This is a party for the bride, so you'll likely be inviting some people you don't know. This might seem like a hopeless task, but breaking it down into steps makes the whole thing much more manageable:

  • Generate, on your own, a list of all the people you think the bride wants at the shower: bride-to-be's friends, co-workers and her or her fianc's relatives.

  • Run that list by two-three close friends/family members of the bride and get their input.

  • Show that list to the bride, absent any surprise guests you plan to invite.

  • In the past it was customary to invite only those who are also going to the wedding (not all of them, of course), because the one person at the shower not invited to the actual wedding would probably feel like crap surrounded by all the other future wedding-goers. Nowadays, it's acceptable to invite people not on the wedding list but who nonetheless wish the bride well, like coworkers, so that they might participate in the celebration.

  • You've got yourself a list of who you'd like to invite, but how many people are you actually going to invite? Aside from the bride's preference - a seven person cozy affair versus a fifty person blowout - how much you want to spend will be very important in determining whether Aunt Martha gets to come or not. Guests cost money because they like to eat food, drink alcohol, see pretty decorations, and be somewhere during the shower. So, you must decide how much to spend and take a look at your budget. Typically, a shower has between ten and twenty or so well-wishers. Take your budget, and divide it by the number of guests on your list. That's how much you'll be spending per person.

  • The easiest way to drive down the cost of what you pay for food is to make the shower a pot luck, where everyone brings a dish. The downside of this is that some guests may bring food that tastes like leather. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough food and drink for everyone. Spend a little more if you have to, because the bride (and you) will feel bad if shower guests don't have enough to eat or drink.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW host a wedding shower?