Hosting a bridal shower is a great way to celebrate the bride-to-be and create lasting memories before her big day. If you're planning to host a bridal shower for the first time, it can feel a little bit overwhelming but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our guide on how to host a bridal shower.

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower, also known as a hen party or a bridal tea, is a pre-wedding celebration held in honour of the bride-to-be. It’s usually organised by the maid of honour, bridesmaids or close friends and family members. It’s a day to shower the bride with love, well wishes and gifts as she prepares for her upcoming wedding.

Planning a wedding can be stressful, so it’s a good opportunity to unwind and celebrate in the middle of all the madness. It’s usually celebrated a few weeks or months before the wedding, and features entertainment, themes and gifts. Think of it as a fun party that’s all about the bride.

Planning tips for a bridal shower

Here’s the perfect steps to take to make sure your bridal shower planning is on point, and that the bride (and the rest of her besties) enjoy the day.

Bridal Shower Planning

Think about the bride

You know the bride better than anyone - after all, she’s asked you to be a big part of her big day. Think about what her vibe is and what she’s into. Is she more about getting pampered at a spa day or would she prefer a wild brunch somewhere? Also, think about who’s coming to the bridal shower. Will her older relatives be there or will it be mainly her friends? Are work colleagues coming? You want to make sure anything you plan is appropriate for everyone to enjoy.

Plan ahead

Start by determining the date, time, and guest list for the bridal shower. Consult with the bride to check her availability and preferences. Traditionally, the bridal shower takes place a few weeks before the wedding, but depending on timings she might want it sooner. Aim to invite close friends, family members and members of the wedding party, keeping in mind the venue's capacity. You might want to set up a group chat to keep everyone in the loop of the plans - create one with the bride in it, and one without her in it so you can keep in touch without spoiling the surprise. Just be careful not to post in the wrong one!

Choose the perfect venue

Consider the bride's personality and the type of event when you’re choosing a venue. You can host the bridal shower at a cosy tearoom, a garden marquee, Airbnb (bridal shower weekend away anyone?) or even a private home. If the weather permits, an outdoor setting can add a touch of enchantment to the celebration. Ensure the venue has enough seating, tables for refreshments and enough space for activities. If you need to confirm details with them or decorate ahead of time, make sure that’s part of your plan with them.

Set the theme and décor

Selecting a theme can be one of the cutest touches for a bridal shower. Popular themes include vintage tea party, garden party or tropical paradise. You can even make the theme the most important person in the room…the bride! Use the chosen theme to guide your decor choices, from tablecloths and floral arrangements to balloons, signage and personalised gifts. Incorporate the bride's favourite colours and personal touches throughout the venue.

Plan fun activities

Get the guests involved with some entertaining activities that celebrate the bride-to-be. Classic games like "Bridal Bingo", "Guess the Dress" or "How Well Do You Know the Bride?" can create laughter and friendly competition. Get the groom involved too by asking him to answer questions or send photos ahead of time that you can use as part of the game. Or how about grown up versions of kids games, like pass the parcel? But instead of sweets and toys, it’s jewellery (like a cute ring, charms or an anklet), makeup and dares. You can also set up a DIY station for guests to create personalised keepsakes, such as decorating photo frames or designing custom wine glasses. Choose the activities according to the vibe.

Delectable food and drinks

No bridal shower is complete without food and drinks. Whether you go for a traditional tea party, a fancy meal out or brunch, make sure you add some food and drinks to the day to keep everyone’s energy up and running. Make sure to ask about any dietary restrictions and offer a variety of options, including vegetarian, gluten-free, halal and vegan choices. Also, if you’re planning on having a toast to the bride, have some soft drinks or alcohol-free fizz on hand for anyone who doesn’t drink.

Capture the memories

Designate a friend or hire a photographer to capture the joyous moments during the bridal shower. Photos and videos will serve as cherished mementos for the bride and her loved ones, and they’re an absolute must for everyone’s socials. Create a photo booth corner with props and accessories, encouraging guests to take fun snapshots and leave heartfelt messages in a guestbook for something the bride can keep and look back on.

Gifts for Bridal Showers

Thoughtful gifts and favours

Encourage guests to bring thoughtful gifts that celebrate the bride's upcoming journey. Traditional bridal shower gifts include kitchenware, lingerie, or items from the couple's registry. Show your appreciation to everyone who attended by providing small, personalised favours for guests to take home from the bridal shower, such as scented candles, name bracelets, initial necklaces or mini pampering kits. Birthstone jewellery also makes a gorgeous party favour - but make sure you do your research ahead of time so you know what to get.

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