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Planning a Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower Ireland Planing

How to Plan a Bridal Shower.

If you'd love to have a Bridal Shower or want to arrange one for the Bride-to-be we have a useful downloadable guide to help you get organised.

Who Organises the Bridal Shower?

Bridal Showers are usually put together by the bridesmaids or maid / matron of honour but sometimes this isn't practical if they live too far away from the Bride-to-be's home town.  If this is the case  the Bride-to-be's mother or sisters and even her mother-in-law, aunts or close friends can step in and help to arrange it.  


Who Should You Invite to the Bridal Shower?

The best plan is to ask the Bride-to-be for a list of the guests she would like to be invited to her Bridal Shower. 


Typically the Guest List should include her bridesmaids, friends and closest female relatives from both the Bride-to-be's and her fiancé's families.  Depending on the style and scale of the Bridal Shower you have in mind you can invite all the women from the Wedding party or a special few. 


If the Bridal Shower is planned as a surprise for the Bride-to-be you can check with her fiancé, mother and best friends for a list of their suggestions.

Bridal Shower Invitations:

  • Order printed Bridal Shower invitations – if you have a theme for your Bridal Shower you can choose invitations that match or invitations that are the same colour as the bridesmaids' dresses or flowers.
  • Send out the Bridal Shower invitations about 2 months in advance so that guests can make the necessary travel arrangements.  
  • Include all the information the guests will need on the invitations – the time and date, venue / menu, Bridal Shower theme/ dress code etc and contact details so that they can RSVP to help you plan expected numbers and any special requirements or requests. If guests are travelling from far afield make sure you include recommended accommodation for them and the telephone numbers of taxi firms.


When to have the Bridal Shower?

Although Bridal Showers can take place any time from 6 months before the Wedding most are held about 1 to 3 months before the big day.  Usually the weeks before the Wedding are fairly hectic with lots of last minute arrangements so Bridal Showers are held earlier to avoid stressing everyone out. 


  • Ask the Bride-to-be if any guests she would like to be invited are travelling long distance as it may make sense to have the Bridal Shower as close to the Wedding as possible so they can attend. 


The time of day you choose to have the Bridal Shower depends on what sort of event you are organising.  If you are planning a cosy get together at the host's house Sunday afternoons are popular but if you are dining out in a restaurant evenings tend to be the preferred choice.


Where to Hold the Bridal Shower?

  • Check with the Bride-to-be to see if she has any preference – she may like the idea of a glamorous evening out, fine dining, a luxurious day at a spa or a select small tea party. 
  • Also ask the Bride-to-be if she would like a particular theme for the Bridal Shower. 
  • Location is important so check to see if guests can travel the distance if the venue is out of town.
  • Make sure you factor in the age range of the guests and that the suggested venue is something they will all enjoy


Home or Away?

We have some gorgeous ideas for Bridal Shower locations on our Top Ten Tips Page covering everything from the simple and chique to the extravagant and elaborate.


  • If you are planning a Bridal Shower at a restaurant, spa or hotel check to see if it's in everyone's budget.  Usually the bridesmaids club together to pay for the event but more often than not the Bride-to-be's mother and mother-in-law are happy to help out. 
  • Remember to arrange transport!  Once you have confirmed the numbers attending the Bridal Shower you can book the transport to take you to the venue or collect guests who need a lift.
  • Once you are sure how many guests are coming to the Bridal Shower book the venue in good time ahead.  If the Bridal Shower is a meal out remember to mention any special dietary requests (ie guests with food allergies or vegetarians / vegans) to the restaurant manager.  Ask if the restaurant has a private room or enough space to accommodate you all and if you can add some Bridal Shower decorations (balloons or flowers etc) of your own.
  • Don't forget to confirm your reservation nearer the time.


At Home

Many Bridal Showers are either held at the Bride-to-be's home, her mother's or a bridesmaid's.  The advantage to Bridal Showers hosted at home is that the guests are more relaxed and  have more freedom to have fun than in a more formal setting.  A home based Bridal Shower can also be less expensive than a Bridal Shower held away and  offer more scope for elegant decorations and entertainment.


  • If you are planning a Bridal Shower at someone's house decide what sort of catering is   needed.   Do you want a sit down meal, buffet or finger food?  Are you getting caterers in or are you preparing the food yourselves?
  • If you are preparing the food yourselves check with the Bride-to-be so that you can include some of her favourite food and drinks.  You can also incorporate the Bridal Shower theme (if you have one) into the presentation of the food, place settings and table decor.
  • Make sure that you consult the Bride-to-be about any special dietary requirements that the guests may have.
  • If guests are bringing a dish with them make a Check List of who is bringing what so that you have everything covered.
  • Remember to order Bridal Shower party supplies to decorate the home.  Don't forget Bridal Shower party supplies can include napkins and plates as well as banners and balloons.
  • If guests are travelling to a home they are unfamiliar with make sure they all have the post code of the property so that they can find it via Sat Nav without getting lost.  You can also put up a sign, banner or some balloons to show at which house the Bridal Shower is being held.


Entertainment and Bridal Shower Games

Whether your Bridal Shower is held at home or away it's a wonderful idea to have some entertainment. 


  • Ask the Bride-to-be if she would like a band, DJ, performer or artist to entertain at the Bridal Shower.
  • Before booking entertainers check them out to make sure they are professional and reliable.  Ask for examples of their work, song lists etc and make sure they can provide the music or performance that you want.  Remember to confirm the booking nearer the date and ensure that they know where the Bridal Shower is being held.
  • If the Bride-to-be would like some amusing Bridal Shower party games there are lots to choose from (see our Top 10 Tips Page) that are fun to take part in. Make sure you order the Party Games from suppliers well beforehand to ensure they arrive in time.


Bridal Shower Gifts and Favours

Bridal Shower gifts are usually personal gifts for the Bride-to-be but can also include gifts for her married home.  If you are looking for inspiration check out our Top Ten Tips Page for some good advice.


  • If you are unsure of what gift to buy the Bride-to-be ask her maid / matron of honour, the bridesmaids or her mother for some suggestions.  They can also tell you what other guests have given so you don't double up.
  • Remember to have someone help take a note of the Bridal Shower gifts so the Bride-to-be has a record of who gave her the gift when she comes to send out thank you notes.


Bridal Shower favours are little gifts that are given to the guests at the Bridal Shower to say thank you at the end of the event.  Favours are usually meaningful and hand picked and can sometimes reflect the theme of the Bridal Shower.

  • Don't forget to order favours in advance of the Bridal Shower and any gift bags to pop them in if you are giving a collection of small trinkets.