10 Tips For The Perfect Bridal Shower
Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with a Maid-of-Honor of the gods – sometimes we just have to handle things ourselves. Here are some great tips to make the big day before the Big Day…as glorious and fun as it can be!
Create a budget and stick to it
When you are planning a bridal shower, it is easy for your imagination to run wild. You may embrace visions of serving $200 champagne garnished with red raspberries. But even if you only invite a dozen guests, the costs of the occasion can quickly add up. Moreover, you and your family are likely simultaneously dealing with the costs of the wedding itself.
Choose a theme that reflects your personality
You throw a bridal shower not simply to celebrate your betrothal but also to show the women close to you a good time. Throwing a spring wedding? Then celebrate the joys of spring somehow in your theme. For instance, you could have a gardening motif – enjoy fresh treats prepared from a local garden or picnic in a park full of wild flowers. Your theme need not be seasonal, of course. It can reflect your personality or the personalities of your guests. For instance, if you are a sports fanatic, weave the relevant sports motif into your shower. Setting a theme will not only help create a specific mood for your shower, but it will also make it easier for your guests to get you appropriate gifts.
Get out your invites ASAP
The longer you wait to invite guests, the lower your turnout will likely be. Plus, if you obligate people at the last minute (relatively), you can frustrate their schedules and cause resentment. Many of your guests will likely have family or work obligations that they will need to set aside to come to your shower.
Choose a fantastic menu for the day
Your menu ideally should tie into your shower’s theme. But it doesn’t have to. You need not hire a top-of-the-line caterer to prep your meals. Browse Martha Stewart Living for cost-effective and fun ways to set up a meal for your girlfriends. Aim for the simple over the fancy and costly. That said, don’t be afraid to pamper your guests — after all, they are taking time to celebrate with you, and now is the time to indulge.
Choose games and/or activities to enliven the party
A bridal shower is traditionally more “tasteful” than a bachelorette party. However, it need not be a prudish affair. You and your girlfriends can play fun pre-wedding related word games, quizzes, or even pin the tail on the donkey. Or pin the something on the…something. The games should be tailored to the crowd that shows up. You don’t necessarily want to divulge naughty, secret details about your husband to be in front of your 85-year-old Aunt Esmeralda — nor do you really want to hear her naughty party tales from her youth.
Pick a good location for the shower
Aim for a central location, so that your guests can easily make the date. If you have girlfriends on both the east coast and the west coast, you can throw two separate bridal showers. Otherwise, you will have to exclude many close friends and relatives.
Give out gift-bags to guests
Everyone enjoys getting fun, free gifts. Choose giveaways that reflect the theme of the day, and tailor your gifts to individual parties and guests, if possible. You don’t have to spend tons of money here — a little thought goes a long way.
Use the internet to organize and hunt for new ideas
Are you stuck on a theme? Are you having trouble drawing up a budget for your bridal shower? Are you unsure how to plan the perfect menu or decorate your aunt’s porch in preparation? Websites and web forums abound to help brides to be with these matters of taste and etiquette. Read. Talk to other people who have gone through the experience. Don’t be afraid to ask silly questions.
Send thank you notes
Get your “thank you note writing” out of the way as soon as possible. You will likely be distracted by tons of pre-wedding logistics, and if you don’t attend to this time consuming but crucial task relatively soon after your shower, you will likely push it back on your queue. This could offend people. You need not print up fancy cards or stationary. But you probably want to avoid sending thank you notes via e-mail. Be formal but simple.
Indulge yourself and your guests
Your bridal shower is meant to be a time of bacchanalia. Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row in terms of planning the affair, let your hair down and be present for all the fun and mischief. You only get to do one of these parties (for yourself) in your lifetime. Have a few drinks, ruffle a few feathers, and embrace all who show up with love and affection.