Post # 1
Hello all, this is long…sorry
I need a little help. I am the MoH and am trying to figure out details for a bridal shower. Originally we were not going to have one or a bach party but I felt bad for her and feel like she should have a little something, especially since after the wedding she is directly moving to Texas a week later and will not see anyone after this. I did want to surprise her with one. I have some problems though.
1) There are no other bridesmaids in the wedding, only me, and she has no sisters. So, that would mean the whole bridal party would fall on me financially. I could probably afford a little something but she would like quite a bit of people there so I am leery about how much it will end up costing me. Which leads into my other problem…
2) I don’t know where to host the party. I do not have a place of my own. My mother would prefer not to have the party at her house since she will only know 3 out of the 25 guests. We could have it at her mother’s house but then it wouldn’t be a surprise since the bride lives there. Plus, it is really hard to coordinate anything with her mother to even plan the event. She is always cancelling and postponing. If I have it at a restaurant then the cost of environment and food will greatly increase and I know that I cannot afford that unfotunately. Any suggestions for party places?
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
A shower doesn’t have to be a surprise- mine wasn’t, and I don’t have any regrets that it wasn’t- would have been really tough to schedule it otherwise.
Is there another female relative who could host it? An Aunt, Grandmother? Can you ask people to bring food? Ex: your friend’s mom brings the dessert, another friend bring an appetizer, some else bring veggies and dip? You could provide the paper products and beverages, which don’t have to be alcoholic, if it’s not in the budget- punch is perfect.
Post # 4
I actually never heard of surprise showers until I came to the Bee. None of mine are surprises and neither is the one I’m hosting for my friend. So definitely don’t worry about it being a surprise.
You can also ask another female relative (aunt, godmother, cousin) or friend to help you host – even if it’s just bringing stuff, like PP suggested, and not helping plan. It doesn’t all have to fall to you.
As far as where to have it, do you live in an apartment? Lots of times they have community rooms you can rent out for cheap (if not free). You can try a local park, church community center, or hotel. You can even try some non-convential places like cider mills (I almost had one of my showers at one).
Post # 5
Hm, maybe if it’s at a resturaunt people can pay for there own?
Post # 6
You have a couple of options here. As PPs have said, you don’t have to have the shower be a surprise. As a matter of fact, it might be easier on everyone if you let her know when and where it will, and have her help plan the guest list as well as the venue. She might have somewhere else that the party could be held that you may not have access to alone. As for decorations, you can decorate for very little money by going to the dollar store and just being creative. Look on pinterest.com for ideas or google bridal shower printables. I threw a fabulous baby shower for a friend for $250 and about 40 people attended. It was decorated nicely, games were included, and so was food. And $250 may be a lot to you (or not) but I kind of went above and beyond lol. The internet has so many great ideas!
As for food, I just attended a bridal shower last weekend where a variety of sandwiches were served and were cut into quarters, so they were small and portable. They also had fruits and veggies with some dips along with cupcakes on a cupcake tower. If you arrange all of these on nice plates or on serving towers, even simple foods can have a beautiful impact when displayed nicely. Cookies are also a big hit for munching. Games are inexpensive as you can do the Make a Bridal Gown from toilet paper game, play bridal trivia, or anything like that. You will have a great time, just don’t stress! Update us on what you choose to do!
Post # 7
Whatever you do, do NOT ask guests to pay for themselves. That’s really rude and completely inappropriate. I would say, don’t worry about making it a surprise. Plan as much as you can without telling her, and then let her know that it’s happening and when, but that way some of it can still be a surprise.
Post # 8
I think that it shouldn’t be a surprise. Or if it is you don’t need to surprise her with 25 people… A lovely idea might be to rent picnic space at a local park, ask relatives of the bride and groom to bring specifc food, dessert, beverage, decor etc…
Post # 9
The word “shower” is so closely associated with “gift required” in American culture that you may wish to drop that word, and call it anything else. It would then be more socially acceptable for guests to pay their own way, because they would not be expected to bring a gift. If someone does choose to bring a gift, that’s entirely their choice. Of course this means the bride should not have a shower registry AND you should word the invitations clearly to explain the costs to the guests, and that gifts are not expected.
If you did it this way, you could have a local restaurant prepare a special menu for your group (it makes it a LOT easier for the kitchen to put out food on a big party if they’re not ordering one of everything on the menu, and it makes it a lot easier for your guests to choose their meals if it’s only 4 items to pick from) which often helps control the cost to each guest, and you could usually arrange a private room or private area of the restaurant. All you’d have to decorate would be the table itself and that can be done on $25 or less.
Post # 10
I think it’s best to include the bride in the planning somewhat so it;s not a surprise. That way she gets some imput and you mght get help from the mom of the bride since it’ll be easier for the bride to set up times with you and her mom. BTW, what a great thing you’re doing.
Post # 11
@Katherine27: I like that Idea I went to a baby shower like that and it was fun! you can still play all the games. It’s cost effective all you would have to buy is the cake and make some cute shower games.
Post # 12
I don’t know much about planning showers but I planned the bach parties for 3 of my friends (I was not in the wedding party for any of them–1 of them I wasn’t even invited to the wedding!) and I just invited everyone they wanted to invite to meet for dinner (we all split the bride’s check) and then we went to someone’s place (mine for otwo and the bride’s for the other), got dolled up and split a few cabs and went out dancing. We got our own drinks and everyone who could bought a round or two. It was a great time for everyone.
The only things I paid for were fun veils for the brides–I went to Michael’s and got a roll of tulle, a headband, rhinestones and feathers and went to town with my hot glue gun and a needle and thread. I think the veils cost like $15 each to make and everyone LOVED them.
The point is, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have a good time. Figure out what you can do and use the resources you have–don’t fuss about resources that are flaky or that you don’t have. Clearance aisle at craft stores, craft stores in general (seriously–a roll of tulle is like $3 at Hobby Lobby), the dollar store, craigslist–all of these are places to get inexpensive decor. You don’t need a lot–maybe a veil for the bride, a sign for the door and something for the food table. As for the food–don’t waste money on a premade veg or fruit tray. Buy your own veg and fruits and cut them yourself. Veg dip costs like $5 for a premade amount. You can buy half a a gallon of ranch dressing, which is the same thing, for that amount. Buy some cold cuts at the deli counter, some crackers and blocks of cheese. Make cupcakes and brownies from box mixes or even better, from scratch. The more you prepare, the better quality and more quantity you will get. You can find games on the internet and print out copies to hand out–maybe do a MadLibs and a trivia thing. If you have an iPod or laptop–make a fun, laid back love themed playlist to play in the background. Guests will mingle and talk–you don’t need to entertain them every moment.
ETA: You can totally still make this a surprise if you want to–just find someone to haul the bride off somewhere the day of the shower. Then you can run to her mom’s house and clean and set up the minimal decor and food that you’ve prepared at your own place. Guests arrive. Then you send a text to your double agent, she brings the bride home and BAM! Surprise!!