Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Tips for Hosting a Spectacular Bridal Shower

Customized Invitation from Purple Trail's Line of Bridal Shower Invites
A Bridal Shower can be beautiful, stylish and budget friendly. In order to throw a fabulous fete that will wow the bride and other guests, you should plan well and keep it simple. 
1. Determine Your Budget: Keep in mind the cost of all the necessities. You will need Invitations, Decorations, Food & Beverages, Favors(not a necessity) and a location. To cut costs significantly, host the party at your home or the home of a relative, friend or other member of the bridal party. Another way I’ve found to save on the essentials is to find suppliers that provide high quality goods at a reasonable price. One such provider for fantastic, affordable Bridal Shower invites is Purple Trail. Their prices are on average, 40% lower than Shutterfly and Tiny Prints. They also offer flat rate shipping fee of only $6.95 and Free Shipping with purchases of $50 or more. For decorations at low prices, you can find tableware and items for great centerpieces at Dollar Stores and craft stores. Even celebrity event planner Katie Lee (on Nate Berkus) uses the Dollar Store for great items that you can use to smartly decorate your chic event!
2. Set the Date and Time: After you’ve determined  your budget, choose a date and time that will be convenient for the bride, bridal party and the family of the bride and groom. When selecting a time, keep in mind the traditional options of a Brunch, Lunch or Evening Shower.
3. Theme: When selecting a theme, keep the bride’s personality and preferences in mind. If she is shy and easily embarrassed, you probably don’t want to have a Lingerie Shower. Some Themes to think about include Around the Clock Shower, Holiday Shower or perhaps a Spa Shower. Around the Clock Showers typically list a time of day on the invitation and the guest brings a gift that is appropriate for their designated time. For example, if a guest’s invitation lists 8 a.m., the guest could gift a Coffee Maker. 
For a Holiday Shower, the guests bring gifts that fit in with whichever Holiday Theme you’ve selected. You also incorporate decorations that fit in with this theme. A Spa Shower would feature gifts that pamper the bride, such as Gift Certificates for a Massage, Candles, etc. For more themes, visit Purple Trail’s Community Section for a fantastic list of ideas.
4. Guest List -Typically, a bridal shower is a smaller, intimate gathering of close friends and relatives of the bride and groom. Traditionally, showers are women only. Lately though, co-ed showers have become popular. Whether you decide to go with women only or co-ed, it is a good idea to double check the guest list with the bride. 
4. Location-Hosting the Bridal Shower at  your home is a great option, if you have adequate space. If not, consider hosting the event at the home of a family member or at the home of another member of the bridal party. You may also consider hosting the Shower in your Garden or on your patio if the weather permits. Other options for locations include restaurants, church halls, hotel banquet rooms - depending on your budget and the size of your guest list, there are numerous options. Think outside the box and remember to keep in mind your theme and the preferences of the bride.
When you view the card at my design gallery, you can see the snow falling!
5. Invitations-Invitations are a great way to incorporate the theme of the Bridal Shower while expressing your creativity. The selection at Purple Trail is amazing. Not only do they have a wide variety of invitations to choose from, the Bridal Shower Invites can be fully customized to include your choice of background colors, text, photos and many other options. I designed the invitation directly above by changing the background to red and I added a snowflake design, then I added falling snow that can be viewed at my Purple Trail design gallery.  

I Custom Designed the above Invitation by selecting a background, choosing my text color, size and font, then I typed the message that I wanted and saved the Invitation. This is an incredibly user friendly website. For the design at the top of this post, I was able to upload a background and create a quick invitation in around 5 minutes. 
6. Menu-Depending on your budget, theme and the time of day you have your Bridal Shower, you can either have an elaborate spread or simple coffee and cake in the afternoon. For a brunch or lunch, you could have a simple menu of finger foods and pastries. No matter which option you go with, make sure that you have plenty of food and beverages on hand for all your guests.

7. Favors-Favors are not a requirement but they are always a nice touch. Again, favors can vary, depending on your budget and theme. For a tight budget and simple theme like Tiffany Blue, you can purchase aqua gift bags or white boxes, tied with aqua ribbons and fill them with candies or a few guest soaps. Items like these can be found at Dollar Stores and other inexpensive places  like craft stores. For a Christmas themed Bridal Shower, a Christmas ornament personalized with the guest’s name is a great option-you can make these yourself to save money.
For Spa, Around the Clock or any number of themes, the above pictured Towel Cake that was featured on Purple Trail's Bridal Shower Idea Page would be a fantastic and unique centerpiece.
8. Decorationsd├ęcor for the holiday you are featuring. For example, a Christmas tree and Red and Green tableware and centerpieces are great for a simple, budget friendly display. 
9. Prepare For the Bridal Shower- Decide on any games or entertainment beforehand and have it ready before the shower. Make sure the location is all set for the Bridal Shower. Be sure there is a place for coats and bags. You may also need a room for gifts. You need to make certain that you have ample food and drinks and any other necessary supplies such as paper goods and utensils. Also make sure that you have boxes or bags on  hand for transporting the bride’s gifts. *Note*Arrange to have a friend or family member to take pictures and/or video the event. You and the bride will be too busy and you definitely want to make sure you have ample photos and movies to preserve your wonderful event.
10. The Event - Have a greeter in place at the entrance to welcome guests. Make sure that everyone is having a great time, especially the bride. Also make certain that the bride has a chance to eat. Check to be sure that your designated photographer is documenting all the fun. Keep track of who gave which gift. At the end of the event, be sure to help the bride collect her gifts and if there are any leftover goodies, over to make her a plate to nibble on when she gets home. Then relax and worry about cleaning up tomorrow!
Disclosure: I received a gift certificate from Purple Trail through Brandfluential but this did not influence my opinion in any way. The opinions on this blog are purely my own.

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