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Bridal Shower Planning And Decor

As a professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to turn family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Having a successful bridal shower requires some planning. We are here to help

Having a successful bridal shower requires some planning. We are here to help

Bridal Shower Basics

Before we get into specific paper crafts and planning, you should know a few bridal shower basics to help get you started.

Who Plans And Pays For The Bridal Shower?

Typically, the bridal shower is hosted by the bridesmaids or a very close family member. Most often a Maid or Matron of Honor as well as the bridesmaids host the shower. It can also be hosted by a close friend or family member too. The Mother of the bride can take this responsibility. Traditional etiquette says that the mother or mother-in-law should not host the bridal shower. But the bride should never host her own shower.

Who Are Invited To The Bridal Shower?

Close family members and friends who are on the guest list. The guest list should only include those who are invited to the wedding. If there are multiple showers planned, guests should only be invited to one shower. Keep the guest list small and manageable.

If the shower is going to be a surprise, the maid of honor and the bride's mother should work together to come up with a guest list they think the bride will be happy with. Otherwise, they can have the bride assist them with the guest list and then keep the rest of the planning a secret.

When Is The Bridal Shower Given?

Between 3 months to 2 weeks before the wedding. Usually, the shower is held between 2-6 months before the wedding. Try to select a date that is best for the bride and the guests whenever possible. Even if folks are unable to physically attend, you can include them with adding virtual cameras and by videotaping the event.

What Happens At A Bridal Shower?

Start with the Brides preferences. Some brides like games played their showers, others do not! Go with what she prefers. The general outline is usually the same: food, drinks, and an opportunity for the bride to open gifts surrounded by guests.

The groom can appear at the end of the shower with flowers for the bride and his best man. This gives him the opportunity to be involved. He can greet and thank all of the guests.

What Is The Difference Between A Bridal Shower And A Wedding Shower?

A bridal shower is generally for the bride and her female family and friends. A wedding is coed which also includes the groom, best man and some of his friends. Discuss with the bride her preference on what kind of shower she would like.

Where Should The Bridal Shower Be Held

There are just a few things to consider where you hold the bridal shower. A lot depends on the hosts budget and the type of shower being planned. If the bride lives reasonably close to home, the shower can be planned close to home.

If the bride lives put of state, it would be more convenient for her to travel home, rather than having lots of guests traveling.

It could be in a friend or family member's home or backyard, at a local restaurant, or somewhere more specific if the shower has a theme (such as a cooking school or a wine-tasting room).

The Bride and Groom Bridal Shower

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More and more couples are making the decision to hold a shower were both the bride and groom attend as well as their friends, both male and female. When the couple decides this option, you need to think about the party is a different way. Now it is not just about the bride, but about the couple.

Your invitations, decorations and refreshments should reflect the couple rather than just the female aspect.

Planning A Bridal Shower Resources

Setting A Theme

The bridal shower theme should reflect the interests of the bride or the couple (is both are planning to attend). Setting a theme coordinate all of your efforts into a single focus. It actually makes the planning of this party easier on everyone involved. It also makes it easier for the guests to select a gift to coordinate with the bridal shower theme.

Themes You Can Choose

Around The Clock Theme

Each guest is given a specific time of a 24-hour time slot and selects their gift to that time.

Wine Tasting Theme

In this case, each guest brings a wine to share and a bottle of the same wine to give to the bridal couple. This is a great theme for a couple's shower.

Final Fiesta

This is a fun theme both for a bridal as well as a couple's shower. You use colorful decor, serve margaritas, tacos, nachos, and other Mexican foods.

Parisian Theme

This has been a popular theme and is perfect for both bridal and couple's showers. Your food should reflect the theme. Think about cheese, wine, croissants and plenty of baguettes. Macaroons would be a good dessert choice. Champagne and wine of course for the beverage.

Breakfast At Tiffanys

This would also be a wonderful theme for the bride who loves bling. Plenty of blue color and glittery accents for this theme. Serve guests croissants, coffee and bubbly beverages to channel Holly Golightly's iconic ritual of having breakfast in front of Tiffany's. Have guests come in black dresses and give theme strands of "pearls" to get into the fun of this theme.

Pajama Party

This theme is a comfortable expression if a theme that is guaranteed to be a hit. The guests some in their favorite pajamas. Plan to serve plenty of breakfast foods and of course a mimosa bar. Include coffee and tea too.

Citrus Themed Shower

It's all about lemons in this theme. Bright yellows and lemon-flavored food and beverages are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Nautical Clambake

Perfect shower theme for a couple's shower. Decorate with navy and red decor. Serve lobsters, clams, quahogs, mussel and shrimp dishes. Use seahells for your decor and mason jars as your glasses. Guests can come in shorts and casual dresses.



Bridal shower tea parties have become a poplar theme

Bridal shower tea parties have become a poplar theme

More Theme Ideas

It may seem overwhelming to plan or help create a bridal shower. There is so much going on during that time. But with a few tips and ideas, you can create great event with some planning. Your budget does not have to go over the edge. There are many projects and things tht you can craft yourself, even if you are a beginner crafter.

Outside of deciding on the place, date and time, you will want to decide on what the decor and theme of the shower will be. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Go with the wedding theme. If the bride has a specific theme create a bridal shower around that theme
  2. Go with the color palette. Rather than a specific theme, use the color palette that the bride has decided on for her wedding. Use the color throughout the party and have the guests in the same color.
  3. Do a seasonal theme. Use a Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter theme
  4. Champagne Brunch-serve breakfast pastries, mimosas, waffles and champagne
  5. Nautical theme-If the bride is into boats this is the perfect idea
  6. Beach Theme-filled with blue hies and seashells
  7. Backyard bliss-Use an outdoor backyard to create a garden theme
  8. Tea party-You can keep it classically British or switch it up with a Mad Hatter theme. Either way, serve a refreshing assortment of artisanal tea, scrumptious scones, and tasty cucumber sandwiches.
  9. Shabby Chic-delicately distressed décor, tea served in mason jars, hand-drawn signage, and baby's breath centerpieces. Have home made desserts.
  10. Pajama Party-It'll be an awesome girls' night in, complete with pizza, drinks, candy, games, and a movie (we're thinking Bridesmaids).
  11. Just do a shower theme. It is a traditional theme that is always popular.


Set The Tone With The Invitations

Your bridal shower invitations, like the wedding invitations, should set the tone for your event. You have several options when it comes to creating your bridal shower invitations.

Your invitations should reflect the theme or decor you have decided on.

You can send invitations by mail or email.

Ideally, the invitations should be mailed out four to six weeks before the bridal shower, either by post or email. Make sure to include the bride's name, the date, the time, the location, registry information, a way to RSVP, and the names of whoever is hosting. You could also include the kind of dress code with a simple remark like casual dress.

Bridal Shower Invitations

Gifts can be arranged in a beautiful display as part of the decor

Gifts can be arranged in a beautiful display as part of the decor

Crepe Paper Bell Garland

With 6 to 8 layers of crepe paper, cut a 2” x 2” square.
Step 2: Cut out a flower petal shape. Cut the top of the shape with pinking shears.
Step 3: Cut out a green leaf. Stack the petals and insert the leaf just more than halfway through the petal shape – this will keep the leaf in place once it is stitched together.
Step 4: Hold the flower shape top down and run the stack through sewing machine. Pull extra thread at the end to make space before putting the next flower stack through.
Step 5: Continue sewing until you have the desired length of garland.
Step 6: Gently open each flower with your fingers to create the 3-D effect.
Step 7: Hang and enjoy!

Background Decor

Create a simple background decoration with circles in the brides colors

Create a simple background decoration with circles in the brides colors

More Background And Decor Ideas

Toilet Paper Flower Bouquet

Budget friendly arrangement that looks beautiful and is so easy to make

Budget friendly arrangement that looks beautiful and is so easy to make

Colorful Magazine Flowers

Create colorful magazine flowers for your shower centerpieces

Create colorful magazine flowers for your shower centerpieces

More Flower Arrangement Ideas

Create A Special Bride Shower Chair

bridal shower chairs are easy to create with just a few accessories

bridal shower chairs are easy to create with just a few accessories

With a little imagination, you can create the perfect special chair for the bride of your event. Not only will she feel special, but it will enhance the photos of the event.

Start With The Chair Itself

No matter where your wedding shower will be, make sure that you have a specific chair that will be available to be decorated. Make sure that it will be comfortable for the bride.

Make sure that your decorations can be attached to the chair with minimum harmful effects. Avoid using pins or tape that may damage the chair.

You can also bring a chair from your home.

Allow time to decorate the chair before the event.

How To Decorate The Bridal Shower Chair

  1. Add signage-Add a sign to the chair so that everyone knows this is where the honored guest will sit. " Bride To Be"
  2. Use Baloons-Attach a few balloons to the chair in the colors that the bride has chosen for the wedding. You can also find customized balloons for the occasion.
  3. Add a Sash-Use a long piece of tulle or satin to create a sash around a chair.
  4. Add Flowers-Flowers are always a great addition to your bridal shower chair. Make little bouquets for the corners of the chair or make a swag. Choose the colors to coordinate with your other decor.


Bridal Advice Board

Grab a large frame to create a bridal advice board. This is a fun activity that the bride will appreciate taking home with her.

Supplies

  • Large frame
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Thumb tacks or small nails
  • Journal cards
  • Letter Stickers
  • Small clothes pins
  • Pens
  1. Take all of the glass and other elements off of the frame.
  2. Paint the frame white or the color of the shower
  3. Extend string across the frame tightly and secure the string with small nails or thumb tacks
  4. Create a banner for the top of the frame "ADVICE" Just mount the letters on pieces of cardstock. You can glue the pieces on or make a banner by gluing the letter pieces to a piece of twine.
  5. Place the clothes pins in a bowl or dish
  6. Prop the frame up on a table.
  7. Arrange the cards and pens on the table
  8. Invite the guests to leave advice for the bride
Lia Griffith creates peonies from cupcake wrappers. these delightful flowers could be created from any color wrapper. They can v=be used in a garland, a wreath or as a cemterpiece

Lia Griffith creates peonies from cupcake wrappers. these delightful flowers could be created from any color wrapper. They can v=be used in a garland, a wreath or as a cemterpiece

Wrap your silverwear is a napkin and wrap a napkin and then a doily around it. Tie with twine or a piece of ribbon.

Wrap your silverwear is a napkin and wrap a napkin and then a doily around it. Tie with twine or a piece of ribbon.

Bridal Dress Shower Decor

These beautiful wedding dresses are easy to make out of any paper you chose

These beautiful wedding dresses are easy to make out of any paper you chose

Bridal Shower Favors

While not required, bridal shower favors are a nice gesture to thank the guests for being part of this special occasion. What to spend on favors depends on a few factors, including your budget and the number of guests. If you're planning a small and intimate party, you might choose to spend more than someone who's hosting a larger gathering.

The host of the shower purchases the favors. Depending on how many guests you have, you can choose favors that will not break your budget.

Here are some bridal shower ideas:

  • Stemless wine glasses
  • Customized honey jars
  • Personalized candle jars
  • Drink koozies that are customized
  • Heart shaped measuring spoons
  • Wrapped teas
  • Mini champagne bottles
  • Hot chocolate mix in mason jars
  • Hand lotion
  • Measuring spoons
  • Handmade or luxury soaps
  • Seed packets with a flowerpot
  • Fragranced lip balm
  • Botte openers
  • Jars of jam
  • Tote bags
  • Tiny succulents
  • Scented soaps
  • Bath bombs
  • Wine tumblers
  • Water bottles

DIY Bridal Showers

Bridal Favors-Magnetic Clothes Pins

Sometimes you want to give favors that have practical uses. This particular craft is so easy to make and will be used to remember your event every day. It uses just a few supplies and won't take that much time. You can use them as the gift with some really nice, wrapped chocolates. Or you can use them as an extra gift by using them to secure a gift bag filled with wrapped candies or other gifts inside. Either way, you will get compliments from your guests.

These delightful gifts will hold pictures, reminders or just about anything on a refrigerator door.

Napkin Designer Clothes Pin Magnets

Supplies

  • Clip style wooden clothes pins
  • Paper napkins or washi tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Thin foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Mod podge
  • Magnetic tape
  1. Pull all the extra ply sheets away from the napkin leaving only the printed piece
  2. Place the clothes pin in various parts of the napkin until you find the right part of the design to use
  3. Cut a generous amount of the napkin to cover the clothespin and glue it into place with Mod Podge.
  4. Use a piece of sandpaper, to rub against the edges, and remove any excess.
  5. Then coat the top with a generous amount of Mod Podge. This will dry clear and help protect the finish.
  6. Cut a strip of magnetic tape and tape it to the back of the clothes pin

Washi Tape Designed Clothes Pin

Instead of the napkin design, use washi tape. Since washi tape is thin on adhesive, you will want to use the Mod Podge to glue it down as well as coat the top of the clothes pin. Follow all the same directions.

Tips:

  • You can get beautifully designed napkins both on and offline
  • If the bride's theme has a seasonal touch use napkins hat reflect her theme
  • Buy napkins in the bridal colors when possible


Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Include a couple of games to keep the event lively. They do not have to be complicated. Have some door prizes to give to the winners. The prizes could be things like scented candles, chocolates, and scented soaps.

Limit the number of games to 2-3 games for the event.

Chocolate Kisses

Fill a vase with chocolate kisses. Have a little sign requesting the guests guess the number of kisses. Supply pens and paper. Have them write their names and thier guess on the paper and place the papers in a basket. Later on in the shower, check the guesses. The person closest to the correct number without going over it, wins the jar of kisses.

Recipe Contest

All of the attendees submit favorite recipes. The bride decides which on is her favorite. This is great for the bride because she gets lots of new recipe ideas. Include the information in your invitation. The recipes can then be slid into a looseleaf binder to give to the bride later on.

Pass the Bouquet

Similar to hot potato, this game will cause lots of laughs. The bride faces away from the group. The guests pass the bouquet around until the bride yells stop. The person with the bouquet is out. Play until there is only one person left.

Paper Bride

Guests divide into teams of three or four. One member of each team is the model; the others construct a wedding dress using toilet paper. The model's strut: the bride picks their favorite look. Pro tip: Use triple-ply.

Purse Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of common items people might carry in their favorite bags as well as less common——things one might stash. Give a prize to whoever keeps the most items in their purse and reward them with something else they can stick in it, such as a gift card. Include items like a hair tie, a pen, red lipstick, or a fast-food receipt.

Free Printable Bridal Shower Games

You can find lots of free printable bridal shower games on your favorite browser. Just type in free printable bridal shower games, look for the images you want. Save them and print as needed.

You can find lots of free printable bridal shower games on your favorite browser. Just type in free printable bridal shower games, look for the images you want. Save them and print as needed.

More Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Create these beautiful bridal favor boxes

Create these beautiful bridal favor boxes

  • PDF Printable Recipe Cards
    Why not have your guests write down a special recipe to bring with them. Place them all in a basket with a kitchen towel, a couple of potholders and these printable recipe cards, Print them on heavy card stock

Bridal Shower Refreshment ideas

Refreshments for your bridal shower can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget and time allows

Refreshments for your bridal shower can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget and time allows

How To Plan Refreshments For A Bridal Shower

The best place to start is with your budget. If the budget allows you to have an event in a venue or you are planning a catered event, then setting up the menu depends on the money you have to spend.

The Time Of Day

If you are having a brunch or breakfast, then your food should reflect breakfast items. While a donut bar is an option, you could also have someone making omelets or waffles. You might want to have some fruit. Of course, coffee, tea and mimosas are popular.

Lunch can be just about anything with maybe a lite wine. Iced tea should also be served. You can include a cookie bar, a candy bar, a pie bar and or cake bar.

Either for lunch or dinner service, depending on the number of guests as well as the number of ladies in the wedding party, you could have a covered dish. make sure ahead of time what everyone will bring and add things like salad, rolls and of course dessert.

Themed Refreshments

Another option is to use your theme to plan your refreshments. Think about foods that relate to the theme you are planning. No matter what time of day, you can pla foods around your theme

Go Regional

You can select foods that your particular area is known for. Think about the foods that everyone from the area you are located in really crave. These dishes help out-of-town guests experience the best the area has to offer.

More Refreshment Ideas

  • Charcuterie Board- A selection of cured meats works well for just about every kind of bridal showers.
  • Cheese Boards-This would be a great addition to the meat board above or on its own. Blend local cheeses with fresh fruit and grilled veggies and let guests build their own plates

Beverages

Alcohol beverages are not required but do add a nice touch to your event. Serve a light wine and a single signature cocktail. Remember to have nonalcoholic as well. You may want to serve iced tea, lemonade or a punch. Have coffee and tea service too to serve with dessert.

More Refreshment Ideas For Bridal Showers

  • 15 Best Bridal Shower Food Ideas
    These 15 bridal shower food ideas are special and beautiful. From cheese balls to scones to quiches, you can turn to these ideas for easy, no-mess appetizers that will help kick off any bridal shower or luncheon on a high note.
  • Bridal Shower Drinks | Bridal Shower 101
    It doesn't matter if you are thinking of a tea party or a full on mimosa bar, we have the best ideas for bridal shower drinks.
  • 15 Best Bridal Shower Food Ideas
    These 15 bridal shower food ideas are special and beautiful. From cheese balls to scones to quiches, you can turn to these ideas for easy, no-mess appetizers that will help kick off any bridal shower or luncheon on a high note.
A lovely selection of desserts adds fun to every bridal shower

A lovely selection of desserts adds fun to every bridal shower

Bridal Shower Dessert Ideas

Everyone loves dessert, so your Bridal Shower plans should include a lovely selection of dessert ideas

If you are having your event catered, work with them on the types of desserts you would like to have. A lot depends on your budget, of course.

A cake is a traditional dessert served at many showers, and you can include one if you wish. But you do not have to limit yourself to this idea. The problem with cakes is that they are messy and difficult to cut. You would be far better off with something that people can pick up and go.

Mini cakes are a popular alternative to a larger display cake. This compromise between a large cake and cupcakes works well for a more extravagant affair.

The Dessert Bar

The dessert bar can be anything that you would like it to be. You can have a collection of favorite desserts. Have your bridesmaids help with desserts too! Macarons, mini cupcakes, frosted sugar cookies, mini cheesecakes, and Oreo gems are common options. For smaller groups 4-5 options are more than enough. For larger groups, you will want to go to 5-6 options. But for me, I would rather have more than enough rather than not enough.

Dessert Grazing Table

This free-form display of assorted desserts is perfect for a more low-key affair. What feels especially fresh: how the options are grouped together at random, rather than siloed by type on a tray.

Minis

There are several options when it comes to mini desserts:

  • Mini Apple Pies-nothing says love and warmth more than an apple pie. Mini apple pies are little bites of love.
  • Mini Bundt Cakes- Sprinkled with sugar or iced, these little cakes are perfect with coffee or tea.
  • Mini Cheesecakes-These are a special way to add a little elegance to your dessert bar.

Other Dessert Ideas

There are unlimited options that can add so much to your event. Here are a few more thoughts for your dessert display:

  1. Stamped Cookies-Shortbread or other cookies can be stamped with the couple initials for a lovely display.
  2. Petit Fours-These have always been a classic bridal shower dessert item. They are dainty and have so many options for any theme or gathering
  3. Tarts-Tarts are fun, and the flavors can be combined with your theme or the favorite flavor of the bride.
  4. Macrons-In so many flavors and colors. These continue to be a bridal shower favorite.


More Bridal Shower Inspiration

Final Thought On Planning A Bridal Shower

If you are the person planning a bridal shower for a friend or loved one, staying organized is the key to a successful event.

While you do not have to disclose everything to the bride, make sure that you have included some of her favorite foods, colors and themes in your planning.

Stick to your budget and break down the costs. If her Mom or Mother-in-law to be wants to contribute to the budget that is just fine. Whatever the amount may be, make sure to allot parts of your budget to things like the invites, the decor, the food and the venue if you are outside of the home.

Make sure to involve the other members of the bridal party in your plans. Do not feel like you have to do it all yourself.

Have fun in the planning and the actual event. Even if there is a flub or two, your event will still be successful if the bride has enjoyed the event. Happy planning!


© 2022 Linda F Correa

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