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How to Have a Little Say in Your Bridal Shower

Without hijacking the planning entirely.

rehearsal dinner cocktail hour
Photography by: Lacie Hansen Photography

Handing over the planning reins can be tough, especially when it comes to your bridal shower. Since it's one of the first wedding events your guests will attend, it's understandable that you'd want it to be a reflection of who you are. The reality is that, as a bride, you'll have plenty of planning and more than enough decisions to make while you're planning your wedding. Your bridal shower should be seen as your one opportunity to take a break from calling all the shots. Let the ladies you love take over. Since we know this can be a struggle for those who are used to being the organizer, here are a few tactics for being involved with the planning without taking over the whole event.

 

THE ETIQUETTE OF BRIDAL SHOWERS

 

Give a big-picture overview of what you want

While you'll certainly have full say in the guest list, date, and timeline, you might find there are a few other details you'd like to give the planning committee some direction on. It's perfectly acceptable to discuss food and wine, décor, and activities in a big-picture sense, but leave the details up to your hosts. You might say something like, "I'd love to have a dessert bar," but it's not necessary to list out all the desserts you'd want to serve and how to display them.

 

Communicate clearly with the organizers

The best way to have a little input, without getting overly involved, is to have candid conversations with the ladies who will be hosting the shower. If they're asking what you'd like, they'd usually prefer a straightforward response than a wishy-washy, "Just do whatever you think I'd like." If you're having trouble articulating your ideas, it might be helpful to ask the hosts to offer a couple of suggestions so you can give them a bit more of the type of direction they're looking for.

 

Be specific about what you don't want

Many brides don't thrive on spotlight, so things like opening gifts publicly or playing games might feel uncomfortable. If that's how you feel, be sure you let the hosts know this before they start planning. If a lingerie theme at the shower makes you cringe, your bridal party needs to know that if they're going to do something like that it'll be better suited to the bachelorette party. It's important to be clear in your communication about what you'd be uncomfortable with, including things you dislike.

 

Get the scoop

While small details like flowers and favors can be a surprise for you, you'll want to have some overall sense of what your bridal shower will be like. Not only do you want to be dressed appropriately, but you'll also need to be able to answer guests' questions when they pop up. You won't know the answer if you don't have an idea of the timeline for the event, the location, and any activities that might be taking place.

 

Stay out of the nitty gritty

Once you've introduced the hostesses to one another over email, allow yourself to step out of the ring. Budget discussions, décor ideas, and entertainment options are not your business until you arrive at the party, so it's best to stay completely out of the loop. If there seems to be some tension amongst the ladies, do your best to steer clear and let them work through it. This is supposed to be a treat for you, not an additional stress factor, so go with the flow and let the ladies shower you appropriately.

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