I've helped put on two bridal showers this year and shared bits and pieces of the behind-the-scenes stuff on my Instagram. Firstly, thank y'all so much for all of your kind comments and positive feedback! I've gotten a number of questions about the planning and hosting process so I decided to share some details and answer your questions in a bridal shower Q&A.
How do you make the bride feel special?
The whole goal is to celebrate the bride and "shower" her with love! Some brides have a full vision for their shower and others have just a few details they really desire. Either way, be sure to take her wishes into account when planning. The bridal shower is one of the last events before she enters a partnership in which she'll have to regularly consider her partner's needs and desires rather than just her own. One way we made our bride feel special was with this bridal chair at her table. We also got her this Bride to Be sash.
How did you coordinate with other bridesmaids?
There are different ways to go about putting on an event in collaboration with other people. In the case of a bridal shower, you'll likely be working with fellow bridesmaids and the bride's mother. I recommend either pooling resources or equitably dividing up tasks and expenses. We used apps like Cashapp, Venmo, and Paypal to centralize our funds and we used Google Sheets to keep track of menu, shopping lists, budget, etc. because every bridesmaid could login to view and update the document from the computer or phone using the mobile app. I use Google sheets to plan most events that involve more than a handful of guests. If y'all are interested in a post about my process, let me know in the comments section or shoot me an email. 🙂 While not necessarily a collaborative tool, Amazon Prime came in clutch for many of the materials we used to put on the shower. Here are some of the things we ordered:
With both showers, some bridesmaids were out of town or even out of state. WhatsApp and GroupMe were invaluable in communicating important messages and generally ensuring everyone is on the same page. Last but not least, HEB Curbside was so helpful in delegating food-related tasks. I determined what ingredients we needed for the things we planned to prepare ourselves then placed a curbside order for whichever bridesmaid was handling that particular dish to pick up at her nearest HEB. This is a service we love because the personal shopper fee is only $5 and is waived on your first few orders!
How did you stick to a budget?
While you definitely want to incorporate fresh and exciting elements into the bridal shower, there's no need to completely reinvent the wheel. For both showers, we certainly incorporated skills and items we already had in our arsenals to save money. I happened to have furniture and decor items around my house like this mirrored table and this set of vases that fit into the desired aesthetic of the respective brides. Finding a free or inexpensive venue frees up space in your budget. I recommend first looking at the homes or amenities of those in the bridal party to see if there's a good fit before looking at venues with a cost associated. We also used some of the floral arrangements from the shower decor as game prizes. Here are my hacks for saving money on flowers! And, on the note of prizes, at each shower the parting favors for guests were small decorative boxes with chocolate inside. They were simple and inexpensive but still very cute and on theme.
What games did you play?
Games was my pet project (The Maid of Honor will tell you I was a little cray about them!) so we played quite a few. I found game inspiration on Pinterest and created the templates for each one on Canva. Here are the games we played:
- Get to Know the Guests - an icebreaker bingo where each square on your card has a statement such as "Went to high school with the bride." You have to find someone in the room to whom the statement applies and try to get blackout bingo. This is a great game to get guests from different areas of the bride's life (work, college, family, etc.) mixing and mingling! We played before the bride arrived.
- Who Knows the Bride Best? - A true or false game comprised of statements about the bride such as "Her favorite dessert is ice cream."
- The Newlywed Game - This was one of the must-dos on the bride's list. We asked the groom a series of questions beforehand and recorded his answers then asked the bride the same questions at the shower and she had to come up with what he would have said. They were very much in sync!
- Bridal Shower Jeopardy! We played this game at each shower. It consists of three categories: The Bride, The Couple, and The Groom. Like in the game show, the questions have dollar amounts assigned to them and their difficulty ascends with the assigned amount. We played this on teams and those with a good mix of guests who know both the bride and groom tended to be the winners.
- He Said She Said - A sheet of ten statements such as "I'm the better driver." Guests must guess whether the bride or groom made each statement.
- How Old Was the Bride? - A collage of numbered photos of the bride at different ages. Guests fill out a sheet with their best guesses at how old she was in each photo. This can be a passive game that's posted on the wall for guests to walk by and make their guesses.
- How Many Kisses? - For this game, we passed around a jar full of Hershey's kisses and guests had to write down their best guess at how many were inside. The closest guess wins.
We also had a notebook set up for guests to share date night ideas for the couple to use throughout their marriage and a photo booth frame. The frame can be ordered at Michael's.
What food did you serve?
At the first shower, we had a catered dinner from Chef Javani King (I've written about him here.) and at the second, we had a buffet of eclectic bites and sweets. Here's that menu:
- Spring Greens & Champagne Salad - I got so many questions about this and will share the recipe ASAP!
- Fried Rice
- Meat Pies
- Toasted Ravioli with Vodka Sauce
- Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn
- Assorted Fresh Fruit
- Chocolate-Dipped Oreos
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
- Mini Banana Pudding Parfaits
- Vanilla Layer Cake
- Citrus and Mint Infused Water
- Pink Pineapple Punch - Also got lots of questions about this and am working on getting the recipe up.
- Blushing Bride Cocktail - This was the signature cocktail at both showers and a hit each time.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into our planning process. If you have any questions not answered above, drop them in the comments section below. 🙂 Thanks for reading!