You’re planning a bridal shower? Fun! You’ll want to keep the occasion easy and beautiful—this will require a bit of planning, but no worries! Lands’ End has your back for all your bridal shower essentials.
Whether you are hosting a large group or an intimate gathering, keeping to a theme can be a great way to keep things simple and fun. There's plenty to choose from, like 70s, wild west, the beach, Hollywood, and anything else you can come up with. Make sure to get out your calendar! Start with the guest list. This will determine the tasks that you need to complete while keeping things as streamlined as possible.
Will this be a traditional bridal shower with the bride’s family? Is this more of a bachelorette party bridal shower with the bride’s peers? Will anyone be traveling into town for the occasion? Is this a destination bridal shower? If so, break out the swimsuits! By starting with “who” and “where,” the essentials for the bridal shower will come into focus.
Especially if this is a formal bridal shower, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a copy of a wedding etiquette book or check out a couple of articles on the internet. The bride’s generation is less likely to care, but as the hostess, your primary job is to help everyone feel welcome, and this includes not offending anyone along the way. There is a little more to planning a bridal shower than making sure you have a summery women’s dress ready to go and great ideas for shower gifts and wedding gifts.
Consider having the bridal shower catered or just serving desserts to keep it simple. Be aware of food allergies and offer non-alcoholic options for drinks if you plan to serve wine or cocktails. In a group of any size, there are bound to be a few people with specific needs or preferences when it comes to refreshments.
If there are specific colors or themes for the wedding, consider working them into the décor for the bridal shower. This can be easy with refreshments by choosing a specific color for the frosting on a cake or mints or candy to set out.
If the wedding has a specific theme, consider how you can work that into the bridal shower as a tablecloth, centerpiece, or napkin design. Consider both indoor and outdoor options. Especially if you have an intimate group, hosting a bridal shower on the deck with outdoor furniture can be fun. Just have a contingency plan in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.
Make sure to include the bride’s best friends. Traditionally with a bride and groom getting married, a bridal shower included only female friends and family of the bride. Whether this wedding has a bride and groom or two brides, ask the bride(s) what they would prefer. Maybe keeping it as a gal’s occasion is how she sees her bridal shower, but maybe there are a few favorite guys who need to be invited to make it her dream bridal shower. The bride’s preferences should dictate this. If anyone objects, politely explain it to them once and then let it go.
Consider displaying photos of the bride when she was growing up—especially if you can get photos of her as a flower girl or bridesmaid. This can be a fun bonding opportunity with the family of the bride. What are the bride’s favorite pastimes? You could all go hiking, play tennis or golf, or go on a yoga retreat for a bridal shower trip. If you opt for a unique bachelorette-style bridal shower, make sure that this will work for all the guests. Not everyone is athletic or enjoys the same activities.
Unless there is another bridal shower in which the bride’s family will participate, keeping the shower multigenerational will be more gracious and inclusive than having a single-generation celebration. If there will be grandmothers, mothers, aunts, or nieces in the mix, be sure to get plenty of photos in any arrangement that they prefer. Sometimes it is a rare treat for a family to have multiple generations available for photos. Make sure to keep the not-so-perfect ones, too. Sometimes the photos that make the best stories later are the ones where you realize the little ones are covered in frosting or someone has a goofy smile.
If you choose to stick to just the bride’s generation for bridal shower guests, be sure to frame this more as a bachelorette occasion than a traditional bridal shower. Especially if the bride’s family has already been to one or more showers for the bride, they may be happy to skip this one, but you will want to ensure that they understand they are not being excluded. This is just a different occasion. Enjoy a lovely bridal shower!