This can be a friends only event or a friends and family event. Here’s a to do list I recommend:
1) get the dates the bride is available for the shower because if she can’t make it, it’s a moot point 😛
2) figure out which of those dates all the bridesmaids can make. Some people say you don’t need the entire bridal party there, but if they are hosting, it helps with cost if it’s split with all the bridesmaids and this helps with the actual planning itself for delegating versus one person running the show. Trust me, all hands on deck is wanted!
3) get a guest list from the bride. Be real with her if the venue you’re thinking of has a max capacity or you can try and make the venue fit the list.
4) find a venue. It can be a park, someone’s home, a pool house at an apartment building or a church site are some ideas.
5) find a theme! I love having a theme for the bridal shower because it helps decide the decor, invites etc. In the past I’ve planned a high tea one, a picnic one and a coffee shop themed one. I’m working on two more as we speak 🙂
6) delegate! Once a date and venue have been secured we need to get each bridesmaid focused on something. I usually break it up into categories: food (usually two ladies minimum for this since food can be a lot), invites & rsvps, decorations (again two if a lot of it is diy), games and favors. There can be more of a breakdown but these cover the main “necessities” of a shower.
7) COMMUNICATE! There will be a lot of balls to juggle but if everyone stays focused on their job and keeps all the other bridesmaid in the know, it should be relatively smooth sailing.
8) cost…be sure to be up front with all the bridesmaids in regards to budget. Usually the bridesmaids host the shower and if it’s a joint family and friends shower, sometimes family chips in but it’s hard to ask for money from the family so I don’t usually count them in unless they offer. Be fair to one another, split the cost for everything and I strongly recommend excel sheets!
Hope these guidelines help! I’ll go more in depth the about game ideas and themed showers in future post xo