When Do You Have a Bridal Shower?

group of women with their feet up in a hotel bed drinking champagne

A bridal shower is a gathering meant to honor a bride-to-be and celebrate the upcoming wedding. Most bridal showers are hosted by someone close to the bride, often the maid of honor or a close relative, who is tasked with the preparation of the event, including picking the date. This pre-wedding party usually happens anywhere from three weeks to three months before the wedding to get everyone pumped for the big day. 

When to Have a Bridal Shower

Bridal showers originated centuries ago during the days of dowries when women wanted to marry “unsuitable” husbands, and their families refused to provide a dowry, so friends of the couple gathered to pitch in. Today, bridal showers are a time to share stories and advice, and shower the bride with special attention. The exact timing will vary based on the preferences of the bride, the hosts, and logistical considerations, but bridal showers are typically held in the months leading up to a wedding, usually a few weeks to a few months before the big day. 

The trick is not to plan a bridal shower too far in advance or too close to the wedding date. If it’s too far out, those involved may lose some of their pre-wedding celebration excitement, but if it’s too close to the big day, the bride, bridal party and family will likely be too busy with last-minute ceremony prep to really enjoy themselves at the shower. Therefore, most bridal showers are usually held three weeks to three months before the wedding. 

Try to choose a date that best accommodates the bride, the bridal party, and as many guests as possible. Like with most types of events, the key is planning early, especially if there are long-distance guests who’ll need to make travel arrangements. Some brides will have two bridal showers with separate groups of people, usually in different states. If you’re picking the date for one shower, make sure it’s a few weeks apart from the other so the bride has time to relax and unwind between events. For the sake of convenience, consider throwing the bridal shower on the same day as the bachelorette party, so guests can carve out one day for festivities, and out-of-towners won’t need to make two separate trips.

Where Should a Bridal Shower Take Place?

The process of choosing a bridal shower gathering place is similar to picking a wedding venue, just on a smaller scale. The specific location for the shower will depend on the type of party, the host’s budget, how many will be in attendance and of course the bride’s preferences. It could be in a friend’s or family member’s home or backyard, at a local restaurant, or somewhere more specific if the shower has a theme like a wine-tasting room, paint-your-own-pottery studio or at a spa or gallery.

Here are some places to consider if you’re planning a bridal shower. 

  • Private Home: Some bridal showers will take place at the host’s home, either indoors or in their backyard. Be sure to have enough tables and chairs, consider purchasing some decorations, and have a plan for setting up and cleaning up after the event.
  • Restaurant: An advantage to hosting a bridal shower at a favorite restaurant is that it probably requires the least amount of additional work on the host’s part. Restaurants tend to be all-inclusive venues, so you won’t have to worry about food and decor.
  • Country Club: Similar to a restaurant, country clubs usually have in-house catering and other amenities and can be a great location for a bridal shower. 
  • Banquet Hall: If you’re hosting a big shower with lots of guests, a banquet hall or event space may be an ideal venue. These venues may have in-house catering and other amenities, though some “blank slate” spaces may require additional decorations.
  • Hotel: Hotels often have private event spaces of varying sizes, as well as in-house catering, and if your guest list includes more than a few out-of-towners, they can stay on site for added convenience.
  • Park: For a more casual picnic-style event, a local park or other outdoor area makes a great bridal shower venue. You’ll have to bring your own food, decorations and supplies, but outdoor events can be extra magical and memorable. 

Most bridal showers last between two and four hours, and typically take place during the late morning or early afternoon (think brunch or luncheon). When in doubt, ask the bride for their opinion and feedback if you’re feeling unsure. When you’re planning, make sure the location you choose is easy to get to, has ample parking, and enough space and amenities to comfortably accommodate all of your guests. 

Historic Acres sits along beautiful rolling hills of the Pennsylvania countryside and offers a variety of stunning settings indoors or out, for any event. If you’re looking for the perfect venue for your bridal shower in Hershey, PA, contact our team to learn more about our event spaces.