Showering the Bride
Once upon a time, it was customary to keep the specifics of the shower — time, date, location, and so on — a secret from the bride until the last moment. Times have changed, and now the maid of honor should consult the bride about the theme and the date. Unless the shower is a surprise, you need to compile a guest list (including addresses) and provide the names and locations of the stores where you're registered.
Planning the Shower
The typical bridal shower is held at a small hall or in someone's home, depending on the size of the guest list. Most bridal showers involve food and games. Traditionally the guests were women, but your fiancé is welcome. Co-ed showers are also growing in popularity, just try to avoid gender-specific activities and bridal shower games. Stick to a gender-neutral theme, as well.
Shower Menu Suggestions
The time of the day or evening will dictate the menu in almost all cases. The menu may also be inspired by the shower's theme or even the wedding's theme. Add the favorite dishes of the bride and groom as well. The following suggestions will help inspire your bridal shower cuisine.
Muffins or scones
Egg, tuna, or seafood salad
Gourmet mixed-green salad
Pink champagne or punch
Side salads (to complement the main dish), such as pasta, macaroni, or potato salad
HORS D'OEUVRES AND APPETIZERS:
Cheese and crackers
Beef teriyaki strips
Crudités (vegetable) platter with dip
Fresh fruit with a dipping sauce
Gourmet French fries
Mini quiche, quesadilla, hamburger — almost any miniature version of a favorite food
Brownies or Blondies
Let the Games Begin
Games are a good way to get guests to interact and enjoy themselves, but they are by no means mandatory. The games should reflect the tone and theme of the shower. When the hostess is planning the shower, let her know how you feel about games and themes. Some bridal shower games are lighthearted but some are risqué. Here are some ideas for bridal shower games:
Guess the Goodies: Fill a large decorative jar with white or colored candied almonds. Ask the guests to figure out how many almonds are in the jar. They can take as long as they want; at the end of the shower, ask them to hand in their answers on a slip of paper. The person who comes closest to the number wins the jar and the almonds. (Feel free to substitute another type of candy or perhaps the bride's or groom's favorite candy.)
Mish-Mash Marriage: Scramble the letter in words associated with love and marriage: kiss (siks), love (voel), garter (tergar), and so on. Set a time limit for the guests to figure out the scrambles; the one who completes the most wins.
Mystery Spices: Find ten jars filled with different spices. Place masking tape over the labels; spread the jars out on a table and let the guests try to guess what's in each jar. They may shake, examine, and even open and sniff the contents — just as long as they don't read the labels. Set a time limit and when it's up, the spices can go to the person who correctly guessed the identity of the most jars or to the bride to stock her kitchen.
Bride's Chatter: Assign someone to keep a record of the bride's comments while she's opening her gifts. After she's through, read the comments back to the group. Taken out of context, the remarks are sometimes hilarious.
Famous Couple Trivia: Develop some trivia questions with a love theme for your shower. Sample questions can be:
* What pop princess, who got hitched on a whim in Las Vegas, had a marriage that lasted only 55 hours? (Answer: Brittney Spears)
* What famous singing TV couple of the 1970s had their own show? (Hint: “I've Got You, Babe”) (Answer: Sonny and Cher)
* Dawson's Creek meets Top Gun … What famous couple married at a Castle in Italy? Bonus points: What was/is their tabloid nickname? (Answer: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Tom-Kat)
* Who were Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's best friends? (Answer: Fred and Ethel Mertz)
Memory Game: After the bride-to-be has opened all of her gifts, ask her to leave the room for a few minutes. Pass out pencils and paper to the guests and ask them to answer questions about her: What is she wearing? What color are her shoes? Does she have nail polish on? Is she wearing earrings? What is her middle name? And any other questions you can think of. The guest with the most correct answers wins a prize.
Right Date Door Prize: Ask all of the guests for the date of their wedding anniversary (or birthday for single guests). Whoever has a date that comes closest to the wedding date wins a prize.
Bride's Bingo: This game can be bought at most stationery or card stores. The concept is the same as regular bingo; only words associated with weddings replace those boring numbers.
Pin It on the Groom: If your live groom is unwilling to volunteer his services, draw the silhouette of a man on a large piece of paper. Attach a photo of the groom's face to the top. Blindfold the guests, spin them, and have them attempt to pin a flower on his lapel.
If you anticipate resistance from a killjoy or two, here's the perfect incentive — prizes. Following are a few ideas with which you can reward the participants:
Bubble bath/bath oils
Gift cards for coffee
Note cards or stationery
The Guest List
You don't have to invite all the women who'll be at the wedding to the shower. Usually, bridal showers are intimate get-togethers. You, your wedding attendants, family members, and five to thirty of your closest friends should make the party a success story. Multiple showers to accommodate different groups of friends, coworkers, and larges families are not uncommon. However, other than the wedding party and mothers (who are not obligated to bring a gift to more than one shower), guests should only be invited to one shower.
The Gift Recorder
The most important thing to remember is to assign someone the task of keeping track of your gifts. If you're in on the planning, bring this book with you and assign someone you trust with the task of filling out the following recorder. This way, you'll know who to thank for which gift.