Planning A Pennsylvania Bridal Shower

Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Pennsylvania Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are an important part of the festivities leading up to a wedding celebration, along with engagement, bachelor and bachelorette parties. With roots dating back to 16th century Holland, bridal showers have come a long way in the ensuing centuries. Today, these celebrations are a way for friends and family to shower a bride with presents and love ahead of her big day. Here’s everything you need to know to host the perfect bridal shower.

What is a Bridal Shower?

A bridal shower is a celebration ahead of a bride’s wedding in which friends and family shower her with gifts, often for the new home she’s creating with her spouse-to-be. Generally a luncheon, these afternoon soirees can be planned as surprise parties, as well. 

Maid of honor jumping on the bed with the bride-to-be

Who throws the shower and when?

Bridal showers are typically thrown by the maid of honor or the bridal party. Though it’s not uncommon for close family members to also pitch in. Bridal showers are usually held anywhere from 2-6 months ahead of the wedding. Just like the wedding, you’ll want to send invitations for the shower out in advance. Usually giving guests 4-6 weeks’ notice. If it’s a surprise, be sure to let guests know so they don’t let it slip. You’ll also need to make plans with the bride-to-be so the date is booked, while she remains none the wiser. 

Who should you invite?

Generally, bridal showers are gendered affairs, unlike engagement parties. Often exclusively female, these parties include the friends and relatives of the bride. Be sure to invite the bridal party, plus the bride’s closest family and friends—at least those that live reasonably close by. Beyond that, consider including friends of the bride who will also be invited to the wedding

What activities take place at a bridal shower?

Bridal showers are fun and festive and easy to tailor to a bride’s personal tastes and aesthetic. Because showers are generally luncheons held on weekends, it’s common for them to be held at a restaurant, tea house or other intimate venue. They can also be held at someone’s home. Pick a spot that the bride loves, has wanted to try, or meets her general vibe, keeping in mind varying levels of formality, from casual to cocktail. Many venues will let you decorate the space beyond their traditional décor, so consider items like florals, photo props, a custom social media filter or tag, balloons, and of course, a guest book.  

The day largely centers around lunch, followed by the bride-to-be opening gifts. If it suits the bride’s personality, games are a common and fun part of the shower. Whether it’s trivia about the couple, bridal bingo or the perennial favorite of making a headpiece out of the bows adorning the gifts. Ask the venue for a designated spot for guests to leave gifts and create a space for the bride-to-be to open them. Also designate someone to keep track of who gave what, making the bride’s thank you notes easier. 

Cards and gift table signs for bridal shower
fun photo booth activity at bridal shower

Where to have your Pennsylvania bridal shower?

From classic restaurants with fabulous decks to off-the-beaten path options, there’s a venue suitable to every bride-to-be’s personality. Check out our top 10 bridal shower venues in the Philadelphia suburbs!

Everything else you need to know...

Brides commonly wear a white dress to the bridal shower, so plan a day of shopping to find the perfect one. It’s also common to invite the groom toward the end of the celebration, so keep him in the loop. Lastly, remember showers should be fun and reflect the bride-to-be.