Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hosting a Successful Bridal Shower

It's every bridesmaid and maid-of-honors most dreaded bridal the shower (just kidding!). But a shower (or in some cases, multiple showers) can be a source of stress for everyone. Here are some tips to help keep the peace:

1)Budget: If you are the maid-of-honor and have taken on the planning yourself, DON'T expect the bridesmaids to put for whatever amount you decide they need to chip in. If you can't completely host it yourself (and you shouldn't be expected to do it all yourself) include them in the planning and take into account that not everyone's budget is the same. You may not have a problem chipping in $100, but someone else might. If you are comfortable chipping in the remainder, that's fine. Keep all money issues to yourself and approach each bridesmaid separately...that way no one feels inferior. If the guest list becomes an issue, suggest separate showers for each side of the family. Have them at someone's house to keep down the budget, and enlist the bride's mom and future mother-in-law for assistance either monetarily or with food and location.

2)Keep it short: A four hour shower is a REALLY LONG TIME. Even if you are serving a meal, try to keep things moving at a brisk pace. Let guests know the "schedule" of events and stick to it. One trick I found helpful was to create a Bridal Shower Booklet. These booklets contain games, a page for advice to the bride and other goodies to keep your guests busy. Hand them out at the beginning and get everyone talking (hitting up the person sitting next to you for answers is a great ice-breaker).

3) Appoint bridesmaids to different tasks: Obviously one person can't do it all. Appoint one person to write down the gift list, one person to mingle and offer any help, one to pass gifts and someone to take pictures. If there aren't enough bridesmaids, ask the moms...they're dying to help!

4) Don't know who to Invite? Go only with the list that the bride gives you. Mom, and future Mom-in-law may want to invite people not on the "invitation" list, which can be awkward and costly for the bride in the future.
If the moms are insistant, ask them to speak to the bride to insure there is no confusion about who should be coming.

5) Relax and have fun. Your bride is probably already a little stressed about being on display. Keep things light, and don't bring problems to fact shield her from them so she, and everyone else, has a great time.

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