Throwing a bridal shower doesn’t have to be a hass

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    By ANGELA REEVES

    Your best friend has just told you she’s getting married and before you know it you’ve offered to give her a shower. What have you gotten yourself into? You don’t have the time or money to throw the kind of party required for this special occasion. Don’t panic. You can give her the shower she deserves without depleting your checking account or dropping out of school, and you may actually have fun doing it!

    The key to a great bridal shower is planning. You can have wonderful ideas and plenty of help, but if you don’t carefully plan out the details for the party, it could turn out similiar to your last family home evening activity.

    The first thing to do is to set a date. Talk to the bride and find out what day would be best for her. Two to four weeks before the wedding will give her plenty of time before the big day. Surprise showers are usually not a good idea. The bride will be on a tight schedule the closer she gets to her wedding day and an unscheduled shower could prove inconvenient.

    After you have a date, the next thing to do is the guest list. Again talk to the bride to see who she would like to invite. Whether she wants just close friends and family, co-workers or the whole relief society to attend can influence the type of shower you plan.

    Next, decide where to have the shower. Usually the hostess will provide her home for the event, but if this is out of the question, church cultural halls, restaurants and parks are great alternatives.

    It’s important to send out invitations early. Two to three weeks before will give the guests plenty of time to plan and isn’t too far in advance that you run the risk of it being forgotten.

    Now the fun part. Choosing a theme for the shower. There is a lot you can do to spice up the party, having a theme to rotate around is one of them.

    Basket showers are easy and practical for the hostess and the guests. Each guest is asked to bring a gift in a basket such as a basket full of linens, or a basket full of kitchen utensils. The food for the party could be easy finger foods placed in baskets. Flower or balloon bouquets in baskets make clever centerpieces.

    A rotating room shower will ensure the bride will get a variety of things for every room in her house. On every invitation a different room will be designated for the type of gift the guest should bring. One will be assigned to bring something for the kitchen, another something for the bathroom and so on.

    Lingerie showers are appropriate depending on the guest list and consent of the bride. A Victorian theme goes along great with this type of shower. Lacy desserts such as cheesecake and sherbet punch are easy and elegant touches that keep with the theme.

    One detail that many agonize over is what games to play at the shower. But you don’t have to worry. Some of the simplest games prove to be the most fun and interactive. A great get-to-know-you game is the famous name game. As each guest arrives, you put a sticky label on their back with the name of a famous person written on it. Each guest will be allowed to ask only yes and no questions about her new name in order to find out whoshe is. The first to guess correctly wins.

    Another game that party-goers will love but requires a little more time is a get-to-know-the-bride-and-groom game. A few days before the shower make up some mutual questions to ask the bride and groom. Then record or videotape the groom’s answers and play them at the party after you ask the bride the same questions. It’s great fun to see how well the soon-to-be-married couple knows each other.

    When deciding on what to serve at your shower, think simple and inexpensive. No-bake cheesecake and lemon bars are light and easy and make great desserts. Fruit and veggie plates are always a big hit and require very little time to prepare. Even tuna or egg salad finger sandwiches are appropriate and delicious snacks.

    It seems like a lot, but with a few friends to help out and a good plan you can throw a fantastic bridal shower, one that your betrothed friend will truly enjoy. After all, showers are merely an excuse to get together with friends and loved ones to celebrate the upcoming union of the bride-to-be. So don’t forget to have fun while you do it.

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