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My First Bridal Shower
Planning Experience

September 19th, 2012 by Jeannine

 
My First Bridal Shower Planning Experience

A few months ago I had the privilege to co-plan a very dear friend’s bridal shower and I’d like to share my experience with you!

Location

The first thing we needed to figure out was location. We decided to have it at the maid of honour’s house in Richmond, for convenience because it was easy to get to for most guests and also nothing beats the intimate surroundings of a cozy house!

Invitations

Next, we had to invite some friends and family. The maid of honour got a guestlist from the bride and she used Paperless Post to send out e-vites. They have a great selection of free invitations that look super cute. A cheaper (and very acceptable) alternative to having invitations made. We matched the bridal shower colours with the bride’s wedding colours for some consistency.

Food

What to feed a crowd of hungry women? Since the shower was between lunch and dinner, we tried to keep it light by serving appetizers. I decided to make a couple things: cranberry orange cookies and an artichoke dip. We also bought mini quiches, spring rolls, a fruit platter and cream puffs from Costco. And what’s a shower without cupcakes? I ordered some mini cupcakes from The Clever Cupcakes in Coquitlam. To quench everyone’s thirst, the maid of honour made the bride’s favourite drink, Shirley Temples and bought some nice tea for variety. For extra snacks, the maid of honour bought the bride’s favourite candies and served them in little bowls in the living room in case anyone had to satisfy a sweet craving!

Before planning out the menu, be sure to ask if anyone has any allergies or dietary restrictions. Ask the bride or include it in the RSVP portion of the bridal shower invitation so you can make sure that everyone can eat the food. One of our guests eats gluten-free so we made sure that the chips and artichoke dip were gluten-free. In addition, we ordered gluten-free cupcakes and had gluten-free crackers on hand.

Decor

The decor we used was simple yet festive and girly. Streamers lined the banister leading up to the main floor as well as the walls of the living room. I made a banner which hung at the front of the room. (Tutorial to come later!) We also had some tissue pom poms hung from a couple doorways. A beautiful flower arrangement from Vancity Vendor Sunflower Florist was the main centerpiece on the coffee table. We put it on top of a purple tulle circle, sprinkled some cute heart confetti around it and flanked it with little bowls of the bride’s favourite candies. We bought a faux lace tablecloth which we used on the food table and sprinkled confetti around the food as well. All of these (except the floral arrangement) were bought at various dollar stores. (Tip: Michaels sells tissue pom poms too but I found them cheaper at the dollar store and they had more colours… or you can DIY!)

Games & Activities

We had a few games to liven up the party: the purse game, toilet paper bride, and a bridal shower hot potato game. We led with the purse game because it was pretty easy and a good way to get the crowd started, plus it was really interesting to find out what treasures everyone had in their purse. I found this template online and we printed a sheet out for each person. The person with the most points got the prize!

The toilet paper bride game is a favourite because it gets people together thinking creatively and you get to play a little dress up! If you don’t know, the object of the game is to create a wedding dress on a model made out of toilet paper. Put everyone into groups and give them each a roll of toilet paper and tape. We even let them use leftover streamers so they can add a pop of colour on their designs! People made toilet paper bouquets, gorgeous dresses with a sash and even jewelry! It was pretty cool seeing all the creations come together. In the end, the bride chose her favourite dress and that group won a prize!

The last game was actually the bride’s idea. Everyone sat in a circle and 2 people were each holding a prize. The maid of honour read the couple’s love story out loud and when she said certain key words (in this case, the bride & groom’s names) you have to pass the prize either to your left or right. It’s sort of like a hot potato game. The people holding the prizes by the end of the story wins them!

We also had a room set up to the side with a little keepsake album. Everyone was asked to bring a photo of themselves with the bride to add to the album. We had nice paper and cardstock for them to write their messages of love to the bride which were then inserted next to their photo in the album. We kept the bride away from this room as the album was supposed to be a surprise but I think she knew what was going on ;) We gave her the album later on once it was completed.

Prizes

We can’t have games without prizes! We kept our prizes similarly priced and they are as follows: a girly coffee mug, a box of hedgehogs from Purdy’s for the group game, a gift certificate to Sephora and a summer patio entertaining kit from Winners. The maid of honour and I dedicated some time to shop for these items, it made for a great night out. This would be a great bonding opportunity for your bridesmaids before the stagette or wedding.

Favors

We decided to order our favors from Vancity Vendor Kimberley’s Kitchen, a trio of marshmallows in a cello bag tied with a bow. If you’re curious, the flavours were chai, vanilla and coconut. One thing I would do next time is to plan ahead on the colours of the marshmallows. I didn’t realize they were all white or off white and would’ve wanted some contrast to make the favor look better, but either way it was the bride’s favourite flavours so that’s what matters more. The favor tags are also a DIY project and it was quite easy, I will have a tutorial on it later on. It was a sweet treat to cap off an awesome day.

What I learned…

  • Try to have it at someone’s home, it’ll be more comfortable, intimate, private, and best of all, free!
  • Be a great hostess, greet everyone, make them feel at home and have enough food and beverage for everyone including those with dietary restrictions
  • For games, think about tie-breakers or what to do when someone wins two prizes in a row. Yes it was unlikely but we were hit with both. It was pretty funny actually…
  • Time permitting, DIY your decor or make your own food. It can be cheaper and everyone will appreciate your effort.
  • Not all dollar stores are equal, sometimes you need to go to a few to find some gems.
  • Do your best to make the bride feel special, it’s her day after all! Decorate and serve food based on what she would like. She will really appreciate all the little details.
  • It is better to have more food than not enough, but when you have more, try to convince people to take some home as a treat for later. Who doesn’t want extra cupcakes or cookies?
Hope you got some ideas and inspiration! Let me know how your bridal shower goes by leaving a comment!

All photos courtesy Vancity Bride

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Comments

  • September 19th, 2012 at 9:06 pm
    Kimberley says:

    I love it and thanks for the pretty pic of the marshmallow bags! I definitely could have colored a flavor and I am sorry I didn’t think of it! Thanks for the great ideas!

     

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