When Should You Have a Bridal Shower? Tips To Avoid Timing Mistakes

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Congratulations, you’ve been chosen to host a bridal shower. You’re probably feeling excited, honored, and maybe a little nervous. After all, hosting a bridal shower is a big responsibility. But before you get into the details of planning the perfect party, you need to figure out one thing: When should you have a bridal shower? The timing of the bridal shower can make a big difference in how the event turns out. You don’t want to have it too early or too late, too close or too far from the wedding date, or on a date that conflicts with other important plans.

In this article from Viva Wedding, we’ll help you find the ideal time to throw a bridal shower based on some factors, such as the wedding date, the bride’s preferences, and the availability of the guests. Read on and get ready to party!

How soon before the wedding is the bridal shower? 

Most bridal showers are typically held from three weeks to three months before the wedding. The trick is to schedule it neither too early nor too late before the wedding date. A bridal shower held too far in advance might cause guests to lose some wedding-season excitement. On the other hand, if a shower is too close to the big day, it might leave the bride stressed out about last-minute wedding prep details. As the person responsible for the shower, it will likely cause you stress and make you a less-than-stellar host.

Deciding on when should you have your bridal shower
Deciding on when should you have your bridal shower – Photo by: The Butterfly Pavilion

Generally speaking, there is no hard and fast rule for deciding when is the right time to have a bridal shower. The final date will depend on a variety of factors, such as the bride’s preferences, venue availability, and so on. You’ll need to take into account these variables to choose the best day to throw your bridal shower.

Decide on when to have a bridal shower

Choose the location for the bridal shower

First thing first, decide where you would throw the bridal shower, as this factor will greatly influence the timing of your event. You definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have the perfect plan for your summer bridal shower, but by the time you look for a venue, every location is booked, and there are no vacancies until winter. That would be a real bummer! 

Venue has an effect on bridal shower timing
Venue has an effect on bridal shower timing – Photo: Rocky Moutain Bride

It is recommended that you make a reservation for the space at least one month in advance if you are going to choose a venue such as a restaurant or an event hall, as there will be limited availability (especially for large parties). If you plan to hold the bridal shower in someone else’s house, the answer to “When should you have your bridal shower?” can be more flexible. However, you will still have to be mindful of the homeowner’s schedule.

Consider the timing of other pre-wedding events

When deciding when is the right time to have a bridal shower, a general rule of thumb is to think about all the other activities and preparations the bride has before the big day. The engagement party, the bachelorette party, and the wedding outfit fittings are things you’ll need to consider before finalizing the shower date.

Consider other wedding-related events before finalizing when is the best time to have a bridal shower
Consider other wedding-related events before finalizing when is the best time to have a bridal shower – Photo by: Bethany Wolf Photography

We highly recommend you plan the bridal shower at least two weeks before the bachelorette party. This gives guests invited to both events the chance to get to know one another better. There will also be some downtime between the two events for the bride (and you) to rest. The last thing you want is for either you or the bride to be exhausted. So set a time when you, her friends, and family will be ready to honor the bride with love and excitement.

Consult with the bride

Have you checked your schedule multiple times but still can’t decide when is the best time to have a bridal shower? Don’t panic! There is another option to assist you in making a final decision. Simply consult with the bride, “Which time does she enjoy the most?”. When you have an answer to this question, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to choose from.

Ask the bride if you can't decide on bridal shower timing
Ask the bride if you can’t decide on bridal shower timing – Photo by: Debbie Carlisle

In addition, the bridal shower theme might also be influenced by the time of year. Would you prefer a garden-themed bridal shower with floral print decorations, lush greenery, and blush tones? Then, a summer or spring shower would be the answer to the question, “When should you have a bridal shower?”. Or how about a fall wedding shower with an apple cider bar, little pumpkin centerpieces, and a rust color scheme? Whatever vibe you want for the bridal shower, consider how the theme and season might work together to make a beautiful party.

>>> Maybe you’re interested in: The Ultimate Bridal Shower Planning Checklist for Celebrating the Bride-To-Be

Keep the guests in mind

Consider essential guests' schedules when it comes to bridal shower timing
Consider essential guests’ schedules when it comes to bridal shower timing – Photo by: Blanc Weddings

The bride’s schedule and preferences should be taken into account when setting the final day for the bridal shower, but so should the attendees’ availability. Your guest list is a crucial component of when is the right time to have a bridal shower if you want all of the bride’s loved ones to be present in celebrating her almost-married status. We advise contacting the bride’s VIP guests (mother, grandmother, bridesmaids, or mother-in-law) on what dates work best for them first. You can then give the bride a couple of party date possibilities and ask her to let you know which one she likes.

>>> Maybe you’re interested in: Creative Examples For Bridal Shower Invitation Wording

Bridal shower timing tips

Space out (or combine) your celebrations

You might want to consider holding two separate bridal showers if it’s going to be difficult for many guests to attend due to the long distance (the bride has relatives living on opposite sides of the country, for instance). Regardless of how excited your guests are about the wedding, no one wants to travel across the country for two wedding-related gatherings held in close proximity. Therefore, one of the showers can be a destination shower, while the other is held somewhere close to the bride’s neighborhood.

Combine pre-wedding events is acceptable if it's too tricky to decide when should you have your bridal shower
Combine pre-wedding events is acceptable if it’s too tricky to decide on an appropriate shower date – Photo by: Calla Blanche

On the other hand, if it is exceedingly challenging to set aside two distinct days for the pre-wedding events, you might want to think about consolidating the celebrations into a single large gathering. For instance, schedule your bachelorette party to begin on Friday morning and continue through Saturday night. Then, on Sunday afternoon, you may throw your bridal shower.

Avoid major holidays and holiday weekends

Bridal showers are typically thrown on a Saturday or Sunday since guests are more likely to be available on the weekends rather than during a busy workweek. Deciding between these two days is ultimately up to the bride, but any major holidays or holiday weekends (such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, or Thanksgiving, etc.) should be kept in mind.

Cross Christmas out of your "When is the best time to have a bridal shower?" consideration list
Cross Christmas out of your “When is the best time to have a bridal shower?” consideration list – Photo by: Woman’s Day

When it comes to bridal shower timing, these holidays are not ideal for having this celebration. They are bound to result in a number of scheduling conflicts as guests will likely already have plans of their own. You don’t want to put your guests in a difficult position of choosing between your bridal shower and their family or friends. So, it’s better to steer clear of these holidays when planning your bridal shower date.

The Mardi Gras is not a good choice when it comes to "When should you have your bridal shower"
The Mardi Gras is not a good choice when it comes to “When should you have your bridal shower” – Photo by: People Magazine

Also, you definitely don’t want to ruin your bridal shower with traffic jams, parking nightmares, or noisy crowds. That’s why it’s a good idea to check the local events calendar before you pick a date and location for your party. The last thing you want is to compete with any large-scale sporting events, festivals, or parades that might be happening near your venue. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of chaos and drama. In that case, go ahead and throw your bridal shower on the same day as the Super Bowl, the Mardi Gras, or the Pride Parade. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Time a bridal shower often last

When planning a bridal shower, you should also consider the length of the celebration beside the event’s date. A bridal shower typically lasts around three hours. The duration might be any number of hours between two and four. 

Bridal shower timing: Typical starting time
Bridal shower timing: Typical starting time – Photo by: Modern MOH

But remember that guests may feel rushed, like they didn’t get enough time to spend with the bride when the celebration lasted less than two hours. In case the event lasts longer than four hours, people may start to get bored and want to leave.

Time a bridal shower typically start

In terms of the bridal shower timing, it is customary for bridal showers to commence between the hours of 11 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

Bridal shower timing: Customary ending time
Bridal shower timing: Customary ending time – Photo by: Wedding Spot

However, in many cases, the duration of a bridal shower also depends on other factors, particularly the event’s theme. If you are organizing a bridal brunch, for instance, you will want to get started earlier in the day than if you were throwing an afternoon tea party.

When contemplating the possibility of a later start time, be sure that the scheduled event does not bleed into guests’ evening or dinner arrangements.

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Whether you want to have it early or late, we hope you’ll have a wonderful time celebrating the bride-to-be and her future marriage. And remember, there is no right or wrong answer to the question “When to have a bridal shower?”. Whether you throw it 3 months or 2 months before the wedding, the most important thing is to have fun, celebrate the bride’s happiness, and show appreciation for her loved ones. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event, so make it memorable and enjoyable. If you need inspiration for planning the perfect bridal shower, check out Viva Wedding Photography for more tips and ideas. Happy planning!

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