The Ultimate Bridal Shower Checklist

A bridal shower is the bride’s last celebration before her big day, where she gets to have fun with her bridesmaids and friends. It is usually the maid of honor’s job to organize and throw this party for her best friend. While bridal showers are relaxed compared to the actual wedding, planning them involves a myriad of tasks. This bridal shower checklist can help you break down this pre-wedding event into more manageable steps and give your best friend the bridal shower they deserve.

What Is a Bridal Shower Checklist?

A bridal shower checklist is a detailed worksheet containing all the tasks that must be completed for a successful bridal shower. Primarily used by the maid of honor, it tells you what to do and when to do it so that the bridal shower you are planning runs efficiently.

The Ultimate Bridal Shower Checklist

Sometimes, the bride’s relatives will decide to host the bridal shower, or you could hold it in a restaurant. Whatever the situation, it is up to you to plan an amazing event. The following checklist will help you get everything in order for the big day:

3 Months Before

  • Consult the bride about her preferences for the number of guests, type of party, style, theme, color, and venue. Does she want women only at her bridal shower? Does she prefer a relaxed night in with the girls or a wild soiree in Vegas? Ultimately, you have the reigns, but you should consider her input.
  • Set a date, preferably a month or two prior to the wedding. However, if some bridesmaids and family members are only available a week before the wedding, adjust your date to accommodate them.
  • Determine a venue and make concrete reservations as soon as possible.
  • Taking the bride’s preferences into account, create a guest list.

Note: Don’t invite anyone to the bridal shower who is not invited to the wedding.

2 Months Before

  • Give your guests advance notice of the shower, especially those who will have to travel a great distance. Give them a courtesy call.
  • Send save-the-date emails to all guests.
  • Discuss the budget with all the bridesmaids, including how much each should contribute.

Tip: Consider using software that allows you to create and send online invites. Doing this will save you the time and money required to design, print, and mail physical invites.

  • Discuss activities, music, favors, decorations, menu, flowers, and table linens with the bridesmaids and finalize the details.
  • If you need to rent linens hire equipment, or have some food items made by a caterer, confirm and finalize your order.
  • Create a to-do list for your bridesmaids and delegate some duties.

1 Month Before

  • Send out your invitations. Include details about the proper gifts to give the couple and the couple’s registries.
  • Shop for party props, paper goods, and decorations.
  • Buy party favors.
  • If some guests have offered to bring treats or desserts, call them to confirm what they will be bringing.

2 Weeks Before

  • Buy your gift for the bride.
  • Place and confirm your flower order.
  • Create a food and drink shopping list. Buy all hard-to-find food items.
  • Collect all equipment that friends have offered to lend you, including cake stands, audio players, CDs, and baskets.

1 Week Before

  • Confirm the RSVPs.
  • Confirm your reservations.
  • Confirm all your orders and delivery times.
  • Buy groceries
  • Gather and wrap all the party favors.
  • Organize the activities and games for the shower.

1 Day Before

  • Run any last-minute errands
  • Hold a final meeting with the bridesmaids. Confirm who will be bringing what and ask that they arrive early the next day.
  • Set the tables, oversee the decorations, and check that the equipment has been set.
  • Do prep work for the meals or prepare any that can be cooked in advance.


  • Get there at least one or two hours so that you have enough time to set up.
  • When the bridal shower starts, keep things flowing. Ensure the drink containers and food dishes are continually replenished.
  • Announce and explain any activities and games the guest will play.
  • Later, as the bride opens her gifts, record each gift and who it is from. The bride will use this information when preparing her thank you cards.

Tip: If some of the guests share the first name, note down their second names next to the gifts they brought, so there is no confusion.

Picking a Date and Time for the Bridal Shower

As you plan the bridal shower, the bride will be knee-deep in vendor meetings and wedding planning. You need to pick a date that takes her busy schedule into account while also working for the rest of the bridal party. A great time would be at least eight weeks or less before the wedding. Make sure you leave at least two weeks between the shower and the wedding. The couple will need this time to work out any last-minute details. That said, don’t throw the shower so early that the bride feels like it came and went too soon. In terms of time, go for 2 to 4 hours, preferably in the afternoon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who pays for what at a bridal shower?

In most cases, the maid of honor and bridesmaids organize and pay for the bridal shower. The mother of the bride may also contribute. It is generally up to the maid of honor to create a budget and split all the expenses – games, beverages, food, venue – with the rest of the bridal party.

What should you not do at a bridal shower?

The biggest no-no for a bridal shower is inviting people to the bridal shower who are not invited to the wedding. This action is considered inappropriate and can offend this group of guests. Even worse, it could make it seem like you are pandering for gifts. Other don’ts for bridal showers include:
Not dressing in line with the theme or set dress code.
Bringing along uninvited guests.
Arriving empty-handed
Forgetting to RSVP on time.
Spoiling the surprise for the bride.

Do bridal showers have cakes?

Yes. Like weddings, most showers will include cake, although it does not need to be over the top. A simple cake with creative flavors and colors should do just fine.


Planning and executing a bridal shower flawlessly requires a lot of skill and intense attention to detail. Fortunately, a Bridal Shower Checklist gives you plenty of both. It is designed to start running a full three months before the shower until D-Day so that you remain ahead of schedule. Feel free to add or remove some items depending on the type of party you have in mind.