What To Do With The Bridal Suite

Decorating the bridal suite is something that you may want to do for the couple, and it will require some communication with the groom or mother of the bride beforehand so they can slip you the key or have you check into the room. Check with the hotel beforehand on check-in time; that will determine whether you should decorate before the wedding or leave the reception early to do it.

Lighting dozens of candles in votive holders will set a very romantic mood; see if the hotel can light them for you just before the bride and groom are to arrive (be sure to coordinate this so that you or someone can call the hotel and let them know when)-it can’t hurt to ask, and you won’t have the anxiety of wondering if you set your best friend’s wedding suite on fire!

Rose petals look beautiful, but when stepped on, they grind a beautiful red stain into carpet. You’ll be better off buying the faux petals from a craft store-just as pretty but without the hefty price of paying for the hotel to clean their carpet. Arrange the petals into the outline of a heart on the bed for an ultra-romantic look.

Choosing Bridal Shower Locations

The possibilities for the shower location are really boundless, but it does depend on your budget and your guest list. Most traditional showers are held at someone’s home, which is great (and free!), but it’s not the only option.

You could also see if a favorite restaurant has a private room or section-this is a good option if you want the atmosphere to be fun and informal. They’ll most likely either let you use the room for free with the purchase of a certain amount of food. Or, apartment communities often have a common room that they will rent out for a small fee, usually between $50-$100.

This is a good alternative because there’s usually plenty of space and it is often decorated beautifully. If you’ve got a larger budget, you can look into renting out a small event venue; this can go anywhere from $300 to $5,000. If you are renting at a nonpeak time, you will often receive a discount.

To find out what venues are in your area, try Googling “event venues Memphis TN,” for example, if Memphis is your city.

Choosing Bridal Shower Invitations

The bridal invitations are very important, but often overlooked or underestimated, step in planning your bride’s shower. The invitation is the first thing your guests see, and it sets the tone for the event. Please, ladies: don’t buy the package from the store that has blanks for you to handwrite the when, where, who, etc. The fact of the matter is that we are living in the 21st century and there is no excuse for this. Almost everyone has access to a personal computer, which almost certainly has a word processing or even a basic graphics layout program, which is easily used to design a simple invitation.

Now, put the hand-written invitation package down, and walk a few steps down the aisle, and you will see the blankinvitation package. This product often has a cute and colorful border around it or some kind of design, and it is just too easy to lay out the wording on your computer and print them at home, or take them to a print center and get them printed while you wait. Usually, they can help you design the wording, too, if you are truly computer challenged.

Printing your invitations this way is really very inexpensive about $20 for a pack of 50 invitations, 10 cents per copy at your local copy shop, or free if you print from home. Of course, you can also just go to an invitation specialty shop and buy the blank invites (they’re quite a bit more expensive here usually-$1-2 a piece) and even have them design and print them for you (another $1-2 a piece).

Another reason to choose the printed invitation is that this is your opportunity to let your guests know what your theme is. Open the invitation with some cute or funny verses about the shower. This is where they figure out what is expected of them. Check out some invitation design websites for ideas for the wording on your invitation. They should be mailed 3-4 weeks prior to the shower.

Choose The Best Bridal Shower Favors

Favors aren’t absolutely necessary, but they’re a nice touch. After all, many of your guests may have traveled some distance to be at the shower and give the bride gift, a small token of appreciation is nice. One thing to keep in mind when choosing Bridal Shower Favors is that, although a party planner never wants to think about their guests throwing out their favors, the reality is, a favor that wasn’t well thought out is likely to be never used or simply tossed. One way to avoid this is to make your favor edible! The old Jordan-almonds-in-a-bundle-of-tulle may seem like kind of a tired tradition, but the thought behind it makes sense. You could take this idea and simply make it a little more “now.” You can purchase small boxes called gable boxes in nearly any size from a craft supply store or on the internet, and these are great to fill up with candy or cookies or any kind of small food. This type of favor can be done for about $1-2 each.

Another idea-you’ve probably seen candy buffets at weddings-a smaller scale works great for showers as well! Choose candy in colors similar to your decorations and buy different types and display them in clear glass container with a small scoop, and a small bag to carry it. If your colors were red and white, for example, you could do red licorice, hot cinnamon candy, white chocolate covered pretzels, and sno-caps. For a small candy buffet, expect to spend between $30-75, depending on the candy and containers you choose.

If you would rather not have an edible favor, try giving one that makes sense within your theme, but keep in mind they can get pricey: about $4-8 each. Give a small tabletop clock for an Around the Clock shower, or a package of recipe cards or a recipe book for a Recipe Shower. Cookie cutters would also be thoughtful for a recipe shower. A photo frame will hardly ever go un-used, so it’s a great universal favor idea as well.

Bridal Shower Themes

There are so many fantastic themes to choose from when planning a bridal shower. The internet is a great resource for coming up with a theme-just do a search for wedding shower themes. Your theme will need to be in keeping with the atmosphere you’ve decide on-whether it be formal and ladylike, or raucous and fun, or relaxed and informal. Here are the top 9 bridal shower themes as voted upon by the readers of our site:

Top 9 Bridal Shower Themes

1 – China Shower/Bridal Tea: A very formal, traditional bride would love a china shower or a bridal tea. You’d serve cucumber sandwiches, scones, tea, mint juleps, and other dainty foods. Your colors should be pastel or neutral and decorating the table with doilies or bits of antique lace would be in keeping with the high tea atmosphere.

2 – Naughty or Nice Shower: If you think your bride would like a little bit of wild fun, you could throw her a lingerie shower or a naughty-or-nice shower, where guests are asked to bring a naughty gift and/or a nice gift. Some fun things to serve at these types of showers are chocolate-dipped strawberries, champagne cocktails, and devil’s food petit fours-anything that is sinfully delicious. Decorate half the table in black and half in white, or give the bride an angel’s halo and devil’s horns.

3 – Couple Cookout: If your bride is more casual and laidback, she might enjoy a couple’s shower cookout, where you could simply serve beer and hamburgers and hot dogs hot off the grill. Brides who don’t like being the center of attention may love this type of shower because her fiance can share some of the limelight of opening gifts and it’s more of an informal atmosphere where guests are just hanging out.

4 – Stock the Bar or Wine Tasting Shower: Instruct guests to bring liquor or wine-related gifts, including actual alcohol or wine from the liquor store as well as registry items such as wineglasses or cocktail shakers. There are so many cute martini and wine themed decorations available right now, decorating should be a snap.

5 – Around the House or Around the Clock: On the invitation, you instruct each guest to bring something either from a certain room of the house or a certain time of day. For example, a guest who received a dining room invitation would give dinnerware or flatware; similarly, a guest who received a 7:00am invitation would give bath towels.

6 – Recipe Shower: Ask guests to bring a favorite recipe, along with all or some of the items needed to make the recipe. You could choose a few guests and ask them in advance what their recipes will be and serve them for the shower food. A good way to get conversation going at this type of shower is to have guests share ways in which they have messed up recipes: they put salt in the cake instead of sugar, they forgot to cook the potatoes before they mashed them, etc.

7 – Holiday Ornament Shower: This type of shower is appropriate any time of year, and is especially nice for a sentimental bride who likes to hold on to things that have meaning for her. You could serve all the traditional holiday fare in finger-food-form and have a subtle red and green theme.

8 – Brunch Shower: Start at 10am and serve classic brunch favorites like monkey bread, biscuits and gravy, French toast sticks, breakfast casseroles, and mimosas. This type of shower is becoming ever more popular as women are finding themselves bombarded with shower and wedding invitations that take up all their time. A brunch shower allows your guests to dedicate the first few hours of their day to your bride and then have the rest of the day to themselves. It’s a very considerate way to host a shower, and might I add delicious!

9 – Kitchen Shower: This one is pretty self-explanatory; guests are instructed to bring gifts for the kitchen, whether it be for cooking, baking, cleaning, kitchen decor, organization, etc. Offer the bride an apron and chef’s hat as she arrives to wear for the shower.

Your theme doesn’t necessarily have to dictate what gifts guest bring, what food to serve, AND how to decorate. As you can see, several of the themes mentioned above only dictate one or two of those things. It really is important to check with the bride on what other showers she’s having. If she’s having a kitchen shower and a china shower, for example, you don’t want to host a recipe shower because she has probably received most of what she needs in that area. An Around the Clock shower, to supply their home for all hours of the day, or a brunch or cookout shower, where the type of gift isn’t dictated, would be good in this instance.