Beyond the Basic Bridal Shower

With so many different ideas for bridal shower themes, games, and tips, planning one could make life even more hectic, instead of being the fun break from planning that it should be. We’ve come up with a few pointers that may make pre-wedding life a little easier. Whether you’re the bride-to-be, maid-of-honor, or shower guest, use these ideas to simplify and have the best bridal shower yet.Themes

With a theme, a party is much more fun, and the gifts more suited to your bride’s needs. Here are a few themes to get your creative juices going, but remember that less is more, and you’ll be a more effective planner with one theme, rather than trying to cover the gamut in just a two-hour party. 

  • Room shower. Guests bring gifts that correlate with different rooms in a newlywed’s nest. For example, for a kitchen-themed shower, invite guests to bring gifts such as a basket of canned foods or baking pans (each invite would identify that guest’s “room”).
  • Pajama party shower. Perfect for younger guests, too, a slumber party style party means pajamas, manicures, makeovers, and some good girl talk.
  • Wishing well shower. Collect small, handy items, such as screwdrivers and can openers, and place them in a bucket (these smaller items would be in addition to a more traditional gift). This will be the bride’s “wishing well,” and those useful tools will go far in the long run.
  • Recipe shower. This makes a potluck shower easy and productive. Each guest prepares her favorite recipe for dinner, and brings the recipe on a card and the ingredients as a gift. If you send out uniform recipe cards with the invitations, the recipes can be put into a booklet to give to the bride.
  • Words of wisdom shower. A new bride needs tons of advice, so ask your guests to write some words of wisdom before the shower. In this way, they’ll be able to think about what’s really important and will have some time to prepare their thoughts. Combine the responses into a great scrapbook for the bride.
  • Around the clock shower. When making invitations, assign each guest a time period (perhaps in hour increments) to which her gift will correlate. For example, an 8:00 a.m. gift could be a waffle iron and a 8:00 p.m. gift could be a new DVD and a popcorn bowl. During the shower, have the bride open the gifts in order of hours.
  • Games

    Sometimes bridal shower games can be, well, a little dull (we’ve all been there). Here are some alternatives to the normal, corny bridal shower games. Kick up your heels and have a good time.

    • Ask the bride to tell the story of her first kiss ever, or her first kiss with the groom. Go around the room and have guests tell their first-kiss stories. Then, vote for the best or funniest stories. This is a perfect way for guests (and even close friends and family members) to get to know each other a little better and to break the ice.
    • Interview and film the groom before the shower. Ask him a series of questions about  himself and the couple. For example, what is his favorite color, when and where was the couple’s first kiss, when did he first tell her he loved her, etc. Have the video set up, and in the same order, ask the bride the same questions, then roll the film with his answers. For every question the bride got wrong, have her chew a piece of bubble gum.
    • Fill a cute jar or pitcher with wrapped candy such as taffy pieces or Hershey’s hugs and kisses. Count how many and keep the number secret. Have guests write down how many they think the jar holds and give the jar as a prize to the one who guessed closest.
    • Become stylists by making wedding dresses out of toilet paper. Split the guests into two teams and ask the bride’s mother and mother-in-law to be the models. Vote on which wedding dress is the funniest, worst, or most stylish. Take pictures with the bride for a great memory.
    • Ask guests to bring a picture of themselves or their mothers on their wedding day. Compare pictures, clothing styles, hair do’s, and bridesmaids’ dresses.
    • Other games could include bride bingo, charades, trivia about the bride and the groom, and a contest for the most baby names made up of the letters of the bride and groom’s names.

    Tips for the Hostess

    Here are a few things to keep in mind before planning a bridal shower.

      • Is anyone else planning a bridal shower? Check with other family members/friends to make sure that you don’t overlap dates or have the same guest list.
      • Bridal showers should be held two to six weeks before the wedding.
      • When writing invitations, be sure to include the name of the bride-to-be, the date of the shower, the time, the address of and map to the shower, the name and phone number of the hostess, the bridal shower theme, and home decorating colors.
      • Stick to the schedule. Greet guest and offer appetizers, have guests introduce themselves, play icebreaking and interaction games, serve the food, have the bride open her gifts, allow time for individual conversations, give out shower favors and prizes, and thank guests for coming.

      In all, bridal showers are supposed to be fun and not stressful for the bride-to-be (or for the organizer). It’s a perfect way for her to get away from pre-wedding jitters and concerns. Make it a special day for her to be admired and celebrated.

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