It's easy to organize a fabulous bridal shower. We'll take you through the steps that will bring good friends together and guarantee great memories.
She may shy from the idea of a party just for her, but trust us: the special bride-to-be in your life is hoping for a wedding shower. Bridal showers bring good friends together, offer some much needed pre-wedding down time and give the bride a trial run at being in the spotlight. The maid or matron of honor usually does the legwork in organizing a bridal shower; if this is you, don't despair. Putting together a top-notch bridal shower is easier than you think.
When to Hold the Wedding ShowerBridal showers are typically held between four and eight weeks before the wedding. You may want to ask the members of the bridal party and the bride and groom's parents whether there is a time frame that is good for them. You won't arrive at the perfect date for everyone, but you should find a good compromise which will include everyone.
The Invitations ListHow many guests you invite depends upon your combined finances and the amount of space available to you. Luckily, bridal showers are all the merrier if they're packed full of friends. You may need less space than you think. Consult the bride's mother; she will probably offer her own home for the party, making the decision even easier for you. If not, work with the space you have in your own home, or ask members of the wedding party whether they'd be willing to temporarily "donate" their own living space for the party.
Now that you know how much room you have at your disposal, start creating the invitations list. All female members of the wedding party must be invited, as well as the bride's mother and groom's mother. Siblings should also be invited. Ask the bride's family for a list of cousins and other family members to include. Meanwhile, get together with your and the bride's friends to make sure no one is left off the list.
Surprise?Whether or not to make the bridal shower a surprise will depend upon the bride's comfort level. By this point she has almost certainly hinted, or outright stated, whether or not she would be comfortable with a surprise bridal shower. If she isn't, don't do it. No matter how much you'd love to see the look of surprise on her face, a bride-to-be who is firmly against the idea will resent the party and may hold the feeling up until the time of the wedding and perhaps beyond. Honor your friend's wishes and personality.
DecorationsToday's wedding shower decorations go far beyond white crepe paper bells (though this classic is still a welcome sight at any bridal party). Stack three sizes of tea light candles to imitate wedding cakes; place the smallest on top. Sprinkle wedding confetti on the buffet table and drop a path of rose petals from the front door to the seat of honor. Decorate in the bride's chosen wedding reception colors and play her favorite music as she enters. Use your imagination to come up with a unique and fun decoration scheme.
Fun FoodsThe general rule for buffet or "pot luck"-style wedding showers is finger foods. Choose items that are easy to hold and small enough to enjoy a good selection. If you're particularly artistic, decorate black and white cupcakes to symbolize the bride's wedding dress and the groom's tuxedo. Bake mini-quiches in ham, spinach, broccoli, rosemary-basil and other creative varieties. Sandwich triangles are also sure to be a hit. If you're worried about your culinary skills, have the event catered.
Who Pays?It's likely that the bride's mother, and perhaps the groom's mother too, will offer to pay for certain parts of the bridal shower. If they offer, take it; always be gracious and offer thanks, and afterward, send personal thank-you notes to each.
Your wedding party may also be willing to pitch in for the fee. Don't overstress the bridesmaid's pocketbooks, however. As the party organizer, the remainder of what financial help you don't get technically falls on you. Keep things low-key or get creative with making your own decorations and foods if you're worried about the final cost of the wedding shower.