- The bridal shower is the one wedding-related event where the mothers of the bride and groom can relax. The maid of honor and bridesmaids are responsible for this event. The maid of honor generally takes the lead in organizing a shower.
- Entertain within your budget when hosting a shower at a restaurant or function hall. Guests should never be expected to pay their own way.
- Ask for help with the shower, so you’ll have half the work and twice the ideas.
- Everyone invited to the wedding should also be invited to the shower (and vice versa).
- Hold the shower a month or two before the wedding.
- Include your e-mail address in addition to your phone number on the invitation as a way to R.S.V.P. Include registry information in the invitation. Enclose directions on colored paper, because it will be easier to find the day of the event.
- For a unique invitation, include a photo of the bride and groom.
- Contact guests who live far away who will not be able to attend and arrange a time for them to call during the shower and share their best wishes with the bride.
- If time is running out and many guests have yet to R.S.V.P., ask the bride and groom’s families and bridal attendants who know the guests to help make some calls.
- Decorate a special chair for the bride.
- Should guests choose to bring children, consider hiring a babysitter to keep them entertained.
- Have someone at the door to say hello as guests arrive. They should tell guests where they can put their coats and purses, their gift for the bride, and where they can find refreshments.
- Finger foods are easy to make, serve, and eat and work well for showers where seating is limited.
- Have a smaller version of a wedding cake made for the shower.
- Designate someone to record gifts as the bride opens them. She will surely appreciate this when it’s time to write thank-you cards.
- Don’t forget music; it helps to make parties more festive.
- If the bride and groom are having a destination wedding, incorporate it into the theme of the shower.
- For a creative shower, hold it at a paintyour- own pottery studio.
- For the couple who has everything and likes to entertain, have a stock-the-bar shower. Assign each guest a different type of liquor or barware to bring to the party.
- For a party with international flair, have an around-the-world party. Assign each guest a different country and bring a gift that represents that country. For example, the person who is assigned Switzerland could bring a clock.
- For a theme shower, request on the invitation that guests bring gifts related to that theme. For example, a gift for a kitchen shower could be anything from a coffee maker to a crockpot.
- For a unique and decorative serving piece for a garden theme shower, place a glass bowl inside a terra cotta planter and tie with a ribbon.
- Give a heart-shaped cookie cutter or wooden utensils tied with a ribbon for a kitchen theme shower favor.
- Favors are an important part of the shower because you are giving your guests something to remember the day by.
- Make a compact disc with an assortment of the bride and groom’s favorite songs.
- Give each guest a flowerpot with seeds and attach a tag that says “Watch our love grow,” and the bride and grooms names.
- If you are planning a Christmas-theme shower, buy a small Christmas tree and decorate it with ornaments. As a shower favor, let everyone pick an ornament off the tree.
- Candy bars with personalized wrappers are a nice touch that really give the impression that you went the extra mile.
- Give a gift that you can afford. For showers, $25 to $75 is an acceptable price.
- If the bride will be using her married name, as a gift give her stationery with her married name.
- If the bride and groom have everything they need for their home, ask guests to make a donation to the couples favorite charity in lieu of a traditional gift.
- Buy the bride-to-be a recipe box and send recipe cards with the invitations. Ask guests to bring them filled out to the shower.
- Ask guests to bring old photographs and written memories of the bride and groom through the years. Compile these into a memory scrapbook for the bride. You could also use the photos to make a collage.
- Ask guests who like to sew to create a quilt block. Put them all together before the shower and present the quilt to the bride at the wedding. In lieu of a guest book, ask guests to sign the quilt. Be sure to use fabric pens.
- Save an invitation for the bride, so that she can include it in her wedding album.
- For expensive registry items, consider buying a group gift.
- Games at a shower help to break the ice if guests don’t know each other. A great game to play is the nametag game. Have guests sit in a circle and introduce themselves to one another and talk for two minutes and then exchange nametags. Then they share the information about the person they just spoke to with the next person. When your nametag gets back to you, the game is done. You will be amazed how quickly guests will get to know one another.
- Contact the groom in advance and ask him questions about himself. At the shower, ask the bride the same questions and see if she comes up with the same answers.
- If you are going to play games, be sure to have prizes for the winners.
This article appears in the December 2004 issue of New Hampshire Magazine