So you have either stepped into the role of bridesmaid or maid of honor, now what? Put your party planner hat on because there is much to do. You have a bridal shower and bachelorette party to plan, as well as any wedding duties the bride has for you.
Make sure you consult with the bride as to when would be the best time for her shower (she has a lot going on, there is a little thing called wedding planning that she is in the process of). Once you know when you will be holding the shower, weather it be 2 weeks before the wedding or 2 months, invitations should go out a month prior. Be sure to ask what other showers are going to be held for your bride-to-be, you’ll want to have a different theme and try to keep separate guest lists (although there will be some over lap). You also want to make sure that you and the other bridesmaids have discussed a budget and what everyone will be responsible for.
Once you have your date and venue, its theme picking time. A traditional bridal shower normally follows the early afternoon tea party theme, think cucumber sandwiches, and crumpets. But it is okay to think outside the box, really take in to consideration the guest of honor. Some fun ideas:
1. A Honeymoon theme: decorate towards the destination, use maps from their planned trip, music, food, let guests know to bring gifts that the couple will use on their honeymoon (great gift ideas would be a couples massage at the resort or day trip passes) you can still sneak in those when the sun goes down items.
2. A Cooking Class: is your bride-to-be a real foodie or perhaps she has a thing or two to learn about cooking, either way this could be the theme for her, have guests bring a family recipe or favorite dish and create a bridal cookbook for the happy couple, gifts can range from kitchen/baking items to more classes, or steak of the month clubs.
3. Charity Theme: perhaps your couple has lived together and has everything, or they’re very philanthropic, guests can bring food, clothing, or cash to donate to the brides favorite charity in lieu of gifts.
Whatever theme you choose make sure it speaks to the bride-to-be and not the party you would like. Keep the bride-to-be in the loop but do NOT add to her chaotic schedule. The more bridesmaids or friends you can get to help the better, just make sure everyone has a specific task.