Bridal Showers

For more on Bridal Showers, check out the Miss SOS Archives!
Showering the Bride(October 2008)
When planning a bridal shower, a little creativity goes a long way toward turning the traditional pre-wedding event into a truly unique party. Here are some of fresh ideas for the festivities.

Theme Mood Menu
Garden Party In the backyard or bring the outdoors in by decorating in a botanical style. Use potted herbs and flowers as centerpieces. Tie napkins with ribbons and insert springs of lavender. For favors, give guests personalized flowerpots and seed packets so they can start their own indoor garden. Create a fresh-from-the garden menu with seasonal vegetables and herbed grilled chicken. Dessert can be berries with whipped cream.
Chocolate-Lovers’ Soiree Have small, French café style tables draped with linens of chocolate brown and pale blue. Give gourmet hot-cocoa mix as favors (wrap in pretty brow-and-blue patterned paper tied with ribbon). Dark-, white-, and milk-chocolate confections with strawberries and other fruits. Serve with dessert wines and champagne.

And don’t forget games. Here are some fun suggestions that your guests will enjoy playing.

Bridal Advice – Have guests write advice to the bride, or a special memory on special scrapbook paper. Have the bride read each one out-loud. Compile all sheets into a scrapbook for the bride to keep.

Dress to Impress – Divide the guests into teams of 4-5. Provide each team with supplies such as toilet paper, ribbon, silk flowers, bead strands, and tape. Have them make a dress or veil for the bride. Near the end of the party, the bride tries on each dress or veil for the group.

Lucky Chair – Tape a wedding-related novelty item under a few chairs. The people sitting on these chairs win a prize.

Famous Couples – Have each guest create a list of all the famous couples they can think of. The guest with the most couples wins.

Mystery Date – Have guests announce their birth dates or the dates of their wedding anniversaries. The guest whose date is closest to the wedding wins a prize.

Bridal Couple Showers (February 2004)
Today’s modern Groom is much more involved in the wedding planning. No longer willing to stay in the background, Grooms are stepping forward to give their input on what they would like – from site location to the gift registry.

That’s why Showers aren’t just for Brides anymore. Couple Showers are becoming more and more popular. It reflects both the desires of the Bride and Groom in obtaining the items they need in establishing their new household. In their fast-paced life, couples enjoy those moments in doing things together and Couple Showers are a great way to reflect their interests.

Though a typical registry generally includes kitchenware, china, crystal and flatware, men entering the arena have changed the face of the traditional registry and gift giving. Couples are registering for such items as home décor, barbeques, camping equipment, electronics, gardening tools, and items for the garage/workshop.

Create a theme for the Couple Shower and guests will love participating with imaginative and fun yet functional gifts. Here are some popular themes and gift giving suggestions:

Around the Clock: Guests are given a particular time of day and are to bring a gift that relates to that time. For instance, a 7:00 AM time might include gourmet coffees and teas, a subscription to the local morning paper, or personalized coffee mugs.

Outdoor Patio: Everyone loves being in their backyard so create an environment that they’ll want to relax and entertain in. A barbeque, barbeque equipment, a birdbath, a small plug-in fountain, or decorated lemonade pitchers with matching glasses all make perfect gifts.

Culinary Delights: This is great for the couple that likes to experiment in the kitchen. Exotic cookbooks, specialty pots or pans, his and her aprons, or unique kitchen gadgets can make this theme shower fun and functional.

Let’s Go Camping: Couples that enjoy the outdoors will love this one. Consider sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses, coolers, stove burners, lanterns, or fold-up tables and chairs. If the couple has a shared hobby, such as fishing, you can add poles, handmade flies, or even a fishing vest.

Time to Go to Bed: Ideas here are matching pajamas or bathrobes, scented candles, a bottle of wine, luxurious bed linens, or even a body massager. If you’re thinking of hosting this one, be aware that some of the gifts guests bring can be quite risqué.

Planning a Bridal Shower (February, 2003)
The origin of the bridal shower dates back to a Dutch folk tale where the daughter of rich man wanted to marry a poor miller. Her father disapproved so he refused to provide the dowry. The townspeople felt sorry for the couple and so they showered them with gifts to help her set up house.

Though the concept of a shower remains the same, today anything goes. Celebrations are anything but traditional with an array of party themes and gift themes.

Showers are held after the engagement has been announced but before the wedding day. Informal in style, showers generally take place in the hostess’ home, a restaurant, or a hotel. The primary activities are to eat food and watch the Bride open her gifts with sometimes a game or two thrown in.

Who hosts a shower? It can be the maid of honor, the bridesmaids (as a collective group), friends, aunts, or cousins; however, it is not considered etiquettely correct to be hosted by any member of the Bride’s immediate family – mother, future mother-in-law, sister, or daughter.

The party theme can range from a barbeque to a cocktail party to a Hawaiian luau to tea and finger sandwiches. Remember this isn’t a bachelorette party so don’t include any plans that might shock guests – especially the Brides’ grandmothers – so forget about that male stripper.

Obtain the guest list from the Bride (or her mother if it’s to be a surprise). If the shower site location – or your budget – can only accommodate so many guests, be honest about it. The guest list should properly include all female members of the wedding party and the mothers of the flower girl and ring bearer, in addition to any family or friends the Bride desires to attend. In reviewing the guest list, gently ensure from the Bride that all shower invitees are also invited to the wedding. It is considered impolite to be invited to the Bride’s shower but not to her wedding (exceptions would be an office shower or a “group” shower where the Bride is a member of an organization and the group hosts a shower for her).

The shower invitations may indicate if there is any gift theme, otherwise it is considered to be a miscellaneous or general shower. Bridal registry cards, indicating where the happy couple is registered, are appropriate to include in the invitation.

Shower gift themes run the gamut. How about a linen and kitchen shower to help the Bride set up her kitchen, bath, and bedroom? Or, you might wish to have an “around-the-clock” shower where you assign guests an hour of the day and ask them to bring a gift that corresponds to that time. A lingerie shower is always naughty and fun, guaranteed to bring more than a few giggles. An “ABC” shower is where the guests are to bring a gift starting with the letter they’ve been assigned. Some hostesses have a “holiday” shower where each guest is asked to bring a gift commemorating that particular holiday. Other unique shower themes include a “day-at-the-spa” with gifts of bubble bath, massage oils, or a terrycloth bathrobe. A “honeymoon night” could include matching pajamas, incense, and scented candles as gifts.

When the Bride is opening her gifts, have someone write on a sheet of paper the gift and who gave it to her. This greatly assists her in writing thank you notes immediately after the shower. Another person could take the bows and ribbons and tape them to a paper plate, creating a “rehearsal bouquet” for the Bride to carry during the wedding rehearsal.

Don’t schedule every moment of the shower. Allocate about one hour to eat and another hour for the Bride to open her gifts. Remember, you’re hosting a fun, leisurely party. Relax and have a good time.

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