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.

High Tech Wedding Planning Ideas

High Tech Wedding Planning IdeasIn today’s fast-paced modern times, everything has become convenient, efficient, and compact – including wedding planning. Before the internet, wedding planning is a tedious and time-consuming process involving bulky binders, clipped magazines, and that ever iconic Rolodex. Every detail was to be written down and filed for future reference but carrying it around from the house to the office to any meeting place would be a chore for the excited bride-to-be.

All that has changed now, thanks to technology and innovation. The tech-savvy brides and wedding planners of today have so many tools and devices to help them get the job done as quick and as easy as possible. Any gadget, from the tiny smartphones to the handy tablets and laptops, can turn into an instant wedding planning idea box with the right application. Of course, as the kids would say these days, there is an app for anything and everything.

With these new tools for wedding planning and organizing, brides of today get to enjoy easier collaboration with their bridesmaids, event planner, and even the other vendors. All details are available right at a touch of button or screen, which means it can be brought anywhere and accessed anytime without any fuss.

Here are a handful of the most convenient mobile apps that are perfect for the highly technical brides of today. These tools are ideal for the multi-taskers, the working brides, and the DIY enthusiasts who are determined to transform their dream wedding into a reality.

Appy Couple. Promising to deliver the complete wedding package, this handy wedding planning app offers quick RSVP links which are accessible for the guests, shared photo galleries where guests can pool in all snapshots from the party, and even alerts and notifications related to wedding-related tasks.

Evernote. It’s like having a digital notebook that can hold all photos, lists, sketches, and little memos needed for planning a wedding. Evernote is so handy and flexible that it can be accessed across different platforms, from the mobile phone to desktop computers. Collaboration is also made easier as content can be shared between accounts and users through email addresses.

Thankful. Yes, even gift registries can be built and curated to suit the digital world. Wedding guests don’t need to travel across town just buy a specific tea set at a special store. Simply download the app and share the registry from any site or any store with just a click of a button.

Pinterest. Unleashing all glitter, mason jars, and paper doily projects to the entire world, Pinterest is a heaven-sent application where users can collect ideas for their wedding and also collaborate in making idea boards related to the theme. No need to clip magazines, print wedding gown styles, and hunt down catalog prints – all wedding inspiration ideas can be viewed instantly and shared easily among the bridesmaids with just a touch of a button. With the success of Pinterest, it is a wonder how brides survived without having this handy tool in wedding planning.

Bridal Shower Games

Games are the one thing that many people dread at a bridal shower – but that’s because so many hostesses don’t put a lot of thought into the games, so they end up being awkward or boring. But you don’t want that! So check out the list below for bridal shower games that are actually fun. If you don’t see any here that appeal to you, try a site like bridalshowergamesatoz.com, where you can purchase printable game templates and packages online.

Top 10 Bridal Shower Games

1 – Wedding Night Hand Game: This is a game your guests won’t really understand until later on when you explain it to them, but that’s the idea! Have a bridesmaid, ready with construction paper and markers, instruct guests to place the paper on the floor and trace their hand with the marker-they can’t bend their knees. The bridesmaid should write down everything the guests say as they try to bend over and draw their hand. Later, you explain that the point of the game was to find out what the bride-to-be will say on her wedding night. You’ll get classic soundbites like, “Gosh, this is harder than it looks!” and “Oh! This hurts!” You probably won’t be able to get through the list of quotes without dissolving into laughter.

2 – The Apron Game: This game is somewhat costly, and may actually end up contributing to the hostesses’ gift to the bride. Purchase kitchen utensils like a spatula, potato peelers, can opener, measuring spoons and pin as many as you can fit on a cute apron. Have the bride-to-be wear the apron and walk around the room in it so all the guests can see her. Then take the apron out of the room. Give guests pen and paper and ask them to write as many items as they remember that were on the apron. The guest who remembered the most items correctly wins the apron, and all the bride takes home all the utensils!

3 – What’s in the Sock? : Purchase 5 pairs of socks, as well as 10 items the bride and groom might need on their honeymoon, like a tiny drink umbrella, condoms, lubricant, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. Place each item in a sock and tie it closed, then write a number on the sock in sharpie. Have guests write down their guesses as to what is in each sock. Sounds easy enough, right? But they can only feel with their FEET-no hands allowed! Award a prize to the guest with the most correct answers.

By buying already made and printable bridal shower games, this will relieve you of the stress of figuring out every detail. 

4 – Who Am I?: Prior to the shower, get about 20 or 30 (depending on number of expected guests) index cards and write the name of a celebrity on them. As guests arrive, stick a card on their back, and don’t tell them who it is. It’s their job during the shower to ask other guests yes or no questions about their celebrity to eventually try to figure out who they are. The first person to figure it out wins a prize, and why not offer prizes for the second and third person as well?

5 – Recipe for Marriage: Purchase as many cute recipe cards as you will have guests. Pass them out at the shower along with a pen and ask them to write what is, in their opinion, the recipe for a successful marriage. Put them all in a bowl, and if you have time, have the bride read them and try to guess who it’s from with a little help from all the guests. It’s a wonderful and attractive keepsake for the bride to hold on to.

6 – Bridal Trivia: Come up with a list of ten or so questions about the bride, like her favorite movie, how many siblings she has, the name of her first dog, whatever you can think of. The funnier the better, as always. Pass out index cards and pens and read the questions aloud, asking the guests to write down their answers. Then read all the questions and have the bride tell you the correct answer. By show of hands, determine who answered the most questions correctly-that person will win a prize!

7 – How Well Does She Know the Groom?: You and the bridesmaids come up with a list of questions for the groom, and then call him or email him before the shower to get the answers. Good questions would include the time/place of their first kiss, what he wants to name their first kid, what body part of hers is his favorite, etc.

8 – Pick the Groom : This is a great couples’ shower game, especially since guys don’t like to play shower games but all they have to do for this game is allow themselves to be groped! Blindfold the bride-to-be and have all the guys roll their pants up to their knee. Tell the bride to feel each guy’s leg and try to pick out her future husband. Depending on how well everyone knows each other, you could of course also use different body parts like chests, faces, arms, or butts!

9 – Famous Couples Charades: Divide guests into teams. Everyone should write down the name of a famous celebrity couple from past or present. Players have to act out the celebrity couples in the classic style of charades.

10 – A Spot of Tea: This is a funny little game where guests try to decipher British-isms, and it’s oh-s–appropriate for the very British bridal tea. Put together a list of British words like loo, lift, lorry, and tube and have guests write down what exactly they think that means. Give a prize to the person with the most correct answers! Google “popular British expressions” for ideas. You could also play this game in reverse, by calling out the name we call it and having guests write down what they would call it in Britain.

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!