Wedding Showers usually happen 1-2 months before the big "I Do". This time is used for loved ones to gather together to shower you with gifts, knowledge of marriage, and spend some great quality time with you before this next step in your life.
Now usually this is hosted by the Maid/Matron of Honour or someone in the Wedding Party, but many times it is hosted by family and friends. So no worries, there are lots of options!
Now for the PLANNING!
About 3-4 months before the event, have an in depth conversation with the couple, and ask what their expectations are. Do they want the shower to be Co-Ed? What time of day do they want the shower to be held? Is there a specific theme they would like, or would they prefer to tie the shower into the theme of their wedding? Ask the couple where the location of the event should be, or where they feel comfortable. Most commonly it is held at a home, but for larger parties, alternative options such as a hall, or private room at a restaurant could be beneficial to your guests. Be sure to ask the couple for a guest list. I always recommend "Google Spread Sheets," so that you can share the information and have access to it at all times.
A question frequently asked is, "If they are not invited to the wedding, do they get invited to the shower?". And the Answer is no. Of course, if your cousin twice removed or your friend from high school wants to come but knows you have a limited guest count, they are welcome. Typically, it is for guests of the wedding, but there are exceptions to every rule!
For those couples that do not want a Co-Ed wedding shower, a recent party that has become more common is a "Tool Party," where you can register for tools. BBQ, Drill, Impact Driver, Hammer, Saw, Etc. This alleviates the gentlemen from having to participate in the wedding shower games, and can possibly open up the opportunity for a night out!
2 Months prior to the wedding shower, it is time to send out those invitations. Start to design them, and decide whether email or mailing is the best way of contact for the guests. Remember to include a link to the couples registry, so that guests can go out and purchase something off the registry if they desire. Ensure the couples RSVP contact is not the couple. They already have enough on their plates.
Remember to set a budget! Any wedding extra curricular activities can add up quickly! If you are a part of the wedding party, it can be a very expensive 3, 6 or even 9 months. Between attire, makeup, hair, gifts and accessories, it can be very pricey. Set a budget for what can be afforded. This is a great time to set up that group chat if you have not done so already! It's an ideal way to centralize communication. Now remember, if you are planning the Wedding Shower, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING ALONE. When it comes to planning, there are more than likely a number of people in the couples life that want to help. You do not have to do this alone. Divide up the responsibilities. Assign different aspects of the celebration to individuals to mutually share costs, and not break the bank.
About 1 month out, start purchasing supplies for the party. Majority of the time, last minute panic sets in when the items that you wanted for a game, the decorations or even the availability of food is slim. Call ahead to food vendors and place orders, visit your stores of choice for your celebration items on weekdays to allow for maximum choice, and find your games in advance. This will lessen the amount of errands you have to do on the day of. Confirm with helpers that jobs are able to be completed on time. Sometimes a little nudge can be of assistance.
On the day of the event, remember to relax. If you divide the planning and organizing over a 4 month span, this should provide ample time for those Pinterest ideas, games, favours and prizes to come to life; which in the end, will eliminate some of the stress from the couple!