If you’re hosting a bridal shower, you’re either a very special friend or a very special relative. And chances are you feel a whole lot of pressure to make the occasion unique and fun for everyone invited—especially the guest of honor. The most important thing, of course, is for the bride-to-be to come away from the celebration knowing she’s got good friends and family members by her side as she makes this important life transition. And the way to create that collective experience on the day of her bridal shower is by setting the stage for a fun event that’s simple and focused. But you also want to make sure that there’s some sort of vehicle for group bonding—a unique activity that facilitates connections and conversation. And while simply playing a series of bridal shower games can serve to break the ice and focus attention on the almost-bride, I know for myself that I’m not sure I can suffer through one more round of Toilet-Paper Wedding Dress Wars, though at this point it sounds so bad it’s almost good in a kind of ironic way. So start with a classic bridal shower idea, send an invitation that clues guests in to the theme, kick the party off with classic game or two if you like, but draw from the extra credit ideas below to boost the level of group bonding. Your beloved bride-to-be will be beaming with love and appreciation as you all escort her into the joys of married life.
1. Cookin’ Kitchen Shower Personalize Mixbook’s sweet “Kitchen Shower” bridal shower invitation and invite guests to bring kitchen-themed gifts from her registry. Hire a chef or ask a friend who cooks to give a little cooking tutorial on the preparation of party appetizers, which are then passed as hors d’oeuvres. And make sure the special tools used to demo are then gifted to the bride-to-be.
EXTRA CREDIT: Send everyone home with a Mixbook mini-book with the recipes from the day along with a favorite appetizer recipe submitted by each guest in advance. You can also include fun personal anecdotes and pictures along with each recipe. Have every guest add a handwritten note in the bride’s copy.
*I used the "What's Cookin" Photo Book Theme above
2. Girly Nails & Nighties Shower Customize Mixbook’s retro-themed “Lingerie Shower” invitation. Its sexy bustier print will communicate the theme of the party loud and clear. Instruct guests to come wearing flip-flops, and make a reservation at a local nail salon for everyone to get manicures, pedicures or both. Pour flutes of champagne and pass chocolate-covered strawberries as the bride opens boxes of frilly things—and friends get pampered together.
3. Shakin’ Cocktail Shower Send out Mixbook’s “Fruity Cocktails” invitation and encourage guests to give the bride-to-be some special spirits along with essential bar tools. Hire a bartender who’s a master of mixology to come shake up some special artisan cocktails using seasonal local ingredients. Or simply master the craft yourself and teach everyone at the party the trick to shaking up your special drink. Guests can then try their hand at making the party’s signature cocktail, then sip and enjoy.
EXTRA CREDIT: Name the cocktail of the day after the honored guest and send everyone home with the recipe printed on a Mixbook card (use the same “Fruity Cocktails” template so it matches the invitation!) along with a special glass for serving the signature drink.