Bridal Showers

A bridal shower is a gift-giving celebration for the bride-to-be. A gathering of family and friends to show love and support. Usually there is cake, a meal or appetizers served to the guests. The planning of a bridal shower is essential for a perfect outcome. Typically, the bridesmaid of honor is responsible for creating a list of friends of the bride and groom to attend the festivities. The most common gifts are centered around household needs. When planning a bride's shower it is important to follow the theme of her wedding. Communicate with the bride regarding her wedding plans and ask her if she wants the guests to participate in games at the shower.

Budget

Whether a bridal shower is informal, or created around complex themes, planning several weeks ahead is always good advice. Set your budget and, if money is tight, ask others for monetary assistance for the food or cake costs. Mothers and fathers of the bride and groom often provide financial support for bridal showers.

Theme

Ask the bride and groom for their friend's names and contact information prior to creating the guest list and find out if they prefer a coed shower or if they want the event to be girls only. The tendency of having the bride and groom together with guests of both genders is a trend which continues to grow. Choose a venue for the shower. It should match the bride's wedding theme if possible. The prospective couple may have planned a wedding ceremony which is traditional, rustic, vintage, modern, indoor, outdoor or even an off-beat theme. The season of the year often precludes certain color choices. Using white as a color choice in winter, for example, would be a sartorial faux pas, and white decorations would simply not look right in during winter. Knowing the wedding's theme will assist greatly in the planning and coordination of the shower and will serve to compliment the big day.

View the bride and groom's wedding invitations and copy the theme, background, and fonts used there so the bridal shower invitations will be the same tone as the wedding invitations. Write and send invitations out three to four weeks prior to the event. Make sure there is an RSVP phone number or e-mail for guests to communicate whether or not they will be attending. Decide the central theme of the gifts and shower. Include a bridal registry copy if one is in place. This will facilitate gift giving without repeats. Organize decorations around the theme. If your bride is having a vintage wedding, find vintage reproduction posters to decorate the wall. A rustic wedding might have earthy decorations such as flowers, butterflies and artwork of ladybugs. A beach wedding could easily have small buckets filled with sea shells. A traditional wedding might include decorations of wedding bells and spots of tissue paper spirals. If the budget is tight, consider making your own simple decorations or browse the dollar stores for charming centerpiece ideas. Websites such as Pinterest have thousands of amazing ideas from which to choose.

Shower Favors

Bridal shower favors are mementoes of the shower and a small thank you for attending. There are numerous choices in bridal favor gifts. They can be simple such as edible chocolate bars and cupcakes, or picture frames and wine bottle tops. Or they could be unusual, thoughtful and useful favors such as custom salt and pepper shakers, shot glasses or glass swans. Find ones that fit nicely into your theme. Bridal shower favors typically sell for less than $2.00 each and establish a tone for the shower. Decorations with complimentary colors to the wedding is an organized method of creating a memorable shower. Fathers and mothers of the bride should work with the organizer (generally the maid of honor) to decide on decorations and shower favors. Decorations include table covers, centerpieces, gift table, plates, napkins and cups.

What about food?

Organize food and drinks based on venue. It the shower is held in a restaurant, then only reservations need to be made. If the venue is at a home consider if it is going to be a lunch or appetizers affair. Having the event catered is a timer saver. Large chains such as Subway, and Pei Wei offer catered food which is inexpensive and tasty. When organizing make sure enough napkins, cutlery and cups are ready to be used for the event. Do not forget a cake knife and server for the shower. It is a minor detail that can often be overlooked. Homemade limeade and lemonade are inexpensive drinks people enjoy, and they do not stain like red fruit punch if spilled. Make sure to assign someone to record, on paper, a description of each gift opened and from whom they were received. This facilitates the writing of thank you notes by the bride to her guests.

Games

Organize games if the bride and groom enjoy them. Suggested games include Purse Raid, the purse version of a scavenger hunt. Start with the basics typically in a purse: pen, compact, credit cards, and the first person to pull the named item from their purse and hold it up receives a small prize. Then the list continues to more bizarre or risqué items such as a blue highlighter or condom. The Newlywed Game: Record the groom's responses to questions such as how they met, when and where was the first kiss, what is her most annoying habit, and who first said "I love you" first. See how many questions the bride gets right. Two Truths and One Lie: Guest recall their funniest moments with the bride. Two real events and one lie. Each guest takes turn reading their three memories. The first person to correctly identify the lie earns points. The person with the most points wins. Truth can be stranger than fiction, so this game is a hit. Celebrity match: Write the names of celebrities on a note card or post it note. Tape the names on all guest's backs. Everybody mingles and gives and receives clues. People ask each other one question back and forth regarding their celebrity such as "Are they over or under forty years of age?" "Do they star in action movies?" The first person to correctly guess the name of the celebrity taped onto their back wins.

Following your bridal shower check list will ensure a party that is memorable to all. Paying attention to details and organizing in advance guarantees an event guests will enjoy. A fun shower compliments the bride's wedding and is an interactive thank you for sharing in the bride and groom's commitment of a lifetime. It is a memory-making event which will stay with her for a lifetime.

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