The bridal shower is a party or a get-together, which is considered akin to a bachelor's party. However, the it has traditional roots and is followed since ages. This tradition was started when couples decided to get married without the consent of their parents. As the parents were not happy with the alliance, the bride did not have any dowry to take with her. Due to this, the friends of the bride came together and hosted a little party for her, where they gave her gifts that she would require for her new life.
As per the tradition, the bridal shower should be thrown by the bridesmaid and never by a close family member. However, with the modern-day principles mixing up with the traditional ones, even the mother or the sister of the bride can throw a bridal shower for her. Nevertheless, it is a great responsibility and can be quite overwhelming if one does not know how to go about arranging for the party.
How to Go About It
The most important thing is proper planning. To make the bridal shower a successful and memorable one, not only for the bride-to-be, but also for the guests, it is important to plan it well in advance. One can take the help of other bridesmaids for planning and organizing a bridal shower. This will lessen the responsibilities of one single person and every bridesmaid will get the opportunity to do something for the bride. Here are some crucial things that you have to keep in mind.
Date of the Bridal Shower
The first and one of the most important things that you have to decide is the date of the bridal shower. Traditionally, the bridal shower should be held anytime between six months to the actual date of the wedding. Most people throw the party somewhere between four months to one month prior the wedding. However, it is best not to plan it very close to the actual wedding as this can cause stress to the bride. It will also be good if you discuss the date of the bridal shower with the bride to accommodate it according to her plans. However, this will not be possible, if the bridal shower is a surprise for her. You or one of the bridesmaids can plan for a false lunch or dinner with the bride so that she does not make any other plans for the appointed day.
The budget for the bridal shower is something that has to be considered during the beginning of the planning itself. This is because your budget will decide on the rest of the factors―the venue, menu, favors, etc. If the wedding is a small affair, it will be better to keep the bridal shower a low-key affair too. However, if you want to throw a grand party complete with a six-course meal and DJ, make sure that you have enough finances for it. You can take monetary help from other bridesmaids for planning a bridal shower.
Once the date and the budget of the bridal shower is fixed, the next thing that comes to the list will be the venue. Usually, the bridal shower is held at the house of the bride, however, there are no rules attached to this. One can have the bridal shower at a restaurant, spa, community center, park, or may be at a bridesmaid's house. The most important thing you should look for, while selecting the venue, will be that it should be a place where the bride-to-be and the guests will have a comfortable and relaxing time. The number of guests you are calling will also determine the venue.
Traditionally, the bridal shower is a simple get-together, where all the women come to bless and give gifts to the soon-to-be-bride. However, deciding a theme for the party can make the whole affair more exciting. Selecting a theme for the party can help in deciding the decorations, menu, and even the gifts that guests can bring for the bride. For instance, if the theme is kitchen shower, the guests can bring gifts that the couple can use in the kitchen.
The next thing that you have to decide is the guest list. Though you need not call all the people who are invited for the wedding, you should make sure not to invite anyone for the bridal shower who is not invited for the wedding. The most important people who have to be called for the bridal shower are close women relatives of the bride as well as the groom. Though the traditional bridal shower was only for women, nowadays people have come up with bridal showers where even the groom and his friends are involved. In such a case, it should be discussed with the bride and the groom.
The invitations for the bridal shower should be sent at least two weeks prior to the actual date of the party. Nowadays, invitations are sent through the Internet and sometimes even by calling people through telephone. However, if you want to follow the traditional way of inviting people, sending invitation cards will be appropriate. These cards can be selected from the variety that are available in stationery stores. You can also make the cards according to the theme of the party. Send the cards to the guests by mentioning the proper date, time, and venue of the shower.
The menu of the bridal shower will depend on what kind of party you are arranging for. If it is a small get-together, a bridal shower cake, some finger foods, and appetizers will be the only things that are expected from you. However, if you have a grand bridal shower, it will be best to plan the number of courses and the entire menu in detail, well in advance. Also, the time of the day that you are having the shower will determine the type of food you have to serve your guests. If you are having an afternoon party, a cake with some finger foods and tea will be apt. However, if you are having it in the day or in the evening, it will be better to arrange for a lunch or dinner. You should also decide whether you are going to cook the food or going to arrange for a caterer.
Though typically a bridal shower is one where all women sit together and talk, planning some games would add a little more fun to the party. Another thing that you have to remember is to arrange for one of the bridesmaids to write down as to who has given which gift, when the bride opens the gifts so that it becomes easy for her to send thank you notes to everyone.