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Bridal ShowersSince many couples get engaged during the holidays or on Valentine's Day, it makes sense that April showers bring May flowers - and bridal showers too!

Many countries follow the custom of showering the bride-to-be with gifts that will be useful after marriage.

Normally, the maid-of-honor will organize the shower since it isn't seen as appropriate for the mom or other relatives to host a gifting event — although the bride's parents often assist with the guest list and the costs "behind the scenes." That way etiquette is observed and budget stressed friends of the bride can still throw the shower!

If the maid-of-honor is not available or not able to afford to throw a shower on her own, the bride's maids or other friends of the bride can pitch in to help. Co-workers or school friends may want to have a separate shower... that's perfectly acceptable. The bride can have many showers as long as the same guests are not invited to more than one.

If you've been asked to throw a wedding shower and don't know where to start, you'll find these time-saving tips a big help to make your party stress-free, yet memorable.

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Bridal Showers:

Bridal shower wishing well
How to Make a Bridal
Shower Wishing Well

1. Theme Choosing a theme can often make planning and preparation simpler. For example, a kitchen theme takes care of the menu and gift ideas, by having each guest prepare a meal in a platter or dish that the bride will keep. This works best for small bridal showers, where you can track what each guest is making to avoid duplicate gifts.

2. Invitations No need for professional invitations that are expensive and require numerous in-store visits and approvals. Most computer manufacturers offer invitation materials and templates that produce quality results. Be sure to use the recommended paper supplies for the best results.

3. Menu Appetizers and hors d'oeuvres are not just for pre-dinner - they can act as a meal. Simple to prepare, yet elegant, they are perfect for a bridal party. Most large grocery chains offer good quality frozen hors d'oeuvres that just need to be reheated. Be sure to provide a substantial quantity, which is generally about 12 to 14 per person, and a good variety that includes vegetarian, fish and meat, as well as cold and hot options.

Alcohol is optional, but make sure to have plenty of drinks - punch is always popular - plus coffee and tea to finish the party.

4. Tableware & Accessories Go plastic for easy clean up. Plastic plates and cutlery come in a variety of stylish colors and designs. You can even find plastic wine and martini glasses. Choose sturdy plastic, so food does not wind up on the floor. Provide two plate sizes - a larger one for the food, and a smaller one for the dessert. If you're able to spend a bit more money, look for dishes that have a wine glass holder built in, allowing your guests to hold on to their drinks while they eat.

5. Gifts If the bride has registered with a bridal registry, the choice of gifts is easier. Include the registry information on the shower invitation to help the guests with shopping suggestions. More women are opting to put money together towards larger group gifts or gift cards. One option for collecting funds for group gifts is to use a banking service such as Interac Email Money Transfer. These services let you send and receive money directly from one bank account to another quickly and easily, using online banking and email notification. Collecting money electronically does away with the need for meetings and trips to the bank. It also lets friends who live at a distance participate in the gifting.

If you plan on having a "wishing well" at the shower, be sure to put that information on the invitation so guests know that they should bring small items to fill it.

6. Shower Games The games at showers are just as important as the food and the gifts. There are tons of ideas for themed activities online. Keep it simple and have a few trinkets to give as prizes to the winners.

Make the bride's life easier by getting thank you cards and distributing an envelope to each guest. Have them put their name and address on the envelope. Collect the envelopes and have a drawing... picking one to win a prize. Give them to the bride with the list of gifts and all she has to do is write a quick note and put them in the mail. With all the wedding planning going on and little time to spare for extras, this is a wonderful gift for the bride-to-be!

7. Party Favors Have each bridesmaid pitch in and bake a variety of cookies then divide and wrap them up into pretty packages for each guest to take home. Small candles wrapped in paper matching the bride's choice of wedding colors or small candies bundled in a piece of lace tied up with a ribbon serve as affordable and easy to make favours for the guests.

8. Clean-up Supplies Unless your party is catered, someone needs to clean up after the guests go home. The easiest way to get the cleaning done is to make it part of the party. If you provide places for your guests to dispose of plastic plates, utensils and glasses after they finish eating, most will take the hint and drop the throwaways in the trash bins. The trash containers can be prettied up so that they don't detract from the decor. Just wrap fabric or paper around the trash cans and hand letter signs that let your guests know what the bins are for so no one will mistakenly deposit gifts into the trash! You'll also need some dish detergent, a broom and dustpan, probably a wet mop and paper towels to wipe up after the party.

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More about bridal showers around the Web:

Bridal Shower Games and Couples Shower Games!


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