The bridal shower is where the bride’s closest girl friends and female family members get to pamper her as the guest of honor and make her feel as wonderful as the woman they know she is. They are there to offset her fears, stress and worries about herself, the day and the forthcoming major change in her life. A good bridal shower should also create some fun memories to deepen the friendships and anticipation of the big day. Here are some tips to help you strike just the right note for the bridal shower:
PICK A DATE WAY IN ADVANCE
As soon as you know the actual wedding date, start working on a bridal shower date and give it out. Women have a phenomenal capacity to get booked up and busy so giving a couple of months’ notice does not make for a well-attended bridal shower. First, whoever is organising the event (usually the Maid of Honor) needs to ensure that the VIP is actually available on that day. Ask the bride for the guest list and do not invite anyone to the bridal shower who is not invited to the wedding.The further away the date, the more likely you are to get positive RSVPs and ot have the to and fro with schedules and travel arrangements.
INFORMAL BUT INFORMATIVE INVITATIONS
There is no need for the formality of a wedding invitation; you can send out handmade invites or use a paperless service or evite. Do make it clear the date, time, place, a contact phone number and email, what (if any) activity will be going off, any specific theme or focus for the gifts, practical info about what they should wear and some idea of what the bride would particularly appreciate as a bridal shower gift. You could also informally ‘round up the posse’, spreading the responsibility, sharing the costs and fun with the bride’s other close girlfriends who want to get involved in the planning and production.
BRIDAL SHOWER REGISTRY - THEME IT OUT
You don’t have to officially create one but give some idea of the type of gifts the bride would appreciate. For example, she may want some gifts more helpful for the honeymoon or travel, or may be wanting particular gardening items if she is a keen gardener and the newlyweds have got a garden to cultivate. Make it clear that any ‘racy’/explicitly sexy stuff is for the Bachelorette Party! The Bridal Shower is not the time or the place...although there definitely will be one.
BE CLEAR ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK - INFORMALLY FORMAL
There is no need for a full-on meal. Instead, go for themed bites, nibbles, hand-food or a potluck where everyone contributes. Brunch shower parties are very popular because of the timing and you can have wonderful spreads of continental breads, salads, cold meats, fresh fruit, cheeses, eggs, coffees and teas. Nothing gets the conversation going better than a good brunch!
DO HAVE AT LEAST ONE SPECIFIC ACTIVITY PLANNED
The bridal shower should be dynamic, fun, and cracking female friendship! It should address the bride-to-be’s personality and include an activity she would enjoy e.g. a cookery demonstration or gardening demo, a spa day or beauty demo, a personalised short yoga class if she is a hardcore yoga freak, a hike or horse ride if she is outdoorsy, a classic film if she’s a film boff or maybe a guest author or book-reading if she’s a book-club nerd! As long as it is a novelty that addresses her own personality or passion and will engage the other invitees, it’s all good. You just don’t want it to be all about the gifts or make the bride feel awkward about such a ‘showering’ of love.
CHOOSE A THEME
Themed bridal showers make for focus and fun. You could tailor the registry to the theme too! For example, you could have a ‘travel’ shower if the couple are planning to travel together - or you could tie it to the honeymoon destination, if known. The foods could be from that area, or the wine, coffee, gifts could be wrapped in little maps, a laminated or fabric printed map could serve as the tablecloth….you get the idea! Or a Foodie Shower based around whatever her particular food fetish is if she is a bonafide foodie. Is she into vegan creations or smoothies and cool superfood concoctions? Or breadmaking? Artisan cooking skills? A particular cuisine? Patisseries? Maybe she collects vintage records or clothes...you could theme it around a fifties diner cafe or a haute couture salon from the 1940s, whatever her style.
THINK OF SOME COOL GAMES OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
You want the bride to be relaxed so you want everyone to be having fun and enjoying every moment they are there. It’s better to have too much to do than to leave guests hanging or worrying why they aren’t getting married and/or what their bridal shower was like - you want them all to be lost in the fun and friendship of the day. Silly games or the chance to try out different techniques after the demonstrations makes for laughter and bonding.
HAVE FUN -BUT STILL SWEET-LINKS TO THE WEDDING DAY
Even if it’s just a few random coasters laminated with romantic quotes or hints or hidden labels on the items in the demo to get the conversation moving in that direction at some point. Here are a few to get you started but there are plenty out there! You could even ask your invitees to suggest their own, however humorous! ‘Don’t Go To Bed Angry!’
‘We’re all a little weird, and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love.’
‘Love is Like a flower - you’ve got to let it grow.’ John Lennon
‘The ideal husband understands every word his wife doesn’t say.’ A. Hitchcock.
‘While it is fun to spice things up with new activities and adventures, I think that a sign of a strong relationship is when you can have fun doing even the simplest activities together.’ Lauren Conrad