How many of you have been to a wedding shower where you were asked embarrassing questions about where the couple first made out? Or forced to listen to the bride gloat about “her” china? A girl could go crazy wrapped up in an afternoon of tulle.
You might think I lack all romance. Maybe, but I prefer to think that I am drawn to more sincere, unique events.
First, let me share some fond memories of bridal showers. I remember my friend Robin’s bridal shower was in her parents’ living room. All of the guests were comfortable on the couches and got swept up into Robin’s larger than life smile. She was marrying her true love.
Remembering that beautiful day, Robin writes, “I really loved my shower because it was so very relaxed. Being in my parents home, and ensuring that everyone was comfortable and having discussions really made it more enjoyable for me. I didn’t really want to open up gift after gift. I’ve sat through it so many times and thought it was quite boring because the bride can tend to go on and on about how they picked each present. However, as I was opening the presents, realized that I could make it about the people who were giving me the gifts. For example, I mentioned how we met, why I thought that they are so wonderful, etc. That really made it a celebration of our love and friendships, versus an opening of a bunch of stuff that we had picked out ourselves!”
My friend Christa’s bridal shower was in a lovely restaurant. In a small, private room, we gathered around a large table and shared stories. I was happy to be reunited with some graduate school friends and we had a great time. Besides sharing the bride’s happy day, weddings and wedding events are a time to get together with friends.
Planning a bridal shower can be daunting. I asked around and found some solid advice to share with you.
Hila, a recent maid of honor, writes, “The two games that I planned were nice but not too cheesy: a trivia game where you ask the bride and groom questions about each other in advance and then compare their answers at the shower and see how they did. The other was to have everyone at the shower write advice for the bride, but each piece of advice started with a letter of the bride and groom’s names– I compiled the advice into a hand-made little book shaped like a heart, with each letter glued on in yarn—‘cause the bride was a knitter! Then we had the bride read the advice (both heartwarming and embarrassing) out loud at the shower. Also, I refused to make her wear that horrible hat. I think she appreciated it.” Great ideas, Hila!
Another unique way to incorporate your own thoughts and words comes from Marni, the owner and artist from Creative Custom Cardboxes (and a member of the Weddings by Artists Network) is a custom card box filled with wishes. A “Shower Her With Wishes” box is handmade and could be filled with personalized sentiments from the guests and bridal party alike. You might enjoy reading posts on her blog about wedding showers for some more ideas.
My friend Yasmin, who is leading my “bridesmaids” (I have renamed them “Wonderful Women of The Wedding”, since I think having “maids” sounds a bit outdated) recommends this book: Bridesmaid Guide by Kate Chynoweth. She adds, “probably none of the guides are perfect since taste is so variable, but they touch on lots of ideas.”
I know it is tradition to cover a hat with ribbons from the presents that the bride opens. I’ve always found this endearing. Maybe this sentiment is a bit contradictory, since I usually bristle when faced with more traditional aspects of weddings, but this handmade object is always overflowing with love. As long as the bridesmaid in charge of tying, stapling or gluing the ribbons isn’t being yelled at by family members and start to cry (which I’ve seen), I think this is a sweet tradition.
If you are planning a bridal shower, I hope these few ideas help to get you started. Feel free to share great ideas you’ve experienced or are planning below in the comments section.
PS: Hats off to Yasmin for all of her hard work!
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