This post may contain affiliate or referral links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something using my link. It will be no extra cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting Getting Fit Fab.
This post has been Sponsored by Basic Invite, thank you for supporting the brands that keep Getting Fit Fab running.
I can finally post about the Bridal Shower that was in the works for months! I am the Matron of Honor for Caitlin, one of my best friends! She was one of my Bridesmaids when I married in 2016, and on September 23rd, the other bridesmaids, her mom, and I threw her a bridal shower! Now, I am probably the world’s worst secret keeper, but we wanted Caitlin to be surprised for her bridal shower, and it worked! Whether you’re planning your BFF’s shower, or you are helping plan your own, I hope this post can give you a jumping off point!
Pick a Date: Usually, a bridal shower happens within three months of the wedding. The tradition is that you are “helping” the bride prepare the house for the newlywed life. Since Caitlin’s wedding is December 1st, having her bridal shower September 23rd was right within the three months. When we were in the beginning stages, we made sure that the date worked for the bridal party which consisted of the bridesmaids Jen & Beth, Caitlin’s mom, Donna, and myself. We started planning the “when & where” at the beginning of 2018 since you’re trying to coordinate 4 people’s schedule as well as the bride’s, having something set early in advance was needed.
Tip: Start as early as possible, catering halls can fill up quickly. Even if you’re hosting it at someone’s house, you still need to plan food catering. If you want to keep the bridal shower a surprise, try and keep the groom in the loop as he might be able to help keep the bride-to-be available on that day.
Location: The bridal shower was held at a well-known catering restaurant in Bay Shore, NY named Captain Bill’s. We checked a few venues for a Sunday brunch and with the time allotted, food, and location, we chose Captain Bill’s. I’ve attended many parties there, as well as having our engagement party held there as well in 2015. We were allotted 3 hours, which left around 2.5 hours for all the festivities! Caitlin had to arrive, everyone ate brunch, then Caitlin could open presents, everyone would eat the desserts, take pictures and allow Caitlin to everyone who attended.
Tip: This goes hand in hand with picking a date, try to pick a location that is local for people attending, Bay Shore is a very popular location on Long Island and is off the main highways of Long Island. You also want to make sure there is plenty of room for all of the guests attending.
Theme: We went with a simple pink & gold theme. Caitlin’s accent color is blush with gold glitter, so we went with that and a few neutral pieces that would fit. We had a pink backdrop with “Bride” on the side, a banner saying “Miss to Mrs.”, a few other balloons and some garland that we hung around the room. Luckily, we were able to arrive at 10 am and begin setting up the room–it came out amazing!
Tip: I’ve seen so many different themes on Pinterest for bridal showers, you can either go off of the colors for the wedding or something the bride really loves. For my shower, they did a rustic/beach theme because it was the theme I was having for my wedding. I’ve also seen seasonal themes, Disney, Harry Potter, Country, Beach, Breakfast at Tiffany’s; the list is endless!
Guest List: Traditionally, you invite the women closest to the bride who are also invited to the wedding. The general rule is that you don’t invite women who aren’t invited to the wedding. The number of the guests depends on your budget, location space, and the guest list of the bride. We had Caitlin pull the bridal shower guest list from the wedding guest list, therefore, the addresses were already known, and it was much quicker than making a new list.
Tip: With our budget in mind we gave Caitlin a cap of 60 people to invite, we ended up with 36 people attending, which was perfect for our minimum of 30 people. You can have the Mother of the Bride double check the guest list just in case people are missing.
Budget: Whoever is contributing towards the wedding should be in on the budget talk. Everyone should be in some type of agreement with how it’s split and who’s paying for what.
Tip: This goes in hand in hand with location & guest list, everyone who is contributing should agree on a number. This is another reason to plan early so everyone can save for the shower because life can happen with unexpected things.
Surprise: A bridal shower doesn’t need to be a surprise, because sometimes if the bride’s schedule is hectic or if she works on the weekends she may need to know to take off for that day. My shower was a surprise, my mom got me there with saying I was having breakfast with my bridal party, which was still sort of true. We got Caitlin there via her husband to be knowing it was her bridal shower, and Caitlin thinking it was a surprise birthday party for me.
Tip: Try and have the groom to be in on the surprise as long as he can keep a secret. If you generally go out to breakfast together, or if there is someone’s birthday around the date you picked like mine, you can use that. Or it doesn’t need to be a surprise, the bride can know about the event but none of the details so that in itself is a surprise.
Food: This part was easy for us since it was at a catering hall, the food was already picked for us. It was a brunch, filled with breakfast and lunch foods plus bread, fruit and salads. The brunch buffet was in another room so it was nice to not have the room crowded with the serving dishes around.
Tip: Whether you are hosting at home or at a catering hall, make sure to have a variety of food. Salads, fruit, bread, and a variety of dishes. Food allergies can possibly come into play. If you are aware of them, have something for that person or people too.
Sweet Treats: Captain Bill’s had a small dessert table at the buffet, but we did additional treats. We had a cake, a cupcake dress, cookies (designed as a wedding dress), chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries. We had the cake, cupcakes, and cookies made for us, the cookies were packaged so the guests could take them home or enjoy them there. The pretzels and strawberries my mother and I made, she got the idea from my cousin’s bridal shower and thought it was a cute touch! Everyone enjoyed them, and the pretzels were wrapped so guests took them home.
Tip: Even though the catering hall had desserts we brought additional ones and set them up near some of the decorations. We had a variety of treats because people have different tastes so we wanted to have something for everyone. The pretzels and strawberries were easy to make and took maybe a weekend to prepare. The pretzels can be done in advance and wrapped, the strawberries should be done the day of or day before.
Invites: We picked our invitations from Basic Invite, they have a wide variety of invitations, as well as over 180 different color options; talk about personalizing every detail! We did a simple, yet elegant invitation, keeping with her theme and it was perfect. I loved that I could personalize the words, as well where the wording would go on the invitation. Basic Invite has a vast variety of Bridal Shower invitations, so you’ll be able to pick one best to fit your theme as well as your budget! We were able to purchase 60 invitation for under $100. To make our lives easier Basic Invite also has free address collection service. What is this you ask? It means they print all of the addresses on the envelopes for you, how amazing is that!?
Tip: Invites should fit the theme but not break the budget, which is where Basic Invite comes in. I picked a few that fit the theme or ones that were just pretty and we narrowed it down to the one we agreed upon! Make sure you’re able to fit all of the essential information on the invite and have multiple people check the spelling, time, and any wording. I had Jen, Beth, CA and my mom all check for accuracy.
Games: Depending on the number of guests and how long you have, games are a great way to keep guests entertained while the bride opens her gifts! We had two popular games, “What’s in Your Purse?” is a game where the guests add up what they have in their purses for the highest score. The other is “Bridal Bingo”, where you fill up the bingo spaces with items that you think the bride will receive as a gift! Jen & Beth (the amazing bridesmaids) bought wine bottles and Bath & Body Works goodies as prizes for the games. Basic Invite not only has invitations they also have games that you can print out at home or have them printed out at your location print shop. We went to Staples and since they have two games per sheet it was not too expensive.
Tip: It depends where, how much time, and how many guests you have for the number of games you do. We had the two games and placed them at each setting so the guests would know to fill them out before Caitlin arrived. Before the bride starts opening the gifts you can quickly announce for them to fill out the bingo card so they can play along.
DIY: This came in handy for a few things! We DIY’ed a few of the sweet treats, the favors, the centerpieces and a few of the signs we had in frames. This is a great way to have what you want at the bridal shower and staying in budget! We found pictures of centerpieces that we loved and we decorated them together, same with the favors (I’ll go into detail about what we did below), I designed and made the signs for the frames. The decor wasn’t DIY but I purchased it off Amazon. Any decor I saw that had the colors we were going for plus a few balloons that I knew would be cute to have.
Tip: DIY helps you put a personal touch on the bridal shower without going over budget. There are so many Pinterest ideas for DIY projects that you can do. After selecting the DIY projects make a date or two to be able to work on them as a team so nothing falls on only one person.
Favors: We DIY’ed the favors, we made sugar scrubs for the shower! Caitlin is a huge fan of sugar scrubs so we looked up a very easy recipe and made them! You need sugar, coconut oil (or olive oil), essential oil (whatever scents you want, we used Lemon & Lavender), food coloring is optional. We made them in Lemon and Lavender and placed them in mini mason jars, we placed a favor sticker from Basic Invite on the top saying Caitlin’s Shower and the date! We added a simple From My Shower to Yours tag, as well as a band of gold jewels near the top to bling up the mini mason jars and placed one favor at each seat. We made 40 so everyone was able to get at least one. There are other favors to do, but this was perfect and very easy to DIY in a night!
Tip: Favors is probably one of the best things to DIY, there is a wide variety of favors to make that won’t break the bank. The Basic Invite stickers added a great touch to our favors with having Caitlin’s name and the shower date.
Whew! That was a lot of information, but I wanted to give details and what we did and how we made it work. Basic Invite has more than just bridal shower invitations, games, and favor stickers! They have customized samples so you can see how the invitation will look and feel before buying. Plus, with 40 different colors of envelopes, there is plenty of personalization choices! There are over 800 wedding invitation sets to choose from, plus wedding menus, programs, and matching thank you cards. If you want to do a Wedding Website to have all the information in one spot plus fun details about you and the groom you can do that with Basic Invite as well! You can follow Basic Invite on all social media @BasicInvite, and whether you’re looking for a wedding invitation or bridal shower invitations, check Basic Invites first!
Have you thrown or been a part of planning a bridal shower? Let me know in the comments what tips you give people planning a bridal shower!
Shop all the decor from the shower here: