Maid of Honours checklist to plan the perfect bridal shower

When bestowed the special task of maid of honour, planning the bridal shower will be one of your top priorities.

While the thought of organising such a significant event seems daunting at first, don’t fret!

The bride has picked you for good reason. Whether you’re her childhood best friend since childhood, sister or cousin, the bride has picked you specifically because she trusts you implicitly.

With every bride having her own individual taste, these days there are no set rules for the ideal bridal shower. What counts the most are your personal touches thoughtful gestures and the smooth sailing of planning and organising.

Whether you’re the social butterfly who loves to throw a soiree (think Rosie Byrne’s character in Bridesmaids) or just simply overwhelmed with where to start, here’s a checklist and timeline on how to plan the perfect bridal shower for your bestie.

2 – 3 months before:

Set a coffee or dinner date with the bride to be and have a proper sit down discussion about how the bride envisions her shower. An initial face to face meeting will allow both of you to brainstorm ideas but also set the excitement of what’s ahead!

Once you’ve had that first chat, keep the communication channels open and the ideas flowing through emails, phone calls and texts. Keep the bride updated as often as you can. You will help put her mind at ease and the two of you will share an even closer bond.

Here are the basics to cover:

  • Pick a date
  • Find a venue (make a booking, if needed)
  • Discuss the theme (tea party, champagne brunch, glam pyjamas – the list is endless!) and/or colour schemes
  • Determine guest list and contact information
  • Email or contact overseas or interstate guests to save the date
  • Pick out or create stationary for the invitations
  • Set a budget

5 – 6 weeks before:

Now you decided on the date, venue and theme, it’s time let the guests know! When sending out the invitations, don’t forget to include the directions to the venue as well as the gift registry.

If you’re stuck with bridal shower gift ideas, Gift Card Registry is the perfect solution. The shower guests can contribute to the Gift Card Registry and the funds are loaded onto a selected design Mastercard card. Imagine the look of delight when the bride receives her personalised Mastercard, knowing she can use it wherever and however her heart desires! To set up a gift registry, visit giftcardregistry.com.au.

Here’s your list of tasks:

  • Send invitations (including directions and gift registry)
  • Plan Menu and Order Food
  • Choose and buy “Thank you” gifts or goody bags for guests
  • Select games, icebreakers and other shower activities
  • Buy decorations, pick centrepieces and flowers (if needed)

1 month before

Not long to go! With the bulk of the planning done and dusted, there’s only a few party supply items to buy.

  • Purchase items for food serving and décor
  • Purchase paper products (paper plates, cups, bowls)
  • Follow up with anyone making or bringing items (cakes, desserts, games, music playlists)

2 – 3 weeks before

Getting closer to the big day! Here’s where you sharpen your leadership skills as there will be lots of following up and delegating tasks and responsibilities. It’s up to you that everyone is on schedule with their tasks – you’ve got this!

  • Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVP’d
  • Check on and confirm any specific fine details requested to venue/restaurant, caterer, florist, photographer (if using)
  • Delegate responsibilities for the day of the bridal shower
  • Choose outfit

1 week before

So, so close! Keep cool and calm because you’ve pretty much got it covered!

  • Keep bride calm, reassure her that everything’s on track
  • Prepare decorations and items needed for games and activities
  • Prepare “Thank You” gifts
  • Order balloons (if using)
  • Make schedule for food preparation or if at restaurant, check and confirm menu
  • Decide on seating and layout

1 day before

You’re at the home stretch, stay focused! Don’t be shy to delegate any last minute errands to others or anyone in the bridal party.  Everyone will want to do their part and pitch in so don’t feel you have to do it all!

  • Prepare food
  • Pick up flowers, balloons, cake and purchased food
  • Prepare and set table and seating areas
  • Set up food and drink areas
  • Confirm agenda and schedule of bridal shower with bridal party

Day of…

The big day you’ve been working so hard for has finally arrived!

  • Prepare fresh food (such salads, fruit and cheese platters, final touches on desserts)
  • Make sure venue is clean
  • Decorate space
  • Set up drinks and food
  • Have handy – scissors, large rubbish bags, tape, notebook and pen
  • Have fun, grab a glass of bubbles and enjoy!

Once all the preparations are done and before the guests arrive, try and grab a few minutes with the bride. Give her a big hug to chase away pre-bridal shower jitters. She’ll appreciate it as well as all the wonderful work you’ve done!

And when that last guest leaves, kick off those heels, put your feet up and pour yourself a generous glass of wine, you deserve it! Well done!