When it comes to planning your pre-wedding parties, one of the most important details you’ll need to nail down is the timing. That’s why one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is ‘when should you have a bridal shower?’
And while there is no wrong time to host such a celebration, there certainly are some basic guidelines you’ll want to follow.
To help you decide the ideal date (and time) for your bridal shower, we’re answering a few frequently asked questions and dishing out our top timing tips.
How soon before the wedding is the bridal shower?
Typically, the bridal shower is held anywhere from two weeks to two months before the wedding. This time frame allows you the flexibility to find a date that works best for the bride, the bridal party, and as many guests as possible.
When deciding on the exact date, you’ll need to take into account a variety of factors such as venue availability, scheduling of other wedding-related celebrations (e.g. engagement and bachelorette parties), and travel arrangements for out-of-town guests.
Ideally, the bridal shower should be held close enough to the wedding that the bride does not feel that her celebration came and went too soon. Conversely, it should be far enough out that the bride is not distracted from her last-minute wedding preparations.
What day of the week should you have a bridal shower?
Traditionally, bridal showers are held on either a Saturday or Sunday as 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 it’s important to keep in mind what length of travel is required to attend the event.
In other words, if guests will be traveling from out of town or requiring an overnight stay, Saturday is a more convenient time to host the event. If the majority of the guest list is local, then a Sunday shower may work best for everyone’s social schedule.
The only time that a bridal shower should be held during the week (i.e. Monday-Friday), is if the bride and the majority of her guests have jobs that require them to work over the weekend or if the bridal shower will be taking place at the job itself.
How long does a bridal shower last?
After deciding on the optimal date for your celebration, it’s time to determine the appropriate length of the bridal shower. Generally speaking, a bridal shower should last three hours. That being said, any length between two to four hours is totally acceptable.
Anything shorter than two hours may have guests feeling rushed and without enough time to spend with the bride. Anything longer than four hours may seem dragged out and leave guests eager to head home.
To make sure you have enough (but not too much) time for everything planned, we suggest coming up with a bridal shower schedule that clearly outlines the order of events.
What time should a bridal shower start?
As far as actual timing goes, most bridal showers start anywhere from 11 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.
Determining the time that works best typically depends on the theme of the event. For example, if you’re planning a bridal brunch, you’d want an earlier start than if you were hosting an afternoon tea party.
If you are considering a later start time, make sure that the event does not bleed into the guests’ evening or dinner plans.
Bridal Shower Timing Tips
Are you struggling to finalize the perfect bridal shower date? Here are our top three tips when it comes to bridal shower timing:
1. Start 8 weeks out and work your way in
When you first sit down to consult with the bride on her schedule, suggest the weekend approximately 8 weeks before the wedding and work your way in from there. Make a note of all potential weekends, then go over these dates with the rest of the bridal party to determine their availability.
If there is not a single weekend available in that time frame, go back to 9 weeks out and work your way out from there. Just do your best to find a compromise within the three-month mark so the bridal shower does not seem too far out from the wedding.
2. Space out (or combine) your celebrations
Make sure there are a few weeks in between the bridal shower and the bachelorette party, especially if guests or bridesmaids will be traveling long distances. As excited as your loved ones are, no one wants to dedicate back-to-back weekends to wedding-related gatherings.
On the other hand, if you’re finding it extremely difficult to dedicate two separate weekends for these events, consider combining the celebrations into one big event. For example, plan your bachelorette party for Friday morning through Saturday night, then host your bridal shower on Sunday afternoon.
3. Avoid major holidays and holiday weekends
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to do your best to avoid any major holidays or holiday weekends when selecting a bridal shower date. These weekends are bound to result in a number of scheduling conflicts as guests will likely already have plans of their own.
You’ll also want to check your local events calendar to make sure that no major sports events, festivals, or parades are happening near your bridal shower location that could cause travel, traffic, or parking issues.