10 Bridal Shower To-Dos for the Bridal Party

by the knot

The bridesmaids are responsible for planning this typically all-female fete, so don't wait until the last minute to get started on the bridal shower.

Make a Bridal Shower Party Plan

If it's not a surprise (which is totally up to you), ask the bride what kind of a bridal 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.

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.

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.

Talk To the Bride's Mom About the Bridal Shower

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

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.

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.

Share the Couple's Wedding Registry Info

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

Buy the Bride a Bridal Shower Gift

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

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 important, one bridesmaid needs to keep track of who gave what gift so the bride does not have to rely on her memory when writing thank-yous.

Attend All Other Bridal Showers (if Possible)

Many brides are showered twice to satisfy two groups of loved ones: one for their mother's friends, and another for theirs. While you need host only one, you should try to show up at the other too.

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