The Bridal Shower tradition started out as a party for the bride to be, where female family and friends come together to celebrate the upcoming wedding of the celebrant and “shower” her with love, wishes, gifts and laughter. Now-a-days, more and more couples are opting to celebrate together in what are known as “couple showers.” Whatever type of shower it may be, here is a little checklist of things the lucky party planner should do to get the shower rolling. Oh, and a word to the planner: DO NOT stress out. You are a close friend (family member) getting together with others to celebrate a new beginning for the bride to be. The shower should be a laid back event for the guests as well as yourself. Have fun!
The Party Planner
The Maid of Honor usually gets the “honors” of planning this special event but she should enlist the help of your other attendants and willing family members and friends. The best people to be involved are those with some time and energy in their hands. Divvying up the responsibilities is also useful when most family and friends don’t have too much time.
A shower can take place anywhere from 6 months before the wedding to a week before the big day. Some showers are made to be surprises and some showers go as far as to have the bride’s input and help in planning. When planning the date for showers keep in mind that invited guests from out of town may need more time since they must make travel arrangements. Like a wedding, once you set the date start planning. Decisions on themes, locations, decorations, food and entertainment must be made early on to prevent any unwanted snafus.
Shower costs can range anywhere from $200 to $2000. The cost really depends if you want a nice laid back, finger food style soiree at home; a spa treatment for the bride and the other gals; or a gala event complete with an ice sculpture and 4 course meal. Once you’ve decided on a budget make certain that everyone involved is aware that monetary “chip ins” will be expected. The best way is to divvy up the budget--for example, $20 to $30 per person involved. This should help with food expense, décor, entertainment and etc.
Bridal Shower Favors
Selecting your bridal shower favors should be easily, pick something that the brides likes, like her favorite color, or flower or something that reflects the brides personality and style. There are many wonderful ideas like fragrant soaps, candle votive that can be personalized or candy mints with personalized tins. What ever you decide upon, it should be easy and fun.
Creativity is the key to picking a place to have a shower. Many popular places include “moms” outdoor garden, a friends cozy living room, a neighborhood park, a beach or by a swimming pool. You have to make sure that you inquire about available dates and costs if you plan on having the party at a hotel, restaurant or anywhere that requires a reservation.
The Guest List is always a pretty tricky thing. If the shower is not meant to be a surprise DO enlist the help of the bride regarding whom to invite. If you cannot ask the bride ask her mother, her sister or when you have to—her fiancé! Those invited to the shower should also invited to the wedding, therefore be careful not to invite a guest that is not going to be wedding, it will save you from an awkward situation. DO make sure that when inviting guests for a shower for the bride only, that you include not just her female family and friends but also family and friends from the grooms side.
Usually, the bride and her groom have already registered for gifts that they would like to receive. It is normal to ask the bride and groom to register for gifts before the shower. It is okay to mention in the shower invitations where these gifts could be purchased by party goers. n the shower invitations, include information about where guests can purchase presents.
Spreading the Word
Invitations do not have to be fancy, as a matter of fact, simple is much better. The fun is in coming up with invites that reflect the theme of the party and these can definitely be handmade with items from a local craft store. Of course, if time is an issue, pre-made, store bought invites will do just fine. Don’t forget about out of town guests who may want to attend the shower, they should be sent the invitations sooner so they could make plans. DO have guests RSVP so you have a better look at how many guests will be attending this shower and you can plan accordingly.
The Table Spread
Depending on budget you can have the shower food catered for an at home party or you can have the hotel or restaurant do all the work. One popular, budget friendly idea is a potluck. Party planner(s) and guests will be asked to bring a favorite dish that they would like to share. Not only will there be enough food, there will be variety, guests can try something new and will have a great time recipe swapping. If the potluck is the way you would like to go, inform guests to list the dish they will bring when they RSVP.
A band or a DJ is not needed for a bridal shower. Some nice music from a CD player will do just fine. The bridal shower activities such as eating, talking, games and gift opening will provide enough entertainment for the guests to keep them busy and the party rolling. DO make sure that there is always a point person to go-to, someone to help the bride jot down gifts and who they came from and a clean-up crew for after the party.