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Bridal Shower

Every time I have to go to a bridal shower, I cringe. I’m sorry. But… it’s got to be the worst tradition in wedding planning! Let’s all sit around and watch someone open gifts and ooh and ahh at each item – even though she knew exactly what she was getting because she registered for it!

So… how can you make a bridal shower that doesn’t suck?
Well, I’m glad you asked.

Photo credit: Emre Nacigil

Make it a brunch and make sure to include mimosas!
One of my favorite showers, was a casual brunch at a friend’s apartment. We had a nice spread of bagels, fruit salad, pasta salad, quiche, etc. and then we had mimosas! We didn’t have any planned games or activities – which was really refreshing. The only thing we did was we took a few moments to go around the room and each person shared a quick memory about the bride. If they didn’t have a memory – words of encouragement and luck worked great too. It was personal. Simple. Low-pressure. Perfect.

Don’t open gifts!
Really. You don’t have to do it. Personally, I feel like this is one of the worst traditions known to man… er, woman. Many brides feel uncomfortable opening items in front of people and giving the correct “reaction.” Also, as a guest I have felt uncomfortable in the past when my gift is being compared to everyone else’s gift right there in the public eye! What if I could only afford something small? Do we have to announce it to the whole room? If you and your friends want a shower where the people are the main event – rather than the presents – you can make a gift table or put the gifts in another room out of sight… I promise, it is okay. *Note: Because it’s such a common tradition to open gifts in front of others, you could mention that you won’t be opening gifts at the shower, just so people have a heads-up. This isn’t necessary but if you wanted to do it, it wouldn’t hurt anyone to know what to expect.

Make it a potluck!
I love me a potluck. It’s laid back. It’s family style. It’s fun. You can also have everyone email their recipes to the party planner and then she can print out a little booklet as a party favor! I went to a shower where everyone emailed their recipes in advance, and the maid of honor put the recipes on index cards and slipped them into little photo flip-books to make mini-cook books. Interspersed throughout were pictures of the bride and groom eating various foods. It was great.

Other tips and ideas!

  • If people have to travel, try to do it the same weekend as the bachelorette. People will thank you.
  • Non materialistic bride? Pick a charity and have people make donations in the bride/groom’s name.
  • As mentioned above, rather than a formal game – go around the room and share a memory or a thought with the bride. This is also a great way for everyone to learn “who is who” before the wedding.
  • Have everyone bring a page for scrapbook! Its a nice gift and can also be an activity. Directions here.

These are just a few ideas….check back soon for updates!