November 3

Bridal Shower Ideas & Tips For Bridesmaids

Being asked to become a bridesmaid (especially the Maid of Honor) is one of the greatest compliments you can be given, and it carries with it a certain amount of responsibility. When the big day comes, the bride will rely on you more than ever to make sure everything goes smoothly (and to help calm her wedding day jitters). However, your first responsibility to the bride begins months before the wedding day arrives, since you are expected to plan and host her bridal shower. Before you dive headfirst into the party-planning details, here are a few bridal shower ideas and tips you should keep in mind in order to host a great shower.

bride to be at her bridal shower with all her girlfriends

Image via Sivan Ayla

Don’t Be a Hero

Just because you are in charge does not mean you have to do everything yourself. In fact, attempting to be the sole performer of all bridal shower duties can not only burn you out quickly, but it can also increase the chances that you will forget an important step in the shower-planning process. Delegating responsibilities to others is not a sign of weakness and can help ensure that everything comes together smoothly. Only delegate important responsibilities to people you can count on to come through for you and the bride.

Set the Date and Location a Month in Advance

Have a date and location already planned at least a month prior to the shower. Create the guest list as soon as you can, so you can get that step out of the way before the bride’s attention becomes swallowed up in wedding day arrangements. If the shower is a surprise to the bride, get together with a member of her close family to create the guest list.

Make sure you check the availability of VIPs (family members, best friends, etc.) If the bride’s favorite people are unable to attend it will definitely put a damper on the occasion. While you may not be able to find a time that accommodates everyone, you should be able to choose a date that will be suitable for a majority of the bride’s VIPs. Ideally, the shower should be scheduled to occur a month or two prior to the wedding date.

bridal shower ideas for venue backyard themed

Image via Sivan Ayla

Choose Invitations That Match the Wedding Theme

Get invitations ready to go at least a month before the event. They should ideally be ordered and ready to send out between six and eight weeks before the shower. Choose invitations that match the wedding theme, whether it be formal, casual, vintage or rustic. Including an RSVP request on each invitation is a great way to plan appropriate food and seating arrangements.

For an extra-special keepsake, set aside one invitation to give to the bride once the shower is over. She will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will enjoy being able to have a tangible reminder of the special occasion.

soft pink floral bridal shower invitation

Gift Guidelines Are Encouraged

Hopefully, the bride has already had the chance to register for gifts at her favorite locations, which should be listed on the invitation itself or on a separate insert. However, you may still want to include guidelines for gifts on the invitations just in case guests do not purchase items from the registry. This is especially important for guests who may be traveling into town for the occasion and do not have access to any of the locations where the bride is registered.

It Is Polite to Invite People Even if You Know They Cannot Come

Many bridesmaids make the mistake of leaving faraway relatives and friends off of the guest list because they automatically assume they cannot make it. However, this can feel like a snub to individuals who would love to be there if they could. It is always a nice gesture to send invitations to the important people in the bride’s life, even if there is very little chance that they can attend the event.

three women wearing floral crowns with their backs turned at bridal shower

Image via Sivan Ayla

Finger Food Is Ideal

Although you may be tempted to go all-out on a 5-course meal, finger food is ideal for most bridal showers. It is easy to display, easy to serve and typically mess-free. Choose items that can be purchased or made in advance so that you have as little stress as possible when the big day arrives. As with the invitations, try to tie the refreshments into the overall theme of the wedding, if possible.

bridal shower tips finger food

Image via Sivan Ayla

Hosting a bridal shower can be quite enjoyable if you know what to expect and how to plan the event properly. Take these important notes and tips into consideration and you will be able to pull off the perfectly-hosted bridal shower.

Shop Featured Bridal Shower Invitation | Flowery Circlet 



April 21

How To Pop The (other) Question – Asking Bridesmaids to Be in your Wedding

We are so pleased to have Brittany, a guest blogger for our “Real Brides” blog series. Brittany is recently engaged and living in NYC with her fiancé Eric. The couple is planning their wedding which will take place in Chicago. She will be sharing tips, inspiration and ideas on the Wedding Paper Divas blog for engaged couples who are navigating the world of weddings! Today she is sharing a unique way of asking bridesmaids to be in your wedding.

Bridesmaids Invitations

After Eric’s incredibly thoughtful proposal came a special proposal series of my own: asking my family and friends to stand up with me on the big day. I’m trying to be thoughtful about putting my own personal stamp on traditions, and I was very excited to do something meaningful and memorable for my bridal party-to-be!

Bridesmaids Invitations

I had a working concept of the bridesmaids ask based on our married monogram, BEE. (This is part of the reason I was so laser-focused on a garden wedding – I thought a subtle use of bee’s as decorative detail would be really sweet, and there’s a fun play on words/double entendre with it too!) I was lucky to tap my trusted friends at Wedding Paper Divas to help me bring the concept and idea to life.

Bridesmaids Invitations

I moonlight as a jewelry designer, and I thought it would be fun to create a whimsical bracelet with a little bee charm and use that bracelet to fill out the “Will you BEE my Bridesmaid?” question.

Bridesmaids Invitations

As for a presentation card, I am smitten with Whitney Port’s Lavish Laurel design – I love the green watercolor detailing and garden feel. A very talented Wedding Paper Divas designer consulted with me on creative copy, layout and helped transform the RSVP card into a cute question-popper!

I got together with each of my family and friends so I could watch their reactions as they opened up the cards and bracelets – the extra coordination was totally worth it to see them say YES! I love that everyone can wear their bee’s at the wedding too! (Photo opp alert!)


January 14

Ask Etta: Choosing Bridesmaids

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Stephanie asks…

I have been very torn with the decision of picking bridesmaids. I am lucky to have many wonderful friends, plus a big family. I have been in several weddings, and many of my friends are recently also just getting engaged. I would like to have a smaller wedding party, but I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

If I was in a friend’s wedding or if a friend asks me to be in her wedding, am I obligated to ask her to be a bridesmaid? If I end up picking everyone, how many is too many?

Etta says…

Choosing your attendants can be tough when you are lucky enough to have a large group of friends and close family members. But you are never – and I mean never! – obligated to ask someone to be a bridesmaid, even if you were part of their wedding. Remember, relationships evolve over time. When selecting your bridal party, the best advice is to follow your heart. Choose the friends and family members that will make you feel the most comfortable on what is sure to be a very nerve-wracking day.

There is no hard and fast rule for how many bridesmaids are too many. Past etiquette called for one attendant per fifty guests, but adherence to that number has declined. Instead, think about the number that you couldn’t do without. You should have no regrets about your bridal party, both for who you choose to be a part of it, and who is not.

If you think that a friend may be hurt to not be asked to be a bridesmaid, I suggest that you be upfront with telling her the news. Let her know, carefully, that you are keeping the bridal party small. Try to find another role for your friend. Perhaps she could do a reading during the ceremony, or give a toast at the rehearsal dinner. This way, you are still incorporating her into your special day while also having a bridal party that feels comfortable to you.

I hope this helps, Stephanie!


Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at and she’ll post an answer for you.


January 24

Eye Candy: Citrine Earrings

Looking to incorporate your wedding colors into your wedding party? Brighten up your bridesmaids with a little pre-wedding gift they can don on the big day. These gorgeous earrings from Madame Mathilde are a chic way to bring bright pops of color into the little details.


January 13

Rant or Rave: Un-Asking a Bridesmaid

For one reason or another, sometimes the occasion arises when a bride-to-be has to ask a bridesmaid not to be a part of the wedding. Whether it’s because of a falling out, financial reasons or something much more complicated—this is a topic with heated opinions.

Here is a what a few of our Facebook fans had to say:

“Yeah, if you’re also uninviting her to the wedding. I feel like the only thing that could justify such a move would also justify a breach in the friendship.” -Brenda

“I would say it would depend on the situation. I didn’t have to un-ask anyone but our wedding is a little less than 4 months away & one of my bridesmaids dropped out. Sad part is, I thought she was my best friend. Weddings let everyone’s true colors shine!!” -Amanda

“Ha… Yes, it sure is!!! this is one of the most special days of my life & your bridesmaids are supposed to be your closest friends/family. If they don’t bother to care about it, then they don’t deserve to share the day with you!” – Nicole

“i dont think its respectful to un ask them…unless they cant afford it.” -Becky

“Kinda I wish I could start over and make more dependable friends and have them be my maids:(” -Amber

Would you ever un-ask a bridesmaid? Did you have to do it? Do you wish you would’ve? Rant or rave!