Along with her already formidable list of duties, the maid or matron of honor usually assumes responsibility for hosting a wedding shower for the bride. Occasionally, the bride's family members take charge and arrange the bridal shower instead. No matter who plans and holds this all-important event, there are certain duties that unquestionably fall to the hostess.
Guests and Invitations
Several weeks before the party, it's up to the hostess to get together with the bride's family and compile a comprehensive guest list of family and friends, choose a date and location for the party, and select invitations that reflect the tone and theme of the bridal shower. Once the invitations have been mailed and the RSVPs are received, she can get down to the serious business of fleshing out the details of the party.
Decor, Food and Entertainment
While the bridal shower hostess typically has help, it's her ultimate responsibility to choose the event decor, arrange for food and drinks and plan the entertainment. Most hostesses plan shower decor that follows the theme of the wedding. A casual wedding often calls for a more relaxed shower, while a formal wedding may dictate an event like a champagne brunch or afternoon tea for the shower. The hostess may choose to have the entire event catered, hold it at a restaurant or ask family and friends to contribute dishes in a potluck fashion. The hostess also takes the initiative to plan any bridal shower games and obtain the materials needed for them. The savvy hostess will draft two or three of the other attendants or members of the bride's family to assist her with putting the shower plans into practice, rather than trying to carry the load herself.
The day before the bridal shower is usually a hectic one for the hostess, however, it's also the perfect time to do any work that can be done ahead of time. If the venue is not in use the day before, decorations can be put in place, foods that will keep overnight can be prepared and the cake can be picked up and stored appropriately until the next day. The hostess' helpers can perform details like pick up floral arrangements, organize the materials for the games and ensure that someone is on hand to take photographs or record the event on video.
The Day of the Shower
While the focus of the bridal shower is always the bride, it's also a day for the hostess to shine as well. By dressing appropriately, greeting all the guests personally, whether she's acquainted with them or not, and ensuring that everyone is comfortable and welcome, the hostess sets the tone for the shower. In spite of all of her duties, the hostess tactfully steps aside and makes the bride the star of the show.
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