This summer I planned a bridal shower for a dear friend of mine. When she asked if I could host it, there was no hesitation in my answer, I immediately said yes. I have always had a love from weddings and everything that comes along with them. I think it has something to do with all the love you can feel and see constantly.
When I started planning the party, I knew I wanted it to be a light, joyful celebration where the bride-to-be felt loved and the guests had a few good laughs. Contrary to my beliefs, planning the party didn’t just fall into place. Between choosing the decorations, the theme, the games and the food, I had to buckle down and make some choices. The party was a success and I absolutely loved everything about planning it, and was completely honoured to have been asked. And thankfully there are many outlets out there that help with things like this. So for my future bridesmaids who will one day be planning a bridal shower, here are some tips.
Picking the venue. If you’re not worried about budget, you can rent out a restaurant (inside or out depending on the season) or a community hall that you can decorate yourself. Either way it’s an easy way to have more room. You can also host it at a house, which is what I did. I was lucky enough to have the brides mother offer to host the party at her house, where they had beautifully renovated their backyard and built a new gazebo. If the shower is during the summer, try to pick somewhere you can be outside. Nobody wants to be stuck inside during a beautiful sunny summer day, but with that being said, nobody wants to be stuck in rain either. Make sure you have a back-up plan for if it does start to rain.
The invitations. They are the first thing the guests will see pertaining to the party. Invitations are like a sneak-a-peek at the actual shower. They set the theme, the mood, and the formality of it. Be sure to include the date and time, the venue address, and RSVP information. Invitations can be made for relatively cheap. I made mine using card stock, photoshop, and some ribbon.
Food and beverage. These were by far the most work. I chose to make everything instead of buying (with the exception of a veggie tray) to cut some costs, but if you have the money and want to make your life easier, buy pre-made items or use a catering service. Make sure to have a mix of sweets and savouries, as well as hot and cold. Word of advice from the girl who stayed up all night the night before, slaving away in the kitchen and completely stressing out, BE AHEAD OF THE GAME. It was completely my own fault for leaving everything to the end, but with thanks to a friend, I was able to get everything done! But for next time, prepare or make as much food as you can early and just finish it off before the party.
When it comes to the drinks, include some alcoholic and some non-alcoholic. We had sangria, champagne and mimosas, lemon water, and juice. I used drink dispensers (here) so that people could serve themselves and I didn’t have to keep filling up pitchers. For the glassware I had mason jars with paper straws, which I thought fit into the theme of the shower very well. For the champagne and mimosas, I found plastic reusable champagne glasses at Costco that worked perfectly. Don’t forget plates, napkins, and cutlery as well.
Games. When it came to games, I was very worried we wouldn’t have enough, but in fact I had extra that we didn’t end up using. The games we played were bridal bingo, how well do you know the bride?, and what’s in your purse. I bought prizes (all under $10) for the winners of the games but it’s not necessary, people will still have fun without winning anything but bragging rights. I made all my games on photoshop and printed them on card stock, but there are lots of sites (try Pinterest) that have free printables.
Decorations. keep the decorations simple. streamers, a white table cloth, and a bride-to-be banner worked for me. I had bought those pom pom tissue balls but it turns out they are a lot of work to unfold. I made the bride-to-be banner but got all the other decorations at a party store and target. I stuck to pinks and whites but you can use whichever colours fit best.
I had great pleasure and felt so honoured to be able to plan this shower. Of course I couldn’t have done it without help from fellow bridesmaids and friends. My biggest tip, have fun with it! It’s a once in a lifetime event and should be full of laughter, happiness, and love.
Best of luck!