We love to throw a good party so it's no surprise that bridal showers are up there as one of our favorites - themes, cute food and so much to celebrate. Having hosted, co-hosted and attended parties for all types of occasions we have learned a few things. One of those is that we work best together, but we also have some tips to share with you.
- Use the theme to your advantage. Themes are fun, we love a good theme, but themes have gotten a bit crazy these days. It's ok if you don't give every food item an 'on theme' name or make sure everything fits in the color palette. The key is to pick certain elements to highlight the theme, which you'll see come up several times below.
- Party prep, party prep, party prep. Do what you can ahead of time - weeks or days ahead. Lists and Google Docs are your friend, especially when co-hosting with friends. Break it down into categories, write out details (ingredients, cost, timing) and make a plan.
- Choose foods that can be made at different times. We like to create a menu with a variety of food preparation methods. Identify parts or entire recipes that can be made days in advance, the night before, the morning of and what has to happen at the last minute. Also consider how the food is made - like Thanksgiving, don't have 5 recipes that all need to be done in the oven at the same time (unless you have 5 ovens, in which case will you please be our friend? :) ).
- Be creative with party games. People have a love/hate relationship with this part of bridal showers. Often they end up being wasteful, awkward, or just boring. Think outside the box! Over the years we have come to avoid games that compete for knowing the bride best or making the bride be a judge. Games involving (wedding) movie trivia, related to the party theme (tea history for a tea party) or matching (celebrity couples) - at one bridal shower a friend created a Mad Lib love story for everyone to play about the bride and groom! And our go to: make your own cocktails.
- Have one activity that turns into a gift to the bride. We started doing this for the guest of honor at showers and it's been a huge hit. It's a fun activity for guests, but also a nice way for the bride to remember the day. Sometimes it works best to let people know ahead of time in the invitation so they can come prepared (bringing a recipe or a quote for example).
- Keep the prizes & favors simple and on theme. These small elements keep the party theme going, but don't have to be elaborate. We often choose something edible, but even a bouquet of flowers from the party is a lovely prize to take home.
- Cupcakes. Ok, this one isn't a hard and fast rule, but they are the perfect finishing touch. They make a great decoration or centerpiece, already in individual portions, can be big or small, any flavor combination (or multiple options if you're feeling ambitious), flexible with dietary needs (again, multiple options) and always can be worked into any theme. Homemade have become a bit of an obsession for us, but getting some from a local shop is a great option too (we're not biased or anything). We might just have to do a whole post on cupcakes...