She's engaged! And that means it's time for friends and family to rally together and throw her a memorable bridal shower. There are tons of choices when it comes to a venue, but nothing's quite as special or cozy as a shower held right in your own backyard—especially when the weather is gorgeous. Here, planners share the tips you need to know for a charming (and incident-free) bridal shower at home.
Clear your Plan B with the bride.
Before you do anything else, make sure your bride knows what the inclement weather plan will be. If she's not into the idea of cramming everyone into your kitchen, you should consider an alternate venue. "Of course, everyone wants a sunny day, but you have to be prepared with a backup plan," says Jacin Fitzgerald of Jacin Fitzgerald Events. If you know your home itself won't work for the crowd, Fitzergald recommends asking your rental company to price backup options so you know what to expect in the event that Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.
Call in a pest pro.
If a spring or summer shower is in the books, that picture-perfect weather often comes with creepy crawlies. Ensure that your bride isn't swarmed during her shower by reaching out to a local bug specialist to treat the grounds in advance, says Erica Vanco of Estera Events. She recommends having the grounds sprayed at least two days before the shower.
Consider bringing in air conditioning.
If you're planning on tenting the yard, that is. Vanco recommends securing an air conditioning system from the tenting company for summer showers. And while your guests are the focus, there's one more aspect of the day that could be damaged by a heatwave—flowers. "If flowers are in a humid climate for an extended period, they can develop a withered, sunken look," she says. Wilting flowers (and guests) aren't cute, so prioritize keeping them cool.
Make a floor plan.
It's a small scale event, but you should still consider the flow of the party, as this can impact everyone's comfort and ability to mingle. Before you start hiring vendors, Fitzgerald recommends going old-school with a tape measure to map out how much room you'll have for seating, mingling, food stations, gift tables, and a bar. She also likes using allseated.com, which allows you to plot out how much you can fit in the area you're working with. A plan will also help things run smoothly on the day of the shower.
Consider the bathrooms.
For small parties, using your home's bathrooms will probably work, but if you're expecting more than 20 people, you'll likely need another option. Vanco's solution of choice: bathroom trailers. Today's bathroom options come with everything from air conditioning to sinks.
Don't make your backyard be something it's not.
"Let the yard be the backdrop when thinking of décor ideas," says Fitzgerald. Is your yard filled with bougainvillea worthy of a magazine? If so, Fitzgerald recommends working with what you have and playing up the natural beauty before adding additional flowers and décor. Don't try to make this space into a ballroom—you choose your backyard for a reason!