Bridal Shower Ideas - Planning a Bridal Shower

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Planning The Bridal Shower: Advice for Bridesmaids

Bridal showers are typically held three to six weeks before the wedding, but that has changed in recent years. Showers can be held closer or farther from the wedding, depending on what is convenient for the bride and hostess.
Who throws the bridal shower is another factor that has changed; generally, it is the maid of honor with help from the bridesmaids. Nowadays, however, anyone who wants to host a shower can, with one exception: members of the bride’s immediate family (even if they are in the wedding party).
This party planner is your road map to success. Follow this guide to ensure that you’ve got it covered so the bride can sit back, relax and enjoy the day as you and the guests "shower" her with love, attention and gifts.
Use this guide as a basic outline for wedding showers. We encourage you to add your own creative flair, favorites and fun stuff; you can add, remove, change or rearrange any segment to suit your taste and style. Make the wedding shower truly personal and meaningful for the bride and groom.

Time Management


Wedding showers usually last about two hours, but again, this can vary depending on the type of shower you plan on giving. The time at the shower can be broken down any number of ways, but the basic format usually includes the following components:
  • Arrival and introduction of guests
  • Bridal shower games
  • Lunch/tea/brunch
  • Opening of gifts
  • Cutting and serving of cake

Invitations


Shower invitations should go out after wedding invitations and are only sent to guests who are also invited to the wedding. If the bride is having more than one shower, try to confer with the bride so that the guests are not invited to more than one, unless they are family or wedding party members. Here are some ways to make your invitations memorable:
  • Address the invitations using silver and gold metallic pens.
  • Add a pinch of festive confetti just before sealing the envelope.
  • If there is a theme, indicate it in the invitation.
  • Slip a delicate sheet of silver or gold sizzle wrap or tissue paper in with the invitation.

Table Setting


Cover the table by layering a print table linen over a fringe table skirt; mix and match silver, gold or the bride’s favorite color. Use theme-printed party goods and accessories on the table. And be sure to use placecards so everyone will know where to sit.

Centerpieces


Flowers: Create an eye-catching centerpiece using two small bouquets of fresh white flowers set on each side of a larger, full-color bouquet. Sprinkle confetti on the table for a festive look.
Balloons: You’ll need 11" inch latex balloons filled with helium, gift wrap curling ribbon and small glossy gift bags, crinkle-cut tissue strands and sand or a similar substance. First, fill a gift bag halfway with sand to weigh it down. Next, cut lengths of curling ribbon and tie a balloon weight to each strand. Tie the remaining end of the curling ribbon strand to the knotted end of a helium-filled latex balloon. Tuck the balloon weight down into the sand and fill the bag up to the top with crinkle tissue. This trick works great for all wedding shower themes, just coordinate the necessary items with your wedding shower theme.

Menu Planning


Presentation is important! Serve the food on decorative platters. Serve light, yet elegant finger foods including shrimp, small skewers of beef or chicken with dipping sauce, chilled vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette, assorted cheeses with fancy crackers and puff pastries. Don’t forget pretty napkins, either linen or paper, and some coordinating plates and utensils. Serve champagne, sun-brewed iced tea, coffee and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The Day of the Shower


Place nametags in a wicker basket filled with theme-colored, crinkle-cut tissue strands. Tie a large satin bow to the basket handle and place it by the front door. Instruct guests to write their name and a few words explaining their relationship to the bride. Examples are "Lucy, the groom’s cousin" or "Cheri, the bride’s neighbor." It’s a fun way to get the conversation rolling.

Photo Display


Showcase the bride and groom with an enlarged photograph of the couple from their dating era. Mount it on tag board big enough to create a 4" inch border to write on. Set the tag board on an easel and attach a fine point permanent marker to the end of a strand of pretty curling ribbon. Attach the pen to the board so guests can sign their name and a brief message within the border area.

Wedding Shower Games


Wedding shower games are a great way for guests to interact. Don’t wait for everyone to show up. Late arrivals can join in on the next game. Allow time for two games but have a third one ready to go just in case you breeze through the first two. Don’t let the shower be the first time you’ve read the game instructions or send someone searching for pencils and paper. Be prepared!

Gifts


Bridal shower gifts should be opened in the presence of everyone. Have the bride sit where everyone can see her. Ask one of the bridesmaids to keep track of what she receives and who it is fromhttp://www.americanbridal.com/brshac.html. This will make her thank you note-writing easier.
Use the ribbons and bows from the gifts to make a "bouquet" that the bride can carry down the aisle at the wedding rehearsal. Simply make a small hole in a paper plate and pull the ribbon and bows through. Leave enough slack on the bottom so that the bride can grasp the bouquet. If there is enough ribbon and bows left over after making the first bouquet, make another one for the maid or matron of honor to carry.

Lasting Impressions


At the end of the shower, make sure that you say goodbye to everyone who attended and thank them for coming. If you have prepared wedding shower party favor bags or keepsakes, hand them out as guests leave.

See More: Bridesmaids , Bridal Showers , Bridal Party , Parties , Planning