Pre-wedding Parties

Throwing my first Bridal Shower

emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
edited June 2014 in Pre-wedding Parties
TLDR; Didn't realize this would turn into a vent of sorts. I'm throwing my first ever bridal shower for my friend and am under a time crunch and budget. Ideas? 

One of my BFF's is getting married in September. She is one of my BMs and I'm one of hers. I hadn't heard her mention anything about a shower and when we asked her mom if anyone was throwing her one, she never answered. I was reluctant to throw her a shower. Not because I don't love her or because I don't want to. But because I have never thrown one before, my funds are limited, and I'm throwing one in August for my FSIL. I just have a busy 4 months coming up starting in August between works, 4 weddings (including my own), showers, bach. parties, and wedding planning. 

Well, I offered to throw her one. I asked for a guest list so I know where to hold it (hopefully at my dad's which is an old farmhouse with a beautiful backyard, deck, and wrap around porch) and we would talk about dates. Like I said, this will be my first shower and I'm planning it by myself. The other BMs offered to help with food or just give me money towards everything. 

Any reccommendations on how to make this a fun bridal shower? Any insight on how to be cost effective for a group of 50ish? TIA

Re: Throwing my first Bridal Shower

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    emmaaa said:
    TLDR; Didn't realize this would turn into a vent of sorts. I'm throwing my first ever bridal shower for my friend and am under a time crunch and budget. Ideas? 

    One of my BFF's is getting married in September. She is one of my BMs and I'm one of hers. I hadn't heard her mention anything about a shower and when we asked her mom if anyone was throwing her one, she never answered. I was reluctant to throw her a shower. Not because I don't love her or because I don't want to. But because I have never thrown one before, my finds are limited, and I'm throwing one in August for my FSIL. I just have a busy 4 months coming up starting in August between works, 4 weddings (including my own), showers, bach. parties, and wedding planning. 

    Well, I offered to throw her one. I asked for a guest list so I know where to hold it (hopefully at my dad's which is an old farmhouse with a beautiful backyard, deck, and wrap around porch) and we would talk about dates. Like I said, this will be my first shower and I'm planning it by myself. The other BMs offered to help with food or just give me money towards everything. 

    Any reccommendations on how to make this a fun bridal shower? Any insight on how to be cost effective for a group of 50ish? TIA
    Firstly, 50 sounds like a really, really large group for a shower (and would be really expensive!). I would keep it to 20, 30 at the max. You are the hostess, you get to dictate the number. A shower is a gift that you are giving the bride, so don't let anyone else guilt you into things you aren't comfortable with.

    Then I would figure out your budget. It needn't be super expensive. Afternoon tea is really inexpensive (as long as it isn't at a meal time). Just have finger sandwiches, scones, tea, lemonade, cake etc. You don't have to serve alcohol.  

    Remember, you are the hostess, so don't feel forced into anything that is out of your budget or not convenient to you. I would come up with a list of 3-4 dates and a number of people you can host and ask the bride to give you a list/ preferred date. 

    Just keep it casual. Have about an hour for mingling and eating, 30-45 minutes for presents, and 30 minutes for wrapping up. You don't have to have games, favours etc. 

    There are only 3 key rules to showers:
    1.) Boxed gifts only (no honeymoon, gift card, cash etc)
    2.) Bride must open the gifts
    3.) Everyone invited to the shower must be invited to the wedding. 
    emmaaasouthernbelle0915
  • Why did you offer to throw one if you didn't want to? I guess it's neither here nor there since the offer has been extended already, but still...

    If they're still mulling over the guest list, I think you should figure out where you can afford to have this and giver her a maximum number of people she can invite. 50 is a lot and a lot to host. Has your dad says yes? If not, try local parks/rec for a pavilion with picnic tables, a community center, etc. 

    Have it at a non-meal time. I would do 2-4:30pm so there's no question. If I were making the menu, I'd have lemonade, iced tea, water to drink. I'd have veggie tray/dip, chips/salsa, crackers/cheese/meat, cut up fruit (whatever's on sale), and maybe a pasta salad (cheap/easy to make). I'd get basic cups/napkins/plates because no one cares about that.

    If you want to decorate - not needed, but nice - find out her wedding colors. Get some glass containers at salvation army, put tea lights in them and tie a ribbon with her wedding colors around it. You could probably make several of these for about $10 total.
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    emmaaa
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    emmaaa said:
    TLDR; Didn't realize this would turn into a vent of sorts. I'm throwing my first ever bridal shower for my friend and am under a time crunch and budget. Ideas? 

    One of my BFF's is getting married in September. She is one of my BMs and I'm one of hers. I hadn't heard her mention anything about a shower and when we asked her mom if anyone was throwing her one, she never answered. I was reluctant to throw her a shower. Not because I don't love her or because I don't want to. But because I have never thrown one before, my finds are limited, and I'm throwing one in August for my FSIL. I just have a busy 4 months coming up starting in August between works, 4 weddings (including my own), showers, bach. parties, and wedding planning. 

    Well, I offered to throw her one. I asked for a guest list so I know where to hold it (hopefully at my dad's which is an old farmhouse with a beautiful backyard, deck, and wrap around porch) and we would talk about dates. Like I said, this will be my first shower and I'm planning it by myself. The other BMs offered to help with food or just give me money towards everything. 

    Any reccommendations on how to make this a fun bridal shower? Any insight on how to be cost effective for a group of 50ish? TIA
    Firstly, 50 sounds like a really, really large group for a shower (and would be really expensive!). I would keep it to 20, 30 at the max. You are the hostess, you get to dictate the number. A shower is a gift that you are giving the bride, so don't let anyone else guilt you into things you aren't comfortable with.

    Then I would figure out your budget. It needn't be super expensive. Afternoon tea is really inexpensive (as long as it isn't at a meal time). Just have finger sandwiches, scones, tea, lemonade, cake etc. You don't have to serve alcohol.  

    Remember, you are the hostess, so don't feel forced into anything that is out of your budget or not convenient to you. I would come up with a list of 3-4 dates and a number of people you can host and ask the bride to give you a list/ preferred date. 

    Just keep it casual. Have about an hour for mingling and eating, 30-45 minutes for presents, and 30 minutes for wrapping up. You don't have to have games, favours etc. 

    There are only 3 key rules to showers:
    1.) Boxed gifts only (no honeymoon, gift card, cash etc)
    2.) Bride must open the gifts
    3.) Everyone invited to the shower must be invited to the wedding. 
    I know 50 sounds huge and it may not be that many. I think this is her only shower so I want host they people she wishes to invite. I told her where I would like to have it so it would be nice if we had 50 or less to fit in this location. I know etiquette says I should tell her how many I can host and I kind of did that...Luckily, the other BMs have offered to help with food or by giving me money which will be the main expense since the location will be free. I also made sure to tell her that she could only invite people invited to the wedding to the shower (because she told me she didn't know shower etiquette). 

    I don't intend to do ANY games. I think have mingling and eating at the beginning, then gift opening, and then wrapping up sounds nice. Also, a non-meal time is definitely preferable. 2-4 seems to be the ideal time.

    LondonLisa
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    Why did you offer to throw one if you didn't want to? I guess it's neither here nor there since the offer has been extended already, but still...

    If they're still mulling over the guest list, I think you should figure out where you can afford to have this and giver her a maximum number of people she can invite. 50 is a lot and a lot to host. Has your dad says yes? If not, try local parks/rec for a pavilion with picnic tables, a community center, etc. 

    Have it at a non-meal time. I would do 2-4:30pm so there's no question. If I were making the menu, I'd have lemonade, iced tea, water to drink. I'd have veggie tray/dip, chips/salsa, crackers/cheese/meat, cut up fruit (whatever's on sale), and maybe a pasta salad (cheap/easy to make). I'd get basic cups/napkins/plates because no one cares about that.

    If you want to decorate - not needed, but nice - find out her wedding colors. Get some glass containers at salvation army, put tea lights in them and tie a ribbon with her wedding colors around it. You could probably make several of these for about $10 total.
    It's not that I didn't want to throw her a shower, I was reluctant to throw her a shower. My dad has said "absolutely" when I mentioned it being a possibility. I told her around 50 would be the max amount I could host at my dad's, and if she wanted to invite more I would have to check around first. Our local community building (where one of my showers will be) is only $100 for the whole day, so that is a good alternate.

    I think if we can have it at my dad's, decorations will be minimal because the outdoor scenery is already beautiful. I could just add a little decor here and there to bring it all in. I really like the idea of tea lights.



    southernbelle0915
  • I think you're going about it the best way you can - non meal time, hosting at your dad's farm, etc. I'd say your run down sounds good! Mingling, some sort of finger foods, then present openings. The setting sounds lovely enough, so I don't think too many decorations are really necessary, so you have that going for you!
    emmaaa
  • csuavecsuave member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    The menu for my shower was chicken salad with croissants, a salad that SIL made, fresh fruit and a cake that my aunt made. I think they had punch and iced tea for drinks. It was a little light on total food but it was enough for lunch time. I don't think this menu cost too much or required too much prep so something like it may be worth considering.
    emmaaa
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I appreciate the advice everyone has given me! The food suggestions are great and I am probably going to use a few of those ideas! Thanks :)

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    One other thing I would recommend:  Get everyone's snail mail address from them in advance and then give a list of the addresses to the bride.  Do not under any circumstances make the guests address their own thank-you note envelopes.
    emmaaasouthernbelle0915
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