How to plan the best bridal shower

By: Simone Paget

© planet design Author: Canadian Living Credits: © planet design


How to plan the best bridal shower

By: Simone Paget
Bridal showers are a wonderful opportunity to bring together everyone who is involved in a wedding and to create a memorable prelude to the actual event. However, planning a bridal shower for a friend or family member can sometimes be a nerve-wracking affair.

To find out how to avoid any bridal shower-related anxiety, we turned to Robyn Green, principal at Kai Event Management, a Vancouver-based boutique company that provides complete planning, consulting and supervision services for weddings and corporate events. She shares some helpful tips on how to plan an unforgettable bridal shower.

1. Always keep the bride in mind
Does the bride-to-be love games and other bridal shower traditions, or is she looking for a less structured, more laid-back event? Green says that it's important to keep these things in mind when planning a bridal shower. After that, you can take care of the smaller details.

"Once the feeling of the shower has been decided upon, the organizer may wish to consult with the bride to find out what the wedding colours will be and if there are any fun little details that can be incorporated into the shower to correspond with the wedding," says Green.

2. What to serve at a bridal shower
When it comes to providing food and drink options, keep in mind the time of day of the event and the number of guests. Green notes that, in her experience, setting up multiple food stations throughout the shower venue provides a nice flow to the event and allows guests to easily mix and mingle.

"Food can be set up on various platters so everyone can help themselves. If the shower takes place over lunch or dinner, make sure enough food is available to make up for a meal," she advises. It's also important to ensure there is enough seating for the amount of guests attending the shower.

If you're not sure what beverages to serve, keep things simple. "It is always nice to have both chilled sparkling wine and wine on hand for guests to sip," says Green. "But always keep in mind that many guests will have driven to the shower, so serving a couple of unique punches or virgin cocktails is always appreciated."

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3. Invitation dos and don'ts
Review the guest list for the shower with the bride to avoid inviting anyone who is not invited to the wedding, which Green considers an etiquette faux pas. She also advises leaving the registry information off of the invitation.

"Do not incorporate the registry information on the shower invitations themselves," she advises. "If you would like to let guests know where the couple is registered, a separate card can be placed within the envelope or, alternatively, guests can contact the host directly."

Invitations should be sent out to the shower guests no less than one month before the shower will take place. This will allow guests ample time to plan accordingly.

4. Enjoy a fun bridal shower game
Although some brides still appreciate traditional shower games, you can rest easy knowing they are not a must. Some brides will even prefer to avoid them altogether, says Green.

However, if you are looking for a crowd-pleasing game, she suggests playing How Well Do You Know the Bride? To play this game, contact the groom several weeks before the shower and give him a list of fun, unique and somewhat personal questions about the bride that he must answer truthfully. These questions can be anything from "What was your fiancee wearing on your first date?" to "What is her worst habit?" The bride must then try to figure out how her groom would have answered these questions. Guests appreciate this game as it's a fun way to get to know the couple better.

5. Get creative and have fun
For the bride who wants to keep her shower modern and chic, Green suggests infusing the decor with fashionable trends such as incorporating bright colours into the table settings and floral bouquets.

Looking to inject a bit of glamour into the event? "Ask a great DJ to recommend an upbeat playlist or have the guests all dress up in their best cocktail dresses, hire a photographer and incorporate a red carpet!" suggests Green. When it comes to being creative, the sky is the limit. "The modern-day shower can really bend the rules of tradition, so have fun with it," she says.

If you've been entrusted with the task of planning a bridal shower, don't panic. By keeping the bride's personality in mind, focusing on fun and abiding by proper etiquette, you can put together a memorable pre-wedding event for the bride-to-be.

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How to plan the best bridal shower