Food & Entertaining - Party Planner

How to: Plan a beautiful bridal shower

A few fun and fabulous tips to make planning a bridal shower a piece of cake.

He popped the question and she said yes. You’re ecstatic for her and can’t wait to mark this special occasion. If you’re the maid of honour or a bridesmaid, mother of the bride or groom, or sister of the bride, it’s likely the responsibility to organize a bridal shower to celebrate the lucky bride-to-be will fall on your shoulders.

You want to throw her the best bridal shower ever, and you envision something unique and tasteful, but where will you find the inspiration? For most of us, the thought of bridal showers conjure up images of ribbons and bows attached to hats, wedding dresses made out of toilet paper, white gloves and aspic.

Though the days of traditional bridal showers may be going the way of the dodo, it’s still customary to celebrate the bride. “Celebrating with girlfriends before the wedding is still a widely practiced activity,” says Geneve McNally, principal planner and co-owner of DreamGroup Productions Wedding & Event Planners in Vancouver, B.C. Geneve also says experiential days out are now on trend, such as organizing hair and makeup lessons, fitness classes, or even a weekend getaway somewhere local for a group of women.

Catherine Lash, creative director of The Wedding Co. Show and editor of The Wedding Co. Magazine, agrees. “A shower can be a day out instead of sitting around sipping tea. [Or it can be] a trip to the local spa and lunch at a restaurant, a trip to a local winery for tasting or a fun cooking class,” she says.

Bridal shower are getting less traditional in other ways, too. Geneve says many people are hosting a couple’s shower, rather than just an event focused on the bride. Both the bride- and groom-to-be attend a couple’s shower, and the guest list includes both men and women.

No matter what type of shower you’re hosting, it’s important to remember some basic rules for organizing the perfect bridal shower.

Bridal showers: The guest list
The guest list generally includes people who have a close personal relationship with the bride. If the shower is women-only, it’s customary to invite the bride and groom’s mother, grandmothers, aunts, the bride’s closest friends, and, if the shower is a larger event, you may extend the invitation to a few work friends or girlfriends of the men involved in the wedding party.

However, you should keep one very important rule in mind when planning the guest list for the bridal shower. “It’s inappropriate to invite someone who will not be receiving an invitation to the wedding,” Catherine warns.

Bridal shower invitations
Bridal shower invitations had evolved too! It’s become common to send an Evite to friends where guests can RSVP, comment and ask the hosts questions all on one platform. Some people still prefer to mail out invitations, and are selecting ones that are fun and cute. If you prefer to invite guests via snail mail, check out these bridal shower invitations from the Etsy store Three Eggs Design.

Remember to send out the invitations about a month before the bridal shower so people can mark the date in their calendars.

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