Planning A Bridal Shower: Week 1

WEEK 1: ORGANIZING THE BRIDAL SHOWER

What’s Expected?
Traditionally, a bridal shower takes place during the day time, and brings family and friends from all aspects of the bride-to-be’s life together in one place. So one main goal, is to break the ice.

Here is a sample format you can follow for your bridal shower that does just that:

  • Welcome the guests
  • An ice-breaker game or activity
  • Serve food or have a buffet service
  • Another game or activity
  • Open gifts
  • Serve cake
    Of course, you can throw in some more games, mix things up, leave things out, it’s all up to you!
    Here are some game suggestions to get you started.
Bridal Shower Charades Everyone loves charades! Keep your guests laughing as they act out and try to guess these songs, movies, TV shows, and books that all have one thing in common? the word LOVE, WEDDING, and BRIDE.
Things In Your Purse Do you know who brought the biggest purse? She could be the big winner! Use this fun checklist to see who has the most – and the most unusual – items in her purse!
Sketch The Bride This humorous activity is sure to make it into the bride’s scrapbook! Have each guest try to draw a picture of the bride, then list 5 things they like about her. What a great way to get to know the bride better, and even share some sentimental moments with the girls.

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

    • Here are the 8 major costs you should budget for when planning a bridal shower:
  • Invitations
  • Favors
  • Pictures and film developing
  • Food and beverages
  • Cake
  • Paper plates, cups, napkins, utensils, etc.
  • Decorations: streamers, balloons, flowers, etc.
  • Games and prizes

CREATE THE GUEST LIST

Anyone on the wedding guest list can be included, but if you need to shorten the list, invite close family and friends that are in town – or just the women.


Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties

Jack & Jill Parties

WHAT IS A “JACK & JILL” OR “STAG & DOE” PARTY?

    In Canada, a stag and doe, or buck and doe, is a wedding tradition popular in Southern Ontario. The event is usually organized by the bridal party, but in some circumstances may also be held by the bride and groom before they are married, similar to a combined bachelor party and bachelorette party, or a ‘Jack & Jill.’ It acts as a fundraiser for the wedding. Guests purchase entrance tickets and are entertained by draws, food and drink, music and funny games.
    In the United Kingdom, a buck and doe is a party where the families of the bride and groom raise funds for the upcoming wedding. Games like Crown and Anchor are used and people have to pay for beer in order to offset the costs of the wedding and honeymoon.

STAG AND DOE PARTY IDEAS

Beer Cap Count:

    You fill a jar with beer caps. People pay $1 to guess how many caps are in there. The winner is the one who guesses exactly. In case no one guesses the exact number, the winner is the one coming closest without going over.

Blackjack

Crown & Anchor or Wheel Games

Dance Raffle

    Raffle off tickets for a dance with the bride or groom.

Fish Insurance

    Fish insurance is a great way to make some extra cash. Get a bowl of little cheap minnows from the pet store. Then offer fish insurance. Every time a person wins a prize they have to swallow a live fish unless they have purchased the insurance. Charge $2 or $3.

Grapefruit Race

    Another hip motion game, contestants must swing a grapefruit that is dangling inside a pair of nylons from their waist. They are trying to hit another grapefruit towards the finish line.

Great Canadian Whack Off

    Get a couple of stumps of wood. A softer wood for the women and a harder one for the guys. Tap six inch spikes an inch into the top of the boy’s stump and the girl’s stump. Contestants pay $2.00 to whack the spike all the way into the stump. The event is not timed so they are counted by the amount of strikes it takes to sink it. The person that sinks the nail in the least amount of swings at the end of the night wins an allotted prize. Remember a miss counts as a swing and if the nail is bent the amount of taps to straighten it out also counts. This is a good game to play with a lot of ego’s in the room. If there is a tie at the end of the night, you will have to have a whack off to determine the winner. This can be a timed event. Remember always provide safety glasses.

Jail

    Assign someone to be the warden or police person. Have a makeshift jail at the stag and doe. Announce to the audience that they are now allowed to place anyone in the jail for the low price of $1 per minute. While in jail there is no talking and no drinking. You may make up other rules as well for the jailed people. Do not forget the timers or stop watches.

Jail or Bail

    Similar to ‘Jail’ except the jailed person can be bailed out for a preset amount of “bail” e.g. $10 or higher, by anyone after a preset amount of time is spent collecting bail.

Kissing Booth

    Guests pay $1, $2 (or some other predetermined amount) to line up and kiss the bride.

Musical Chairs

Pie Auctions

    We have seen this raise over $600 before. You need to purchase some tin trays and spray cans of whipped cream as well as some large garbage bags. The Auction is called by the DJ and introduced as follows. “Ladies and Gentlemen we are now going to commence with the pie auction. We know that many of you are here tonight and have not spent a cent because you were saving your money to buy the pie that will land in this future brides face. The bidding will be simple and painless this evening, it will only cost you 2 dollars to hit the bride with this pie, however it will depend on who has the 2 dollar bid when I say sold. The best man will stand here and collect the money as we bid”. The bidding will proceed with one person bidding 2 dollars. The DJ will say “Jim has paid 2 dollars to buy the pie, he owns the pie for two bucks who wants to take it away from him for 2 dollars, going once….. going twice….Mary just paid 2 dollars and owns the pie”. After some time passes with people donating 2 bucks someone will raise it to 5 or 10 ten dollars and so on until the DJ finally says sold.

Poker

50/50 Tickets

    Sell tickets $2 each, 3 for $5 or whatever price you decide is reasonable. Place ticket stubs in a hat, bowl or bag. Randomly pick a winning ticket. The winner gets half the proceeds of the 50/50 ticket sales.

Silent Auction

    Place auction items on tables with a jar in front of each item. People buy tickets, write their names on them and place them in the jars in front of the items they wish to win. At the predetermined time a ticket is pulled from each jar and the winner is announced.

Strokin’

    Guys must place the long, hand bicycle pumps between there legs and either have a partner or themselves blow up a beach ball or other item to the music.

To Sing Or Not To Sing

    Place bowls or jars on the drink counter. One jar will be labeled To sing and the other Not to Sing. The object for your guests is to fill the jar with change to a certain line. If the line is passed with the to sing then the Groom or Bride will have to sing. You can also substitute the singing with some other embarrassing event.

Stomp The Balloon

    Tie balloons to the legs of all participants then send them to the dance floor to dance with a partner or alone. When the music starts the contestants must start dancing and at the same time attempt to pop all opponents balloons. When your balloon is popped you must leave the dance area. Last ones standing win the prize. This can be done by admission of $2 per person.

Toonie Toss

    Place a prize (usually a bottle of liquor) at one end of the room. Participants line up at the other end of the room and toss toonies at the prize. Whoever throws the toonie closest to the prize is the winner. In case of a tie, there would be a tie breaker toss.

Walla Balla

    Contestants must flip a ball on a string into one of three baskets that are strapped to their hips using only their hip motion. Each basket has a point value and the first person to get a certain amount goes to the finals.

Weight Times Two

    The bride and groom write down their combined weight on a peice of paper and seal it in an envelope. Be sure to give the envelope to the master of ceremonies or dj for safe keeping. During the evening, people pay a dollar or two, to guess the combined weight of the bride and groom. Someone would have to act as secretary and write down each persons name and what they have guessed. Near the end of the evening, the couple reveal their combined weight and announce the winner – who then receives a small prize.

Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties

Bridal Shower Games

Want to choose great bridal shower games for your wedding?

Bridal shower games are a fun part of most parties. They can help “break the ice” with guests who don’t know each other well, and get them talking. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a bridal shower game. Let’s take a look.

Type of wedding shower: If you are having a very formal setting, then quiet, reserved games would be appropriate. A lively theme would allow for more active games.

Age of guests: Sometimes the guests are all within age range of the bride-to-be. Choose games that would appeal to her. Often, however, guests may range from young nieces to grandmothers. Select games, such as bridal shower bingo, that would allow all to play.

Types of games:

    Most games played at bridal showers are pen and paper games. It just makes it easier for the guests, especially if there is a large number, to stay seated and relax. Bridal Shower Bingo, “Who knows the bride best?”, and a word scramble, are examples of this type of activity. When there is a theme party, the ideas are unlimited. For example, a beach party would allow for outdoor games. Again, keep ages in mind. Make sure there is something for everyone.

Where can I find bridal shower games?

    There are many online stores that sell these. Some are even instantly downloadable. You can also check your local retail party shop.

How many games should be played?

    Two or three is usually a good amount. They are supposed to add to the party, not take up an excessive amount of time. Of course, if you are having a theme party that lasts all afternoon, you can spread as many as you feel would work.

Any other suggestions?

    Have some prizes ready. These don’t have to be expensive. A small token for the winner is always a fun idea.
    Remember the true purpose of the bridal shower is to celebrate the upcoming wedding, so make the bridal shower games an enjoyable part of the event.
    Here are some other game suggestions to get you started.
Bridal Shower Charades Everyone loves charades! Keep your guests laughing as they act out and try to guess these songs, movies, TV shows, and books that all have one thing in common? the word LOVE, WEDDING, and BRIDE.
Things In Your Purse Do you know who brought the biggest purse? She could be the big winner! Use this fun checklist to see who has the most – and the most unusual – items in her purse!
Sketch The Bride This humorous activity is sure to make it into the bride’s scrapbook! Have each guest try to draw a picture of the bride, then list 5 things they like about her. What a great way to get to know the bride better, and even share some sentimental moments with the girls.

Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties

Wedding Shower Checklist

    Bridal showers are one of many pre-wedding parties and are great fun. They are known as parties with a purpose. The purpose of a shower is to assist the couple in equipping their new home or for the bride to assemble a trousseau. Not only that, but they are a good excuse for the bride to get together with her friends and family to play hilarious games and to enjoy the food and wine.
    Did you know you can have a “couples shower?” This is sometimes termed as the “Jack and Jill” shower where you shower both the bride and groom with gifts and good wishes. Either way, if you are having a traditional shower party for just the bride, or decide to have a couples shower, then the planning and the checklist will invariably be the same.
    Here is an outline of a wedding shower checklist to get you on your way to organising a great shower party.

Who should host the shower?

    Traditionally the maid of honour tends to plan the shower party. But today, anything goes and it is perfectly acceptable for both family and friends to work together to organize, host and share the cost of the wedding shower. It doesn’t really matter who actually hosts the party as long as it is planned well in advance and normally in consultation with the bride. If the shower is planned to be in someone’s home, then it’s always a good idea to choose the person with the largest home or garden.

When to have your party

    Because of the busy schedule the bride and her family will have in the lead up to her wedding, it is best to hold the shower about four to six weeks before the wedding. A growing trend is that more wedding showers are no longer a surprise and statistics show that 4 out of 5 brides are employed, therefore it is necessary to include the bride in the planning when it comes to setting a date and time. A traditional “girl-only” party could be a Sunday brunch, a midweek lunch or an afternoon tea garden party.
    Couples showers are best held on a weekend day or evening. The majority of people tend to work between 9-5 Monday-Friday or shift-work, therefore a weekend is a safe bet in that most of the couples’ friends and relatives can attend. If you are having a shower party with work colleagues, then the ideal time would be in your lunch hour or straight after work.

Who to invite

    Apart from your family members, the host should invite people you know well whether it be friends, relatives or work colleagues. You don’t want to invite too many people, as a large group tends to split off in small separate groups. You want everyone to interact with each other and be a manageable size for everybody to play the hilarious shower games and not feel left out. Taking all this into consideration, a comfortable shower should involve about 10-20 people.
    You don’t necessarily need to buy expensive shower invitations. Another growing trend is that many brides are doing their wedding research online. The internet has opened up many cheaper avenues and you can now get some great printable wedding shower invitations. These invitations are customized with your own wording and design, and are printed directly from your own printer.

What’s your Theme?

As with the actual wedding, it is wise to choose a theme before sending out the invitations. The theme can then be used throughout the shower and incorporated in with the invitations, decorations, favors and refreshments.

    There are literally dozens of topics for a shower party theme. The most popular is the kitchen theme as there are endless pieces of equipment and accessories you can buy for the kitchen. The host knows the bride well and will surely fit a theme around either what the bride and groom need, or their lifestyle. For example if the happy couple are both into health and fitness, then a fitness theme could be an option.
    One good idea for a couples shower is a wine tasting theme. This is ideal for a Saturday night party and I am sure the men will enjoy this one and easily get into the swing of things!

FOOD, FAVORS, AND GAMES

Food:

    It depends on the theme and location for which type of food to prepare. For example, if you are holding a wine tasting theme, then a finger buffet with crackers, nuts and other nibbles goes down well with wine. If you are holding a garden shower party, consider light finger food – cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, mini-quiches, blueberry cream puffs, crab dip and a bacon, egg and cheese casserole and salads.

Favors:

    Some people choose not to give shower favors. It really depends on where you live and if it is a tradition in your area or not. If you do, you don’t have to go overboard with favors if you want to keep the expense down. Give something small and useful like a scented candle. Most people like scented candles and they are practical. A potpourri satchel is another welcome and practical idea.

Games:

    Everyone should be included in the shower games. Shower party games are a great ice-breaker for people to get to know each other. Games can include bridal shower bingo as this is always a big hit as is “what’s in the bag” (memory game). Trivia questions about the bride and groom or making a wedding dress with toilet paper are all fun games to be had.

Thank You Cards:

    Normally a simple thank-you was enough, but today, with showers being larger and guests busier, a personal note is the only way to make sure that sincere appreciation is expressed.

SUMMARY

    Bridal showers are meant to be fun. They do need a lot of planning and organization in advance, but they are worth it. The bride and groom receive practical gifts for their home, and shower party’s are a great excuse to get together with friends and family to have one whale of a time!

Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties

Planning a Bridal Shower: Week 3

WEEK 3: FINAL DETAILS

FINALIZE THE MENU AND GO SHOPPING

    Take a look at your theme and your plan, and make a list of everything you need to buy. Think about the food and beverages you’re going to serve, what you’re going to serve it on, what games are going to be played, party favors, decorations, are you ready? A tip on food: set the food up at different spots around the room. Put the chips on one side of the room and beverages on another. This will encourage your guests to mingle.

CONFIRM RESERVATIONS

    If you have reservations, go ahead and confirm them. Double-check to make sure you have enough chairs, tables and dishes.

CREATING MEMORIES

    Designate a photographer to capture these bridal shower moments for the bride. Set out disposable cameras at the bridal shower for the guests to snap “action shots” and then develop the film for the bride-to-be. Take a photo of each guest with the bride-to-be as they leave, and include the photo with each thank you note. Designate a gift recorder to keep track of who brought what gift, so the bride-to-be will have an easier time writing thank you notes.

DAY OF SHOWER!

    Now is the time to reap the rewards of all your efforts! Greet the guests with a smile and make sure the bride-to-be gets an opportunity to meet each guest. Have fun and enjoy!

Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties

Planning a Bridal Shower: Week 2

WEEK 2: INVITATIONS, DECORATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT

PICK A THEME

    A theme can serve as inspiration for decorations and games, even the invitations, favors and nametags. It makes planning and preparation simpler to have one central theme.

PLAN THE ENTERTAINMENT

    As mentioned above, games are a great way to get guests who may not know each other, to interact. They’re great ice-breakers and can really set the mood for your bridal shower. About three games for a two-hour shower are just right. Bridal shower games should be the fun part of planning your shower, so don’t wait until the last minute to think about them!

INVITATIONS

    Now is the time to finalize the guest list and get those invitations sent out! Invitations to any bridal shower are the guests’ first clue to the theme of the bridal shower. Pick invitations that reflect the theme, and don’t forget to include any special instructions or requests.

PARTY FAVORS & PRIZES

    …And what about party favors for the winners and booby prizes for the losers? Here are some fun ideas:

  • Printed Votive Cups
  • Printed Bud Vases
  • Printed Champagne Flutes
  • Tea Light Candles
  • Parchment Picture Frames

Pages in this series

Planning A Bridal Shower
Week 1:  What’s expected
Week 2:  Invitations, Decorations, Entertainment. Pick a Theme
Week 3:  Final Details.  Finalize the menu and go shopping
Wedding Shower Checklist
Bridal Shower Games
Jack & Jill Parties