Bridal Shower Planning Checklist:

Some people may ask, what actually is the purpose of a bridal shower?

A bridal shower is basically a party held for the bride to be to give her gifts in anticipation for her wedding day. This is a fun way for friends, families and guests of the bride to get together to celebrate the engagement, eat cake, drink mimosas, and quite literally shower the bride with gifts.

Are you going to be in charge of hosting a bridal shower for the bride? Here is a checklist of some of the essential things that you do not want to miss out on:


Prep:

  • Set the registry

    • Make sure your bride has her registry in order so that you can give the guest a point of reference to look for a gift.

  • Rally the troops

    • Figure out who your co-hosts will be. Other bridesmaids? Aunts of the bride? Each party is different. Make sure you talk to the bride and make sure that you are on the same page as the family.

  • Select a date

    • Compile a list of dates and blackout dates with the bride of potential event dates. (Make sure you both connect with immediate family members to make sure those dates work for them as well.) Narrow it down to 2 or 3 dates that you can float out to the other co-hosts/bridesmaids. Majority rules!

  • Create a guest list

    • Inquire with the bride about who she would like to have on her guest list.

  • Build a budget

    • Once you have a date and an idea of how many people will be on the guest list, meet with your co-hosts/bridesmaids to decide on a budget that everyone is comfortable with. All hosts typically contribute the same amount.

  • Pick a location and time

    • Select a venue that works within your budget and can comfortably accommodate everyone on your guest list.

    • TIP: showers are often thrown at a guest’s home which can cut down dramatically on the cost.
    • Showers are typically around 2-4 hours. Make sure that you have a timeline in place to ensure that your guests don’t get bored or feel awkward.

  • Chose a theme

    • Figure out just how much the bride wants to be involved. Does she want to be surprised with the theme/colors or does she want to have an input?

  • Invitations

    • Collect all addresses from the bride so that you can send out invitations with enough notice. If you have a tight turn around, we recommend sending a Facebook event “Save the Date” to notify guest immediately and even collect missing addresses if necessary.

    • Include all of the details in the invitation; date, location, time, where the bride is registered, RSVP date, desired attire, theme, etc.

2-3 Months Before the Shower

  • Decorations

    • Colors and theme should already be chosen. Start ordering things on Amazon or Etsy now to allow time for production and delivery.

    • TIP: ordering early gives you enough time to send things back or change your mind. Build in as much time as you can for decorations.
  • Catering

    • Does it include paper goods?

    • Drinks?

    • Are they delivering? If not, who is in charge of getting the food in time

    • TIP: always bring your own role of garbage bags. They are great for throwing things in that need to be transported and helps with an easy clean up.
  • Send out invitations

    • Include RSVP Date at least one month out 
  • Get your guest book ordered

1 month before Shower

  • Plan games

    • Coordinate with the groom if the game involves him

  • Purchase favors after final head count

  • Don’t forget your gift!

1 - 2 weeks before

  • Purchase alcohol

    • We recommend Costco

  • Don’t forget the speaker to play some jams!

  • Confirm set up time with location/ bridesmaids who are helping you


We know just how hard it can be to keep the smallest of tasks in order when planning something as big as a bridal shower. We hope that this checklist can make your planning process just a little more simple and a whole lot sweeter.

The Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator

Even before you got engaged and started the wedding planning process, you might have heard the term “wedding planner” or “wedding coordinator” and thought they were pretty much the same person. While a full-service wedding planner that is with you throughout the majority of your wedding planning process will take on the role of a wedding coordinator on the day of your wedding, a wedding coordinator is generally considered a separate person for those brides doing the majority of planning themselves. Sound confusing? It is! But here’s what you need to know:

Wedding Planner:

Think of a wedding planner as your new best friend. This person has no other job but to make sure your wedding is exactly what you want it to be (so pretty much the most amazing best friend ever). When you choose to hire a wedding planner might vary, but theoretically they are the person you call shortly after you get engaged and after you figure out a general budget (and whether or not you can afford a wedding planner, which we’ll get to in another post). Once you hire a wedding planner, you give them a very broad (or very detailed) vision of your wedding and they can then help you pick out everything from a wedding venue to wedding florists, caterer, furniture rentals, invitations, and more. Depending on your time and budget constraints, you can then be as involved as you want to be. If you’re super busy at work or in life and don’t have 150 hours to dedicate to wedding planning, they can take it over for you. Or if you have time for certain aspects of it but not others, they can work with you as much or as little as you want. Wedding planners can help you not only create a detailed timeline and budget but hopefully help you stick to it. And if they’re worth their salt they will be able to offer a vast amount of knowledge and insight into the best vendors in your area to bring your wedding vision to life.

  Wedding Coordinator:   The wedding coordinator is pretty much a gift from the gods on your wedding day. They are the woman or man behind the curtain, making sure that your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible so you (hopefully) don’t have to worry about ANYTHING. They are not the person you call after you get engaged to help you pick out the perfect wedding venue, caterer, florist, or other design details, but they will take all the hard work and research you’ve done and turn those plans into reality. You typically meet with a wedding coordinator several months or several weeks (depending on the service level you opt to get from them) before your wedding to go over your wedding timeline, guest count, venue details, and more.  My wedding coordinator  was great in that she not only recommended and booked things like chair and linen rentals for us but went to our tasting and helped us devise a seating chart and day-of timeline (such as when the speeches would take places as well as the first dance and toast)…all for $1,500 (which included tip and extra pre-wedding hours) . They make sure the tables are set on time, the guests are seated in the right spot, the ceremony starts and ends on time, things are packed up and sent back to the vendors and that everything is running as smoothly as possible.  One thing to keep in mind is that your wedding venue might offer varying levels of wedding planning and coordination, so it’s good to check with them to make sure you’re not doubling up. Also, a lot of times even if a wedding venue has a coordinator their services might differ from that of a traditional wedding coordinator, so you’ll want to make sure what they offer and what you need before you decide whether or not to hire additional help.  Depending on your budget and the time you have to dedicate to planning a wedding, I highly recommend using either a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner. I used a wedding coordinator and NOT a planner, and while I’m sure a wedding planner would have made my life 1,000 times easier, my budget didn’t allow for it and I was OK dedicating time to researching wedding venues, florists, invitations, and pretty much every other tiny detail along with a ton of help from my mom. In the end, the services I got from my wedding coordinator were more than amazing and ended up being all that we needed.

Wedding Coordinator:

The wedding coordinator is pretty much a gift from the gods on your wedding day. They are the woman or man behind the curtain, making sure that your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible so you (hopefully) don’t have to worry about ANYTHING. They are not the person you call after you get engaged to help you pick out the perfect wedding venue, caterer, florist, or other design details, but they will take all the hard work and research you’ve done and turn those plans into reality. You typically meet with a wedding coordinator several months or several weeks (depending on the service level you opt to get from them) before your wedding to go over your wedding timeline, guest count, venue details, and more. My wedding coordinator was great in that she not only recommended and booked things like chair and linen rentals for us but went to our tasting and helped us devise a seating chart and day-of timeline (such as when the speeches would take places as well as the first dance and toast)…all for $1,500 (which included tip and extra pre-wedding hours) . They make sure the tables are set on time, the guests are seated in the right spot, the ceremony starts and ends on time, things are packed up and sent back to the vendors and that everything is running as smoothly as possible.

One thing to keep in mind is that your wedding venue might offer varying levels of wedding planning and coordination, so it’s good to check with them to make sure you’re not doubling up. Also, a lot of times even if a wedding venue has a coordinator their services might differ from that of a traditional wedding coordinator, so you’ll want to make sure what they offer and what you need before you decide whether or not to hire additional help.

Depending on your budget and the time you have to dedicate to planning a wedding, I highly recommend using either a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner. I used a wedding coordinator and NOT a planner, and while I’m sure a wedding planner would have made my life 1,000 times easier, my budget didn’t allow for it and I was OK dedicating time to researching wedding venues, florists, invitations, and pretty much every other tiny detail along with a ton of help from my mom. In the end, the services I got from my wedding coordinator were more than amazing and ended up being all that we needed.

  Before you decide whether to go with a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, be sure to ask yourself these questions:   What is your general budget? Are you willing to spend at least 10-15% of that budget on a wedding planner? If not, a wedding coordinator could be more friendly on your wallet.  How much time do you have to dedicate to planning a wedding? If it’s less than 3-5 hours a week, a wedding planner might be the way to go.  Do you have a lot of people in your family or circle of friends weighing in with conflicting opinions on all things wedding? If so, a wedding planner could help deflect all those little things that might come directed towards you or your fiancé.  Do you feel like you have the vision but don’t know the formalities of a wedding (like how to plan a seating chart or how long the ceremony should last?). A wedding coordinator could be a good option for you.

Before you decide whether to go with a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, be sure to ask yourself these questions:

What is your general budget? Are you willing to spend at least 10-15% of that budget on a wedding planner? If not, a wedding coordinator could be more friendly on your wallet.

How much time do you have to dedicate to planning a wedding? If it’s less than 3-5 hours a week, a wedding planner might be the way to go.

Do you have a lot of people in your family or circle of friends weighing in with conflicting opinions on all things wedding? If so, a wedding planner could help deflect all those little things that might come directed towards you or your fiancé.

Do you feel like you have the vision but don’t know the formalities of a wedding (like how to plan a seating chart or how long the ceremony should last?). A wedding coordinator could be a good option for you.

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Enchanting Fall Majesty

It's always a delight to bring together so many talented artists and models to coordinate on an event, especially when the end results are as breathtaking as this. From the living works of floral art created by Mint Green Design and her team, to the moments of pure joy LeAnne Torzala captured on film. Our shared vision for the day soon became realized: a luxurious fall wedding set against the sweeping fields, featuring just enough rustic detail to warm our chic countryside aesthetic.

Working with such dedicated professionals makes the experience of planning and executing a stunning event a joyful one. We hope to work with many of them again very soon to bring another bride's vision of her perfect day to life!

Coordination | @sweetsimplicityeventsaz 

Photography | LeAnne Torzala Photography

Venue | @sutton_farms

Florals | @mintgreendesign 

Styling & Rentals | @materialgirlsweddings 

Tables & Benches | @elegant.farmhouse.designs

Suit | @celebtuxntails 

Hair & Makeup l @thebeautybar_allison 

Cake | @sugarchiccakes 

Macarons | @decadentmacaron 

Pies | @amourdesucre.az

Drinks | @coupleofbartenders

Calligraphy l @small_town_charm 

Invitation Suite | @dailymusingsbymeg 

Bride | @kendrapattterson

Groom | @brandonwesthompson

Bridesmaids | @whittywoo @kay_msmith

 

 

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