Planning a Bridal Shower: Fun Favors, Themes and Gifts

From Decorations to Party Games

Throwing a bridal shower can seem like a daunting task at first thought, but it doesn't have to be. With a little organization and some great planning, the event can turn out wonderfully and hopefully, be a nice memory for the bride. 

Listed below are some basic ideas to have in mind when planning a bridal shower.

  1. Preliminary Planning: Typically showers are held 1 - 2 months before the wedding. A few months before the shower, you and the bride should discuss the exact date she would like. Make sure to notify those in the bridal party of the chosen date so they can clear their calendars. Next, confer with the bridesmaids and agree on a budget for the shower.

    Choose a location for the party, which will likely depend on your budget and the number of people invited. You probably already have a sense of the bride's personality and what type of themes she may enjoy. Would she want something more formal and traditional like a sit-down lunch or a tea party? Is she more laid back, and would enjoy more of a party? If you're not sure, it's a good idea to discuss it with the bride. Some choices for locations include restaurants, a community center, a cafe, a park, or your own home.

  2. Invites: Early on it's important to obtain a guest list from the bride including the names and addresses of those she wants to invite. Don't forget to add to the list the entire bridal party, including mothers of the bride and groom and bridesmaids. Bridal shower invitations should be sent out about a month before the shower.

    Nowadays with the home computer, some card stock, and a bit of ribbon, even the least crafty people can make beautiful bridal shower cards by hand. Bookstores or craft stores will have a variety of books showing how to make invites, along with examples of invitation wording. Otherwise, there are many pre-made invitations to choose from.

  3. Food and drink: Whether you are providing lunch, afternoon tea, or just hors d'oeuvres; in any case it's a good idea to write a menu of the items you'll be serving and a breakdown of the items you will need to buy. If you're Friends at a bridal showerhaving the shower in your home, you must decide if you're going to cook all of it, have some of it pre-made, or call in a caterer. You may also want to consider dessert and bridal shower cakes. If you want to make your own, you can get bridal shower cake ideas from the Web and bookstores. Don't forget to take into account the number of people attending, as well as your budget.
  4. Theme: Having a shower theme is completely optional, but it can be a fun way to give bridal shower gift ideas to your guests. Some typical themes include: "Around the House", where guests are instructed to buy gifts for a specific room in the bride's new home; "Kitchen Shower", where all gifts will be for the bride's new kitchen; "Around the World", where the gifts have more of an international flavor; and even the self explanatory, "Lingerie Shower". Once you have decided on a theme, you can incorporate it into the invites, decorations, and party favors or prizes.
  5. Games: There are many fun games that can be played during the shower. Games are not a must, but can be used as an ice-breaker if a lot of people don't know each other. And, typically, most people enjoy bridal shower party games. There are many games to choose from, from the traditional to the wild. Here are some great bridal shower game ideas. Small prizes can be given away to the winners of the games.
  6. Gifts: Upon opening of the gifts, make sure that one of the bridesmaids keeps a list that matches the guest to their gift. This is important for the bride when she writes thank you notes.

    It's traditional of the bridesmaids to reserve the gift wrapping ribbons to fashion a "flower" bouquet for the bride to use during her wedding rehearsal.

    Small gifts or favors, are sometimes given to the guests at the end of the shower as a memento. These can be bought or made, and personalized with the bride and groom's names. Some ideas include sachets, candy or chocolates, soaps, a small vase or picture frame.

  7. Duties: Typically the maid of honor is in charge of planning and carrying out a bridal shower. The other bridesmaids are obligated to help with planning and hosting the party, including the monetary costs. To help things go smoothly, it is important to delegate tasks to each person. Each person can pitch in and help with planning the food items, creating the invites, and setting up the decorations and games to be played.

    During the shower, each of you should serve as hostess of the party, but you also may want to place a person in charge of serving the food, gifts, games, etc.


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