Real Simple Weddings Weddings Planning Bridal Shower Planning Checklist Bridal Shower Planning Checklist How to host a bridal shower for the books. By Real Simple Editors Advertisement Save FB Tweet ellipsis More Pinterest Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Credit: Getty Images Checklist Early Party Prep Pick a date. Showers should be held anywhere from two weeks to two months before the wedding. Earlier is better, since it's one less thing for the bride to stress about in the weeks leading up to the big day. Compile a guest list. As the host, you should select the number of guests you're comfortable inviting. If the shower isn't a surprise, consult with the bride about exactly whom to include. Choose a theme. This step is optional, however a theme helps to inform the décor, menu, and gifts. Determine the location. Depending on the formality of the fete, you could host it at the bride's favorite brunch spot or wine bar. Make the reservation as soon the venue is determined. Create the invitations. Order invitations online, send e-vites, or take the DIY approach with your paper goods. Include pertinent information like the date, venue, and where the bride is registered. Is the shower a surprise for the bride-to-be? Be sure to clearly state that. Four to Six Weeks Before the Shower Send invitations. Keep in mind that everyone you invite to the shower must also receive an invitation to the wedding. No exceptions. Decide on decorations and centerpieces. First, confer with the other bridesmaids on your collective budget and DIY skills. From there, hire local wedding pros as needed (think florists, bakers, and calligraphers). Plan a menu. Ask the venue about available catering options, and don't forget dessert. Prepare games and activities. You could assemble a "bow hat," yes, but think about other options. Consider hiring a fortune-teller or a tarot card reader, or even gifting everyone with custom temporary tattoos. The Week Before the Shower Confirm all RSVPs. Call the venue to double-check that your reservation is still in place, and follow up with any guests who have yet to RSVP. The Week of the Shower Shop for and prepare food, if necessary. Now is a good time to check in with party guests and confirm who is bringing what. The Day of the Shower Designate 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.