Everything Your Bridal Party Needs to Read Before Planning Your Shower

We have their full to-do list, right here.
The Knot
Updated Sep 20, 2018
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The bridal shower might seem like a less important wedding event, but you definitely don't want to wait until the last minute to get started on the arrangements. And since your bridesmaids are (probably) responsible for planning at least one of your showers, find their full to-do list below.

1. Make a bridal shower party plan.

If it's not a surprise (which is totally optional), ask the to-be-wed what kind of a shower she wants. If she's not an English tea kind of girl, don't put on a scones-and-crumpets gathering just because it sounds fun to you.

2. Determine your bridal shower budget.

Even if all the bridesmaids can't attend, they should all contribute to the bridal shower budget. Be clear about what everyone owes from the beginning.

3. Decide on a bridal shower date.

A wedding shower can take place anytime between six months to a week before the wedding. Depending on where most of the guests live, you may need to schedule it far in advance so everyone can make travel plans.

4. Talk to the bride's mom about the bridal shower.

Even if she's not one of the hosts of the event, she'll probably want to pitch in or have family members or friends who'd like contribute, whether it's providing the bridal shower cake or hosting at their house.

5. Gather the bridal shower guest list.

Ask the bride or the mother of the bride for names and mailing addresses. Everyone invited to the shower should also be invited to the wedding.

6. Order and send bridal shower invitations.

These should go out between six and eight weeks before the event, depending on how many out-of-towners are on the list. Make sure guests RSVP to one person (the maid of honor, for example) to keep numbers organized.

7. Share the couple's wedding registry info.

Spread the word about where the bride is registered so guests don't get frustrated searching. It's perfectly acceptable to include this information on the bridal shower invite too.

8. Buy the bride a bridal shower gift.

Even though you're paying for the party, it's necessary to buy the bride a gift as well. Consider going in on a group gift from all the bridesmaids—like a stand mixer or luxury bedding—to lessen the financial blow.

9. Have a gift-opening plan.

On the day of, create a gift-opening assembly line. Here's how it works: One person should bring the bride a gift to open (and take the already opened gift to a designated spot); another can dispose of the torn paper; someone can gather ribbons to create the traditional rehearsal bridal bouquet; and—most importantly—one bridesmaid needs to keep track of who gave what gift so the bride doesn't have to rely on her memory when writing thank-yous. Of course, if opening gifts in public isn't her thing, you don't have to do any of this at all.

10. Attend all other bridal showers (if possible).

Obviously, you can't be expected to show up to every single prewedding event (there are a lot). But since many to-be-weds are showered twice to satisfy two groups of loved ones (one for their mother's friends, and another for theirs or their in-laws), try to make the one you're not hosting if you can.

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