Bridal Shower Planning Checklist

Easily host a shower for a loved one by following this timeline.


  1. Check Pick a date.

    Showers should be held about two weeks to two months before the wedding. Earlier is better.

  2. Check Compile a guest list.

    As the host, you should set the number of guests you're comfortable inviting. If the shower isn't a surprise, consult with the bride about whom to include.

  3. Check Choose a theme.

    But only if you wish.

  4. Check Determine the location.

    It could be your home or a nearby venue.

  5. Check Buy or make an invitation.

    Is the shower a surprise? Be sure to clearly state that. You may also want to include registry information.

Four to Six Weeks Before the Shower

  1. Check Send invitations.

  2. Check Decide on decorations and centerpieces.

    One idea: Fill Champagne glasses with jelly beans in complementary flavors (coconut and pineapple, lemon and lime)—edible proof that two together can be better than each alone.

  3. Check Plan a menu, if necessary.

    For a light lunch, try sweet pea soup, tea sandwiches, and lemon squares.

  4. Check Prepare an activity.

    You could assemble a "bow hat," yes, but think about other options. Consider hiring a fortune-teller or a tarot card reader, or even giving everyone temporary tattoos.

The Week Before the Shower

  1. Check Buy a gift.

    A good rule of thumb: Spend no less than $30 and no more than $50.

The Week of the Shower

  1. Check Shop for and prepare food, if necessary.

The Day of the Shower

  1. Check Make a gift-opening area.

    Under the guest of honor's seat, place scissors, large trash bags, a notebook and a pen to record gifts and their givers, and sticky labels to help keep similar gifts (like platters or glassware) straight.