Congrats on Being Maid of Honor! Here's How to Plan a Fab Bridal Shower

Because every bride needs a situation-savvy MOH by her side. 

You’d do anything for your best friend, so when she asked you to be her maid of honor, you obviously said yes! While it’s a privilege to be the bride's right-hand lady, it’s also a great responsibility.

Blushing Bridal Bouquet

Blushing Bridal Bouquet

Wedding bouquet of peach roses by David Austin

Photo by: ©


You’ll need to accompany the bride to dress fittings and appointments with vendors, organize and inform the maids, make a speech at the reception, keep track of the bouquet and generally ensure that your bestie is blushing and blissful on her big day.

Traditionally speaking, the maid of honor is also responsible for hosting the bridal shower. To save you some stress, we’ve already broken down the basics — and remember, you can delegate any of these tasks to the rest of the bride tribe as well!

Get the Bride's Two-Cents

Not that you need an excuse to grab coffee and gab with your bestie, but this seems like as good a time as any. Months beforehand, sit down with the bride and see what she envisions. Does she want a formal affair with Champagne and finger sandwiches, or would your country-chic bestie prefer something more casual, like beer and a BBQ buffet? Does she have an opinion on party games?

Wedding Theme: Retro Garden Party

Wedding Theme: Retro Garden Party

"I would like [my wedding] to be like a 1950s garden party!" says Facebook fan Esther Garnier.

Photo by: Courtesy of BHLDN

Courtesy of BHLDN

Keep in mind, though, that you are the host. While it's good to get the bride's input, she likely has a lot on her plate preparing for the wedding, so it's totally okay for you to take the reigns on this one.

Set The Guest List

Bridal Shower Guest List

Bridal Shower Guest List

Photo by: ©


While the bridal shower is typically reserved for close friends and family, you should still ask the bride for a list of people she wants to see. And whatever you do, don't forget to include the groom's (or second bride-to-be's) mother!

Send Invitations

This is an important one, ladies. To make sure that everyone has enough time to respond, send the invitations out at least four to six weeks prior to the event. List your contact information so the recipients can RSVP, and include a link to the happy couple's wedding registry.



To ensure that the stationery sparkles as much as the bride-to-be, add colorful DIY envelope liners, or address each invitation in beautiful calligraphy.

Design + Decorate

To make party planning a breeze, choose a theme that reflects the bride’s personality. If she knows every line to a particular John Hughes flick, layer the room with pink banners and garlands for a pretty-in-pink look that would impress Molly Ringwald herself.

Pink and Gold Party Decor

Pink and Gold Party Decor

These party decorations combine two beautiful colors and use minimal decorations to create a big impact. Big, bold balloons and tissue garland add symmetry to the party table.

Has your free-spirited best friend trekked across the world a time or two? Decorate the room with globes, maps and vintage postcards that lead directly to pics of her sweetheart.

DIY Map Floral Vessel & Votives


DIY Map Floral Vessel & Votives

Colorful maps add a classic touch to glass vessels and votives. You'll need the following materials for this project: an assortment of glass votive candle holders and vases, scissors, maps, a pencil, a ruler or straight edge and double-sided tape.

Or, if your lady's more of a Moroccan-inspired maiden, layer the party space with ornate tapestries, boho-chic pillows and gold accents. Guests can take a seat on the sofa, or kick off their shoes and get comfortable on the floor.

Eclectic Dining Room With Layered Rugs
Mieke Tacken
Colorful Throw Pillows Add Multi-Cultural Details
Haris Kenjar

Eclectic Dining Room With Layered Rugs

Layered rugs in deep, opulent blues and reds line this dining room floor, giving the space an eclectic feel. A rustic wood table with contemporary acrylic chairs completes the boho chic look.

Colorful Throw Pillows Add Multi-Cultural Details

This young couple loves to travel, and their travel has shaped their world view. Brio Interior Design wanted to incorporate this world view into the Mid-Century design they added to this couple's first home by placing throw pillows that use different shapes, colors, textures and fabrics throughout the living space. This way, the couple can feel the influence of their travels, even in the details of their home.

Photo By: Haris Kenjar

For a woman who tends to navigate her own course, choose a nautical-approach. We love this “Down the Hatch” theme for an adventurous bride-to-be. Add a white backdrop, captain hats and paper anchors for a DIY photobooth that will entertain guests.

Stock-the-Bar Wedding Shower With Nautical Theme

Stock-the-Bar Wedding Shower With Nautical Theme

As if a stock the bar party wasn't enough, a nautical theme takes this wedding shower over the top.

Photo by: Kim Daniels

Refresh The Menu

Sweet tea and cookies are classic, but nothing says you have to have them at the bridal shower. In fact, we think it makes more sense to coordinate the menu with the time of the event.

13 Tips for Setting Up a Crowd-Pleasing Buffet

13 Tips for Setting Up a Crowd-Pleasing Buffet

Simple tricks to keep guests happy and fed at your next buffet-style brunch, lunch or dinner.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Hosting a brunch shower? Break out the mimosas and french toast, or set up a DIY-smoothie bar with fruit prepped in jars.  If you’re celebrating later in the afternoon, substitute with sangria, fruit salad, sandwiches or sliders.

Whatever you choose, definitely make sure to have a big-batch cocktail on hand that everyone can enjoy. Here are 15 of our favorites:

15 Cocktails That Serve a Crowd

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Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Our twist on the classic gin and tonic combines muddled mint, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet elderflower liqueur for a refreshing summer brew that will prove to be a major party pleaser. 

Make This: Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

The Lime in the Coconut

Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.

Make This: Lime in the Coconut Cocktail 

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Coconut Mango Margarita

Not too sweet — but not too spicy — a blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is a winning combination. You can make it in 10 minutes from start to finish, and no need for a high-powered blender because the recipe uses frozen mango cubes in lieu of ice cubes. 

Make This: Coconut Mango Margarita

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Boozy Berry Patch Lemonade

Fresh, ripe berries + whiskey + tart lemonade = a not-too-sweet cocktail that's sure to please a crowd.

Make This: Boozy Berry Lemonade

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Coastal Citrus Punch

This refreshing punch can be made in a large glass jug and placed in a pail of ice for your summertime gathering. Place additional fruit and ice in glasses for a fun, decorative touch.

Make This: Coastal Citrus Punch

Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Hibiscus tea, pineapple juice, rum and ginger simple syrup are the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and refreshing.

Make This: Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Honeydew Green Tea

Blend fresh honeydew melon with ice and add it to green tea for a new fruity-flavored drink. 

Make This: Honeydew Green Tea

Photo By: Photographs by James T. Farmer III and Maggie Yelton from Sip & Savor by James T. Farmer III, reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith

Oranges-and-Cream Punch

The flavors of this festive punch will bring you back to your childhood. Perfect for an outdoor gathering, bridal shower or Sunday brunch, this sunny concoction is easily doubled and great for a crowd. 

Make This: Oranges-and-Cream Punch

(Watermelon) Keg Party

Make a big batch of your favorite watermelon sip then turn the shell into a party serving vessel. Sweet!

Make This: Watermelon Keg

Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Adorn this tart and bubbly punch with pretty, yet simple to make, floating ice flowers.

Make This: Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Lemony Summer Shandy

This beer punch couldn't be easier to whip up, and its light, lemony flavor helps cool down hot summer days. Careful, though: The Canadian whiskey packs a punch. 

Make This: Lemonade-Beer Punch


Rose and Lemon Sparkling Punch

Sparkling rosè and cranberry juice give this lemony punch its blush-pink hue, making it perfect for a summer picnic or bridal or baby shower. 

Make This: Sparkling Rosè Punch

Sparkling Summer Sangria

Dress up white wine and Prosecco with summer's freshest fruit and herbs. To keep the mixture cool, freeze the fruit unitl your party begins. 

Make This: Sparkling Summer Sangria

  1. sangria

Photo By: ALX Creatives

Red, White and Blue Sangria

For a patriotic take on sangria, decorate your pitcher with cookie-cutter fruit shapes in red, white and blue. 

Make This: Red, White and Blue Sangria 

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Refreshing Muscadine Sangria

This Southern spin on sangria features thick-skinned muscadine grapes, lime and white wine. 

Make This: Muscadine Sangria 

Photo By: Reprinted from the book "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Photographs copyright © 2013 by Squire Fox. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Distinguish the Bride



Completed Floral Headband for Fairy Princess Costume.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

While we’re not saying you need to buy that hot pink sash just yet (save that one for the bach-bash), you should distinguish the bride from the rest of the guests. Depending on her tastes, you could choose a vintage broach, cheeky birdcage veil or a blushing flower crown.

Make This: DIY Flower Crown

Include Ice-Breakers

Wedding Catch Phrase Wedding Shower Game

Wedding Catch Phrase Wedding Shower Game

Guests will need to think quickly on their feet as they try to get through as many wedding words as possible before time runs out. The team with the most words at the end of two minutes wins. Before the shower, download, print and cut out the wedding catch-phrase cards.

It’s likely that many of the bride’s guests will be visiting from out of town. To help everyone break the ice, have a few activities prepared that will get people talking, laughing and smiling from ear-to-ear. Some of our favorite games include trivia about the bride and groom, as well as purse-style scavenger hunts.

Keep a Written Record



©Michelle Kim Photography

Michelle Kim Photography

Before the bride-to-be unwraps her gifts, make sure you have a copy of the guest list or a notebook on hand. As she goes through each present, jot down who brought what, which will help the bride keep track later while sending thank-you notes.

Polish With Party Favors

Infused Sugars With Lemon, Lime and Lavender
Rosemary Apple Tea

Infused Sugars With Lemon, Lime and Lavender

For something really sweet, consider giving infused sugars like the ones shown here by Eden Passante of Sugar and Charm. Just layer sugar and the dry ingredient of your choice in a sealed container for a few days to let the flavor set. Try dried fruit, vanilla beans, coffee beans, lavender — or all of the above!

Rosemary Apple Tea

This recipe combines the sweet flavor of apple pie with a hint of rosemary for a truly unique tea. Mix 2 teaspoons of white tea leaves, 4 teaspoons of dried apples, 2 teaspoons of crushed cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon dried lemon verbena or lemon balm, 1 teaspoon crushed vanilla bean with half a teaspoon of rosemary. Distribute between 5 tea bags.

Chalk it up to a strong sense of southern hospitality, but we think that a good hostess should thank her guests for coming. Set up a small table by the door where guests can grab a party favor on their way out. Nail polish, DIY facial scrubs and tea bags tied with ribbon are all simple yet thoughtful tokens to show your appreciation. 

13 More DIY Favors to Consider

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Cocktail Kit

This Rose and Mint Champagne Cocktail makes an elegant signature wedding drink. Better yet, you can fill Mason jars with dried rosebuds, attach a tag with the recipe and send guests home with some happy hour inspiration. Get the recipe.

Tiffany Blue Macarons

You've got to have "something blue" at your wedding. These delicate treats look just like jewelry when packed in little boxes. (Hello, pearl dragees!) Get the recipe.

Infused Sugars

For something really sweet, consider giving infused sugars like the ones shown here by Eden Passante of Sugar and Charm. Just layer sugar and the dry ingredient of your choice in a sealed container for a few days to let the flavor set. Try dried fruit, vanilla beans, coffee beans, lavender — or all of the above!

Bubbles for Adults

Mini pink champagne bottles are adorable adult-only favors. Wrap each bottle with a rectangle of printable scrapbook paper and add a personalized tag to the front. Just download our templates and add your text using word processing software.

Bubbles for Kids

While adults get the alcoholic bubbly, regular soap bubbles with custom labels will keep young ones happy. Bubbles are also a popular alternative to messy rice, confetti or streamers for the couple's send-off.

Potted Succulents

Potted succulents are a great giveaway at summer weddings and they're hearty, so guests will have a long-lasting reminder of your celebration. Extra credit: Customize the pots with paint like Chelsea Costa of Lovely Indeed did here. If you use your wedding colors, these can double as centerpieces during the reception! Get step-by-step instructions.

Mixed Nuts

For a fall or winter wedding, a more substantial edible favor is in order. Pour homemade spiced nuts, trail mix or granola into Mason jars, then customize with a printed label or some attractive washi tape.

Place Card Journals

Save money by combining your favors and your place cards. You can buy inexpensive blank journals in bulk and then add stamped labels bearing each guest's name. Voilà, a terrific two-in-one gift.

Giant Cookies

Here, Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio uses a CD envelope as a clever wrapper for a giant homemade cookie. Attach printable tags and seal envelopes with decorative twine for favors that both music lovers and cookie monsters will appreciate. Get the recipe.

Gourmet Chocolate Bars

Gourmet chocolate bars with custom labels make elegant goodies. Remove outer wrappers and cover bars in gold crepe paper. Then wrap our printable wrappers around the bar and secure with double-sided tape at the back. Embellish with paper rosebuds from craft stores for an unexpected 3D touch.

Rustic Bread

Having an intimate, rustic affair? Fresh Walnut-Rosemary Olive loaves (tucked inside paper bags featuring the recipe) are symbolic gifts to those you've invited to break bread at your wedding. Get the recipe.

Homemade Candy

Who can resist a candy buffet? Stock apothecary jars with homemade truffles and provide take-out boxes to transport the treats. Decorate each box with a sweet printable tag and ribbon to match.

Tins of Lip Balm

Whenever your guests clink their glasses at the reception, it's customary to kiss. Make sure your lips — and the lips of your loved ones — are smoochable by giving out DIY lip balm as a favor. You can make a plain version for the gents and add a little pigment for the ladies. Add custom stickers to tin lids and they're ready to go.

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