canada, and Australia.  Some couples opt to have a “Wedding Shower.” Here, the bride and groom are given needed house gifts.  However, for a bridal shower, invitations are not always given to males due to the sometimes embarrassing nature of a bridal shower.

Typically, the bride and groom’s closest female relatives and friends attend the bridal shower.  At this gathering she is “showered” with love, gifts, and positive wishes in anticipation for her wedding.  The event can be planned by the maid of honor, the bride’s sister, or even by her mother.

Cake Topper

Photo Credit: A Forest Frolic, Flickr

Choosing a Theme:

It would be a good idea to consider the bride’s personality when planning her bridal shower.  Is she the conservative type expecting an afternoon tea?  Does she have particular passions that might help you think of a good theme?  For example, does she love traveling, writing, gardening, or perhaps a certain color? Having a concrete idea will definitely make planning easier.  With a theme, you can really get creative in choosing the appropriate decorations, invitations, food, gifts, and entertainment.

Picking a Date:

The bridal shower can be held a week to six months before the wedding.  Making it a surprise is your choice.  But do be sure to notify guests early enough so that they can set aside time in their schedules to attend.

Shower Location or Venue:

The party can be held anywhere! From picnics at the beach, to a hotel ballroom, to a botanical garden, or even in a home, the sky is the limit! Just make sure you book the venue early in advance, especially during busy seasons.


Photo Credit: Lending Memo

Stay Within Your Budget:

Before you start getting carried away with an elaborate idea, keep a budget in mind.  This goes especially for an event, such as a spa date, that might be held for a large number of guests.

For a more fanciful banquet, it is common to ask all of the bridesmaids to help out with the cost.  However, do be sure that everyone agrees with the costs from the start of the planning.  Otherwise this miscommunication can lead to some unwanted and even steamy disputes.

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