how to throw a bridal shower: tips + details

posted on: August 30, 2011

planning a shower can be extremely costly and overwhelming for those of us who aren't named martha stewart (girl has money and event planning goldmine). without such a helpful and kowledgeable bridal party, i wouldn't have even known where to start!

i've broken down what i learned about throwing a creative and special bridal shower into these 8 simple steps and tips.


there are so many options for bridal shower themes and a great place for inspiration is martha stewart’s wedding site. i have been to a kitchen themed one, and i love the idea of an afternoon tea party or parisian theme (super bridesmaids the movie, but it's all good).

since jessica's engagement party was hawaiian theme (where she's having her wedding) we decided to veer away from any major idea and keep it to a colour concept instead. apple green is part of her wedding colours and we just incorporated the bright pink and some white to break it up.


with the unreliable weather in vancouver this summer, we didn't want to risk holding the shower outdoors. thankfully, one of the bridesmaids was able to book us in at her apartment building's party room. it's a really nice space with lots of room, a kitchen, and plenty of tables. whether you host it at your house, a park, your backyard, a hall..wherever, you'll need to figure out dishware as well. we were able to get enough glasses, platter, plates, cake stands, etc. together between the 4 of us but there is always the option of renting dishes. or, paper plates i guess.

once we locked in a location for the party, it was time to sort out the guest list. feel free to work with the bride on a list of guests, as there will likely be family members and friends you might not think to invite. after you've determined how many people will be attending, it's time to move onto step 3 (my favourite step).


i actually worked with a great graphic designer from
fonik design to make jessica's bridal shower invites. i showed him an invitation design i liked online and he was able to recreate it for me for a great price. i got them printed and bought a pack of silver envelopes at michael's crafts. looking back, i probably could have just emailed the invitations out (would have saved paper and been more cost effective) but sometimes it's a nice gesture to send a piece of mail! it's also easy enough to make your own invites online, handmaking them, or using an e-vite system.


we had 31 guests attending the shower and made the ambitious decision to cater it ourselves. each bridesmaid was responsible for two appetizers. my mom and the groom's mom kindly offered to also pitch in two appetizers, bringing the grand total up to way more than a room full of women would eat! we had sandwiches, quinoa salad, bocconcini bites, 7 layer dip, deviled eggs, hummus and pita, cheese/cracker/meat plate, veggies and dip, mini tortilla wraps, and the wildly popular steak bites. i'd always rather have too much food than not enough!

5drinks copy

as an afternoon event, we were sure to offer coffee and tea, as well as water and a non alcoholic punch. we also served white wine, mimosas, and champagne with edible hibiscus flowers. for dessert, jessica's mom the wedding lady contributed a delicious and visually stunning cake. always the best from susan! i also ordered some mini cupcakes from cakelicious that were lemon flavoured and ahhmazing. my mom made some brownies and lauren brought a fruit platter. we really had too much food, but don't worry. i polished off those mini cupcakes by myself later on, it was really no trouble at all!

also from cakelicious, we sent each guest home with a pink cake pop that we put in a little bag and tied with ribbon with a little handwritten "thank-you" note. they were a big hit!

6decor copy

each bridesmaid took on some of the decorations. flowers, balloons, tissue pom poms, and some handmade signs. all of which were possible with some sticker letters from michael's, a few supplies from the dollar store, some scrapbook paper, and a bit of creativity.


many bridal showers involve games as an ice breaker, or a chance for people to get to know the bride to be a little bit better. jessica hates games so we were sure not to include anything embarrassing and remotely game-like. our only moment of silliness was making her a bridal shower ribbon bra while she opened gifts instead of a bridal shower ribbon hat. although, we did manage to put a vintage feather hat on her as well. all in good fun, it was actually really cute! we did include some blank cards (that were also purchased from michael's on sale) for guests to write a short piece of advice to the bride and groom.

8 bride

ultimately, it's important to always keep the bride in mind when planning the shower. we were sure to include jessica's favourite wine, chips, and peanut m&m's. we even had a surprise special guest attend from out of town! putting up pictures of the bride and groom is a nice touch (oh right, it's about him too :P). any thoughtful gestures will not go unnoticed, and it's ultimately a party in honour of the bride. have fun with it!

you can see what the final bridal shower looked like here or here
hope you find some of the tips helpful, feel free to let me know if you have any advice to add. happy planning xo


  1. Well you just changed my life infinitely! My sister is getting married in October and I was lacking some serious direction. Thanks so much for sharing this. I'll let you know how it goes.

    x The Pretty Secrets

  2. Great post! I have never attended a bridal shower (not so popular in the Netherlands), but I will definitely keep these tips in mind in case I ever have the honor to organize this special event for a friend!

    I think you've done a great job on organizing it. Everything looked so perfect!
    NEW OUTFIT POST: Celebrating Shangri-La

  3. great tips, I am using some of them to organize my birthday BBQ/charity event.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a great way to go about the process Alicia - thanks for sharing! I love the step by step graphics, the bride is lucky to have you as a friend!


  5. Great post! I'm the most undomestic person ever, so step by step is always good!

  6. Omg Alicia, remind me if and when I get married to make you my MOH. You pulled everything off perfectly and put so much thought and effort into everything - your friend's a very lucky girl because A LOT of people would not ensure that everything was done as well as you did. Hope you're having a great week so far :)

    Alex xoxo

  7. Alicia, you sound like such an expert! Are you sure you don't do this professionally? I've never had to plan a shower yet, but I'm sure my time will come... And I plan to use this post as my reference guide. So please never, ever take it down :)

  8. LOVE! all these ideas. It makes me look forward to my own shower:-)

    Jen xo

  9. excellent tips, will be using them in the future for sure.


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