Planning a bridal shower is a fun way to celebrate the bride before the wedding day. This can be a girls-only event or a coed affair, hosted by one person or a group. First, decide who will host the shower. Typically, the maid of honor takes charge of throwing it, along with the bridesmaids, but these days a family member of the bride, such as an aunt, or her future mother-in-law may want to contribute as well. Once it is determined who the hosts will be, you will need to determine a budget and how much each host will contribute.
You will need the bride's help in creating a guest list (unless the shower is a surprise). Ask her for the names, phone numbers, mailing addresses and e-mail addresses of the invitees (remember that any guest invited to the bridal shower should also be invited to the actual wedding).
Next, you will want to think about the overall tone of the bridal shower, whether it is to be a casual backyard barbecue or an intimate tea party. Look into possible dates for the shower (a bridal shower usually takes place about two months prior to the wedding) and confirm that the bride, cohosts and important guests such as the mother of the bride will be available.
Once you have an idea of the size and scope of the shower, you can begin looking for an appropriate venue, whether it's the home of a family friend, a restaurant or the bride's favorite local park. Send out invitations a few weeks in advance, with one of the hosts serving as a contact for guests' RSVPs.
Then it's time to get down to the details. Decide on a menu -- do you plan to cook a few favorite dishes or have the event catered? Discuss if you will have a theme, plan any relevant decorations or games (whether for prizes or just as an icebreaker for guests to meet one another) and order bridal shower favors. Then, come up with a brief outline for the day, including time so that the bride can open her gifts. On the day of the shower, introduce yourself to guests and help facilitate mingling among friends and family, and help the bride open and keep track of her gifts.