HOW TO THROW A SHOWER + FREE PRINTABLES
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of co-hosting a bridal shower for my sweet sister-in-law. As soon as she was engaged, I had shower ideas dancing in my head! Over the years I have hosted a lot of showers and parties. I’ve also had the pleasure of helping thousands of brides and mamas-to-be with details for their weddings and showers through my business. I’ve always loved party planning and the creative process of it all. Today I want to share the details for this lovely shower as well as some of my favorite tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years for throwing showers without a hitch! Oh and we have free printables for you too!
My most important piece of advice for throwing a shower is planning, planning, planning! I know this sounds obvious but waiting until the last minute is just super stressful. You should start planning a couple months in advance and take all the help you can get! Pinterest is a great resource to find unique ideas for everything from decor, food, favors, etc. Make sure to pick a “theme” and stick with it so all of your details are cohesive. As you can see with my sister in law’s shower, the theme was rustic and romantic. We used a lot of flowers and a lot of pink. It was perfectly sweet and girly! Once the theme was nailed down, we ran with it. The invitations, decor, food, etc. all matched our theme.
-WHEN TO SEND OUT THE INVITATIONS?
Bridal shower invitations should be sent out 4-6 weeks before the shower. This gives guest plenty of time to make arrangements. If you have a lot of out of town guests, you can push it back to 8 weeks before the shower. We recommend not sending them out much earlier than that unless you are inviting guests from out of the country. When sending invites out too early, you run the risk of guests forgetting all about it. You don’t want that! On the flip side, you don’t want to send them out too late. Anything shorter than 3-4 weeks before the shower and guests might just already have plans.
-SHOULD I SERVE FOOD AT THE SHOWER?
Yes! You should always have some sort of food at the shower. Your guests are giving up a big chunk of their day to come hang out and celebrate the mom or bride to be… you need to feed them something. The time of the shower, however, dictates what and how much food you should have. If you are throwing a shower in the middle of the day (11AM - 1PM), some sort of lunch should be provided. It is meal time after all. You can go as far as having the lunch catered or just set out sandwiches and appetizers. At our shower we had a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses for sandwiches. We also had a wide array of chips and dips, veggies and dip, fruit salad and other munchies. We also had lots of sweets and cake! In contrast, if your shower is between meals like 2 or 3 PM… you can pretty much assume guests have had some sort of lunch and it’s much more acceptable to set out some appetizers and a lighter selection of food and sweets.
A few food themed shower ideas that we love:
-Brunch Shower: Plan a mid-morning shower and invite guests to have brunch with the bride
-Brunch and Bubbly Shower: Same as above but with champagne or mimosas!
-Dessert shower. A shower between meals where you serve different types of sweets. Make sure to let guests know this is the case on the invitation so they plan accordingly.
-Shower Tea: An elegant tea party type shower where you serve tea, coffee and bite size snacks. This is often a sit down shower and is best for an all women shower… leave the hubby and kids at home this time.
-HOW TO DECORATE FOR A SHOWER?
With decorating for a shower, the sky is the limit! My favorite way to decorate though, is to have a main focal point. For me, this is always a pretty dessert table like in the photos above of our shower. Of course you want to add some decor other places, but I think it’s really important to have one main “wow” factor and this table is exactly that. It always impresses guests and it’s the perfect backdrop for photos.
My favorite things to add to my focal point table:
-FABRIC: I always add some sort of pretty fabric to spruce up the table! Literally always… it’s probably my favorite thing to make my table stand out!! In our shower, I used a pretty pink floral fabric as a runner on the table on top of the white table cloth. It adds so much character! Other times, I have hung fabric on the wall behind the table as a backdrop. Either way, the fabric really changes the whole look of the table.
-HEIGHT: Having everything flat against the table isn’t as visually pleasing as having different levels of things popping out at you. I love to use things with different heights as well as using boxes or these white crates to elevate things! These crates were found at Michael’s and we painted them white.
-SIGNS: Can we talk about this chalk board sign?! I often use large printable signs but in this case, I went with a plain chalkboard from Hobby Lobby and cut out their names in white vinyl with my Silhouette machine. We attached these awesome white flowers and greenery (again from Hobby Lobby) to dress it up even more.
-SWEETS: I find that the focal point table is the perfect place to set out your sweets. Grab a couple pretty plates or platters and the sweets are decorations in themselves!
-DO I NEED TO PROVIDE GUESTS WITH FAVORS?
Although favors aren’t a requirement, it’s a great way to let guests know you appreciate them! Favors do not need to be expensive or lavish but just something small is always nice. At our shower, we gave away soaps and bath bombs. My sister in law, Sarah, found these on Amazon.
Now that we went over all of that… Lets get to the freebies! We are giving away all of the signs and labels we used at the shower for free. We also made them editable so that you can fill out your own wording on them. We’ve included our Advice Cards, Folding Food labels, 5x7 inch signs, 8x10 inch sign, and our square signs. You can print out as many as you need of each.
OUR FREEBIE SET:
You can download the free tags below:
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EDITABLE BRIDAL SHOWER PRINTABLES HERE
(Non-commercial use only)
-To edit the tags: Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader (this is a free download at adobe.com). Any editable text will be highlighted by a blue box, enter your text and save the file before printing. The blue boxes will not show up in print.
Please note our freebies are for personal non-commercial use only. Our freebies may not be sold in the digital or printed format.
Copyright E-Three Design Studio | All rights reserved.
-Stationary: E-Three Design Studio
-Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes
-Chalk Board, Large White Flowers, Fake Greenery, Fabric: Hobby Lobby
-Soap and Bath Bombs: Amazon
We hope our tips and tricks for throwing a bridal shower is helpful! If you use our freebies, let us know! We’d love to see them in action at your shower. If you have any other tips or tricks that we missed, let us know in our comments.
E-Three Design Studio