A bridal shower is a lively and lighthearted event to celebrate the bride’s upcoming marriage. It is a gathering with the bride’s close friends and family members that allows them to ‘shower’ the bride-to-be with gifts to help her set up her home with her spouse. It is often held between 3 months to 2 weeks before the actual wedding.
In most cases, the bridal shower is hosted by the bridesmaids or a close female relative. The scale of your event can range from 10 people up to 100, depending on the bride. While it’s a smaller event compared to your actual wedding, the guests you invite to your bridal shower should also be invited to your actual wedding.
Traditionally, bridal showers are meant to be a party for the ladies only. However, in today’s society, it has also become quite common for the groom to make an appearance at the end of the shower. For grooms who are shy and uncomfortable with the attention, they can also choose not to do so. It is up to the preference of the couple.
Where to Host your Bridal Shower
Where you should host your bridal shower depends mostly on your number of guests, preference and budget.
If you’re inviting fewer people, doing it at someone’s home can be a great choice. Having your bridal shower at home can help you save up on the rental costs of another venue. It also provides a warm and comfortable environment that the bride is accustomed to.
It is important to gage and check that there’s enough room to fit everyone you have sent your invitations to. While it is a convenient location for you, it might be frustrating if your guests have to squeeze and feel constraint when attending your bridal shower.
It’s common for most couples to have their bridal shower at a restaurant. Different restaurants also provide different kinds of atmospheres so you can also personalise it to your own liking. By adding a few simple touches, you can transform the restaurant to one distinct and special to your own bridal shower.
Restaurants can also accommodate more guests. With curated menus, you also don’t have to worry much about the food.
Hosting your bridal shower at a getaway destination far away from home can be extremely fun. You get to be in a whole new place, try out different food and experience different forms of entertainment. However, it can be more stressful to plan for such a party. Popular choices include having it at resorts. Based on the resort you choose, different facilities such as a pool, spa and meals will be provided. Other than staying confined to a location, it is also a great opportunity to explore other venues in the country you’re visiting.
For getaway destinations, it could be better to have a smaller guest list. You should also think about how your guests are going to get there.
Themes & Decorations
It doesn’t have to necessarily have a theme but having one may show peeks into you as a person and infuse fun and personality! After all, the party is for the bride and should be all about her. From classic romantic ones to those with vintage or nautical vibes or even quirky tea or pajama parties, having a theme can make your bridal shower stand out from others.
Some general decorations to enhance the vibe of your bridal shower include flowers, photos of you and your husband-to-be, candles and balloons. Cool backdrops also make for great photo opportunities.
The dress code depends strongly on what your theme is. For example, if you’re having a pastel wedding, wearing soft and pink flowery dresses would be a good suit. The dress code can be set according to colours, patterns or even materials like denim or leather. While it isn’t compulsory to have a dress code, dressing in similar outfits can make for great pictures to keep and reminisce with in the future.
What Happens During the Bridal Shower
During the bridal shower, it is a chance for you to enjoy the day with your loved ones while eating, laughing, sharing stories, playing games and also opening presents.
Food & Drinks
Food can be as simple as light bites, sweet goodies and tea or it could be as elaborate as a themed spread to celebrate the occasion. You can choose to have your food catered or make these yummy delights yourself with the help of your family members.
They can also be placed on different table tops or dessert bars decorated with lights and flowers to enhance the beauty. Whether you’re into salty snacks or sweet treats, you get to make the decision. To satisfy everyone’s palettes, you can choose to have a small amount of all kinds of food. Customised treats like cupcakes with your initials can also add on to the charm of your bridal shower.
With so much talking and laughing going on at your party, drinks are a definite need. It’s always good to have a variety of choices to cater to guests of all ages. You can place alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks separate from each other and label them accordingly. Having a drinks counter is also convenient and aesthetically pleasing. Fun and colourful drinks can include fruity and floral cocktails which look as good as they taste.
You can also choose to engage a mixologist to work a light bar to serve these drinks to your guests.
Games & Activities
From icebreakers to game competitions, there are many activities to engage in throughout your bridal shower to avoid boring or awkward moments. If you’re not a games type of person, you can also try having other equally interesting activities.
|Game / Activity||Description|
A common game at carnivals, it is a game where rings are tossed around a peg. You can also add a wedding twist by using bottles decorated in glitter or pastel colours. This game may be more fun when you have a larger area so that there are no obstructions while your guests are throwing the rings. You can also offer prizes for those who get the most rings in or those who get it in a special bottle that is decorated differently from the rest.
|Pass the Bouquet||
Similar to the idea of ‘pass the bomb’ or ‘musical chairs’, your guests sit together in a circle and pass a bouquet around. Music will play while the bouquet is handed around from guest to guest and will stop at intermittent points. The guest holding the bouquet whenever the music stops will be eliminated until there is only one lucky player left. The music should be controlled based on a countdown timer to ensure there is no biasedness. To increase the difficulty and add more brainy elements, you can add trivia quizzes. The person with the bouquet will have to answer a question before they can pass it to the next person. It can be played based on theme. For example, the theme can be ‘wedding’. Each guest will have to name an item or person related to weddings like ‘flowers’, ‘rings’ before they can pass the bouquet. The unpredictability and spontaneity of this game will be sure to get your guests involved in the fun.
If you are into wacky cocktails and already have a slew of ingredients available from engaging a mixologist, you can make use of the ingredients to host a cocktail competition. Guests can either team up or go solo to create unique drinks for the bride to drink. Without prior experience in mixing drinks, you can expect weird and even nasty drinks to be concocted. Rather than caring about being the winner of this competition, it is also entertaining to watch the bride grimace at these different cocktails.
|Treasure / Scavenger Hunt||
If you have rented a large space or you’re open with areas of your house being rummaged, a treasure hunt can be an exciting game to play. You can make it even more personalised to a wedding by having themes like ‘Treasure Hunt for Bride’s Essentials’. Hide your ring, other accessories, make up items and get your guests to hunt for them. It can give a sense of satisfaction to your guests when they successfully hunt an essential item you need for your wedding. Prizes can also be prepared to those who found the most items during the hunt.
|Who Am I?||
A favourite at bridal showers. Before your bridal shower, you can make a list of famous romantic couples that your guests will most likely know. They can range from real-life couples like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas or even fictional ones. Movie couples like Rose and Jack in Titanic, Sally and Harry in When Harry Met Sally or more recent ones like Mia and Sebastian in La La Land. It is important to include a range of different couples from different mediums and periods to make the game more challenging and inclusive of guests of all ages. Write each name from each couple separately on different name tags. When each guest arrives, put a name tag on their back without showing it to them. They will have to go around the party and ask ‘yes or no’ questions to decipher their own ‘secret identity’. By having names of couples, an added challenge is for them to find their other half after knowing their own identity. This game also acts as an icebreaker and opens up conversations between guests who may be strangers beforehand. After finding their partners, there should be a bridesmaid or someone allocated for them to inform. At the end of the day, everyone should have found their own partners. The bridesmaid or in-charge will reveal who the first couple to do so is and award them a prize.
|Flower Arranging / Crowns||
If you’re into the flowery and nature aesthetics, having a spot dedicated to arrange flowers will complement your shower perfectly. You can engage a DIY flower bar with different variations of fresh blooms for your guests to choose from. With flowers, there’s also a variety of arrangements your guests can create. From bouquets, centerpieces to even floral crowns, this DIY session will leave your guests something memorable to bring home.
It may be hard for you to choose a type of favours that all of your guests will appreciate. Why not let them make their own DIY favours? Killing two birds with one stone, this is an interactive activity for them to get their minds cracking and hands dirty that also allows them to bring back a favour created by themselves. You can fill up bottles with sweet treats and let them personalise and decorate their own bottles themselves. Painting on coffee mugs can also be a fun alternative to let their creativity flow. All you have to do is prepare these basic favours and provide painting materials for them. It would definitely be interesting to see what each guest comes up with.
If you have access to a pool, why not make good use of it and host a pool party? Get unique inflatables, organise water games or just soak in the sun with your loved ones. For brides who are more into chilling and lazing around having random conversations, this is a great option to consider.
If you’re having guests who are not into energetic activities or you’re a huge film lover yourself, having a movie screening can work. You can either choose a movie beforehand and project it towards a screen or wall. Place comfortable bean bags and blankets around for everyone to huddle together and watch the movie together. If you’re worried about your guests having varying movie preferences, you can also select a few beforehand and go with the one with majority votes. However, as the bride celebrating the joyous and loving marriage ahead, you can probably never go wrong with a romance film!
You can also hire talents to attend your bridal shower and entertain your guests. Whether it is a magician, comedian or even a tarot card reader, there are various ways for you to keep your guests engaged without worrying too much yourself. With this diverse talent pool, it can also appeal to different guests.
There is an unlimited amount of activities and games you can organise to add fun and energy into your bridal shower. You can also always add your own creative twist to these games to personalise it to you!
The registry is important to help your guests select functional gifts that you would need. As a bride, it is also considerate if you can select items priced at different price ranges. This helps make your guests feel inclusive so that they know that whatever they get within their budget, it will be something you’ll appreciate.
As a guest, you don’t have to feel pressured to buy the most expensive gifts on the bride registry or feel embarrassed if you’re getting the least costly one. It solely depends on your budget and how close you are to the bride. What matters the most is the sincerity and well wishes for the bride as she heads towards a married life. Gifts to prepare should also complement the theme of the wedding if possible.
Traditionally, shower gifts like towels and cutting boards are some of the popular choices. This is because they are basic necessities for couples starting a new chapter of their lives together. Other household items like coffee cups, pots and pans are also great practical gift ideas.
If you plan to open your gifts during the bridal shower, there can be a designated seat too. It definitely spices up the atmosphere and can make you feel like the queen you are. The opening of gifts would be done either before or after the food is served. Your bridesmaids can assist you in getting rid of any gift wrappers and also keep track of the gifts and the givers. This list of names can help you greatly in writing thank-you notes later on.
Bridal Shower Gift Favors
Your loved ones have showered you with gifts and favors can be a good way to reciprocate and show your appreciation. The sky is the limit with these favors. They can range from cute tangible succulents, to edible sweet treats or practical household items and stationery. If you have a smaller guest list and want to make each gift more personalised, you can also put in extra effort by writing a note and name for each favor.
Surprise Appearance During the Bridal Shower
In some bridal showers, some grooms will show up when the party is almost over. Grooms should also not turn up empty-handed. He can choose to bring along either a bouquet, a bottle of alcohol or some sweet treats for the guests. It acts as an introduction for the female guests at the bridal shower and also allows the groom to make a good first impression to the guests he has never met before.