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Who Plans, Who Pays, and Who is Invited… Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Bridal Shower

Who Plans, Who Pays, and Who is Invited… Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Bridal Shower

Who should be planning the bridal shower for your friend or family member’s upcoming wedding?

It may just be you!

Here’s how to know if you should be participating in the planning of the bridal shower, as well as other commonly asked questions about putting together the perfect bridal shower.


Who Plans the Bridal Shower

It depends. If the bride has a large bridal party, it is traditionally the responsibility of the maid of honor and bridesmaids to host the bridal shower. If the bride has a small bridal party or, perhaps, no bridal party at all, family or close friends will host the bridal shower.

Be sure to appoint a leader of the bridal shower, either the maid of honor or close family member. This person can orchestrate the planning and make sure every detail is being executed.


Who Pays for the Bridal Shower

Generally, the costs of the bridal shower will be split amongst the bridesmaids or family/friends that are planning the event. However, some hosts prefer to assign costs. For instance, the mother-of-the-bride may pay for the catering, the maid of honor may pay for the games and door prizes, the mother-of-the-groom may pay for decorations, etc.


When to Plan the Bridal Shower

The best time to plan the bridal shower is sometime between four months and one month before the wedding date. Try not to do it too close to the engagement as it may not give the bride enough time to choose her bridesmaids, register for gifts, or even decide on a wedding date! On the flip side, try not to plan it too close to the wedding date as the bride may be stressed with wrapping up final details before the wedding.


Where to Have the Bridal Shower

Ask the bride! Before you start planning, ask the bride if she has any locations in mind or would like a specific theme.

Popular places to host a bridal shower include the host or family member’s home, a restaurant or banquet hall, a country club, or a park. If you’re looking for more creative venues, check out local wineries or breweries, art galleries, zoos or aquariums, or spas. Some of the venues may even have bridal shower packages!

If the bride does not want a bridal shower, you should still plan something special for her. Perhaps a BYOB paint night, escape room or even a pizza and wine party at the host’s home. Be sure to invite the bridal party, as well as the mothers of the bride and groom and any sisters or sisters-in-law of the bride.


Who Should You Invite to the Bridal Shower

Traditionally speaking, you should only invite guests to the bridal shower who are also invited to the wedding. So, be sure to ask the bride for her wedding guest list before sending out invitations.

But, who do you invite if the bride is having a destination wedding or a small, private ceremony? With more couples opting for small weddings, it has become more commonplace to invite guests to the bridal shower who will not be attending the wedding. If this is the case, you need to be very careful how you word the invitation. Make sure it is welcoming and friendly, but does not give off the impression that they will also be invited to the wedding.

Try wording it like this “Join us in celebrating Jessica before she and Evan depart for their private wedding in Punta Cuna” or “Their ceremony will be small, but our love for them is huge. In lieu of a wedding ceremony, please join us at the bridal shower to celebrate Jessica and Evan.”


Should the Bridal Shower Be Co-Ed?

Again, ask the bride. Traditionally, bridal showers are a ladies-only event (with the exception of the groom making a cameo at the end – PS: remind him to bring flowers for the bride!). But, more and more brides are electing for a get-together that includes the guys. The general idea is still the same… bring gifts, open gifts, play games, eat food. But now, both the bride and groom are opening gifts!

If a co-ed shower is what the couple wants, be sure that the theme makes sense for the guests. Instead of tea and croissant sandwiches at the country club, maybe try beer and flatbreads at a trendy brewery. Choose games that will be fun for both the men and women – yep, that means you’ve got to nix the “what’s in your purse” game.

If you’re sticking with the traditional “no boys allowed” bridal shower, but the bride has a man of honor or a bridesman, he should definitely be invited to the shower!