Bridal shower timelines – how to make sure your bridal shower planning stays on track


Bridal shower timelines to followBridal shower timelines help keep you organized and make sure that you don’t miss any important steps or milestones throughout the bridal shower planning process. Sometimes, it seems like the bridal shower planning process can be overwhelming, but we’ve put together a bridal shower timeline and bridal shower checklist to help guide you through what needs to happen and when so you can throw the {perfect} shower for the bride-to-be.

Bridal shower timelines

Bridal shower timeline - set a date
Set a shower date that works for the bride and the important people in her life.

6-8 weeks before the shower

  • Set a date – consult with the bride, mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom and any other important guests to the bride-to-be to make sure you pick a date that works for everyone.
  • Meet with the bride-to-be -take the bride for brunch and discuss the location, theme, guests, venue, time, etc. Make sure you’re planning a shower that matches what the bride has in mind.
  • Compile the guest list and address information – ask the bride to send you a list of names and contact information for everyone she wants to invite. Get addresses and email addresses, regardless of which way you will be sending the invitation. You will want a way to follow up with any outstanding RSVPs.
  • Talk to the other hostesses and determine budget – make sure everyone who is hosting the shower is on board for the plans and you agree on the amount each hostess will be chipping in.
  • Determine a theme a theme can be a great way to make the bridal shower planning process easier! Once you have your theme, it’s easy to pick out your venue, food, decorations and invitations based on the theme. Check out our Pinterest bridal shower board to get some inspiration and ideas.

    Book a bridal shower venue
    Consider booking a venue, like a country club or private room at a restaurant, if you’re expecting a large amount of guests.
  • Considering booking a venue – make sure to reserve a venue if you’re planning to host the shower at a location that needs to be booked. Also, keep in mind the number of guests that are being invited or attending. If you have a large number, you’ll likely want to book a venue that can comfortably hold enough people. A crammed house where no one can move does not make for an enjoyable shower experience for the bride-to-be or her guests.
  • Book caterer (if needed) or order food if purchasing platters, etc., from a local deli or bakery.
  • Order cake/cookies/baking (if needed)
  • Hire photographer (if needed) or ask a close family member or friend who might be a hobbyist if they would mind snapping some shots at the shower.
  • Order invitations – we have a wide range of printable invitations that can be customized
    Printable bridal shower invitation - gold, navy and coral
    We have a large number of custom, printable bridal shower invitations to meet your needs!

    for any event! We do all the customizing and design – all you have to do is print, cut them out and send to guests.

4-6 weeks

  • Send invitations
  • Shop for decor – make sure if you’re purchasing online, look at the shipping dates to make sure your items will arrive on time. We also have printable shower signs you can purchase to carry your invitation theme through to your shower decor.
  • Buy favours (if needed)
  • Plan the menu – if you’re not hiring a caterer, make sure you and the other hostesses plan out a menu and decided who is bringing which items for food.
  • Order food – if you’re going to be ordering meat and cheese, baking, veggie or fruit platters, or anything similar, be sure to place your order through your local deli/grocery store for your shower date.

2-3 weeks 

  • Compile RSVPs – follow up with any outstanding guests via phone or email.
  • Make a shopping list – separate by grocery, drink, decor and supplies for easy shopping.
  • Shop for your own shower outfit – find an outfit that will be perfect for the shower, but also easy to move around in throughout the day. You’re going to be one social butterfly!
  • Determine games/activities – we have a selection of printable shower games you can
    Unicorn bridal shower games
    Browse our fun selection of printable bridal shower games

    purchase, and we can make games to match any of our invitations.

  • Confirm any reservations you’ve made – make sure to confirm with anyone you’ve booked for the shower, including the caterer, venue, photographer, cake/baked goods, flowers, etc.
  • Put together a fun playlist for background music – use a free service like Spotify or develop a fun playlist through Apple music. Or, put together a playlist based on the bride and groom’s favourite songs, artists or anything that reminds you of the couple.

    Bridal shower hashtag
    Create a fun hashtag to help the bride and guests see photos from the shower
  • Come up with a hashtag – this will help anyone who is sharing photos on social media to tag the shower and make it searchable so the bride and other guests can relive the fun parts of the day. Make sure to have the hashtag prominently displayed somewhere that guests can see.
  • Assemble any DIY decor items – this helps keep the chaos to a minimum on the day of the shower.
  • Confirm all plans/duties with hostesses/bridal party – send out an email to make sure everyone knows who’s responsible for which tasks and who will be bringing certain items.
  • Make a checklist of all the items you need to bring for easy packing the day before – prepare an at-a-glance checklist you can tick off when you pack up your items the day before.
  • Determine a fun signature cocktail to serve

1-2 days before

  • Prep all fresh food
  • Finish any last minute DIY items

    Fresh flowers
    Fresh flowers are an inexpensive way to add a pop of colour and class to any bridal shower
  • Pick up fresh flowers for refreshment tables – if you’re not using a florist, pick up a few bunches of fresh flowers to add a pop of colour to side tables, refreshment tables, etc.
  • Pack up all materials you’ll need into bins – label the bins with a list of items it contains so you can easily find your items during set up the next day.
  • Set up tables and chairs, if possible – if you’ve booked a venue where you can set up the day before, or if the location you’re hosting at is able to, set up tables and chairs the day before. It helps you feel less squeezed for time the day of the shower.

Day of the bridal shower:

  • Put food on serving dishes, trays or platters

    Bridal shower set up
    Get everything set up well in advance of guests arriving. Start at least two hours early.
  • Prepare any fresh food or drinks
  • Set up tables and chairs
  • Put linens on tables
  • Set out plates, utensils, napkins and glasses out for refreshments
  • Decorate your venue
  • Set up guest book or advice cards somewhere visible
  • Make sure there is a chair/space reserved for the bride – pick a central chair or location where the bride-to-be can sit and all guests will have a good vantage point to watch her open her gifts.
  • Have a list ready for the maid of honour to write down gifts received – have a notebook or piece of paper handy for the MOH to write down the gifts the bride receives and who gave them to her so the bride can send thank you cards after the shower.

Congratulations! You’re ready to throw the bridal shower of the year and one that the bride will never forget.

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