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The full bridal shower checklist for 2024: all you will ever need!

Planning a bridal shower is a joyous occasion, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. To help you navigate the process with ease and create a memorable celebration for the bride-to-be, we've created this comprehensive bridal shower checklist and timeline. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time planner, this guide will ensure you don't miss a beat.

What is a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is a pre-wedding celebration held in honour of the bride-to-be. While traditionally a women-only event, nowadays anyone close to the bride can be invited. It's a time for the bride's closest friends and family to gather, play games, offer advice, and shower her with gifts for her upcoming marriage and new home. While bridal showers often have a theme, the core purpose remains the same: to celebrate the bride's journey towards marriage and offer support as she embarks on this new chapter.

Essential bridal shower planning

To ensure a successful and memorable bridal shower, consider these three key planning requirements:

  • Guest list: decide who will be invited. Typically, this includes the bridal party, close female relatives, and friends of the bride.
  • Date and venue: choose a date and venue that accommodates the number of guests and fits the desired atmosphere of the shower. This could be a private home, restaurant, event space, or even an outdoor location.
  • Theme and activities: select a theme that reflects the bride's personality and interests. This will guide the decorations, food, and activities planned for the shower.

Top tip: make organising a bridal shower a breeze with a Touch Stay guidebook. It lets you and your guests keep track of your bridal shower information by centralising guest lists, themes, game ideas and key info like venue and timings. And it can be updated for everyone in real time if plans change. 

The full bridal shower checklist for 2024 - welcome

Top 5 wedding shower theme ideas

To make your bridal shower even more special and memorable, consider incorporating a theme that reflects the bride's personality and interests:

  1. Around the clock: guests bring gifts for different times of day (e.g. a coffee maker for mornings, a cosy blanket for evenings).
  2. Stock the bar: guests contribute items to help the couple create a well-stocked home bar.
  3. Kitchen tea: focuses on kitchen and cooking-related gifts.
  4. Garden party: ideal for spring or summer wedding showers, with a focus on outdoor activities and garden-themed decorations.
  5. Travel-themed: perfect for couples who love to travel, with guests bringing gifts related to past travel or experiences.

Best wedding shower gift ideas

Looking for the perfect bridal shower gift? Here are some thoughtful ideas to help the bride-to-be start her new chapter:

  • Kitchen appliances: a stand mixer, blender, or coffee maker.
  • Home decor: cosy throw blankets, decorative candles, or picture frames.
  • Personalised items: monogrammed towels, engraved cutting board, or a custom doormat.
  • Experiences: tickets to a show, a couple’s spa day, or a cooking class.
  • Gift cards: to the couple's favourite stores or for a honeymoon fund.

Top 5 bridal shower game ideas

Liven up your bridal shower with some fun and interactive games! Here are five of our favourite wedding shower games to get you started:

  1. Bridal bingo: guests fill out bingo cards with potential gifts, and the bride marks off the ones she receives.
  2. He said, she said: guests guess whether quotes or trivia facts are about the bride or groom.
  3. Toilet paper wedding dress: guests divide into teams and create wedding dresses out of toilet paper.
  4. The newlywed game: the bride and groom answer questions about each other to see how well they know each other.
  5. Charades or Pictionary: guests act out or draw wedding-related words and phrases.

The full bridal shower checklist for 2024 - he said she said

Bridal shower checklist

Now that you’re in the know, it’s time to get planning!

Enter your details to download your free bridal shower checklist to make sure nothing gets left off your list!

Bridal shower checklist

3+ months out: the early bird gets the best bridal shower

  • Assemble your bridal shower squad: gather your fellow bridesmaids, friends, or family members who will be your co-hosts and collaborators in this exciting endeavour. This is a great time to delegate tasks and responsibilities, ensuring a smooth bridal shower planning process. Create a Touch Stay digital guidebook and invite your friends to collaborate, ensuring everyone stays on top of their tasks.
  • Dream and scheme: start brainstorming bridal shower ideas. Explore Pinterest boards, browse bridal shower themes on Etsy or scroll through Instagram for inspiration that aligns with the bride's personality and style.
  • Set the date and location: work with the bride to choose a date and time that accommodates everyone's schedules. Consider factors like travel time for out-of-town guests and potential conflicts with other events. Secure a venue that complements your chosen theme and can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Your Touch Stay guide can be updated in real-time if any plans change.
  • Talk to the bride (or couple): discuss the type of shower they envision. Do they prefer a traditional or themed shower? Are there any specific activities or elements they'd like to include? Getting their input early on ensures the shower aligns with their preferences.
  • Create a budget: determine a realistic budget that encompasses all aspects of the shower, from venue rental and catering to decorations and favours. Allocate funds to each category to avoid overspending and ensure a financially stress-free planning process.
  • Make a detailed to-do list and assign tasks: create a comprehensive bridal shower to-do list that outlines all the tasks involved in planning the shower. Assign responsibilities to each member of your bridal shower squad to ensure everyone knows what they need to do and by when.

3 months out: setting the stage for a spectacular bridal shower

  • Guest list and theme: finalise the guest list in collaboration with the bride. Ensure you include her closest friends, family members, and the bridal party. Choose a theme that reflects the bride's personality and interests. This will guide your decisions for decorations, invitations, and activities. Include the final guest list and chosen theme in your Touch Stay guidebook.
  • Invitations and decorations: design and order personalised invitations that match your chosen theme. Consider using online platforms like Minted, known for stylish and customisable designs, or Paperless Post, known for eco-friendly digital invitations. Start shopping for decorations, including tablecloths, centrepieces, balloons, and any theme-specific items. Store links to your chosen invitations and decorations in your Touch Stay guidebook for easy access.
  • Book suppliers: if you plan to hire any suppliers, such as a caterer, florist, photographer, or DJ, start researching and booking them now. Popular suppliers often have limited availability, so securing them early is crucial.
  • Finalise decisions on decor, activities, games, etc.: schedule a brainstorming session with your co-hosts to finalise decisions about table linens, flowers, menu, decorations, favours, music, and activities. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and prevent any last-minute surprises.

2 months out: fine-tuning the details

  • Finalise the menu: decide on the food and drinks you'll be serving. Will you have a sit-down meal, buffet, or cocktail-style reception? Consider dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests. If you're hiring a caterer, finalise the menu and any special requests. Make this process super simple by effortlessly adding a form to your digital guidebook, so all guests can let you know what they can and can’t eat.
  • Plan activities: choose fun and engaging activities to keep your guests entertained. This could include bridal shower games, a photo booth with props, or a DIY craft station. Check out YouTube channels like Bridal Shower 101 and Jamie Wolfer for creative inspiration.
  • Compile addresses for the guest list: gather the mailing or email addresses of all your guests.

1 month out: shopping and scheduling

  • Confirm details: confirm all reservations and orders with suppliers, including the caterer, florist, and any entertainment you've booked. Double-check RSVPs and follow up with any guests who haven't responded. Touch Stay’s Memo feature is ideal for this! It’s a free messaging tool within the guide that can easily be set up to send automated messages to your bridal shower guests. 
  • Shop for favours: choose thoughtful and personalised favours for your guests to take home as a memento of the celebration. Consider items that align with your theme or reflect the bride's interests.
  • Create a timeline: develop a detailed bridal shower timeline for the day of the shower, outlining when each activity will take place, from guest arrival and gift opening to games, food service, and toasts.
  • Purchase bridal shower decorations, paper goods, signage, and other party props: start shopping for all the essentials you'll need to decorate the venue and create a festive atmosphere. Consider using online retailers like Amazon or Etsy for unique and personalised items.

2 weeks out: final bridal shower preparations

  • Finalise decor: gather all your decorations and ensure you have everything you need. If you're DIYing any elements, like centrepieces or signage, complete them now.
  • Prepare for games: if you're planning bridal shower games, gather all the necessary supplies and instructions. Make sure you have enough prizes for the winners.
  • Purchase spirits and other drinks (if applicable): if you plan to serve alcohol, purchase the necessary spirits and mixers. Consider the preferences of your guests and the overall theme of the shower.

The week of: tying up loose ends

  • Confirm reservations, orders, and delivery times: double-check all reservations, orders, and delivery times with suppliers. This includes confirming the venue, catering, rentals, and any other services you've booked.
  • Confirm RSVPs: reach out to any guests who haven't RSVP'd to get a final headcount. This will help you finalise seating arrangements and ensure you have enough food and drinks. Using Memo is the easiest way to do this.
  • Assemble favours: if your favours require assembly, set aside some time to put them together. Enlist the help of your co-hosts to make the process more efficient.

The day before: setting the scene

  • Last-minute touches: pick up any last-minute items like flowers, balloons, or ice. Prepare any food or drinks that can be made ahead of time. Pack a bag with essentials like scissors, tape, and a first-aid kit.
  • Delegate tasks: assign tasks to your co-hosts to help with setup, food preparation, and other logistics. This will ensure a smooth and stress-free day for everyone.
  • Prepare food (if applicable): if you're handling any of the food preparation yourself, make sure to prep ingredients, marinate meats, or bake any dishes that can be made ahead of time.

The full bridal shower checklist for 2024 - macarons

The day of the bridal shower: let the celebration begin!

  • Relax and enjoy: delegate tasks to your co-hosts and trust that everything will come together. Focus on enjoying the celebration and making it a special day for the bride-to-be. Capture memories with photos and videos to cherish for years to come.
  • Set up: arrive at the venue early to set up decorations, arrange tables and chairs, and create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Greet guests: as guests arrive, warmly welcome them and direct them to the designated areas for gifts, food, and activities.
  • Host and play games: lead the bridal shower games and activities you've planned. Encourage participation and create a fun and interactive atmosphere for everyone.

By following this detailed bridal shower checklist and incorporating these helpful tips, you'll be well on your way to hosting a bridal shower that's both beautiful and unforgettable. And remember, the most important ingredient is the love and joy you bring to the celebration!

Make organising your bridal shower a breeze with a Touch Stay digital guidebook