Good bridal showers require planning

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    By EMILY CANNON

    A co-ed bridal shower. A surprise shower. A shower without games.

    All About Showers at blushingbride.com, offers suggestions about these and other possibilities, such as invitations, themes and refreshments.

    While some bridal showers may have become a boring tradition, with a little planning and creativity the bride and guests may remember more than the gifts.

    “Anyone who has ever attended several showers knows that these occasions can be rather bland and boring if little is planned beyond the ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ as each gift is opened,” according to MystikSprinkle, an online company that provides of shower game packages.

    There are many free resources for planning a bridal shower, such as Web sites or friends who have hosted showers before.

    Before the planning begins, the hostess needs to consult with the bride. The bride may have preferences on the activities and invitation list.

    Once those things are discussed, creativity is the key for a shower to be remembered.

    Anika Criddle, 21, a junior from Valley Stream, N.Y., majoring in family history, shared the story of her one-of-a-kind bridal shower in October.

    “The actual event was not the surprise, but the magnitude of it was,” Criddle said.

    Criddle’s shower was hosted at the Wrapsody by one of her friends. After watching a video with interview clips from the couple and activities in “the official Bridal Shower hour,” nearly 100 people arrived for the party.

    “The strobe light turned on and smoke and people started to fill the dance floor. Then the break-dancers arrived. I could feel my heart pounding to the music and see people’s white shirts glowing in the ultra-violet light,” Criddle said.

    Chantel Gunther of American Fork planned a game that expanded on candygrams — where candy is used to replace words in part of a message. Guests split into two groups and then had to use candy to write a story about the honored couple.

    What would Gunther have done differently?

    “I would have sent invitations out earlier,” she said.

    Jennifer Elton, 21, from Springville, Utah County, has hosted several showers in the past year.

    “If you are having a big shower with a lot of people, I think an open house is the best way to go. People can drop by to bring a gift and have refreshments. When they are done visiting, they feel free to go,” Elton said.

    The gifts at a shower are always opened in the presence of everyone, according to UltimateShower.com. Since guests may become bored while the gifts are being opened, UltimateShower.com recommends several games, such as Bridal Bingo.

    Elton used Bridal Bingo at a shower last month. On a paper with “bride” written across the top, guests filled in their own boxes with gifts they thought would be opened. To keep guests playing, Elton made blackout, not bingo, the goal.

    UltimateShower.com also recommended an envelope game that begins as guests are arriving. Guests self-address the envelope and the hostess draws a winner near the end of the shower. Brides can be assured the information is correct and have fewer thank you cards to address.

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