Bridal showers don’t have to fall victim to the usual cliches. Instead of awkward games and raunchy entertainment, take the opportunity to hone in on what the bride-to-be really loves. Bridal showers are another opportunity to celebrate the bride’s originality and spirit. They should be fun! Here are five tips for how to plan a party that will please all the guests.
Decide on a Theme
Themes tie everything together and help all the planning details fall into place. If your bride’s wedding will take place in an exotic destination, pay tribute to the location with food, decor and gifts. Does your bride love Mexican food? Is she obsessed with spas and pampering beauty treatments? Has she always had a strange love of New Orleans? Allow her favorite things — even if it’s just colors she likes — to guide the way. To take it to the next level, keep in mind all five senses: touch, taste, sight, scent and sound.
Bring in a Statement Piece
You don’t have to go wild on super expensive food or cocktails. Experts say splurging on one attention-grabbing component will make all the difference. Ideas include a wow-factor cake, floral arrangements for the dinner table or even a musician to perform as guests arrive. Elevate the idea by researching the most outrageous cakes available in your area. Guests will go wild capturing it on social media.
Make It Intimate
Sometimes it’s not the food or the decorations we remember, but how the occasion makes us feel. Invite guests to share their favorite memories of the bride or to make individual toasts in lieu of bringing basic gifts. Step up your bridal-party game by recording this part of the shower so the bride has a visual reference to return to whenever she wants.
Have Fun with the Food
It’s tempting to resort to tried-and-true bridal-party cuisine (mimosas, finger sandwiches), but really putting thought into interesting, eclectic dishes will have a huge impact. Peruse Pinterest, go through your local book store’s cookbook section and scour blogs to pull together a menu that takes guests out of their culinary comfort zones. For the maximum effect, invite one of your area’s best personal chefs to cook for guests at the party.
Invite the Groom to Participate in a Creative Way
There’s a trend in bridal-party games that involves the groom in a starring role. Before the party, invite the groom to answer questions about the bride in a playful way. Play the answers for guests during the shower, and allow the bride to chime in with her own responses. It’s a fun way to share a couple’s unique love story, and guests get a kick out of it. Don’t hold back! You can try creating a mini-movie of how the bride and groom met, or pull inspiration from the couple’s favorite love films.
Andrea Kasprzak is a writer. She's fascinated by the imagination, folklore and fantasy, the healing power of art, and finding magic in the mundane. Her playbook, Imagination Transforms Everything, is forthcoming this spring from Seal Press/Hachette Book Group.