What Is A Bridal Shower? And How To Plan The Perfect One

Are you wanting to know what is a bridal shower? And how to plan a bridal shower?

Wondering what are bridal showers for?

Bridal showers are a lovely way to have a girly celebration for the Bride-to-be in the lead up to the big day.

This is a great opportunity to allow all the Bride’s female friends and family to mingle and get to know each other before the wedding, and celebrate the new bride-to-be.

How To Plan A Bridal Shower for the Bride-to-be

*This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!  See our full disclosure policy here

What Is A Bridal Shower?

You may find it useful to breakdown your bridal shower planning into categories: 

The Guest List

If you are the Bridal Shower host, you should have a sit-down with the Bride to discuss the guest list. This will help you avoid any embarrassing mishaps or forgetting anyone. Missing someone important off your guest list could tarnish an otherwise amazing day. The Bride can also provide you with up-to-date contact information to ensure everyone promptly receives their invite. 

The Bridal Shower is a much more intimate affair than a wedding. It’s usually female-only and reserved for the Bride’s nearest and dearest, rather than acquaintances. 20-30 guests is typical, but this is ultimately the Bride’s decision. Your venue may also dictate your number of guests.

Discuss with the Bride if they want to have children or not at the shower. Bridal Showers can be adult-only, but again, it’s all about the Bride and her preferences! 

Check out the difference between a bridal shower vs bachelorette party.

Bride-to-be opening gifts at bridal shower.

The Budget

Establishing a budget early on will be vital before planning your themes or food. Typically the host pays for the Bridal shower, but not always. You can find out more about this in our article- Who Pays For The Bridal Shower

Establishing a Date/Time

When choosing your date, it is important to ensure you have left enough time for your preparations. You’ll also want to give your guests as much notice as possible to make sure they are available that day. Three months is usually about right. This will give you all an event to look forward to! Traditionally, the Bridal Shower takes place a couple of months before the wedding. 

The Venue

For most events, the Bridal Shower takes place at home. This is often the home of the host or mother-of-the-bride. If you have a huge guest list or don’t feel your home is suitable for whatever reason, you could consider alternatives. Restaurants and bars are popular options. 

The Theme

Choosing a theme isn’t essential, but it adds a little something extra to the celebration! Establishing a theme actually makes your other decisions, such as food and decor, much easier. Choose something which reflects the Bride’s interests and personality. 

Some ideas for themes include:

  • Brunch & Bubbly- Include mimosas, breakfast foods, and ofcourse, champagne!
  • Afternoon Tea- Go traditional with a tea party. Serve sandwiches, cakes and drinks from teapots. 
  • Colors- You may wish to keep everything all-white for a classy, elegant affair. Or for girly brides, choose everything in pink. 
  • Tropical- Go for bright colours, cocktails and fruit. 

We have a whole post about fun & unique Bridal Shower Theme Ideas you can try!

cake with bride to be topper.


Once you have established your date and venue, it’s time to let everyone know about it! Formal invites aren’t a necessity, but they are a nice addition and can make a lovely keepsake for the event. Invitations also allow you to collect RSVP’s to know who is attending and find out about any dietary requirements. Choose themed invitations to let your guests know what to expect from the day. Include any extra information, such as parking instructions and dress code. 

Food & Drink

When compiling your menu, make sure your primary consideration is the Bride’s tastes. You will also need to make sure your menu accommodates any dietary requirements and food sensitivities within the group. If you are at home for your Bridal Shower, you’ll also want to choose foods that are easy to serve and eat. Budget allowing, you could consider hiring a catering company to provide the food for your event. Alternatively, you could ask for the Bridesmaids’ help and ask each of them to bring a couple of dishes. Don’t forget dessert! A cake or cupcakes are a nice way to end the event. 

Check out this list of best Bridal Shower Cupcakes for your party.

table full of finger foods and desserts.


Decorating for the Bridal Shower can be one of the most fun parts! The decor is where you get the chance to demonstrate your theme. Amazon is a gold mine for unique and affordable items. Personalized items, candles and flowers are all excellent options for creating a gorgeous space to make the Bride feel special.

A balloon display can really add a ‘wow-factor’ and makes a gorgeous backdrop for all the photos you’ll be taking. These unique ‘Bride to Be’ Balloons are perfect for the occasion.

Games + Entertainment

Bridal Shower games are great ice-breakers and can help the group to get to know each other on a deeper level. They are also a lot of fun! Popular games include What’s In My Purse (or What’s On My Phone), He Said, She Said Game, and Bridal Jeopardy

There are countless printable games available online and usually free.

Having a virtual shower, or including people who can’t make it? Check out these Virtual Bridal Shower Games.

photo booth props on table at wedding shower.

Wedding Shower Gift Ideas

The whole idea of a Bridal Shower is to spoil the Bride, so gifts are a must! Unlike the wedding gift, which is for the couple, a Bridal Shower gift is all about the Bride. Stuck for inspiration? Here are a few ideas which would make great Bridal Shower gifts:

  • Spa vouchers
  • Candles
  • Photo Frames- include photos of the couple or the Bride with her friends.
  • Toiletries
  • Something for the honeymoon- pajamas, flip-flops, towels or lingerie. You could even have these personalized with her (new!) name.  
table of bridal shower gifts.


  • Playlist- Background music can help avoid any awkward silences between guests who don’t know each other well! Choose something upbeat and include something that everyone of all ages will like (but especially the Bride!). 
  • Prepare a toast- If you are feeling brave, a toast is a lovely way to let the Bride know how much she means to you and wish her well in the future. 
  • Bridal Shower Favors- A small gift is a thoughtful way to thank your guests for their attendance.

All Your Bridal Shower Questions Answered!