More often than not, if you happen to have a friend who’s going to tie the knot soon, you’ll probably feel compelled to arrange a bridal shower for her. Before all the fun begins though, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. Here’s what you should do and remember to spare yourself all the gut-wrenching stress:

Budget is everything. This will pretty much determine what kind of party you’ll be having. Be clear about who spends for what.

Get the idea. You may have to consider the bride’s personality when deciding on a theme for the bridal shower. Is she a spa denizen? You can have a sparty with her closest female friends. If she’s the outdoorsy type, you may have a simple picnic in the park. Once you stick to a theme, the rest of the planning process should flow smoothly.

Pick a date. Not just any date, though. Do consider the availability of your intended guests. Do they have to travel far just to make it to the party venue?

Look for a location. You may have to book early if you plan to have the party in a hotel or salon. Remember that these places get particularly busy during the holidays. This will also of course affect their prices.

wine gift basketGifts, gifts. It would be good to suggest that the bride and groom register for gifts before the shower. Don’t worry, this is still within the bounds of etiquette. If they didn’t register, you can simply get them a wine gift basket which sticks to the theme of the party, for instance.

Menu matters. In almost any gathering, the food will make or break the entire event. It’s best if the types of food match your overall theme. If you’re having a backyard barbeque, your best bet would be to stick to grilled burgers, and maybe some beer. If you have enough money, you can just have the party catered.

Aim to entertain. Think about what kind of entertainment you’ll have. Will there be dancing? Games? Enlist the help of other friends.

As your dear friend enters a new chapter in her life, be that good friend and give her a bridal shower she’s sure to remember for years to come.