The role of the Maid of Honor encompasses many things. When asked to take this role, it should never be taken lightly. One of the biggest tasks for the Maid of Honor is to take charge of the bridal (or couple’s) shower. This is true even if the party is ultimately hosted by someone else like the bride’s parents.
The Maid of Honor is the one in charge of organizing and making the bridal shower happen. It may be hard to know what to do or where to start or even who to get involved because often the bride’s family is heavily involved. Today, I’m giving you some helpful tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect party for the soon-to-be-Mrs. even if if you have no idea what you are doing.
Bridal Showers typically should be held 1-2 months before the wedding. This is just a general rule and the actual date may need to be closer to the wedding if many of the primary guests cannot travel until the wedding.
Three or More Months Before the Shower:
As the Maid of Honor, now is the time to get some information from the Bride. Does she want the shower to be coed or just for the ladies? Would she prefer a “Girls Night Out” or an Afternoon Tea?
Now is also the time to get in touch with close family members that may want to be involved. Sometimes a mother, sister or other close family member will want to host the shower. Be sure to include them in the planning if they want to be.
This is also when you should start putting together the guest list. Get ideas from the Bride, mother-of-the-bride, etc. Also, now is when you should finalize and set the date of the party.
Two Months Before the Shower:
Now that you’ve set the tentative date and talked with close family members that want to be involved, it may be a good idea to call, text or email important guests like siblings, best friends, parents, or grandparents to make sure there isn’t a conflict with the date. It may also be a good idea to touch base with any important guests that will need to travel for the party just go give them a little extra heads up.
This is also the time to get in touch with the Bridesmaids to establish the budget for the shower and to begin putting together ideas for the menu, location, decor, music and any activities. You will also want to assign tasks to the bridesmaids and make sure they understand what they are responsible for.
Once you’ve decided on the details with the bridesmaids and anyone else involved, this is when you should order anything special like the cake or linens. Make reservations for the venue if it is being held at a restaurant, or other venue. Now is also when you’ll want to get all the addresses together for the invitations.
One Month Before the Shower:
About four weeks before the shower, you should mail the invitations out to all the invited guests. This is also when you will want to do any necessary shopping for decor, paper goods and any favors. You will also want to touch base with anyone that will be bringing any desserts or other goodies for the party just to make sure everything is confirmed.
Two Weeks Before the Shower:
By this time, you should be ready to make the shopping list for any food and drinks needed. If you will be serving cocktails or mixed drinks this would also be a good time to purchase any liquor or wine needed.
One Week Before the Shower:
One week out is the time to confirm with all your vendors ( venue reservations, delivery items, etc.) the time and location. This should also be the time to finalize the guest list from your RSVPs. You will also want to buy all the food and drink on the shopping list you made the week before.
If you didn’t already, you may want to do a quick sketch or at least make a mental note of the way you plan to set up the party. Where will the gift table go? Where will the food be placed? How will you set up the seating for the guests? You may also want to get an idea of how you plan to decorate.
If possible, you may want to reach out to the bridesmaids and close family to see if you can get volunteers to help set up and decorate and then tear down after the party. Getting help ahead of time will ensure you aren’t stuck doing it alone at the last minute.
The Day Before the Shower:
Pre make any food that can be made ahead. If you can get into the venue, now would be a good time to set up and decorate. This is also the time for any last minute errands that need to be run before the party.
Planning the Bridal Shower is a big task for the Maid of Honor in addition to all the other expected duties. Based on the tips provided here, if you plan ahead and get others involved, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. The key is to simply plan ahead and take care of all the necessary details at the right time. My hope is that I have provided at least a general outline to help get the planning process started.
If you have other input or tips that you can provide, please share them in the comments.