Being a Maid or Matron of Honor comes with a few responsibilities, one of which is planning and hosting the bridal shower. Now let’s get something straight. I’ve never been a maid of honor, actually I’ve never been in a wedding at all, except if you count when I was a flower girl at the age of 6. So, it is safe to say I didn’t know shit about planning a shower. What I did know however is that I wanted it exactly how I wanted it – LOL v typical of me. I will be sharing some key tips for planning a shower that I learned as well as all of the details and vendors we used for Payton’s shower.
First steps of planning a shower
Consider if your bride wants to be included in the planning process.
Payton was easy, typically she is fine with anything and would much prefer to just show up to these things. She helped pick out the invites and the theme, and I would share ideas with her, but for the most part she was pretty hands off. I have a very different personality though, aka a control freak. Like I want to plan my own shower, ya know? So it is always good to check in and see what your bride wants!
Next, consider who is going to help plan the shower with you.
Typically, the whole bridal party will help put it on and everyone splits the cost of everything, but I personally don’t think there is a right or wrong way of doing this, as long as everyone is on the same page. Ask all of the bridesmaids who wants to do what and go from there. You can also set a budget with everyone at this time if you feel that to be necessary.
Consider the moms!
Talk to the bride’s mom and the groom’s mom and see if they want to be included in the planning process. Often they will want to host their own showers for the bride, however I highly consider trying to combine everyone for one shower. Less headache, plus it’s always weird to me when people have 17 different showers. Maybe that’s just me LOL.
Payton’s mom is actually the Matron of Honor in her wedding so her and I made a great little team for the shower. I asked Jack’s (the groom) mom if we could host the shower at their house – it was the perfect location!
Now, for the actual planning
We started planning the shower about 3 months ahead of time!
Set a date
Typically a month or two before the wedding. Plan with the bride and bridesmaids so everyone can be there.
Pick a theme
For Payton’s shower, I knew from the start I wanted it to be champagne and oranges.
Find a location
Once you have your theme, figure out a location that seems to coordinate well. You also need to consider if you are wanting it at someone’s house, or elsewhere such as at a restaurant or event space. It is also nice if you are able to find a location that is somewhat central for everyone.
I asked Jack’s mom if we could host it at her beach house on the water since the shower was during the summer. This was a great way to include her in the shower as well.
Create the guest list
Anyone you invite to the shower should be invited to the wedding. That’s just polite.
We just invited every woman invited to the wedding which made things easy.
I love Minted for all invitations. I customized these very on theme invites and had the envelopes addressed for me (trust me, spend the extra money for this). I also made custom stamps which adds a nice additional detail – to me the details make all the difference.
Figure out the food situation
Keep in mind if the shower is all women, you don’t need to go crazy with the food and desserts – keep it light, especially if it is during the day. No one likes a ton of leftover food after the shower, ya know? Have a little light bite, a main, and a dessert. Also, decide if you are going to have a sit down meal, or make it casual and just have everything out for people to graze. Also, will it be catered or will everyone pitch in and make something?
We decided to do a charcuterie board, 3 different salads, and cookies and cupcakes which was split up among a few people.
For the charcuterie board, I really wanted it to be a focal point and part of the decor, as well as practical and yummy. Because who doesn’t like meats and cheeses?? I got some inspiration off of Pinterest, but tbh I think I found my new passion – charcuterie board making.
I am working on a full post on the charcuterie board alone – stay tuned!
Payton’s mom made a pasta salad and a chinese chicken salad and her sister Madison made an avocado salad.
For desserts Keegan’s mom made the best cupcakes and we got the cutest cookies from Bon Appetina’s.
Figure out the drink situation
This is where you can really made things cute.
We did a mimosa bar (more or less mimosas without the O.J) and a non-alcoholic punch bowl. The punch had scoops of sherbet floating on top as well as round slices of oranges. For the mimosas we froze orange slices to float in the flutes.
Favors can always be a hit or miss. Don’t do favors that are just cluttery junk that guests either throw away at home or throw in their junk drawer never to been seen again, ya know? Choose something useful or of value (and on theme) and then personalize it.
We did mini champagne bottles from Total Wine – v on theme – and I created custom labels from Pria Co.. They worked with me to create the perfect label that matched the colors of the shower. The labels are little stickers we put on the bottles to cover the actual label so they were super easy to assemble. Plus, people actually took them!
Decor – it’s all in the details my friends
This is really where you can make the shower stand out. It’s all in the details!
We had a balloon arch made by Payton’s sisters that coordinated with the colors of the shower. We had it frame the chair payton sat it to open gifts. Perfect for photos!
I custom made acrylic signs from Pink Posies and Pearls which included a big welcome sign as well as multiple little signs that were cute but also functional. We had signs that labeled the favors, where gifts go, the non-alcoholic punch bowl, the mimosa bar, their wedding hashtag, and the desserts. They were so easy to order and they also took my v specific directions on what I wanted the signs to say, even down the the drawn pictures I wanted on some of them.
The tablewares were probably my favorite detail of the whole shower. Sure, you can do paper plates and throw away utensils, but 1. how wasteful and 2. that is so NOT classy IMO. Like I don’t even eat on paper plates at home so I sure as hell won’t be making guests eat on flimsy paper at an event I am hosting, ya know? Maybe that’s just me? LOL. I rented everything from Balancing Balloons who have the most impressive selection of vintage tablewares. They have almost every color imaginable. They would also be perfect for a wedding or baby shower! I will for sure be renting from them again.
The flowers were all done by Payton’s mom. She is truly so gifted. She even added dried orange slices to the vases for that extra detail.
Plan some games/activities
Here are some fun game/activity ideas for the shower.
Madison was in charge of the games and they were super fun. We played “how well do you know the bride and groom” as well as “how well do you know the bride.”
We also had cards to share advice for the bride. I loved this idea!
Don’t forget to delegate because you can’t do everything yourself. Once I had an outline of everything we needed I asked the bridesmaids if they could take on a few of the things that Payton’s mom and I needed help with. The best way to do it is just to be up front. I should also note that I did not expect them to pay or help me with the things that were not totally necessary (but also v necessary in my opinion). Does that make sense? For example, we didn’t *have* to have the glass table settings, but to me it was important that we did, so I took that on myself.
Don’t forget to buy the bride a gift!
This can get overlooked easily because planning the shower is enough to remember (as well as expensive), but do not forget to get the bride a gift. Trust me, they notice if you don’t. It doesn’t have to be expensive, get creative.
Next up, my wedding shower?!?! Let’s come back to that one maybe in the foreseeable future 😉