Bridal and Baby Showers are one of the most fun and pivotal moments for a bride-to-be or a Mom-to-be. If you have ever been to a shower of any kind before, you know that a lot of time and planning goes into them to make them go off without a hitch. Now, it’s your turn to plan one and you don’t know where to start, right? Don’t you worry. We’ve got you covered with the top 5 questions to ask when planning a shower to help you get started, stay on track, and have the shower go off perfectly.
Theme. The first question you should ask the guest of honor is if they have a specific theme they would like followed. Some brides may be having a destination wedding on a beach and want to continue the beach theme in their shower. Moms-to-be may or may not know the gender of their baby and want that incorporated or kept secret. Find out first if there is something particular they want to keep followed, whether specific or broad, like an elegant shower, or just having items that are in a specific color scheme. This will help in determining what venues will be a good fit for the shower.
Budget. One of the most important factors, if not the most important, is if there is a budget to be followed. Now this won’t necessarily come from your guest of honor. It’s up to you and whoever else is involved in planning. In weddings, traditionally the budget comes from the maid or matron of honor, bridesmaids, brides mom and grooms mom. For baby showers, the Mom-to-be’s mother and possibly close friends would create this budget. Others may offer to pay while some on this list may not be involved. No matter who is involved, make sure to ask them what they are comfortable in spending. Some may be willing to spend more than others, and that’s okay, not everyone can afford to pay the same amount. All you need is the number everyone is comfortable spending and add it all together and then you have your budget. If you find yourself being short on funds for certain things, reach out to everyone and see if anyone can help a little more or if it’s something that can be omitted from the shower; decorations can become expensive, so maybe limit the decor or try your hand at some DIY items to keep costs down. Showers can range anywhere from $1000 to $5000 for a traditional shower with about 30 guests in a catered venue for 3-4 hours. This will vary based on a couple things: state you are holding the shower, venue, food, headcount and rentals/decor.
Guest List. You must obtain a guest list from the the guest of honor. You don’t want to take on inviting guests yourself in case you miss someone, or worse, invite someone the guest of honor does not wish to be in attendance. You want to make sure everyone she loves will be in that room (to the best of your ability). Your guest list will vary greatly on the guest of honor, especially if this is a bridal shower. Guests that absolutely should be invited to the bridal shower are every woman on the bride’s side (men as well if this is a Jack and Jill shower) that are invited to the wedding, as well as the women in the immediate family on the grooms side. One thing to absolutely stay away from is inviting someone to the shower who is not invited to the wedding. For baby showers, the guest list is a bit more open. This will depend on who is close in her life during this time; family, close friends, co-workers, and anyone from the baby father’s side like his mother, sisters, grandmothers, and close female friends. Once you have your guest list and budget, you’re now ready to look at venues that can hold the proper amount of attendees within your budget.
Must-Haves. The last thing anyone wants, is an unhappy guest of honor. Find out what’s important to her before solidifying anything in writing. See if she has a venue or date in mind, or want’s specific games played, or not played at all. Maybe she doesn’t want to open gifts in front of people and requests that everything come wrapped in clear cellophane so she can see the items and thank each guest without having to spend an hour opening them all in front of people. Also make sure to find out things she does not want; children invited, certain foods, or type of music. One of the most important things to find out ahead of time is she wants to be surprised or told ahead of time when she shower will be. Traditionally speaking, showers were a surprise for the guest of honor. Modern times, a lot of women are choosing to at least know the date of the shower so they can look presentable for their shower where lots of photos will be taken. Jot down a list of must-haves as well as must-nots so you can make sure to plan everything according to how she will enjoy her shower the most.
Timeline. Lastly, but importantly enough, you need know how much time is needed to accomplish all the
planning in time for the shower. Typically, showers can be planned two months prior to the shower date. Depending on what you’re planning, this can vary. If it’s a destination shower or a shower with a lot of guests and a larger budget, you may want to give yourself more time to iron out details or manage payments on the venue. If it’s smaller in size or you have a lot of people able to help complete tasks, two months if enough time to plan. You can always have one person looking into decor and games, and someone else reaching out to caterers for costs while you tour venues. Utilize all the people you can to help out and make sure everyone is on the same page. A great way to do this is with an email or text message thread with everyone involved in the planning or using Google Docs so that everyone can update the document as items get accomplished. If you like to make sure you absolutely have enough time to do everything, start as soon as possible. It’s never too early to plan when it comes to such an important event.
We hope this helps clear up some of your planning woes. Did you know Bykenhulle House is a sought after venue for bridal and baby showers? We offer packages for every shower type and our Events Manager guides you through every step of the way, including day-of coordination to assure the event is perfect. We encourage you to reach out to our Events Manager, Kimberly, at SiteManager@bykenhullehouse.com to set up your tour appointment today. We look forward to hosting your next shower in our intimate event space at Bykenhulle House.