If You've Decided to Cohost the Shower, Here Are Some Tips
Cohosting offers lots of benefits, not the least of which are shared expenses and shared responsibilities. You might become great friends (if you aren't already) with whomever you cohost the shower with. You could also want to kill each other, and that tension could mess up the party.
Luckily, you bought this book. Here is the secret to cohosting a fabulous party and having fun doing it. Get ready to commit the secret to memory:
Decide who will do what now, while it's all still a fun theory.
The more you work out now, the easier this whole thing will be for you. The first step is to have a planning meeting with your partner(s). You will want to buy a copy of this book for each of them (my publisher told me to put that in, but it's a good idea), and you will want to copy (and enlarge) the following chart.
Your job at this first meeting with your cohost(s) is to basically decide on a theme and a general idea of who will do what. You probably want to have a meeting with your cohost(s) face to face if at all possible. You will have called the bride already and gotten permission and a couple of possible dates and times she's available.
It's OK if you don't know your cohost(s). Take control of the meeting by showing her how prepared you are. Give her the book and the chart, and after you're done giggling and bonding, choose the date and, ideally, the location and talk about the theme. (If you plan to rent a location, you won't be able to select a place at your first meeting, obviously.)
Delegation Chart/To-Do List
The following form should be filled out and one copy given to each hostess.
Party for: __________
To be held on: __________
From what time to what time: __________
Names of hostesses: __________
Home phone number: __________
Theme: (choose one from this book or come up with something of your own!)
|Choosing or making them||__________|
|Drawing a map||__________|
|Choosing the menu||__________|
|Setting up food||__________|
|Cleaning up kitchen||__________|
|Location Rental and Setup:|
|Selecting a location||__________|
|Renting a location||__________|
|Paying the deposit||__________|
|Preparing a house||__________|
|Paying for the rental space||__________|
|Setting up the furniture||__________|
|Renting the furniture||__________|
|Returning any rented furniture||__________|
|Cleaning the house afterward||__________|
|Removing debris from the rental space||__________|
|Getting back any deposit||__________|
|Choosing party favors||__________|
|Buying various favors or their components||__________|
|Assembling party favors Distributing party favors||__________|
|Choosing which games to play||__________|
|Choosing an entertainer||__________|
|Paying for an entertainer||__________|
|Assembling anything necessary||__________|
|Finding prizes Buying prizes||__________|
|Organizing the games||__________|
|Emceeing the games||__________|
|Managing the games||__________|
|Judging the games||__________|
|Removing or taking down the games||__________|
|Choosing the type of music||__________|
|Engaging a musician||__________|
|Paying a musician||__________|
|Providing CDs or other recordings||__________|
|Making sure the stereo works well||__________|
|Changing the music during the party||__________|
|Making sure the CDs go back to whomever owns them||__________|
|The Gift Table:|
|Renting or allocating a gift table||__________|
|Decorating a gift table||__________|
|Taking gifts from attendees at the door||__________|
|Making sure cards stay with attendee's gifts||__________|
|Recording who gave bride what||__________|
|Packing all her gifts into big boxes||__________|
|Putting the big boxes in her trunk||__________|
|Cleaning up the wrapping paper and ribbons||__________|
|Assembling the ribbon bouquet for the rehearsal dinner||__________|
Then, generally go over the list of things to be done. Make a verbal, out-loud deal to be honest about what your real interests are. Don't sit there like a mouse if you love to bake and would love to make her cake, but you hate picking out music because all you listen to is Old Elvis and everyone teases you about it. Tell your cohost you want to make the darn cake!
Pick the jobs you like, let her pick the jobs she likes, and negotiate the rest. Be clear about what you are interested in doing, and what you vehemently DON'T want to do. Chances are, you two can sweet-talk somebody else into doing what you don't want to do or pool your money and hire it done.
What to take to your shower-planning meeting with your new cohost(s):
A copy of the delegation chart for each host
A copy of this book for each host
Your personal calendar
Your incredible charm and great personality
At this first meeting, you might also want to talk about money. Who will pay for what is kind of taken care of in the delegation chart, but if you want to do a straight budget, refer to the budget-planning section of this book. A home party can be done for $250 on the very cheap side. From there, the sky's the limit.
Reasonably elegant home parties for 15 people would cost about $400, self-catered, but including the gift you guys give her. Lavish, well, you gotta do some price shopping yourself to discover that one. If you hire Fabio or Pierce Brosnan as a surprise guest, it's going to cost a lot more.