How to Throw the Perfect Bridal Shower

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Although a staple in America, we all know that bridal showers aren’t a traditional part of British weddings. We have our stag and hen ‘do’s, and that’s often enough. But for many couples, a bridal shower presents a lovely pre-wedding opportunity for the bride and groom’s respective female relatives to get to know each other. For friends to feel the excitement. And, after the last year of worry and disruption, for couples to celebrate the fact that their wedding is finally going to happen.

So, if you’re considering hosting a bridal shower, and you’re not really sure where to start, we’ve pulled together a few top tips to help you set the wheels in motion.

What is a bridal shower?

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Traditionally, bridal showers are all-female events, where the bride, her family, friends, and prospective in-laws get together to enjoy food, drink, and each other’s company. But it’s becoming increasingly common for grooms and other male friends and relatives to join in the celebration. Events are usually themed, and they should be more genteel than raucous (save that for your hen party!), and often include something of a pampering experience. Gifts are also often given at the bridal shower.

One thing worth noting is that the bride doesn’t usually host her own shower. In most cases, it will be the mother or sister of the bride, or the maid of honour who is responsible for organising the celebration.

Create a budget

This is the boring bit that most people don’t want to think about. But no event should ever be planned without a budget in mind. By creating a budget it’s easier to plan, and it removes the stress of over-spending. With the DIY approach – make your own decorations, prepare your own food – you can create a really wonderful time without melting your credit card.

Create a guestlist

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Unlike a hen do, which is usually limited to the bride and her BFFs, bridal showers generally involve anything up to 50 people. And all female relatives are invited. So, you need to talk to the bride ahead of time to work out a must-invite list. Don’t forget to send out invitations once you’ve found a date and venue.

Set a date

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Bridal showers typically take place between six months and four weeks before the wedding. Any closer than that, and it starts to become a bit stressful. Liaise with the bride – and all the really important guests – to find a date that will give you plenty of time to get organised.

Select a venue

If you’re working on a smaller scale, using your own home for a bridal shower is perfect. Alternatively, find somewhere – book a cafe, a private dining room at a local hotel or restaurant, or even your local village hall – that it’s easy for the bride and other guests to get to.

Decide upon a theme

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You absolutely do not need to have a themed bridal shower. But it can add to the fun if you do. Try building a theme around an interest of the bride, perhaps travel, a day spa, a champagne breakfast, or Hollywood glamour. Alternatively, just go for a traditional afternoon tea. It’s something that can appeal to everyone.

Plan the décor and menu

If you’re working to a theme, this stage of the planning can be slightly easier because you’ve got guidelines to work within. For a champagne breakfast, think pastries, gorgeous fruits, cold meats in the continental style, with an inflatable bottle of bubbly and golden balloons flowing out of it! For Hollywood glamour, everything needs to sparkle. You need cocktails, canapes, and oodles of opulence. For an afternoon tea or spa theme, it all comes down to elegance and pampering. But the basic rule is to choose things that you know the bride-to-be will love. If you’re stuck for ideas, Love Hearts and flowers always work well for anything to do with weddings! And Love Hearts place name settings make for a wonderful keepsake of the occasion… They can also be a great way to tie the bridal shower in with the wedding reception if you create bespoke Love Hearts settings for each!

Plan some activities

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Most bridal showers involve games of some sort. But pamper activities are also really popular. If you don’t want to splurge on a mobile manicurist, think about DIY face masks. If a friend happens to be skilled with makeup, ask if they would be happy to do a mini-makeover for any interested guests. You just need something to fill any lulls in the party. Planning a playlist can be a good idea too, depending on your venue.

Don’t forget your favours

Although wedding favours are usually associated with the wedding day, it’s a really nice idea to create a little something to give to wedding shower guests. It doesn’t have to be bank-breaking. And small is usually better. But personalised goodies, like Swizzels Love Hearts, can make a really sweet treat while providing a keepsake for anyone who wishes to cherish the memory.

Bridal showers aren’t an essential part of the British matrimonial tradition. But they can be a really lovely way to create some pre-wedding excitement, build closer relationships between the families, and to simply have a good time with the people you care about after a year that most of us will be happy to forget!

Like the idea of using Swizzels Love Hearts as part of your wedding? Visit the Swizzels shop for more ideas.

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