Last-Minute Bridal Showers

Simplicity is the key to planning and hosting a last-minute bridal shower.

There are many reasons you might find yourself hosting a last-minute bridal shower. And the reasons don't really matter. What matters is you have a limited amount of time to create a loving and supportive party for a special friend. Use your time to plan a simple, yet special, party to honor a treasured friend.

Last Minute Themes

If you find yourself in need of a quick shower theme, go for the basics. A kitchen theme makes for easy purchases for last minute invitees and many of today's brides need standard kitchen pieces if they will be moving into a new home. A wine theme is another easy shower to plan and guests need only drop by a local liquor store to get their gifts. A Best Gift theme is one based on guests bringing the most helpful thing they received at their own shower or wedding. This leaves the possibilities wide open and your other planning duties will become much easier.

Last Minute Decorations

House plants make excellent bridal shower decorations and can easily be dressed up in tulle and wedding colored ribbon. Buy the small starter plants available at florists and most large grocery stores and group them along serving tables, fireplace mantels and coffee tables. Lay them in a thick line down the center of a large table in a restaurant or conference room. If you want real flower bouquets, stick with a single flower in a single shade. Select an inexpensive flower such as carnations, and mass them for higher impact. Potted miniature roses, flowering heather and ivies all blend together for a quick and easy centerpiece. Place the pots inside a large bowl in the center of the table and stuff any gaps with wedding colored tissue paper. These flowers and potted plants can easily become your wedding favors or game prizes at the end of the shower. Simple is best if you are under time pressure for creating bridal shower decorations. Craft stores and stationery shops will have coordinated packages of paper plates, cups and table clothes to make decorating quick and easy. Pick your flowers first in one wedding color and select the paper products in the complimentary color. If you can't find shades to match, opt for a cream color for the paper products. This will make all the other color choices you have selected pop out and seem larger.

Last Minute Foods

The classic meat and cheese tray will work if you are really under a tight deadline. Add several types of artisan breads and buns to fill out the table and the menu. Place bowls of gourmet mustards, olives and sauces, which can be found in most grocery stores, in the center of the table to add some depth. Quiche is a simple dish to create and can be a light snack for a last minute shower. Make them yourself or order them from the local bakery. You can make everything simple with a quick reservation at your favorite restaurant. All the amenities are provided for you and guests can order off the menu or you can pre-order a simple selection of their favorite dishes. Chinese restaurants are great for this type of quick menu as dishes can be shared with ease.

Last Minute Locations

Your own home or that of another guest is the easiest location when you are pressed for time. No reservations are required and decorations can be handled in the evening or the morning of the shower. Restaurants come in a close second, because of the easy seating and food arrangements. An office conference room will work, as well as public venues such as a local coffee shop or church basement. Don't spend time you don't have trying to find the perfect location. As long as everyone will comfortably fit and won't be stepping on each other, move onto the other plans. Since your location will dictate so many of your other plans, it pays to make a selection quickly.

If you have found yourself in the position of hosting a last-minute bridal shower, do not panic. Many of the choices you need to make can be helped out with some careful planning with an eye toward simplicity. Scan the internet for games which require minimal accessories and skip any of the more fanciful ideas. Double up on anything you can such as decorations and favors. Then relax. A bridal shower is about honoring the bride and helping her as she becomes a wife. Decorations, locations and games will all fall by the wayside when the focus is shifted to the bride and all of her dreams for the future.

Written by: Caroline Retzer