Your wedding year can feel like a crash course in event planning: suddenly, your to-do list is filled with finding vendors, building your budget, and creating your guest list. With endless event inspiration and ideas filling your social media feed, many brides are left wondering: where exactly do the planning responsibilities end?
I’ve got some good news for you: the bridal shower is one event that won’t add too much to your to-do list! Real brides are sharing what they did (and didn’t do) for their showers, and hostesses share what’s most helpful, too!
Who Should Host the Bridal Shower?
Most bridal showers are hosted by the bridal party or friends of the mother-of-the bride. If some of those people have offered to throw you a shower, start by thanking them! Hosting involves a good amount of time, energy, and expense, so be sure to express your gratitude to the ladies who volunteer to honor you in this way! For more information on who hosts a bridal shower, check out this post.
How Involved Should I Be?
“Not much!” –Lydia B
“Not at all and that’s how I wanted it!” –Ariel P.
“Barely – after approving the date and guest list.” –Desirae P.
“Everything was a surprise!” –Amber R.
“Not at all, except registering” –Jenny D.
“I helped with the guest list and that was it! It was so nice to just be able to show up to a perfect day!” –Tiffany P.
I could have added many, many more variations of “nothing/zilch/nada/very little/not much” to the list above. Aside from choosing the date and guest list, you have very few responsibilities leading up to the shower (yay!). For more details on your role during the actual event, hop over to this post.
But what if I love planning events?
I heard from a few brides that described themselves as “control freaks,” or “type-A planners” that felt like they wanted to have a hand in planning their bridal showers. Can I encourage you to loosen your grip on this one event? You get to meticulously plan every detail of your wedding day. Allow your hostess to honor and surprise you with an event they’ve planned with you in mind. If everything isn’t in your color palette or up to Pinterest-perfect standards, look past the details and focus on the heart behind the event.
Want to know one of the main reasons why 55% of hostesses have regretted throwing a bridal shower? Because the bride was too involved!
“The bride had too many opinions and demands!”
“The bride basically wanted to plan the whole thing.”
“Costs! The bride kept asking for very specific and expensive things.”
Hostesses will ask if they need your help!
Chances are that the people throwing your shower either know you or your future spouse very well, and their intention is to honor you. If the hostess wants to know your colors, preferred theme, favorite food, or game preferences, they will ask.
What if I want something specific?
A specialty cake, monogrammed party favors, a champagne bar…some brides get very specific with what they hope for at their bridal shower. But unless the hostess asks you specifically, I strongly advise against making requests. Save your wonderful ideas for when it’s your turn to host a shower!
An interesting workaround to this “problem” comes in the form of the bride offering to pay for whatever it is she wants at her shower. And I must admit, this is one poll result I cringe to share:
I realize I’m in the minority here, but let me make my case against offering to pay for the special item you want at your shower. First, I feel like it speaks to the heart of the bride. Are you approaching the event with a heart of gratitude for the hostess, or one of entitlement (things must be done my way)? Second, I feel it puts the hostess in the awkward position of either 1. Admitting something is beyond her budget or 2. Stretching her budget to accommodate your expectations.
The only exception to this rule I can conceive of is professional photography, as it speaks to your desire to capture whatever it is your hostess has planned!
Bonus advice for hostesses
If you’ve got a demanding bride on your hands, I feel your pain. Try your best to maintain a good attitude and invite the bride to relax and enjoy the event you’re planning for her. Set boundaries when it comes to the guest list: give her a specific number of guests you can accommodate and afford, and stand firm. If you know the bride likes to have a say in the details, ask her opinion on a few things where you’re willing to receive input. For all other demands, gently respond with something like, “What a wonderful idea! I’m excited for you to see what we have planned for you!”
Brides: sit back, relax, and enjoy
The bridal shower is one wedding event you don’t have to plan, so enjoy it! Be sure to arrive a little early, bring a hostess gift, and write thank-you notes when the party’s over!
Let me know what topic you’d like us to tackle next! And if you’re interested in learning more about etiquette, gift-giving, and celebrating in style, be sure to subscribe to the RegistryFinder GiveIt blog for weekly posts on wedding etiquette, bridal showers, wedding trends, and of course, wedding registry guidelines and tips! And as always, be sure to refer your guests to RegistryFinder.com, where they can conveniently locate all of your registries in one place!