While throwing your best friend a bridal shower is a special way to celebrate her upcoming nuptials with all the important women in her life, hosting a big party to commemorate the once-in-a-lifetime occasion is no easy task. To make sure your bestie/bride-to-be’s celebration is a success, the event coordinators at Imperial have put together a list of tips you should consider when planning a bridal shower. Read on!
Determining The Host(s)
The bridal shower may be hosted by anyone, but it is considered poor etiquette for a family member to host as it may be viewed as greedy or self-serving for the family to ask for gifts for their daughter or sister. Typically, the Herculean task of organizing the bridal shower falls to the Maid of Honor (if she bears no relation to the bride), though today, showers are often planned by groups of bridesmaids or a “committee” of close friends.
Finalizing the Guest List
Because one of the functions of a bridal shower is to generate “buzz” for the upcoming wedding, every member of the bridal party (as well as mothers and sisters of the bride, if not already included in the bridal party) are typically invited to the celebration. The rest of the guest list, though, depends largely on how much space you have and the resources at your disposal; if hosting in a large social event venue or banquet hall, the guest list may number in the hundreds, while small house parties may have only 10-15 attendees.
Choosing a Location
According to popular practice, bridal showers should be held no more than two months and no less than to two weeks before the wedding. Considering this time frame, it’s best to make reservations at venues, restaurants, or parks (yes, you must reserve pavilions at parks) up to six months in advance. Remember: the bridal shower is a celebration for the bride-to-be, so be sure you consider her tastes and preferences when planning the location of the bridal shower.
Selecting a Theme
Bridal showers don’t need to have a theme, of course, and many brides might actually dislike the idea of Paris-, beach-, or 1940’s flapper-themed wedding. If you think the bride would like their bridal shower to have a theme, it’s not necessary to go overboard with decorations and themed food; a few small touches here and there, like balloons or napkins or a playlist with theme-appropriate songs, go a long way toward creating the right ambiance. And speaking of music…
Making a Playlist
Parties are always better with music, and bridal showers are no exception. Consider the venue, guest count, and ambiance before making a playlist – blasting Top 40 jams will likely be ill-received at an intimate garden party, as would playing Brahms at an energetic club or event venue – and always keep the bride-to-be’s favorite songs and artists in mind. If you find yourself at a loss for what songs to play during the shower, wedding reception music (think Sinatra) is a great way to get everyone excited about the upcoming events!
Arranging for Food & Drinks
One of the most difficult aspects of organizing a party is arranging the food and drinks for the bridal shower, especially if the host is expected to prepare the food as well. If using your own kitchen and recipe book, keep it simple – finger foods, sandwiches, and cupcakes are more than acceptable, and many modern bridal showers employ a potluck dining model to cheaply feed party guests. For a stress-free option, consider hiring a catering service or asking the venue if in-house catering is provided.
Like a bridal shower theme, activities aren’t crucial to the party’s success. Nevertheless, many brides find that an activity, like cooking or crafting or taking silly pictures in a DIY photo booth, helps bring unity to a group that might include members with differing interests and from different generations. As a general rule, try to avoid games that are offensive in nature, and choose an activity that everyone can participate in or contribute to.