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    Tips for Planning a Bridal Shower

    Nothing makes you feel more in touch with the reality that you are indeed a bride-to-be than the bridal shower. All that attention centered on you walking down the aisle as a beautiful bride on your wedding day seem so much closer when this event is finally announced to friends and loved ones. Your bridal shower is a time spent with close friends and loved ones to share stories, get the best advice and yes, shower you as the bride with that special attention. It is also the best time for you to receive special gifts that will help set up your new home depending of course on your bridal shower theme.

    While it is the maid of honor’s responsibility to have this especially prepared for you, know that you can be part of the planning process and get involved with the details of your bridal shower.

    Decide firmly if you want a bridal shower.

    Even when the maid of honor is all set to hold a bridal shower for you, it is you who will have the last say if it will push through or not. While other brides look forward to being showered with attention and the gifts they will receive from friends and family, there are brides who would choose not to hold this particular event from them. Some for personal reasons and some just want to channel the energy of their bridal party to the major preparations for their wedding day.

    On the other hand, it is totally acceptable for you to hold several bridal showers. However, it should be with different sets of women who are part of your guest list too.  You can actually have a kitchen tea for family members, a hen’s night for friends and a bridal shower for work colleagues. Some couples even prefer to have coed affairs known as “Jack and Jill’ showers.  It’s really all up to you.

    Get involved with the planning process.

    While it is the role of your maid of honor to host the bridal shower, make sure you get involved in the planning process. You can decide on the shower theme and let them know if you prefer a kitchen item shower, a lingerie shower and many more. You may also set up the gift registry. Should your maid of honor wish to surprise you with the rest of the bridal shower details, then be ready to let her do the rest of the planning after you’ve given her the guest list.  

    Talking about the planning process, it is also crucial to clarify who picks up all the costs. The host generally takes care of everything else. At times, the bridesmaids are also asked to chip in and split the cost. There are also cases where all guests get to pick a portion of the total cost.    

    Determine where the bridal shower will be held.

    Usually, the bridal shower takes place in the host’s home. But any place can actually work. You can hold it at a banquet hall, a park, a favorite restaurant, gallery, spa or beauty salon. You can even hold it a friend or family member’s backyard or home or based on your theme such as a wine tasting room or a cooking school. This is where you take into consideration how many guests are expected to come, your budget and of course your venue preference.

    Plot your bridal shower in your wedding timeline.

    Within six months to a week before your wedding day would be the perfect time to have your bridal shower. Consider guests who are coming from out of town and make the necessary adjustments. In this case, it is better to hold your bridal shower much closer to your wedding day so you can be sure they can attend. If you’re not expecting guests from out of town, then you can hold it four to eight weeks before your wedding day. Setting it at this time would mean less stress and creating more excitement as you draw nearer to your special day. Send out invitations as early as four to six weeks before the bridal shower regardless if it’s through a mail post or via email. Ensure that every detail is covered such as the date, time, venue, registry information and a way to RSVP. Don’t forget to place the name of whoever is hosting the bridal shower as well.       

    Your bridal shower can be held over brunch, the afternoon through a luncheon or early evening via a dinner party.

    Let the guest list guide you who to invite to your bridal shower.

    Make sure your maid of honor has the guest list. But more than that make sure she uses it as her basis on who to invite to your shower. You want to make sure that everyone in the bridal shower is actually part of your guest list. Don’t forget to invite your close female relatives from your side and your future husband’s side. It should also include your close friends and your wedding party.

    Have a clear picture of what will transpire on your bridal shower.

    Your bridal shower is a fun time to spend with your close friends telling stories, laughing, eating, playing a few games and opening presents. You can choose to be elaborate or simple when it comes to serving food to your guests. Typical food served on bridal showers include: cupcakes, biscuits, cake, scones, pastries, fruits, sandwiches, wraps, tarts, quiches, pies, salad and cold soup. Serving alcoholic beverages is also expected as your bridal shower is a celebration. You may serve cocktails, champagne on special champagne flutes or go for the non-alcoholic drinks like coffee, tea or juice on special mason jars that also double as a thank you gift for your special ladies. Some brides even have a theme for their food like serving food based on their favorite color, or have it catered, including novelty food items like a lolly or spud bar, or even rent a food truck.    

    As for games, the real intention is to “break the ice” to encourage conversation between your guests. You may stick to bridal shower traditions like designing wedding dresses using toilet papers or gift bingo. You can also include in your options having an activity-oriented shower instead like a calligraphy lesson or spa day with your favorite girlfriends. Opening gifts in front of your guests can be a lot of fun. However, if you want to open your gifts at home with your fiancé, you can always tell these awesome ladies your preference.    

    Prepare a thank you gift for everyone who attended your bridal shower.

    Your bridal shower is the best venue to gather the special ladies in your life and personally express your gratitude for all the times they’ve been there for you. This is also the perfect time to give them a thank you gift like having them take home some wine with matching bottle openers or wine bottle stoppers. You can also get creative by saying thank you with notepad, lip balm or candle favors. Letting them know how thankful you are of their friendship with a matching gift will definitely be appreciated by your special lady friends.