Pinterest has changed the entire world of Bridal Showers. The original purpose was to ensure the couple had the means (monetarily and physically) for the actual wedding to take place. Today, showers are themed, have beautiful color schemes, help the couple set up a household, and can contribute to the honeymoon. As you put together a shower, don’t be intimidated by the elaborate Pinterest photos you see. Everyone has a different income, and making something pretty and pleasing to the bride can be done on any budget. Talk to the bride and find out what is important to her. Discuss these things amongst the hostesses and your shower is sure to be a wonderful memory you will all have for years to come.
Now, whether it is an elaborate or simple shower, there are a few things to keep in mind..
Typically, the maid of honor with bridesmaids and/or very close friends should host the shower. It is very acceptable for parents to be involved, but if they are only offering the venue/home, decisions should be left to the shower hostesses.
It is okay to accept an offer from a family friend/relative who just wants to help monetarily. If you do accept their gift, make sure the bride is aware afterwards of their contribution so she may thank them in a note.
Since the bride is NOT running the show, she should not run the show. Brides, step back, let your friends do this for you. This is a beautiful gesture they are working on for you. Let them. And by the way, please remember how much time and effort they put into this, please thank them! An ungrateful bride can hurt a lot of feelings and lose friends.
A larger gift is usually given by the hostesses. Going in on a gift together helps with the costs and is usually the last gift opened. Make a plan and talk with the parents in case they have a special gift they would like opened last.
Only invite people who are invited to the wedding. There are a few exceptions, but as a whole, this is a good rule of thumb.
Picking a date early is imperative. Everyone is busy and putting the date on the calendar early avoids conflicts that can arise. Guest invites should be mailed anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks ahead of time and the RSVPs should go to one person.
If you have bridal shower games planned, make sure there is a gift for each winner. Gifts should be simple and pretty. Gifts are often handed to the bride as a nice gesture and good manners, but if the winner keeps it, that is fine, too.
As the gifts are opened, announce who gave the gift each time. If the bride is soft spoken or shy, have a hostess (with a strong voice) sit next to her to do this job. Your guests will appreciate it.
Hostesses are responsible for clean up and should make sure to stay afterwards to ensure the place is left as they found it.
Brides, make sure you send a thank you card to everyone who participated or gave a gift. The ideal time to send a thank you card is 1-6 days afterwards. If you miss this time frame, send your cards regardless. A late thank you is better than no thank you.
Overall, the bridal shower is supposed to be a fun and special event. It should not be stressful or painful. Brides, let your hostesses do this their way and keep in mind they are trying to be thoughtful and shower you with kindness, so be thankful.
Hostesses, showing up at the last minute is not being a hostess, that is being a guest. Be helpful, communicate, and offer ideas and solutions. If everyone works together, it will end up being a great time for all.