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Bridal Shower Planning Guide

June 1st, 2009 photos by WeddingsInWinnipeg.ca
 
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Bridal Shower Guide
Legend has it that the tradition of a bridal shower began quite some time ago when the daughter of a rich merchant fell in love with a poor, common man. The father disapproved of the marriage and would not give his daughter a dowry. The townspeople approved of the marriage and got together and “showered” the couple with gifts that allowed them to set up a home together.

I have no idea if that’s a true story or not but wedding showers are a tradition that continues today and are a great way for friends and family to help the bride-to-be fill her house with things she needs.

Hosts
Traditionally a shower is not supposed to be thrown by an immediate relative (mother, sister, sister-in-law etc.) so that it does not appear that they are asking for gifts. The maid of honour, bridesmaids, friends etc. are the ones who are supposed to plan the shower. However, in our modern society this tradition isn’t necessarily followed anymore and most people are not offended if a relative holds the shower. That being said, bridesmaids are required to help plan and host showers, as it’s one of their main responsibilities prior to the wedding day.

Showers are typically held from a couple of months to a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Guests & Gifts
For the most part you should invite guests who are also invited to the wedding. However, when it comes to situations like an office shower; it’s not possible to invite everyone to the wedding but they may want to help you celebrate anyways. It’s common for brides to have more than one shower but hosts should consult with each other on guest lists in order to avoid guest duplication.

Registering for gifts has come to be expected by guests and is a great way to help guests find the right gift. By the time the shower invitations are sent, the bride should have already registered. It is perfectly acceptable to include registry information on the invitations for a shower. It’s also become more acceptable to have a group gift that guests can contribute to. This is a great way to buy larger items and provide an easy gift option, especially for those unable to attend.



Shower Ideas
Wedding showers have definitely evolved from the time of the so-called rich merchant girl and poor, common man. Today’s bridesmaids can let their creativity run wild and there are very few rules to follow in regards to bridal showers. There is one bridal shower rule that hasn't gone out-of-date and you must follow - it's about the bride and not yourself! Always make sure the bride is okay with your shower ideas before going ahead with them.

Here are a few shower ideas you can try incorporating into your plans. Some of these shower ideas work especially well for the bride who already has everything and doesn't need help setting-up her home.

1. Jack and Jill Showers Host a shower that includes couples (men and women) instead of the traditional women's only guest list.

2. Stock the wine cabinet shower This is a shower for the bride who already has everything. Have guests bring a bottle of wine/champagne/liquor to stock the couple's wine cabinet.


3. Pampered Chef shower
Host a Pampered Chef party in honour of the bride. Guests do not need to bring a gift but can purchase items for the bride. The bride also receives all the great hostess benefits and gifts. (Tupperware and Norwex are other good home parties that you could host).


4. Themed Shower
Have fun with your shower and get creative by adding a theme. Have guests come in costume, decorate and adjust the menu to the theme. Some great themes include Western, Superhero, Tiaras, Pink, Hawaiian, French etc.


5. Lingerie Shower
Host a sexy shower where all the ladies bring gifts of lingerie for the brides honeymoon.


6. Honeymoon Shower
If the bride is traveling for her wedding you can host a shower that involves where she is traveling too. Have guests bring gifts that she will need for the honeymoon (luggage, swimsuit, travel accessories etc.)


7. Room of the house shower 
Host a shower that revolves around a single room of the house. Have guests bring gifts that apply to that room of the house.


8. Envelope Shower
This shower is typically done when the bride is traveling and can’t put large gifts in her suitcase. Have guests bring gifts that can fit in an envelope (gift certificates, money etc.).


9. Spa Shower 
Have an in-home spa service come to the shower and give ladies massages, manicures etc.


10. Around the clock
Assign each guest a specific time (1o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock) and have them bring a gift that corresponds with their assigned time.



Bridal Shower Check List
Follow our step-by-step bridal shower check list to make sure that you keep your planning on track and your bridal shower is perfect.

5 Weeks +
-Set a date (check with the bride’s mother, groom’s mother and attendants to make sure they can attend)
-Guest list
-Ask the bride, bride’s mother, groom’s mother for guest ideas
-Check with anyone else who is planning a shower to avoid guest list duplicates
-Choose a location
-Choose a theme (if desired)
-Plan the menu and event time
-Choose whether it will be finger food, a catered meal, buffet or potluck.
-Purchase or make invitations
-Include the RSVP by date and contact information
-Include the theme
-Include registry information
-Include a map (if necessary)


3-4 Weeks Before
-Mail invitations
-Finalize the menu
-Order cake and party rentals (tables, chairs, linens, themed decorations etc.)
-Choose and purchase the decorations and favours (including plates, napkins, cups and utensils)
-Decide on games and purchase
-If others are bringing food, call to confirm what they are bringing


1 Week Before
-Finalize guest count
-Purchase group gift and your own gift if you haven't already done so
-Place order for food (sandwich trays etc.)
-Buy groceries
-Plan the order of the shower (ice breaker, game, food, gifts etc.)


Day Before
-Pick up cake and party rentals
-Wrap your gift
-Clean your house or party area
-Prepare any food that can be made ahead of time


Day of
-Finish preparing food
-Decorate and arrange tables
-Set out food and beverages
-Write down the gifts the bride receives so she can easily make thank-you cards
-Don't get stressed out!
 

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