A few months ago I was at my niece's bridal shower in Texas and believe it or not, there were 30 hostesses giving the luncheon (which means 30 names on the actual invitation!) It may sound difficult to co-host an event with 30 people, but once you learn a few tricks, it’s actually easier. I know for sure my Houston friends have this system of co-hosting down because they do it with perfection all the time.
When my son got engaged, I got many calls from friends sending love and congratulations. Soon after that initial phone call, many called back and asked to be put on “the list” to entertain. This is a tradition across the south and midwest. Our family and friends came together to make sure my son and his fiancee were "showered with love". They offered to entertain by either hosting a bridal shower or an engagement party. Everyone wanted to host something to help create more room for love and celebration.
Over the years, I’ve co-hosted many of these celebrations for both family and friends and I’ve learned what makes an event memorable. Here are some of my favorite tips and ideas for a fun and flawless bridal shower.
Ask How Many?
Before you can begin to plan, It’s important to get an idea from the Bride, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom how many guests they’d like to invite to the shower. Will this be the bride’s only shower or party or will there be a few? Determine how many hostesses will be giving the event. The answers to these questions will help you determine if it will be an intimate gathering or larger event.
Pick Your Venue
Once you determine the number of guests, the venue often falls into place quite naturally. If it’s a smaller shower, one of the hostesses might offer her home while a larger guest list may require outsourcing to a restaurant. Once you’ve settled on the venue and size of your party, your group can then decide how to proceed.
Stick To A Budget
Most people usually have a budget when it comes to entertaining. It’s normally less expensive to entertain at home whether you cook, order in, or have the party catered. However, an at home event may become expensive if you need to rent chairs, tables, china and tablecloths. Restaurants have their own hidden expenses; many restaurants have a minimum guest requirement if you are requesting a private room. When researching restaurant options, be ahead of the game and ask questions to find out all additional costs they may charge for private events. If there are a lot of other hostesses sharing the costs of the event, having the shower at a restaurant might make sense and be cost-effective. Every scenario is different so do your research!
Delegation is everything
It’s the norm that one of the hostesses (usually a close friend of the bride or groom’s mother) takes charge of the event. She secures a date from the bride and sends out an initial email asking the other hostesses how they’d like to help and what they’d like to help with. People offer to do different jobs like ordering the invitations, addressing and stamping the envelopes, choosing centerpieces, buying the bridal gift and choosing the party favors. The different duties and jobs are divvied up amongst everyone. The hostesses split all expenses, and it works out beautifully.
Know Your Bride
Every bride is unique and if you tailor the experience to her, it will be all the more meaningful. My daughter-in-law Jayme loves shoes and the color pink. For her bridal shower in Houston, the hostesses carried out that theme just for her. From the invitations to the cake, the flowers, the napkins and the party favors; everything was personalized and picked out just for Jayme!
Just Chip In
Sometimes the event is happening out of town and you can’t be there to organize or help with the nitty gritty. If this is the case, it’s ok to leave the specifics to the local hostesses. They will appreciate you “chipping in.” When the tables are turned and the event is in your hometown, you can take more responsibility...it all evens out in the end!
When you have a more intimate shower, games are a great way to break the ice between guests and a fun way to pass the time. A few personal favorites are wedding jeopardy or trivia, wedding bingo, and heads up. For instructions and even more ideas, check here. Pinterest is full of great ones and is my go-to for great bridal shower games.
Shower Gift For The Bride
The hostesses usually go in together and get a nice shower gift for the bride. Some ideas include pieces from her Bridal Registry like place settings of her everyday china, pots and pans that she registered for or a special kitchen appliance that she’s been wanting.
It’s also customary for the bride to give a hostess gift to each person hosting the shower or luncheon. Some examples of this are a personalized memo pad or stationery, monogrammed napkins or gift enclosure cards, a beautiful candle, or an accessory for entertaining like a set of appetizer spreaders.
Click here Barbara's Bridal List to download my personal checklist for a flawless event.