Whether you are the blushing bride-to-be or the maid of honor wanting to help her friend have the most memorable wedding experience ever, planning a bridal shower can be a huge undertaking.
Even more so, if you want the bridal shower in question to be elegant and sophisticated but not cost more than the wedding itself.
You may very well be panicking at even the thought of planning such a momentous event, but do not fear. The below top tips will help you every step of the way, from choosing the guest list to picking the perfect location to creating a menu that will have everyone drooling in anticipation.
Take a deep breath, pop open your planner, and get ready for some seriously fabulous, budget-busting ideas.
Split the cost with other guests
You may not be over the moon at the idea of asking your guests to pay towards your bridal shower, but it can be beneficial not to shoulder the total cost and hosting responsibilities yourself. It is completely acceptable to ask the other bridesmaids, for example, to chip in with some funds or take on certain aspects of the shower, such as the food or the decorations.
Taking on the entire bridal shower yourself will only result in feelings of resentment and discontent.
Plus, you are more than likely to find out that other members of the bridal party are more than willing to help, if not only to force their ideas on you!
Don’t invite everyone
Again, this may sound harsh, but you can’t have every person who is invited to the wedding to the bridal shower unless you are a glutton for punishment and have money to burn.
It is perfectly acceptable to invite only close family and friends to the bridal shower (don’t forget the mother-in-law!). The average shower in the U.S has around 30 guests. Be sure to send out custom bridal shower invitations to make sure everyone RSVPs and to confirm the theme of the shower if there is one.
If you are planning the shower on behalf of the bride, it is advised that you ask the bride and her husband-to-be who they definitely want to be in attendance before finalizing the list.
Think outside the box for the location
You may think that you need to throw the bridal shower in a luxury hotel or a banquet hall for it to come across as classy and decadent; however, this is not the case.
There are so many options now for bridal shower party locations; at a private residence of one of the other members of the bridal shower, for example. The money you will save on renting a space can be used to purchase more expensive and luxurious linen and tableware to make the shower even more lavish.
Alternatively, are there any attending guests that are members of an exclusive boat club such as the Carefree Boat Club? Just imagine the bridal shower being held on a luxurious boat in the middle of the ocean. Classy doesn’t quite cover it!
Forget a sit down three-course meal
Not only is a sit-down meal for a bridal shower incredibly expensive, but it is also old fashioned and outdated. A bridal shower is meant to be an early celebration in anticipation of the upcoming nuptials, coupled with the notion of ‘showering’ the bride in gifts for her new life as a wife and homemaker. Of course, this idea in itself is old fashioned as many couples live together for many years before they tie the knot, but in the traditional spirit of bridal showers, the gifts should be the main focus.
Therefore, elegant finger food is all that is needed; think tasty hors d’oeuvres and mini desserts.
Forgo entertainment for games
A bridal shower should be a fun and personal affair, and therefore, there is no need to hire an expensive band or singer to provide entertainment. Instead, create some laid-back games that will help the guests relax and mingle with each other, coupled with a playlist of the bride’s favorite songs.
Another great idea is to create a memories video or book prior to the event that you can share with the bride during the shower.
Don’t bow to pressure
It can be super easy to get carried away and forgo your budget when you have “well meaning” friends or family members telling you how ‘so and so down the street had signature cocktails at their shower served by a private butler’, or how ‘my friend from work’s daughter had her shower in an 18th century castle.”
Try to block this “helpful advice” out and instead focus on the bridal shower that you are planning. Anyone can throw a lot of money at an event to make it spectacular, but it takes time, effort, and dedication to throw a personalized and meaningful bash that the bride will remember forever.