It so happens that my sister and my best friend got engaged within a month of each other. They also happened to decide on wedding dates a month apart as well. Not long after I was asked to be the Maid Of Honor for both weddings. At first, it did not seem like a worry. Then as things got closer I did some more research on my role for their big day. It turns out I had my work cut out for me. There was lots of planning to do on my part. Although I will say the actual wedding planning they did look way more intense. There was The bridal showers, the bachelorette parties, the dress fittings, and the big day! All very fun events… also a tad stressful for the bride and all those assisting in it. So it was going to be a busy year. My days off were spent researching, envisioning, and designing the perfect shower. I love hosting parties so this part was so easy, fun, exciting for me! The intimidating part was making sure the Guest of honor was happy.
Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you get yourself organized and set on track so you do not waste a minute! Trust me you will need all the extra time you can get.
To start, gather this information from your bride for the perfect Shower!
Number Of People
You will need to get an idea of the size of the guest list. All of the woman who she will like invited. Or even getting her list of the guests invited to the wedding. This will help you in choosing your venue. If there are only 30 people vs 90 people invited you are going to need to know what to expect!
Now that you have your list you can look into prices for invitations. Start looking a couple months before. You will want to have a guest receiving them about 4 weeks prior your shower. That way you can get their RSVP so you will have enough of everything for all who attend.
Because you are in the wedding, I am hoping you have an idea of what your bride likes. This means style. Fancy, Casual, Colorful, Delicate, Elaborate, or Simple. I would suggest sticking to something that represents your Bride and goes with the wedding as well. Make it original to the bride. Everything should be personalized to her. If she’s having a super fancy black tie wedding then the shower should reflect that. Similarly, if it is an outdoor casual wedding the shower should not be over the top and in a glamorous setting. Remember this is a chance to set the mood for the rest of the events ahead. The colors you pick can make it easy for you to re-use decor and have a cohesive look throughout. If she’s a book worm incorporating that can add detail and show more of the bride’s story. Most areas in which people choose a theme is her hobbies, career, and interests. I’ll say it one more time, just put your bride in mind and create a day that makes her feel comfortable! She’s going to have all the people she cares about there in addition to future members of her family, and it might be hard for her to be the center of attention. By having small details that mirror her you can help to put her at ease and allow others to see a part of what makes her, who she is.
Deciding on a Favor can be tricky. The Simplest way to go is just following your theme. Again thinking about your bride is all you need to do! Finding something to represent her or that she likes and sharing that with her guests. Don’t over complicate this, you don’t need to give each person a puppy or something unrealistic! A small item that they can use or have as a souvenir is perfect.
Food & Drinks
Once you have a venue and a theme it will be easy to come up with a menu. Depending on the time of year, indoor or outdoor event. Those will help guide you to foods that will be best. Also deciding whether you are doing brunch, lunch or dinner also limits and helps you decide. Always make sure the bride is happy, Once again she will really enjoy this day so pick something she loves!
Talk with your other hosts and the bride herself. She and her close family or friends will be hosts for the day. Everyone is coming to see her so making sure she is present and greeting her guests is a must. Next, you will want an itinerary for the day. What time you start and end? Is it an open house? Are gifts being displayed or opened? Are you playing any games? When will you serve food? These will help you keep the day on track and not leave time where guests are sitting for long awkward pauses.
Having a shower at a venue requires your decor to be portable. Planning for who will bring items and take the time to set them up should be arranged. If you are having a home shower you can hopefully get some of the decors and set up out of the way and ready to go days or weeks before the event. If you are at a venue it will be best to keep the decor to a minimum, and you’ll just want a few items to make it personal.
What I Did!
Well Two Brides, One Weekend. A Bridal Shower, and a Wedding Shower. I decided that doing the showers at our home was a great idea. We have a few acres of land and in spring it is the most peaceful place. Instead of cleaning, setting up, taking down and cleaning again. We decided that having one and doing a quick clean up and decor swap was the easiest way for the situation! I could not have done it without the help from my Mom and Dad, and of course the Bro too. We had a huge work load but with tons of help and a strong vision for both we made it happen.
We found that the mix of indoor/ outdoor was a great idea because we have a beautiful property. It just worked out that with summer weddings the spring had fresh flowers blooming in May, and the choice was easy. We got lucky with resale shop finds, DIY decor, and homemade food that turned out beautifully for us! The exhaustion after was worth it because we hit it out of the park and I still can’t believe how perfectly our vision came to life!
Jacqueline’s Bridal Shower
Garden Party/ Bohemian Vibes
Saturday Afternoon 12:30 pm
Around 40- 50 Guests
Drinks: Sangria, Lemonade, Coffee, Cucumbe Water, Mini Water Bottles
Food Menu: Chicken, Tomato Basil Mozzarella Sticks, Orzo Salad, Fruit Salad, Charcuterie Board
Desserts: Assorted Mini Cheesecakes, Lemon Truffles, Lavender Cookies, Raspberry Torte
Kate and Rogers Wedding Shower
Tea Party/ Beauty & The Beast Vibes
Sunday 1pm- 4pm Open House
Around 50-55 Guests
Gifts unwrapped and displayed upon arrival
Drinks: Harney & Sons Paris Tea, Vanilla Decaf Tea, Lemonade with oranges, Cucumber and mint infused water, Coffee, mini waters.
Food Menu: Lobster Mac & Cheese, Chicken Salad with Croissants, Ceaser Salad, Fruit Salad, Charcuterie Board
Desserts: Lavender Cookies, Lemon Truffles, Mini Cheesecakes, Scones.
I wish you the best of luck organizing and dreaming up a special day for your bride!
A Maid of Honor,
and a girl with a vision.