My very best friend in the whole wide world (who you can check out over at CeCe’s Corner) is getting married on Saturday! Seems like just yesterday that I was hiding behind a tree, secretly capturing photos of their engagement. Now I’m sitting with my GT’s Guava Goddess kombucha in the hammock of the rental house I’m staying in with her wonderful family for the week and thinking about where in the world time goes! It’s amazing how fast a year flies by!
In preparation for the big day, I threw her a bridal shower about a month ago. Since it’s the fourth bridal shower I’ve thrown (and my ninth time being a bridesmaid…) I thought I would share some tips on how to achieve that perfect, swoon-worthy bridal shower!
The first thing I do when planning a bridal shower (or any other wedding event) is talk with the bride about any visions she has for the event. This gives you a starting point regarding colors and/or theme, level of formality, size of the party, venue, etc. I have had some friends who are a little more specific in what they’re wanting and other friends (like my bestie) who have no preferences, giving me a little more free reign in the planning process. Either way, discuss a vision with the lovely bride-to-be.
After you have gotten some feedback from the bride, brainstorm ideas to make that happen. I STRONGLY recommend creating a vision board or Pinterest board for this step to ensure all of your ideas and research are in one place. It really comes in handy when trying to share your vision with other bridesmaids (or other helpers) and vendors/venues.
Including lots of little, personalized touches throughout the event is what makes it unique! It’s nice to have a beautiful, Pinterest-perfect shower but making it personal ensures she will remember the day forever! For example, I created a 14ft. table runner for Bestie’s shower out of all black and white photos of her and her fiancé. Time intensive? Yes. Labor intensive? Extremely. But will she remember how personal her shower was? Absolutely!
This is the hardest part for me. My grand visions don’t always match the budget I put in place for myself. The very first shower I threw cost me between $300 and $400 dollars to pull off. I think it was so difficult because I hosted that shower at my house and then had to not only provide decorations but also all of the food, drinks, utensils, and games to entertain the guests. If you have a larger budget and/or a large amount of attendees, this would be a good option. However, for smaller budgets and smaller groups I recommend hosting the event at a venue such as a restaurant or winery to limit the financial burden for yourself. **Note: If hosting at a restaurant or similar styled venue, be sure to add a nice little note in the invitation about what the attendee will be responsible for (ex. their own food and drinks, etc.)
Prioritize and Plan
Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize!!! This will save you from so much unnecessary stress! Personally I create a list of all that needs to be done along with a time estimate and due date for each task. The due dates can easily be added to a planner or calendar. This list helps me decide which tasks I need to devote the most time and energy to (and start the soonest) and which are only going to take a few minutes, like phone calls, that I can easily complete on my lunch break. Similarly, by creating a task list complete with time estimates, you can figure out which tasks you might need to seek assistance with or should break into smaller tasks.
Bonus: Multi-Purpose Decor
When possible I try to make the personalized details from the third step something that can be used again, either at the wedding, in the couple’s home, or both. The photo table runner I made for Bestie’s shower will also be used on the guest book table at the reception and in their apartment on the new dining room table. If you are going to put in the time and money to throw a beautiful, personalized shower, it should include elements that the beautiful bride can keep with her long after the shower is over.
What other bridesmaid-related posts would you like to see? Any tips I didn’t include? Leave ’em in the comments below!
Wake and Conquer!