Being in charge of a bridal shower can be stressful. You want to make sure the bride feels loved and pampered while keeping the guests entertained. The pressure of being an attentive hostess is enough to make anyone’s head hurt. Fortunately, a little advanced planning and some easy tips can make throwing a bridal shower a lot easier.
Set a Budget
Before you do anything else, make sure a budget is in place. Traditionally, the hostesses of the bridal shower cover the cost. If you’re paying for the shower, it is reasonable to be firm about how much you are willing to spend. Be upfront about the budget to avoid hurt feelings or dashed expectations.
Negotiate a Guest List
Do not decide on a venue or set a theme until you know how many people have been invited. Talk to the bride and her family members in order to compile a guest list. In general, it makes sense to invite people from similar social circles. In other words, your guest list might include the bride’s friends and relatives, but exclude her coworkers as they might be throwing a separate shower.
Choose a Theme
Not all bridal showers need an overarching theme but it can be a helpful way to coordinate food, activities and decorations. While the bride might want to have some input here, it’s reasonable to set a theme that matches your budget.
The theme could focus on a meaningful location such as Hawaiian luau or Mexican fiesta. Or you could choose a theme that encourages guests to bring gifts that will assist the married couple in celebrating future holidays. Holiday theme gift ideas can include Christmas tree ornaments, a platter for Thanksgiving dinner and/or champagne flutes for New Year’s Eve.
Plan the Menu
A lot of bridal showers feature simple tasting menus. For example, an afternoon shower might include mini-sandwiches, fresh fruit, tossed salad and assorted desserts. Choose foods that fit the theme of the event and keep guests’ dietary preferences in mind.
Shower games are a great way for guests to interact while learning more about the bride. Popular activities include a contest for most creative wedding gown constructed out of toilet paper, answering celebrity marriage trivia or simply recalling favorite memories with the bride. If games don’t suit the vibe of the party, consider a wine tasting or live music for additional entertainment options. At the end of the event, give a word necklace as an inexpensive but memorable party favor.
Planning a bridal shower doesn’t have to be stressful. Communicate with the bride to ensure that all planned activities meet her expectations. Remember to be clear about your own abilities and budget, and rest assured, the shower will be a grand success in the eyes of both the bride and her guests.