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Bridal Shower Planning

Photo by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

Photo by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

Compared to a hen’s night, the bridal shower is a much more elegant event. In today’s modern times it does not always have to be the maid of honour that plans the bridal shower. It can often be the bride’s mother, sister, a close friend or even them all together. If the planning of the bridal shower happens to fall on your shoulders, we have put together a basic planning guide to make it that little bit more simple for you.

When To Have It

Typically, the bridal shower takes place two to three months prior to the wedding day. Any closer to the wedding than one month the bride will possibly be too busy with last minute wedding planning to enjoy herself. Always be sure to communicate with the bride to ensure a time and date that would suit her best.

Who To Invite

When it is time to create the guest list, it is always best to communicate with the bride to see who she would like to invite. Keep in mind that the people who are being invited should only be people who are also invited to the wedding. Sometimes brides are lucky enough to have more than one bridal shower thrown for them, in this case you may want to invite different people than those that have already been invited to another one. Although, it is best to always invite the bride’s mother, future mother-in-law, sisters and sisters-in-law.

Where To Have It

Where the bridal shower is held largely depends on your budget – and sometimes even your theme. Some people choose to reserve a space in a restaurant while others opt for a backyard event. If you are having the bridal party at a restaurant it is best to book it in as soon as possible to ensure your reservation.

Have A Style And Theme

It is important to decide what theme and style you wish to have for the shower. Whether it will be a brunch affair, cocktails, a sit down dinner or even a group activity. Group activities are becoming increasingly popular, such as a cooking or painting class. A theme and style also ensures the shower is cohesive, by the likes of colours, décor and even packaged favours for the guests.

Keep Track Of Gifts

With the bridal shower comes a lot of gift giving and the bride will often want to send out thank you notes to each person. To make this easier for her, it is a good idea for you (or to assign someone) to write down the name of the guest and what gift they gave to her. At the end of the shower you can then present this list to the bride – she will definitely be thankful for your help.

Click here for our blog post all about bridal shower history and superstitions.

The Bridal Shower

While the Hen's Night is often a raucous cacophany of shrill party antics, the Bridal Shower is a more elegant and restrained events designed to give the Bride gifts to help her within her marriage. The tradition stems from days when the Bride was expected to provide a dowry to her husband; other women from the family would give the Bride gifts to give as her dowry.

For today's post, we thought we'd hark back to days since past and look at the history and superstitions behind the Bridal Shower.


The gifts at a bridal shower are surrounded with superstition. The first gift a Bride-to-be opens is the first gift she must use after marriage, for good luck. Whoever gave the Bride the third gift she opens will be the next person to get pregnant. It's considered terrible luck to use any of the bridal shower gifts before marriage. All gifts must be packed away to avoid using them before the wedding ceremony.

Ribbon Bouquet for Luck

The Maid of Honour will collect the ribbons and bows as the Bride opens gifts. These bows are attached to a paper plate (or more recently, pre-fabricated bouquet bases) to make a ribbon bouquet. The bouquet is presented to the Bride after the shower. If the Bride uses this bouquet at the rehearsal dinner she will have luck throughout her marriage.

Ribbon Breaking

Every ribbon the Bride breaks represents one child born into the marriage. The Maid of Honour will keep track of the number of broken ribbons and show the number to the room later. This superstition is more fun when the Bride is unaware of it and breaks many bows as the Maid of Honour secretly keeps count.

Invitations and Gifts

Invitations are always mailed to guests, as opposed to emails or phone invitations. The Bride will write thank-you cards immediately after the celebration. A prepared Maid of Honour will purchase a package of thank-you cards and present them to the Bride at the end of the party to make writing the notes simpler and faster.