How to Throw a Great Shower

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As a bridesmaid, it helps to know how to throw a great shower.

One of the many jobs of the bride’s entourage is to make sure the bride has a wedding shower. So get with the Maid of Honor and the rest of the maids and plan, organize and contribute to an event to remember. But there are a lot of details to tackle first. From when to send the invites to inviting the bride’s third cousin twice removed, to finger food and games, it’s our hope that this guide will make the process easier and the day-of shower full of fun, laughter and champagne. Lots and lots of champagne.

Date and Location – First step is to figure out the date, location and budget—and give yourself time to lock down those details. In most cases, it’s customary to have the bridal shower anywhere from 2-4 months before the wedding. Start an e-mail thread with your fellow bridesmaids and the bride to see what weekends work where everyone will be able to attend. Agree on a location, whether it be a fellow maids house, restaurant, chocolate bar or a cafe.

The Guest List – Then, take a few minutes to chat general guest list with the bride. In some cases, she will have more than one shower, so might want to limit this one to friends or younger cousins. Either way, an etiquette tip to remember is not to invite people to the shower who aren’t invited to the wedding.  After you know how many people to account for, create a budget and stick to it. Make sure everyone knows how much they’ll be contributing beforehand. It’s best to avoid any surprises about money during or after the bridal shower.

Pick a FUN theme – What good is a party without a fabulous theme? If the bride loves classic and girly, go with a LBD dress code with pearls and touches of pink everywhere. Does your bride love Italian food? Shower her with plenty of tasty bites so she feels like she’s right in the Tuscan countryside. For the playful bride, why not throw a lingerie shower? Pick a color scheme and decorate accordingly. Get creative and have some fun with it.

Invitations – Word of mouth, texts, calls or Facebook messages aren’t the way to go when inviting guests to your bridal shower. You want to give your guests 4-6 weeks advance notice of the shower so they can add this fantastic event to their calendars. No need to send Save the Dates for a shower, but go ahead and spread the word with the bride’s closest friends. Request RSVPs on the invitation so you know how many people to expect. Just please, don’t write your invitations on white computer paper with colorful sharpies. There are so many options available, especially on Etsy. Include all details, a point of contact and the theme of the shower.

Food, Drink & Games – In order to throw a great shower, you need to make sure your guests are having a fantastic time. Whether that means providing endless cupcakes and bottomless mimosas, it’s your responsibility to keep the guests and most importantly, the bride, happy. Delegate tasks with your fellow bridesmaids so everyone knows the itinerary. The whole schedule should be timed around the menu. Don’t serve anything too time-consuming or messy: Keep it light with finger-food and build-your-owns (think sandwiches, cupcakes and champagne bars). And while some may cringe at the idea of playing silly bachelorette and bridal games, we think they’re a great addition to any party, especially if not everyone in the group knows each other. Keep the bride and guests guessing with fun fill-in-the-blank’s or questionnaires from the groom.

Sit Back and Enjoy – If the whole bridal party is running around with their heads cut off trying to frost the cupcakes or pass out gifts, chances are, that vibe may rub off on the rest of the party. Remember, it’s okay if things go wrong one way or another. Try to stay relaxed and natural, keep the bride happy and have fun celebrating the big fling before the ring.

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