If You’re the Bridesmaid:

This party is for the bride and since you’re the one planning it, you probably know her pretty well. Personalize it and make decisions based on what you think she’d like. My sister loves Nutella, so I chose glass jars of Nutella as party favours. I also created a signature cocktail inspired by her favourite fruity flavours.

Decorating on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to resort to dollar-store finds. To keep décor costs low, I looked around the house for items with potential, and I secretly borrowed things intended for the wedding. I purchased flowers at Home Depot and handmade vases using a hot glue gun and mirrored tiles, which were later reused at the wedding. The tissue pom-poms and pinwheels were also handmade. Signs and labels are also an easy and affordable way to add that extra loving touch to a party space.

Beautiful invitations can be inexpensively made with some pretty paper and your at-home printer. I’m no graphic designer, but with the slightest amount of effort I was very impressed with what I was able to create. Looking to save on paper and post? Evites are a completely acceptable way to invite your guests to the soiree.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you will probably need it. Initially, I feared being a bother, but I soon learned that people genuinely wanted to lend a hand. Almost all the desserts, aside from the cake, were made by family and friends and I had a whole crew to help me set up.

Things may not go your way. This is a reality of party planning. But once the décor is up, the food is out and the bride has arrived, do your best to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If You’re the Bride:

Don’t spoil the surprise. If you suspect that your shower is intended to be a surprise, make every effort to keep yourself in the dark. Much time and thought has been put into making this party special for you and playing detective is disrespectful to those working so hard to keep it under wraps.

See the bigger picture. Your marriage may mean the world to you, but chances are it doesn’t for everyone else. Appreciate everything that has been done for you even if it’s not always what you had hoped for.

Show gratitude. Ensure that gifts are recorded and ask the host who went the extra mile to help. I believe that there is great power in a handwritten note and that this is the best way to thank your guests for their gifts and time. Bridal shower thank you notes should be distributed before the wedding day.