Bridal showers are one of many pre-wedding parties and are great fun. They are known as parties with a purpose. The purpose of a shower is to assist the couple in equipping their new home or for the bride to assemble a trousseau. Not only that, but they are a good excuse for the bride to get together with her friends and family to play hilarious games and to enjoy the food and wine.
Did you know that a trend has started for ‘couples showers’? This is sometimes termed as the ‘Jack’ and ‘Jill’ shower where you shower both the bride and groom with gifts and good wishes. Either way, if you are having a traditional shower party for just the bride, or decide to have a couples shower, then the planning and the checklist will invariably be the same.
Here is an outline of a wedding shower checklist to get you on your way to organizing a great shower party.
Who should host the shower?
Traditionally the maid of honour tends to plan the shower party. But today, anything goes and it is perfectly acceptable for both family and friends to work together to organize, host and share the cost of the wedding shower. It doesn't really matter who actually hosts the party as long as it is planned well in advance and normally in consultation with the bride. If the shower is planned to be in someone’s home, then it's always a good idea to choose the person with the largest home or garden.
When to have your party
Because of the busy schedule the bride and her family will have in the lead up to her wedding, it is best to hold the shower about four to six weeks before the wedding. A growing trend is that more wedding showers are no longer a surprise and statistics show that 4 out of 5 brides are employed, therefore it is necessary to include the bride in the planning when it comes to setting a date and time. A traditional "girl-only" party could be a Sunday brunch, a midweek lunch or an afternoon tea garden party.
Couples showers are best held on a weekend day or evening. The majority of people tend to work between 9-5 Monday-Friday, therefore a weekend is a safe bet in that most of the couples’ friends and relatives can attend. If you are having a shower party with work colleagues, then the ideal time would be in your lunch hour or straight after work.
Who to invite
Apart from your family members, the host should invite people you know well whether it be friends, relatives or work colleagues. You don't want to invite too many people, as a large group tends to split off in small separate groups. You want everyone to interact with each other and be a manageable size for everybody to play the hilarious shower games and not feel left out. Taking all this into consideration, a comfortable shower should involve about 10-20 people.
You don't necessarily need to buy expensive shower invitations. Another growing trend is that many brides are doing their wedding research on the Internet. The internet has opened up many ‘cheaper’ avenues and you can now get some great printable-wedding-shower-invitations. These invitations are customized with your own wording and design, and are printed directly from your own printer.
What’s your Theme?
As with the actual wedding, it is wise to choose a theme before sending out the invitations. The theme can then be used throughout the shower and incorporated in with the invitations, decorations, favors and refreshments.
There are literally dozens of topics for a shower party theme. The most popular is the ‘kitchen’ theme as there are endless pieces of equipment and accessories you can buy for the kitchen. The host knows the bride well and will surely fit a theme around either what the bride and groom need, or their lifestyle. For example if the happy couple are both into health and fitness, then a fitness theme could be an option.
One good idea for a couples shower is a wine tasting theme. This is ideal for a Saturday night party and I am sure the men will enjoy this one and easily get into the swing of things!
Food, Favors and Games
Food: It depends on the theme and location for which type of food to prepare. For example, if you are holding a ‘wine tasting theme’, then a finger buffet with crackers, nuts and other nibbles goes down well with wine. If you are holding a garden shower party, consider light finger food - cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, mini-quiches, blueberry cream puffs, crab dip and a bacon, egg and cheese casserole and salads.
Favors: Some people choose not to give shower favors. It really depends on where you live and if it is a tradition in your area or not. If you do, you don’t have to go overboard with favors if you want to keep the expense down. Give something small and useful like a scented candle. Most people like scented candles and they are practical. A potpourri satchel is another welcome and practical idea.
Games: Everyone should be included in the shower games. Shower party games are a great ice-breaker for people to get to know each other. Games can include bridal shower bingo as this is always a big hit as is ‘what’s in the bag (memory game). Trivia questions about the bridge and groom or making a wedding dress with toilet paper are all fun games to be had.
Thank You Cards: Normally a simple ‘thank-you’ was enough, but today, with showers being larger and guests busier, a personal note is the only way to make sure that sincere appreciation is expressed.
Bridal showers are meant to be fun. They do need a lot of planning and organization in advance, but they are worth it. The bride and groom receive practical gifts for their home, and shower party’s are a great excuse to get together with friends and family to have one whale of a time!
Claire Bowes is a freelance write and owner of http://www.1st-for-greeting-cards.com/ where you will find further tips and advice on invitation cards and personalized stationery.
Photo Credit: Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net