Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to Rock a Bridal Shower

A few weekends ago, I was able to head back to Minnesota for a double bridal shower weekend! One shower for my sister and one for one of my best friends(Tiffany). Thankfully, my aunt's were able to plan the bridal shower for my sister so I was able to help plan my friend's shower. One of the other bridesmaids, Sammi(another of my besties), also helped plan. Tiffany's family was responsible for the food and they held the shower in their back yard. Sammi and I were responsible for decorations and activities.

Instead of giving you the play by play, I figured I could give some tips on how to throw a fantastic bridal shower. In my obviously biased opinion.

While themes are not completely necessary, they certainly make things easier. It makes finding decor and other items come together into one well planned out concept. We went with a tropical theme since Tiffany's parents already had that theme going in their back yard.
Going with a tropical theme, we found a lot of floral patterns and flowers themselves to decorate with. We made a "Soon to be Mrs." banner to hang behind her chair to make a good backdrop throughout the shower. It is hard to see in the picture below, but in person it was amazing. Each letter was mounted on a floral piece of scrapbook paper and then hot glued onto ribbon. Sammi also had the genius idea to glue the letters so that they could be adjusted along the piece of ribbon since we did not know exactly where it would go when we made it. We also made a countdown banner that we hung at the food table and a pin for the bride to wear that said "Bride." Additionally, we handed out leis to every guest as they arrived. Decorations don't need to be over the top as long as you have a few great pieces to showcase.
Close up of the banner. We glued the ribbon in between the two pieces of paper (paper with letter and floral paper). We only put a strip of glue above and below the ribbon so that each letter could slide along the ribbon.
While we did not plan the food, Tiffany's parents did an awesome job with this. Usually lighter food like sandwiches and fruit are the easiest since most people will not be able to eat at a table. They also served a few Russian dishes since Tiffany's fiancé is Russian. They also had a few items for dessert that were homemade and looked so pretty!

This is always the hardest and most important part for a bridal shower. Since the main point of a bridal shower is presents, we only planned two games and one fun activity that people could just listen to while they ate.

While Tiffany opened presents, we had everyone play present bingo. We made bingo cards in advance and then attached numbers to each present as they arrived. With each present, Tiffany would call out the numbers for people to cross off their bingo board. This activity rocks because it keeps everyone engaged and entertained while the bride opens presents. Plus, who doesn't love bingo?
For one of our activities, we had a little embarrassing moment for Tiffany. Every bridal shower has to be at least a little embarrassing, it is like a rite of passage. As the guests arrived, we had them fill out cards that asked what their least favorite chore was and why they did not like it. Then while everyone was eating we read the responses aloud, but with a twist. Let's say one card said dishes was their least favorite chore because "It is dirty and it takes too long." We would read the card as "Tiffany doesn't like it because it is dirty and it takes too long." Then people would have to guess the chore. But the mind wanders where it wanders and it ends up being hilarious and embarrassing.
The last game we played was what we call He Said, She Said. Prior to the bridal shower, we sent Tiffany and her fiancé a list of questions that they had to answer and send back. We asked things like what is your favorite TV show, what is your dream home, what are you looking forward to at the wedding, etc. Then we used their responses to create a half sheet that we handed out for people to guess who said it, Tiffany or Mike. Once everyone guessed by filling out their sheet, we went through what the correct answers were. We made Tiffany see if she could remember what her response was by guessing as well. She would hold up either lips or a mustache for her guess and then we would tell her if she was right or wrong. We would then also read the other person's response that they had sent us.
Some other tips to keep in mind:
- Always keep the party moving. Too much time between activities is wasting everyone's time.
- During present time, I always like to fold and repurpose tissue paper and gift bags. Everyone has weddings to go to and then you can reuse bags in the future. Someone did this for me at my bridal shower so now I do it for those weddings I am a part of.
-Also during gifts, make sure to have a trash bag and some sort of system. Sammi and I were a power team handing Tiffany presents while keeping up with the trash and organizing gifts to make things easier for the bride.
-If you are a helping host, always try to be doing something productive. The bride's job is to talk to everyone and socialize. Your job is to make sure the party is running well. Helping set up, clean, put present's in the bride's car, or anything else that needs to be done. There is always something.

At the end of the party we had a bunch of mingling and chit chat and photo taking time. Tiffany also gave us bridesmaids a hanger with all of our names on it so that we can hang our dresses on them. Super cute!

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