How To Pick Bridal Shower Food

The food you serve at the shower might depend on the theme you’ve chosen, but not all themes are intensive enough to lend themselves to a certain type of cuisine. For a more general shower, such as Around the Clockor a Recipe Shower, you can serve pretty much whatever you want!

Some popular bridal shower standbys include little chicken salad sandwiches, dips with crackers or crostini, cookies or brownies, petit fours, a fruit tray, nuts, and tea or punch. The food is one area where you can cut costs if needed, by making all the food yourselves, and still have a fabulous spread for under $50.

If you have a little bit more money to spend, you could order some of the bride’s favorite finger foods from local restaurants and spend around $100-150.

TIP: Remember, the bride eats first at her shower! If she seems to be waiting for the go-ahead, it’s ok to let her know that she can serve herself or, if you’d prefer, you can serve her.

Wedding Toasts & Etiquette

There is no hard and fast rule of etiquette that requires the maid of honor to make a speech or a toast, so if you count yourself in the group of people that would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy, don’t worry. It’s quite possible that you don’t HAVE to make a speech. These days, wedding celebrations are so varied and personal, that it is not always a given to hear toasts at a wedding reception. It’s not uncommon in some regions for toasts to take place at the rehearsal dinner instead of the actual wedding, and it’s possible that the families may be very informal or nontraditional and may choose not to make toasts a part of the wedding celebration. Again, consider your couple: if they are very traditional, then you can probably expect to hear the best man make a toast at the wedding reception and if you choose to or if you are asked to, you may follow him with a toast of your own. The best thing for you to do is to simply ask the bride whether there will be toasts and whether she would like you to make one. If she asks you to make a toast, or if you’ve simply decided that you want to, here are some guidelines to follow.

When To Toast

The traditional best man speech takes place during dinner at the wedding reception. If there is no seated dinner and there is a buffet or a spread of hours d’ oeuvres instead, the toasts usually start after everyone has served themselves, but within the first one to two hours of the reception before too many guests have started to leave. Traditionally, the best man serves as the emcee and gets the toasts rolling, so be sure to coordinate with him beforehand and find him when it’s getting about that time.

How To Toast

First off, be sure you have a drink in your hand! Something like that is easy to forget when you’re nervous. It’s always in good taste to start off your toast by thanking the couple and their parents for inviting everyone to such a lovely event. If you have a short anecdote or story about the couple (and it’s in good taste), that’s a great way to engage your audience and get them laughing and relaxed. Conclude your toast by wishing the couple happiness and by raising your glass and saying something like, “To Jane and Joe!”

What Not To Toast About

Just because the best man rehashes Joe Groom’s drunken college conquests (and he just might), absolutely does NOT mean you should follow suit. If you want to be funny and tell a story, go ahead, but remember that there are several grandparents and maybe even great-grandparents in attendance! Don’t make the bride or groom uncomfortable, and for goodness sake, don’t scandalize Great Aunt Nellie! Your toast should focus on their love for each other and everyone else’s love for them, NOT past indiscretions or tasteless inside jokes.

You’ve probably also seen plenty of movies where the best man or maid of honor has had a stressful day and a little too much to drink and uses their toast as an opportunity to vent…please don’t do this! Keep in mind that this is a sacred, very special event, and it is not about you. That may sound harsh, but we’ve all experienced the awkward angry speech moment, right? Not fun.

How To Come Up With A Good Toast

Start thinking about your toast several weeks before the wedding. Do a little research and check out a book like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to get ideas for how to start it off with a quote or poem. Think about what makes the couple so perfect for each other, and express that in your toast. Look through old pictures or letters for inspiration. Be yourself-don’t feel pressure to be funny or sentimental if that’s not you-it’ll just sound unnatural and forced. The bride chose you because she loves you for who you are, so if you’re sappy and sentimental, feel free to get a little weepy and tell the bride how much you love her. If you’re sarcastic and cynical, be that…as long as you are not diminishing the bride and groom with your humor. The maid of honor can rock the wedding toast no matter her personality!

Planning A Bridal Shower

One of the most fun parts of being a maid of honor or a bridesmaid is planning the bridal shower. It is a chance to really be creative and show the bride how much she means to you. You and the bridesmaids are responsible for helping plan, set up, pay for, and attend the shower. If possible, it’s best for all the maids to get together to talk about the shower and what kind of shower the bride wants? Would she like a traditional ladies’ shower with cucumber sandwiches and tea, or would she prefer a more casual couples’ shower with barbeque and beer? Try to find out what other kinds of showers are being hosted for her, and you can feel free to ask for her input on the shower’s atmosphere and theme. There are several factors to consider when planning the shower: when, where, who, and how much.

WHEN: It’s of course essential that you consult the bride regarding a time frame for the shower; she is likely to be pretty booked in the months leading up to the wedding, so check with her for open dates before you plan anything. A very traditional bride may want to have her shower very close to the wedding, but a DIY (do it yourself) bride may prefer to have it earlier so that she has plenty of free time leading up to the wedding to complete her projects. You’re probably thinking, “…but, all she has to do is show up!” Ah, then you would be forgetting something very important: she has to find the perfect outfit. She may not have time to scour the dress department at Macy’s two weeks before her wedding, because she may need to be hot-gluing her homemade centerpieces or assembling her candy buffet! The important thing to remember: every bride is different, so don’t assume that the bride from the last wedding you were in is going to have the same preferences and expectations as this one. As far as time of day, most showers start anywhere from 1pm to 3pm.

WHO: Figuring out the guest list takes some thought. First you have to determine whether anyone else is hosting showers for the bride…perhaps an aunt or a friend of her mother’s. If this is the case, then you know that family members (if it’s an aunt) or family friends (if it’s the mother’s friend) are already being invited to a shower. In most cases, there is no need to invite them to another shower, with the exception of the mother of the bride and/or groom. It is a lot to ask of a regular wedding guest to attend and bring gifts to more than one shower and also the wedding. However, if your shower is the only one the bride is having, you’ll need to coordinate with the bride or with her mother, to find out what family members or family friends need to be invited.

WHERE: This can be tricky. Often there is a hometown, a college town, and/or a current city…which one do you pick? That depends on the WHO. If yours is the only shower, then hometown is the most likely answer. If your shower will just be the bride’s friends, then picking your college town or current city makes more sense. If you’re not sure, the bride probably has an idea of where she wants it; just throw a few suggestions at her and ask what she prefers!

HOW MUCH: You and the bridesmaids really should discuss budget very early on in the planning process. Typically the cost of the shower is simply divided equally among all the hostesses (which is usually the maid of honor and the bridesmaids), so you should consider the financial situation of all involved before making any plans. Budget can determine location, what food/drink is served, how many people are invited, and decorations. For the average twenty something bridesmaid, it’s reasonable to ask for $30-50 per person. If you have four hostesses, then, your budget could be from $120-$200. But every situation is different, so just discuss it with the bridesmaids.

Once you and the bridesmaids have the basics of the bridal shower decided, you can begin work on the fun stuff-like the theme and the food!