Today was an amazing day!
After a lot of preparation, Liz’s bridal shower finally came to fruition this morning! The whole thing went off without a hitch and I think everyone was pleased. Liz kept gushing her thanks and a lot of the guests told me what a great shower it was, so I’m going to take that to mean it was a success 🙂
I planned the shower at the V.F.W. in Yorkville, about a ten minute drive from Liz’s house. I actually stayed with Liz the entire week — I don’t have a car and she needed help packing up her apartment because she’s moving to Oklahoma three days after the wedding — so it was easy for me to pop over there at 9:30 this morning to set up for an 11 o’clock start time.
It lasted until 1:30 p.m. and everything ran together seamlessly. Nobody was left awkwardly sitting around wondering, “uhh, what’s next?” We played a few games, ate yummy food and opened tons of presents!
Now that it’s over, I’ve realized there are a few key things that I really wish I had known when I began planning the bridal shower. So for all of you maid of honor’s out there, this one’s for you!
1. Do a lot of research.
By that, I mean read a lot of blogs. There are a ton of women out there who include the details of their wedding and you can draw a lot of inspiration from them. I borrowed ideas from a lot of different parties and it helped make Liz’s unique.
2. Spend your money wisely.
If you’re not careful, your money is going to disappear really quickly. Every time I stepped into a store, I immediately went to the wedding section and wanted to buy a billion things for the shower because everything was so cute. Luckily, my wallet screamed loud enough for me to listen and I didn’t blow all of my savings.
Look for anything that can serve multiple purposes. For example, I bought heart-shaped tealight candle holders, filled them with a tealight and set them all over the tables. Not only did they fit the theme, but they served as center pieces and I let every guest take one home as a party favor. I saved money because I didn’t have to buy separate gifts for each guest and they added a small touch of cuteness to every table.
3. Recruit help.
Don’t try to do this all by yourself. The bridesmaids know that it’s their responsibility to help with the shower and bachelorette party, so don’t think you’re alone! Plus, it’s always better to have more than one mind churning ideas — you’re more likely to come up with something great together!
Talk to all of the bridesmaids who live in the area before you book anything, too. You never know who they know. One of Liz’s bridesmaids, Kelly, works at the V.F.W. and was able to get us the pavilion for free. Talk about a huge money saver! Don’t be afraid to talk to the parents of the bride and groom either. It’s likely that they’re eager to help out in any way they can; they’re probably just waiting to be asked. Liz’s mom, Ginny, and Joey’s mom, Freida, were both phenomenal and helped with food and other here-and-there things. I definitely couldn’t have pulled off this shower if I didn’t have their help.
4. Make it personal.
The bride will appreciate it and the guests will feel included. I set up a “Word of Advice” area for Liz. As the guests came in, they filled out an index card with any advice or well wishes they had for the happy bride-to-be. Everyone was smiling and chatting about what they wrote, nodding and agreeing with each different card that was voiced.
Any time you can add a small personal touch to the shower, do it. For one of the games, the guests filled out a “Liz Quiz,” which was “How Well Do You Know the Bride?” Everyone got a good laugh out of the guesses and the answers, and the one with the most correct got a little prize. I also put the “Word of Advice” station next to a jar that I filled with swedish fish, Liz’s favorite candy. The guests had to guess how many were in the jar and the woman with the closest guess won the whole jar!
There were 760 fish in there! Liz’s aunt Patti guessed 776, so she won! She was super kind and gave the jar to Liz, making her a very happy girl.
5. Have fun!
Yes, you’ll be constantly moving around to make sure everyone has what they need and all is running smoothly. When your bride-to-be is opening presents, you’ll sit dutifully by her taking notes to make sure she gets every single thank you card correct.
But don’t forget to sit back and enjoy the whole thing! After all, you put it all together, so remember to enjoy it. A lot of the guests didn’t know me very well and I could hear them all chuckling when they saw my sense of humor come out with some of Liz’s gifts.
Letting loose creates opportunities for a lot of fun pictures too. One of the bridesmaids, Tess, and I were cutting the cake toward the end of the shower. I was licking some frosting that had fallen off (figures) when an idea struck me. I told Freida to grab a camera and follow me around sneakily. Can you guess what happened next?
Unfortunately for me, Liz has fast reflexes. After I got her, she managed to swipe the leftover frosting right from my fingertips. I ended up like this…
Everyone got a good laugh out of it and they all said they had never seen that happen at a bridal shower before. Hey, I said I wanted to make things unique!
And there you have it, my friends. Other than that, just make sure you sit down and really think about all of the little details involved with a shower. I forgot a knife to cut the cake! Little things like that pop up, so you just want to make sure your bases are covered. But like I said, remember to have fun! In the end, the bride is going to be extremely grateful you put the effort in and won’t notice if little mishaps occur.
Have you ever put on a bridal shower before? Or been to one? What was your favorite part?