When Should You Have a Bridal Shower? 6 Tips for Perfect Timing

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By Audrey

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? In this article from Viva Wedding Photography, we’ll help you find the ideal time to throw a gathering 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!

Traditional timeline

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

Most bridal showers are typically held from three weeks to three months before the nuptials. 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 also cause you stress and make you a less-than-stellar host.

Tips on “When should you have a bridal shower?”

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 these variables into account when choosing the best day to throw your event. 

1. Choose the location for the bridal shower.

First, decide where you will 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.

We recommend making 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 should still be mindful of the homeowner’s schedule.

2. Consider the timing of other pre-wedding events.

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

Wedding-related events affect "When is the right time to have a bridal shower?"
Wedding-related events affect “When is the right time to have a bridal shower?” – Photo by: Bethany Wolf Photography.

Planning the bridal shower at least two weeks before the bachelorette party is highly recommended. As this will give guests invited to both events the chance to get to know each other better. There will also be some downtime between the two gatherings 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, not tiredness.

3. 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 the 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 the options to choose from.

Ask the bride if you can't decide on "when should you have a bridal shower?"
Ask the bride if you can’t decide when to have a bridal shower – Photo by: Debbie Carlisle.

In addition, the bridal shower theme might also influence its timing. Would you prefer a garden-themed party with floral print decorations, lush greenery, and blush tones? Then, the summer or spring would be ideal choices for “When should you have a bridal shower?”. Or how about a fall shower with an apple cider bar, little pumpkin centerpieces, and a rust color scheme? Whatever vibe you want, 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

4. 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 contemplated when setting the final day for the bridal shower, but so should the attendees’ availability. Your guest list is a crucial component of when to have a bridal shower if you want all of the bride’s loved ones to be there and celebrate 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 most.

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

5. 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 shower, no one wants to travel across the country for two wedding-related events 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 if it's too tricky to decide when to have a bridal shower
Combine pre-wedding events if it’s too tricky to decide when is the best time to have a bridal shower – 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 one. 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.

6. 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 should you 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 some 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 deciding your shower date.

The Mardi Gras is not a good choice when it comes to "When to have bridal shower"
The Mardi Gras is not a good choice regarding “When is the right time to have a 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 event on the same day as the Super Bowl, the Mardi Gras, or the Pride Parade. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you!

FAQs about bridal shower timing

Is 4 months before a wedding too early for a bridal shower?

While there’s no strict rule, having a bridal shower four months before a wedding is generally considered quite early. Bridal showers are often held closer to the wedding date, typically a few weeks to a couple of months in advance. However, if the bride is comfortable with an earlier bridal shower and it aligns with her wedding planning timeline, four months before the wedding can be a suitable timeframe.

Which event comes first, the bridal shower or the bachelorette party?

Traditionally, the bridal shower comes first, followed by the bachelorette party. The bridal shower is often a more relaxed and family-oriented event, while the bachelorette party is typically more of a celebration with close friends. However, there’s flexibility, and the order can be adjusted to fit the bride’s vision for her pre-wedding celebrations.

Is the bridal shower in the morning or at night?

Bridal showers typically take place in the morning or early afternoon, between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. That said, there are no hard and fast rules about the time of day for a bridal shower. If you have a particular theme or vision for your event, you can choose a different time of day that better suits your needs. For example, a tea party might be more fitting for the afternoon, while a cocktail party could be held in the evening.

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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 should you 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. If you need inspiration for planning a perfect bridal shower, don’t forget to check out Viva Wedding Photography for more tips and ideas.

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