So bridal showers are fairly new to us here in the UK. We are more familiar with having a hen party for the bride to be to celebrate becoming a Mrs.
The difference between a hen party and a bridal shower is that a bridal shower is a bit more sophisticated than a hen party. It is an event that would take place in your home or garden or a friend or family member may offer to host it for you. It is a fairly low key event to make the bride to be feel relaxed before the big day arrives. It may also be your preferred choice for members of your family that wouldn't feel comfortable at a hen party. It is popular to decorate with trimmings, perhaps have an afternoon tea, and shower the bride with gifts.
If this sounds like your cup of tea then read on for some ideas on how to bring it to life.
Bridal Shower Theme
You could totally have a theme for your bridal shower based around something the bride loves. It may be a elegant afternoon tea party, a laid back barbecue, or an summer ice-cream theme. Think about the theme before you dive into it, just to make sure you can bring it to life easily. Think of the decorations you could buy and food you could have to help confirm if the theme is doable. A theme like Bohemian, is perfect for a laid back vibe for example.
Depending on your theme, make your decor for the bridal shower simple and choose a simple colour theme and stick with it. Depending on how many guests you have attending and what you plan to do at the party will also depend on how you set up your decor. Choose an element to be a main feature like balloons or flowers, this way you can work around this to compliment.
There are plenty of low key games out there, just make sure they will include all the guests. From rom com quizzes, to bridal bingo, to photo challenges. So get creative and have fun. Two to three games will be plenty. You could also have prizes for the winners. It will create some laughs and help break the ice between guests who don't know each other.
You may even like to use this time to get crafty and create something for your guests to take home. This may be floral crowns or decorating a cake. Doing something like this as a group is relaxing and fun, and you can still natter away.
Traditionally guests will bring gifts to a bridal shower to get her ready for her married life. Anything from glassware and dinner sets to quirky items that will bring her a smile.
Food and Drink
You may want to create a theme around the food, like turning doughnuts into rings. Or having a lemonade stand. Buffet style always goes down well as guests can choose what they like. You may also want to serve alcohol free cocktails as your shower may be early on in the day time.
Favours for Guests
Like at a wedding you give a favour to your guests to take home to thank them for coming. It can be something special to make the event memorable. It could even match your theme. If your budget is more flexible it could be a little goodie bag of delights.
Your Questions Answered
Who pays for a bridal shower?
Whoever is hosting the party would normally pay for the shower. The maid of honour may have offered to host it for the bride. The bridal party may want to all chip in. Or a member of the brides family may want to throw the shower for her, like the mother of the bride.
Do we need to send out invitations?
Depending on how many guests you are inviting and how many details there are, will depend if invites are nessary. If the guests do not know the address, it would be handy to have the postcode on the invite, details such as dress code and the time the shower starts and finishes so they can make their own arrangements.
What time of day do you have a bridal shower?
The best time of day to host the shower would be from around 11 o'clock onwards, this covers you over early brunch to lunch time. Enough time to eat, play a few games or activities and to do the gift giving without feeling rushed. The shower can start to wind down late afternoon, early evening. You can include times on your invitations, this way guests won't outstay their welcome and older family members will be able to leave at a time that suits them.
What should I wear at a bridal shower?
Dress code for guests can be included on the invite if having a set theme. Due to you having the shower at home will mean 'smart but casual' if not a heavy influenced theme is set. You want your guests to feel comfortable but it's still a celebration so your want them to make some effort. It's also a chance for the bride to get dress up while feeling relaxed to, a cute white dress or jumpsuit would be perfect to wear.
I hope this has helped you start planning for your bridal shower.