Fun Ideas for Planning a Bridal Shower
By Lindsey Madsen
These days it seems that from the moment the question is popped until the Bride says “I do” she rarely slows down long enough to catch her breath. Between finding the perfect dress, picking out flowers, taste testing cakes, addressing hundreds of envelopes and making dozens of other decisions, no one needs a break from it all more than a busy bride. Luckily there are a few occasions throughout the -wedding planning rollercoaster- where a bride is encouraged to take a backseat and let someone else make the decisions, and if you are the fortunate friend trusted with planning a bridal shower or bachelorette party, you know how important it is to create a classy event the Bride will never forget.
Where to begin when planning a Bridal party is often a perplexing question. I always suggest starting with your guest list and go from there. Will this be an intimate group of gals who have all known the Bride for years or guests coming from different directions and backgrounds who all know the bride, but maybe not each other. Understanding your guest list is an important part of planning a successful event and even though taking stress off the bride is the end goal, the guest list is a step she should definitely be involved in. Once you have the “who’s-who” nailed down it will be much easier to plan the “what, when and where’s” of it all and put together an unforgettable event.
With guest list in hand it’s time to dig-in and brainstorm about what to do when all those lovely ladies come knocking at the door. With numerous websites devoted to weddings, you won’t have to look far for ideas. Some are good, some are bad and some are… how does it go? “Should have stayed in Vegas.” When in doubt always stay classy, you want the bride and her guests to remember the event for all the right reasons. We have come up with a few ideas that are sure to WOW your guests and most importantly- the Bride.
If there is one thing all bridal showers and bachelorette parties have in common its delicious food and drinks. Arrange with a local restaurant or chef to host a private cooking class. Your guests will love chatting and giggling all while chopping, sautéing and learning a few new skills in the kitchen. If the chef or teacher is open to letting you help plan the menu, find out where the newlyweds are heading on their honeymoon and highlight a few dishes from the local cuisine. Better yet, take the menu to the next level by calling the Groom’s mother and finding out a few of his favorite meals. The mother-in-law will appreciate the opportunity to share, and the Bride will love the opportunity to impress her new husband with a delicious home-cooked meal. At the end of the event a personalized apron, unique set of measuring spoons or monogrammed recipe cards would make a memorable favor for your guests. Whatever the menu or favor your guests will appreciate an evening of wining and dining in a casual atmosphere and the bride will love taking a night off surrounded by good food and friends.
(Pick a Posy)
Perhaps you want to do something a little more traditional… but with a twist. Afternoon tea or a garden party are always popular choices, but while popular is good… matching it with something memorable is even better. Do a little digging and find out a few of the flowers for your Bride’s wedding day bouquet. Then work with a local florist to set up a hands-on class or short demonstration for your guests filled with a few of the brides favorite flowers. Floral crowns are all over the wedding magazines and bridal blogs these days, and what better way to adorn your guests than with a few of the bride’s favorite flowers? Learning how to make a small centerpiece is also a great way for your guests to interact with each other while learning a valuable skill they can take home to their own nests. Once finished, use the guest’s centerpieces as the décor for your garden luncheon or tea party or set up a flirty backdrop and take pictures of the guests in their newly created floral crowns. Brightly colored gardening gloves, a bundle of floral seeds wrapped in twine or even boxing up the centerpieces for the guests to take home are a few ideas that would make fabulous favors for your party guests. Tulips, iced-tea and girl talk while learning how to make something simple and sweet will be a skill your Bride and guests will rave about for years.
Gone are the good ‘ole days of practicing cursive and penmanship as part of your daily school work, but the interest in beautifully written love notes and addressed envelopes has not disappeared, especially when it comes to weddings. Trends have been moving back toward gorgeous calligraphy and handwritten invites for a while now, and because truly beautiful calligraphy is a real art form in itself, naturally people are itching for beginner classes just to get a taste of the basics. Why not take the opportunity of throwing a bridal party and combine several activities into one lovely afternoon? Serve unique beverages and finger foods upon arrival: think tapas or sushi, small appetizer sized food that encourage sharing and mingling. Then surprise your Bride by hiring a professional teacher to come and teach a beginner’s calligraphy class to her and all of the guests. Provide pens and paper, (and any other supplies the teacher requests,) and then sit back and watch through loops and swirls as the guests and the Bride learn a new skill and make a lasting memory. As your guests exit the party, hand them parchment-wrapped bundles of stationary or a fancy calligraphy pen of their very own as a keepsake of the special event.
Whatever the theme or direction you decide to go in, each of these ideas start with a similar foundation at heart… creativity. Really think about your bride, what she loves to do in her free time or has an interest in learning down the road. Bridal showers and bachelorette parties are all about celebrating the bride, so take the time to make it special. Ask her fiancé and family for feedback, stalk her Pinterest boards, whatever it takes to find that one idea that will make this day a wonderful memory she will cherish for years to come!
Design- FUSE Weddings & Events
Floral- Studio Stems
Food & Beverage- Culinary Crafts
Photos- Mikki Platt
Stationery- Pink Piggy Design
Video- NP Films