You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds.
The time-honoured wedding tradition of a bridal shower is an exciting pre-wedding celebration organised for the bride-to-be, who is showered with gifts and well wishes from her closest friends and family. The tradition has been around for centuries and is still widely practised today. Planning a bridal shower can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and organisation, it can be a memorable event for everyone involved.
Who throws the bridal shower?
The bridal shower is usually hosted by the maid of honour, the bridesmaids, or a close friend. According to tradition, the bridal shower was not likely hosted by immediate family, especially the mother or mother-in-law, as it would appear as if they are directly asking for gifts. However, today it has become commoner and perfectly acceptable for anyone up to the task to host.
These days, while the maid of honour may take on the lead, as well as a majority of the costs, it has become quite common for bridesmaids and even the mother-of-the-bride to chip in to cover the costs, depending on what each person can afford. I’ve also seen an increase in the number of bridal showers being handled by a male best friend or a close friend of the couple who’s not in the wedding party.
Should the bride be involved in the planning process?
Unless it’s a surprise shower, the bride who is being showered will generally provide some basic details about what she’d like at her event. The host will ask for hints about the preferred shower themes, guest list details, date, time, etc, to get a sense of where to start.
What happens at the bridal shower?
The general format is usually the same for all bridal showers; this includes food, drinks, and an opportunity for the bride to open gifts surrounded by shower guests. Depending on the taste of the bride, the host can have some entertaining games.
When should you throw it?
The shower is usually held prior to the wedding, generally anywhere between three months and two weeks before. I usually recommend six weeks prior to the wedding, as things tend to get busy and sometimes down right hectic closer to the wedding date.
If you have been tasked with hosting a bridal shower, you may be wondering where to start. Here are some tips to help you plan a memorable bridal shower.
1. Set a budget
The first step in planning a bridal shower is to determine your budget. The budget will determine the type of venue, food, decorations, and activities you can afford. It’s important to stick to your budget and avoid overspending.
2. Choose a date
The bridal shower should take place a few weeks before the wedding date. The date and time should be convenient for the bride-to-be and her guests. It’s important to check with the bride’s schedule to ensure that the date and time are suitable.
3. Guest list
The guest list should include the bride’s close family members and friends. It’s important to consult with the bride to ensure that no one is overlooked or that no unwanted guests are invited.
The venue for the bridal shower can be a restaurant, a friend’s home, or a rented event space. The venue should be easily accessible and have enough space to accommodate the guests comfortably.
The invitations should be sent out at least three weeks before the bridal shower date. The invitation should include the date, time, venue, and theme of the bridal shower. It’s important to include RSVP information to determine the number of guests attending.
6. Theme and décor
The theme of the bridal shower can be based on the bride’s interests or hobbies. It can be a brunch, tea party, spa day, or any other creative theme that suits the bride’s personality. Therefore, the décor should reflect the theme of the bridal shower. It can include balloons, flowers, table settings, and other decorative items. The decorations should create a festive and welcoming atmosphere for the guests.
7. Food and beverage
The food and beverage should complement the theme of the bridal shower. The menu can include light snacks, finger foods, desserts, and beverages. For example, if the bride is a wine lover or a cooking connoisseur, you might consider choosing a theme that follows suit, like a meal that includes wine tasting or pairings. This will guide your planning decisions for the rest of the process.
The bridal shower should include fun activities that engage the guests. It can include games, quizzes, or other interactive activities. It’s important to ensure that the activities are appropriate for the guests and are enjoyable for everyone. Some of the more popular bridal shower traditional activities are designing wedding dresses using rolls of toilet paper, or like a spa day or paint and sip session.
Favours are a thoughtful way to thank the guests for attending the bridal shower. It can be a small gift or a personalised item that reflects the theme of the bridal shower.
What’s the dress code at a bridal shower?
A bridal shower can be as formal or casual as you want it to be, but it’s best to at least include some sort of guide on the invitation. If there’s no indication about the event’s formality, it may be more comfortable to show up overdressed than underdressed. It’s always better to dress up than down.
Planning a bridal shower requires careful planning and organisation. With the above tips, you can plan a memorable event that the bride-to-be and her guests will cherish for a long time. Remember to stick to your budget and involve the bride in the planning process to ensure that the bridal shower reflects her personality and style.
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