Unless friends and families are evenly distributed in two different geographical areas, both the bride’s and the groom’s families are huge, or the bride has a large number of co-workers who really want to throw their own shower just have one shower. I know, scandalous idea, right? No. It makes scheduling easier, friends and relatives get a chance to meet and mingle in a more casual atmosphere before the wedding, and a big shower just feels more festive.
Go simple and tasteful with the invitations and decorations. Pick your crafty person and turn them loose. Odds are they have things sitting in the own homes (card stock, ribbon, vases, books, shells, fabric, a chalkboard) that can be pulled into service. My niece Emily was in charge of invitations, decor, and cupcakes, and she did a job any professional would be proud of.
Look at the bride’s Pinterest boards. For Catherine’s shower all the food came from recipes she’d pinned, and I’ve never seen or tasted a better selection of shower food! And never underestimate the power of cupcakes.
Don’t rule out games. When I heard there were going to be games I thought “Oh, no”, but I ended up channeling Tim Gunn and “making it work” to dress one of my nieces in a wedding dress made of toilet paper and clothespins. It was hilarious.
Make sure one person (usually the maid of honor) is in charge of writing down which gifts came from whom. This was a high-tech shower, so this was being done on a Macbook. Someone else should be writing down (surreptitiously) what the bride says as she opens each gift. This was a tradition I’d forgotten until Saturday.
Remember the traditional shower silliness: However many ribbons the bride breaks opening gifts is the number of children the couple will have. In Saturday’s case, this was three 🙂 Everything the bride says as she opens gifts will be what she says on her wedding night. Have everyone take a potty break before the reading of these comments!
Warn the bride that she’ll be exhausted. It’s hard being the center of attention for even a couple of hours. Catherine’s shower lasted three and a half hours, and she needed a nap afterwards.
Put someone in charge of the event to keep things moving. My niece Lauren is stunningly beautiful, towers over everyone (especially in heels) and is comfortable speaking to large groups. She told us all when to do what, and we all did it.
Nametags help. I even had a “Mother of the Groom” button, which made everything a little too real for a couple of minutes there. Thank God for waterproof mascara.
Location, location, location. Not someone’s house if you can help it. My father-in-law lives in a condo community with a lovely, spacious party room with a full kitchen. We use it for all family celebrations. I wasn’t able to come early to help set up and do prep work, but Catherine’s mother and sister were there helping out. Michael and I stayed after for clean-up. If it’s someone’s home it’s too easy for the hostess to say, “No, I’ve got this” and then realize she’s got three hours of work on her hands.