Bridal Shower Checklist


Reception- Scott Andrew Studio


Throwing a bridal shower for a close friend or relative is an immense honor, but it can definitely be stressful if you're not sure where to start. Here's how to tackle the planning process and throw an unforgettable party for the bride-to-be.

Who’s in Charge of Planning?

The bridal shower is typically thrown for the bride-to-be by the maid of honor, bridesmaids, close friends, family or a combination of these individuals. If you’re a friend in the wedding and the bride’s mother, future mother-in-law, sister, future sister-in-law, or a close family member wants to throw the bride the shower, then be sure to follow their lead. You can always take more of a role of assisting the family, and be sure to let them know that you and the bridal party are there to help with it.

When to Plan a Bridal Shower

The event is typically held two or three months before the big day so it’s a good idea to start planning at least one month before to give yourself enough time to finalize the details. It’s also important to give guests enough time to plan the event into their schedule. 

Talk to the bride about their schedule first because there’s likely a lot of other wedding planning duties currently in motion. Ask these important questions:

  • Is it alright to schedule the shower on a weekend or are they booked? Maybe a weeknight will work best. 

  • What are a few dates that definitely work?

  • Are there any out of town guests that may be invited?

  • Who are the people that MUST attend? You will be working around a lot of schedules, so prioritize which people are the most important to include on the invite.

Once you find all of these answers, you should have a better idea of when to throw the bridal shower.

Questions to Ask During Planning

There are a few things you will want to get the bride’s opinion on when planning the shower. If you are trying to make it more of a surprise, skip the questions that will give away the surprise.

  • Where should the event be held? Pick a location that best fits the couple.

  • Should it be an afternoon or night time event? Ideas include a brunch with a mimosa bar, an afternoon tea party, or a Saturday night occasion.

  • Should the shower include everyone? Couples showers are becoming more and more popular.

  • Any particular bridal shower themes in mind? Bring even more excitement to the celebration by adding a theme. (Examples of themes include an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, Parisian, “Brunch and Bubbly”, favorite sports teams, etc.)

  • Are there any family members wanting to help? Even if you are the main party planner, make the bride’s and/or groom’s family feel involved by including them in the planning process. Many mothers want to be a part of the bridal shower, so it’s always a good idea to make them feel included.

How to Plan a Bridal Shower

After you gather all the preliminary information, the fun part begins. It’s time to plan the bridal shower!

Set a Budget

This event is usually paid for by the host, but this can differ. If there are bridesmaids and family members helping you host, the budget can be divided among everyone. Make sure you discuss with the bride to let her know what you or the group is comfortable with. This eliminates any disappointments the bride may have if she’s expecting the shower to be big and grand. 

Bridal showers are supposed to be special, but don’t need to outshine the wedding day. Remember, the wedding day should be the biggest, most memorable night of their lives!

Brainstorm Session

Meet with the bridesmaids, family, and anyone else who wants to help with the event. Talk about different bridal shower ideas and go through decisions such as themes, decorations, linens, silverware/utensils, flowers, party favors, room set-up, food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and games/activities, etc.

Create a Guest List

This is an intimate event. Invite people who are close family and friends to the couple. Make sure everyone on this list is also invited to the wedding. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when the wedding shower is thrown by coworkers, as not every couple invites all of their coworkers. Coworkers can throw the bride a shower separate from the one you’re planning. 

Also, be careful of inviting the same people to multiple events. Some people do not have the funds to attend all the activities before the wedding.

Make Reservations

Whether you and the bride both agree on having this at a restaurant, bowling alley, country club or a park, make sure to make the appropriate reservations before sending out the invitations. A memorable place for the couple will make a great location.

Note: Make sure that the location can accommodate the number of guests. It won’t be a very fun event if there is no room to move around or there are not enough seats. 

Spread the Word 

Invitations should be sent out three to four weeks before the event date. Usually, the bridal shower invitations are sent out by snail-mail because it adds a more personal touch; these can be DIY or professionally printed. 

However, with today’s ever-growing dependency on technology, digital invitations are becoming more common and acceptable. Beware when sending things digitally, as they can get lost in spam folders or get sent to the wrong email address. So be prepared to make some follow-up phone calls to confirm your guests have received their invites and make sure you are receiving RSVPs in a timely manner.


Confirmations should be made one week before the bridal shower date. Confirm reservations for the location. Confirm food and drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments) orders and flower orders. Make sure the delivery time and location is correct. The last thing you need is for the orders to get delivered at the wrong time or to the wrong location.

Set Up

Check with your venue location to see if you are able to set up the room and any equipment needed the day before the event. Bridal shower games, decorations, centerpieces, flowers, and favors, can also be set up the day before. While you’re at it, any food prep work can also be done the day before to lessen the stress on the day of the party. Make sure you have a place set aside for gift opening, too. 

Gather the troops! Sit down with the checklist and go over every single item to make sure it is taken care of and checked off. For items that must be done on the day of the shower, make sure it is assigned to someone. Ask everyone to arrive early to help with last minute setup and organization.

Bridal Shower Day

All the planning, stressing, and hard work is about to pay off! Have everyone on the planning committee show up early to help. Make sure everything is delivered and correct. Go through the bridal shower planning checklist one more time to make sure everything is in its place. The last thing to do is wait for the guest of honor, the bride, to arrive! Then, let the party begin!

Next Steps

Once again, you have done it! You made it through the planning and stress. You’ve planned the ultimate bridal shower and now it’s time to enjoy this special time with the bride and guests!

For more help with maid of honor responsibilities, check out our maid of honor checklist.

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