While a baby shower may be a dry affair that revolves around games played with diapers, a bridal shower is a chance for everyone closest to the bride to relax, laugh and toast her with champagne. These parties are traditionally organized by the maid of honor or a close relative of the bride, and the focus should be on having fun and celebrating the upcoming wedding.
Meet and Greet
The guests at a wedding shower may include the bride's coworkers, friends from grade school and second cousins. It's unlikely that all guests will know one another. The beginning of the shower is when everyone can get a cocktail and meet her fellow guests. When they all meet up again at the wedding, they'll feel like old friends. This is also the time for the bride to say hello to everyone. This socializing should last for the first half-hour to hour of the shower.
Whether it's held in the late morning or early evening, every bridal shower should include food. Guests should be invited to dig in once everyone has arrived. The exact food that you serve depends on your budget, itinerary and shower theme, but you can opt to have a buffet-style or sit-down meal. Passed appetizers are fine, too, as long as there's some seating provided and the shower isn't being held during prime meal times. Don't forget to order a cake or other desserts, keeping the bride's tastes in mind. Cake can be dished out either before or after the gifts are opened.
The gift-opening portion of the shower is really only fun for the bride, but it's still a necessary event. When the bride opens gifts in front of the crowd, each guest gets to share the spotlight for a minute. Wait until everyone's done eating so no one's eying the buffet rather than watching the bride. Oohing and aahing over another set of sheets can get old after a while, so the maid of honor or a bridesmaid should sit next to the bride to handle the gifts and move the process along.
Fun and Games
Once the gifts are open, you should have another activity on hand so guests don't feel that the whole purpose of the shower was giving the bride new loot. Skip the toilet paper wedding dress game and organize some competitive games instead like quizzes about the couple. Everyone will be especially motivated to win if you hand out a bottle of wine to the winner. Soften the blow for all the losers by passing out favors as everyone heads home.
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