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Do’s and Don’ts for Bridal Shower Prep: Everything You Need To Know

Bridal Shower Prep Dos and Donts

You’ve taken on the (oh so important!) task of celebrating the bride with a shower. Honouring the bride is an exciting responsibility to have, but of course, planning the perfect party is no easy feat. Between the food, decorations and activities, there is a slew of factors to consider. To boot, you have to pick a date, time and a place, and of course, give those guests plenty of notice by sending out the invitations.

While putting together a memorable shower may come with some challenges, a little preparation can go a long way in making sure all goes smoothly. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts, and you’re sure to throw a bash that makes the bride feel super special.


Do get a feel for the bride’s preferences.

Before you do any planning whatsoever, the most important thing you can do is get a sense of what the bride is hoping for. Some brides have a particular vision, and others might be a tad more carefree. Either way, it’s her big day, so you’ll want to find out what’s most important to her. Does she have a particular theme in mind? Does she imagine a more intimate get-together, or would she like to include all the women invited to the wedding from both sides of the family? Is she more comfortable with a casual affair, or is she dreaming about a more glamorous gathering? Has she been toying with the idea of a Jack and Jill shower that includes the men? Once you have a feel for her preferences, you can start working out the details.


Do plan a separate lingerie shower.

These days, it’s become more and more common to have multiple showers. Why? Well, hardly any bride wants to open sexy underpinnings in front of grandma or the mother-in-law. So keep it PG with a traditional bridal shower, and if you get the feeling the bride would appreciate some luxurious loungewear or lacy underthings to kick off this new phase of newlywed life, then plan a separate lingerie shower with just the bridesmaids and other close girlfriends. If the bridesmaids have to come from out of town for the shower, you might even plan the lingerie shower to be part of the bachelorette weekend to minimize travel. That way, she can unwrap her gorgeous bridal lingerie in the company of just her besties.

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Do give guests some gift guidance.

It’s a good idea to give attendees some tips on what to buy the bride. The easiest way to go about this is to offer the couple’s registry info. But rather than include that directly in the invitation, add an insert with a link to the wedding website or registry. You can also come up with a cute theme for the gifts. For example, a foodie bride will no doubt appreciate a fête where guests give culinary-themed presents.

If you’re planning a separate lingerie shower, you’ll want to include the bride’s sizes to ensure that her gifts fit flawlessly. If you don’t know her sizes — or aren’t 100 percent sure — ask! Or, if the lingerie shower is a surprise, you can ask her fiancée, who can also sneak a peek at some size tags in her collection if he’s not sure. The bride can undoubtedly put together a lingerie wish list for guests to shop from, but even providing guests with the names of a few of her favourite stores will be immensely helpful.

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Don’t delay on choosing a date.

Typically, the bridal shower will happen about two or three months before the wedding. And it’s crucial to give guests plenty of notice so they can make travel plans, request to take time off work if need be and purchase a gift. So, the first order of business should be to send out those invites as early as possible — at least two months before the shower occurs if lots of people will be coming from out of town, and at least four to six weeks if most attendees are local. Choosing the date as early as possible means you’ll have more options if you plan to book a venue rather than hosting it at someone’s house. Also, you’ll have far more time to plan the perfect menu, get creative with the decor and add those special touches that will make it a standout shower.

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bridal shower food preparation

Don’t try to do it alone.

Just because you’re the one in charge of planning the shower, that doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for every single aspect of the event. It’s a lot to take on for one person — and odds are, if you ask the other bridesmaids or family members to help, they’ll be happy to contribute. Better yet, delegate specific tasks rather than just vaguely asking for assistance. For example, you might enlist the bridesmaids to take on the duty of assembling gift bags or hunting down some fun games to play and ask the mother of the bride or future mother-in-law to call some venues for pricing information.

Don’t be too loose (or too strict) in your itinerary

Most showers follow the same general outline: Guests mingle with snacks and beverages, play a game or three, and watch the bride open her gifts. That doesn’t mean you have to follow this itinerary, but you need one in place to avoid having people feel aimless or uncomfortable. After all, guests at the shower might not know anyone, so expecting them to socialize and make conversation for an entire afternoon or evening may be unrealistic. Have a general idea of how you’d like to kick off the shower, what will happen in the middle and how you’d like it to end. Drawing up a plan will help to maintain momentum and keep guests entertained. Keep in mind, however, that your schedule should be flexible. If guests are having a ball at the DIY mimosa station, let them linger and enjoy without forcing them to participate in a particular activity. Conversely, if there’s a lull in the celebration at any point, it’s good to have a backup plan to bust out, like some classic bridal bingo.

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It’s next to impossible to over-plan or prepare for a bridal shower, but it is possible to overthink it. Remember: The bride chose you to put together this special day for a reason — because she trusts you.

Summary: Bridal Shower Prep Dos and Don’ts


  • Do plan the bridal shower well in advance to ensure ample time for preparations and to accommodate guests’ schedules.
  • Do consider the bride’s preferences, interests, and personality when selecting a theme for the bridal shower.
  • Do create a guest list in collaboration with the bride to ensure all important family members and friends are included.
  • Do send out invitations early to give guests enough time to RSVP and make necessary arrangements.
  • Do incorporate interactive games and activities that are enjoyable and inclusive for all guests.
  • Do have a backup plan for outdoor or location-based showers in case of inclement weather or unexpected circumstances.
  • Do consider the dietary restrictions and preferences of the guests when planning the menu for the bridal shower.
  • Do delegate tasks and involve other bridesmaids or close friends in the planning and preparation process.
  • Do express gratitude to the guests by sending out thank-you notes or small tokens of appreciation after the bridal shower.
  • Do focus on creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere where the bride can feel celebrated and loved.


  • Don’t overshadow the bride or make the bridal shower more about yourself or other attendees.
  • Don’t invite guests who are not on the wedding guest list, as the bridal shower traditionally includes those who will be attending the wedding.
  • Don’t plan the bridal shower too close to the wedding date, as the bride may already have a busy schedule and might feel overwhelmed.
  • Don’t forget to communicate with the bride about any surprises or special moments planned during the shower.
  • Don’t neglect to check the availability of important guests before finalizing the date and time of the bridal shower.
  • Don’t go overboard with decorations or activities that might overshadow the main purpose of the event, which is to honor the bride.
  • Don’t assume the bride’s preferences without consulting her; involve her in the decision-making process to ensure her enjoyment.
  • Don’t forget to follow proper etiquette when it comes to hosting and attending a bridal shower.
  • Don’t neglect to coordinate with the bride’s close family members or other bridal party members to ensure a smooth and cohesive event.
  • Don’t stress too much about perfection; remember that the most important aspect of the bridal shower is celebrating the bride and creating joyful memories.

FAQ: Bridal Shower Prep Dos and Don’ts

What are some essential dos when preparing for a bridal shower?

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When preparing for a bridal shower, there are several essential dos to keep in mind. First, do establish a budget and plan accordingly to ensure all aspects of the shower are accounted for. Do consult with the bride to understand her preferences and vision for the event. Coordinate with the bridesmaids or close friends to divide tasks and responsibilities. Do send out invitations in a timely manner, allowing guests enough time to RSVP. Lastly, do plan fun and engaging activities or games to make the bridal shower memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

What are some important don’ts to avoid when planning a bridal shower?

There are a few important don’ts to avoid when planning a bridal shower. First and foremost, don’t exclude the bride from the planning process. It’s her special day, so involve her in the decision-making and keep her preferences in mind. Don’t overschedule or cram too many activities into the event, as it can be overwhelming for both the bride and the guests. Don’t forget to consider dietary restrictions or allergies when planning the menu. Lastly, don’t forget to express gratitude by sending thank-you notes to the guests and those who helped organize the shower.

Should I consider a theme for the bridal shower, and if so, how do I choose one?

Considering a theme for the bridal shower can add a fun and cohesive element to the event. When choosing a theme, consider the bride’s interests, hobbies, or favorite colors. You can also draw inspiration from the wedding theme or incorporate elements that reflect the couple’s story. Brainstorm ideas with the other hosts and ensure the theme aligns with the bride’s personality and preferences. Once you’ve chosen a theme, incorporate it into the invitations, decorations, games, and even the menu to create a unified and memorable experience.

Are there any etiquette guidelines to follow when hosting a bridal shower?

Yes, there are etiquette guidelines to follow when hosting a bridal shower. Do consult with the bride regarding the guest list to ensure no one is left out or included who shouldn’t be. Traditionally, the bride’s close friends and family members are invited, along with the bridesmaids. Do keep the guest list limited to those who are also invited to the wedding unless specified otherwise. Be mindful of the gift registry and provide guests with information if they inquire about gift preferences. Lastly, ensure the bridal shower is held a few weeks before the wedding to allow the bride enough time to enjoy the gifts and write thank-you notes.

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What are some thoughtful gestures or favors to consider for the bridal shower guests?

When it comes to thoughtful gestures or favors for bridal shower guests, there are various options. Consider personalized items such as monogrammed candles, custom-made soaps, or mini photo frames. Edible favors like homemade cookies or small jars of local honey can also be well-received. Another idea is to create a DIY station where guests can make their own personalized keepsakes. Ultimately, choose favors that are meaningful, reflect the theme or the couple’s story, and show appreciation for the guests’ presence at the bridal shower.

4 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts for Bridal Shower Prep: Everything You Need To Know

  1. I have been a part of weddings that create too much stress having to stick to a complete day schedule. There has to be some fluff built into the schedule, or you are just going to drive yourself nuts trying to fit everything in without any issues.

  2. I cannot wait to plan a bridal shower for my best friend. We are going to have so much fun and now, with this list of tips, what could possibly go wrong?

  3. Not that I am going to have much to do with the planning of my own bridal shower, BUT these are great tips that I am going to share on Facebook as a hint 🙂

  4. Wendie Aguilar, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah and again Yeah! My best friend Juliet got married recently. I was a bridesmaid. The schedule was everything for her on that day. There were times when I thought I was in the army. I saw her go crazy when something went wrong. Nerves, tears… It was horrible! Girls, don’t do that! Even when something went the other way, let it go. It’s your day, enjoy!

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