photo by Fox & Kin
It happened! Your friends are engaged, planning their big day, and you are a lucky one who gets to plan a wedding shower and be a part of showing them all the love over the next few months. While we may see the traditional bridal shower phasing out over the next few years, we think wedding showers (where both partners are involved) will become the new thing.
If you’re the special someone who gets to plan a fun pre-wedding celebration for your besties, this guide has everything you need to know about how to plan a wedding shower…and more!
photo by Natalie Pluck
How to Host A Wedding Shower
Who should pay? How expensive should it be?
Traditionally, the maid-of-honor or person hosting the event covers the costs. But, here at Junebug, we’re all about doing things the non-traditional way! Plus, we are firm believers in the ability to throw a 5-star event on a shoestring budget (see our article about affordable decor you wouldn’t believe came from Amazon). Determine the budget based on what makes sense for you! If the entire wedding party or family members are willing to pitch in some cash or help out with a talent of their own, then start there. A wedding shower should simply be a time to celebrate the couple and gather everyone before the big day.
How do you pick a date?
We think the best time for to host a wedding shower is 2 – 3 months before the big day. This way, you’re close enough that the bride is starting to get excited, but not too close as to inconvenience anyone who may be making arrangements to travel for the wedding a short time later. Make sure to announce the date at least a few months in advance so everyone can plan accordingly!
Who should attend?
After you determine the “vibe” of the event (maybe you’re throwing a more friend-appropriate event vs. a family affair — or vise versa), make sure to consult the couple on who they would like to attend. While you might have a good idea of the guest list, it’s important to make sure the couple is surrounded by all of their people! P.S. It’s OK to give them a guest limit based on your budget.
What should the bride wear?
If you’re the one who gets to plan a wedding shower, we know you want to advise your couple on the best outfits to pick for the occasion. Luckily, we’ve dedicated an entire post to this topic! Check out these winter bridal shower dresses or these spring bridal shower dresses.
photo by Cork Creative
Recommended Reading: Etsy Wedding Shower Invitations That are Stylish and Creative
Creative Wedding Shower Ideas
If you are looking to change things up from the norm, we are with you! Hosting something a little different for your engaged friends will surely make them feel loved. Our how-to plan a wedding shower post wouldn’t be complete without a few creating ideas!
photo by Joe + Kathrina
Coffee Shop — Hosting a morning event? Rather than splurging all of your money on a fancy brunch with all the booze, consider hiring a coffee shop to come to you (or takeover the shop, if that’s more your style). Guests are sure to love the experience of their own personal barista — bonus points if they can make personalized designs in friends and families lattes!
Movie Night — If your couple loves movies and snuggling on the couch, we love the idea of hosting a movie night for everyone to come in their coziest outfits to hang all night long! Order some pizzas, grab an instant camera to capture the memories, play a few wedding party games to kick off the night, and then let the movie watching begin.
Wine or Cocktail Tasting — For more classy couples, a wine or cocktail tasting might be the move — and an experience everyone will remember. Plus, this is a great gift to the couple. They’ll be pros on making boozy drinks at home to celebrate being married!
Lawn Games Tournament — There’s nothing more fun for some couples than getting their blood pumping in a healthy competition! If you’re hosting an event at home, a lawn games tournament can be an awesome way to create memories and re-live your favorite childhood games.
Themed Decor — You can’t go wrong with hosting a more traditional shower with a themed twist! Here are a few of our favorite wedding shower themes to get your creative juices flowing:
- Travel and Adventure
- Sitcom (ex: The Office, Friends, Parks & Rec, Seinfeld)
- Garden Party
- All White
- Charity (animal shelter visit, anyone?)
photo by Joy Zamora
Host a fiesta-style event with these Pom Pom Fiesta Straws and Matching Fiesta Cupcake Toppers from Etsy.
Wedding Shower Games
Cheesy (in the best way) games are a classic part of every kind of shower. While they may seem silly to some, they’re great ice breakers and a way to lighten the mood. Here are a few of our favorite wedding shower games:
photo by Brooke Taelor
The Shoe Game — See if the couple is “on the same page” with silly questions via The Shoe Game! With this game you’ll seat both partners back-to-back, have them hold one of each of their shoes, and then the MC will ask questions while the couple raises the partner’s shoe who they believe fits the question.
Find the Guest Bingo — If you’re bringing together lots of strangers, a game of Find the Guest Bingo may be a great idea to get everyone mingling and learning a little more about each other. We know it can be a bit intimidating to plan a wedding shower, but this game will get everyone enjoying each other’s company!
Couple Trivia — Find out who knows the couple best by playing a round of couple trivia! Before the event, come up with 10 – 20 questions about the couple and have them answer in advance. Whomever wins, gets a prize and bragging rights at the wedding!
Date Ideas Jar — For something a little more subtle, have every guest put a date idea into a jar or basket when they arrive. By the end of the event, the couple will have a ton of creative date ideas for their first year of marriage!
Guess the Dress (or outfit) — Only those who haven’t seen the outfits are allowed to play!
Find this wedding shower game and more templates on Etsy.
Wedding Shower Planning Timeline
The key to “all things weddings” is having a solid timeline to guide you along the way! If you want to know how to plan a wedding shower, this timeline can be a reference for your efforts.
2 to 3 Months Before the Shower
- Discuss all ideas, dates, etc. with the couple
- Compile a guest list with contact information
- Pick a date and time
- Establish a budget
- Order and send invitations
- Reserve location (as needed)
1 Month Before the Shower
- Purchase decor, party favors, etc.
- Prepare games and activities
- DIY time!
- Confirm the food and drink menu options
- Delegate a team to help with clear responsibilities (as needed)
2 to 3 Weeks Before the Shower
- Make follow up calls to guests and confirm their attendance
- Purchase a gift for the couple (as applicable)
- Touch base with your food and drink team or make a grocery list for your shopping trip
- Confirm any vendor arrival times
- Buy a notepad or book to record gift received in for the couple (Bonus: Stylish thank you cards can make an awesome gift for the couple)
Day-of the Shower
- Bring your best attitude!
- Arrive early to the venue or location to ensure you’re not rushing at the last minute (you should enjoy this day, too)
- Help write down and record gifts (as needed)
photo by Sarah Ascanio Photography
With these tips on how to plan a wedding shower, we are sure you’ll be on your way to creating the most memorable celebration for your friends! Already dreaming of your wedding-day outfit? You’re sure to fall head over heels for these wedding guest dresses.
photo by Fox & Kin