A wedding is always the best time to gather the bride’s nearest and dearest friends to celebrate the moment with her. However, a bridal shower makes the gathering more intimate because it is pure fun sans all the frenzy and pressure a wedding might entail. A bridal shower is about the bride and her friends having fun, opening gifts, sharing delicious meals, swapping old stories of their childhood or previous escapades.
It is a day or a night to remember, as some would say. After all, a bridal shower is usually held on the last days of the bride’s singlehood.
What Is a Bridal Shower?
Traditionally, a bridal shower is a gift-giving party for a bride attended by close friends and close family members. History says a bridal shower is held as an event to give financial assistance to the couple to make sure the wedding will take place. Bridal showers can be traced to a tradition that started in the Netherlands in the 16th century.
During that time, if a young girl’s father would refuse to provide a dowry to a marriage he did not approve of, the community would assemble themselves and provide small gifts to the girl to help her start a family even without the dowry money. This is why bridal showers center around gifts that the couples can use for their homes.
Today, a bride can opt for a wedding shower – a party for all genders or a bridal shower – one that is exclusively for women.
A bridal shower is said to be held between two to six months from the wedding date. Of course, this is flexible, especially if the wedding date is not too far from the engagement date.
Traditionally, the bridesmaids and the maid-of-honor organize the party and shoulders the expenses. But nowadays, more brides, especially the affluent ones, find it acceptable to shoulder the expenses of the party.
As for themes, it is perfectly fine if there is no particular theme for the party but if you must, you may choose fun, popular ideas such as a beach-themed party, Disney-themed bridal shower, or an 80’s-themed party.
What to Do Instead of A Bridal Shower
If the bride is the type that does not fancy gifts and games kind of party, there are several other ways to throw a pre-wedding bash that is equally fun for the bride and her guests.
Here are the 10 best alternatives to a typical bridal shower:
A Day at the Salon
Most girls love grooming themselves. Who wouldn’t love a manicure and pedicure session at the salon with the girls? This may also include hair grooming sessions in preparation for the wedding. The organizer may include salon experts or invite the expert to a designated venue for an exclusive grooming session with the bridal entourage. Aside from food and music, a short program may also be included in the party.
This is increasingly becoming popular as more people start to appreciate the benefits of a good massage after a hard day’s work. Why don’t you and your besties book a day at the spa and enjoy relaxing shiatsu or Swedish massage following a thorough sugar scrub? Some girls love chatting while their massage therapist performs long kneading strokes while some prefer total silence to enjoy the massage.
Since tea and light snacks usually follow after the massage session, this is where gift-giving could occur. Again, you could book a spa or hire massage therapists to come to your home or to a designated place where the party will be held.
Unleash your inner Beyonce and grab a mic because bridal showers are meant to be entertaining and memorable. In this activity, you can let loose without discrimination. You can put on your best hats all in the name of fun. In between, you can conduct a few games that involve singing such as naming their favorite tunes or supplying the missing lines of a song. Be prepared with tokens, of course, so that winners of the games have something to remember on that night.
Prepare to watch Marvel movies with the girls. Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans? Line up your favorite snacks because this is an exciting event that the participants would enjoy. You can hold it at night – two films in a row until all of you doze off in your pyjamas for an instant slumber party.
You may choose a theme for your movie selection. It could be 80’s movies, blockbusters, scariest horror films, cheesiest romance films – it’s up to the organizing team to pick a theme and line up the movies. Gifts may be given in between the films plus a few words for the bride or the gifts could be placed on a table upon entering the home.
Summer months usually call for swimming events and this is also a good idea for a wedding shower if your wedding falls in the summer months. You may rent a pool if you do not have one at home or you may purchase day passes for the guests. If you have hired the pool for your exclusive party, you can hire a DJ to increase the fun. Don’t forget the snacks, the drinks and of course, the fun floats and rafts.
Hair and Makeup Class
Having girls in your court is always a pleasure because you already know what would please them. A makeup class is something that many girls would enjoy. Even a total newbie would appreciate this class because she can save a trip to the salon on the wedding day.
Hire a hair and makeup artist for a three-hour class (or longer, depending on your program). Participants may bring their makeup or organizers may sponsor a few makeup items that may also serve as tokens for the event.
Cultivate those green thumbs because a gardening party is an interesting activity that many could enjoy. This is not just for those with artistic inclinations or those who are already into urban gardening. A gardening class as an alternative to the traditional bridal shower could entail DIY classes on pot decorations or for simple landscaping.
You can have the ladies decorate their pots and give them away as party favors. The guests can also take home some seeds of flowering plants or fruit-bearing trees. This gardening class will surely be a thing to remember once their plants or trees grow.
Now, this is something that would benefit the bride and the wanna-be-brides in the group. Cooking skills will certainly come in handy for any woman who’s dreaming of becoming a wife and a mom someday.
Hire an expert for a day-long class on being a kitchen expert. Be it making pizza, cooking pasta, or preparing Chinese dishes. This event will surely be memorable if attendees will be able to take home the dishes that they have prepared in the class. It could be a group effort or if the guests are of relatively small size, they can cook solo. The goal is to make cooking fun and nutritious.
A bridal shower at the beach can be formal or casual. A casual, ‘come as you are’ type of party at the beach would be much appreciated since no one needs to dress up or be formal at the beach. Organizers may opt to prepare a tent or rent a cottage with a table that will serve as the group’s resting spot when they are tired of swimming.
For games, you may opt for beach volleyball, tug of war, beach crawling race, and so much more. Organizers, be ready for cold beverages. You may also decorate your glasses or simply use any eco-friendly glass. That way, nothing ends up in the sand or the waters.
If it’s going to be a day trip, make sure to prepare a table where the guests can place their gifts so they are not just sitting on the sand. The gifts might get stolen, too, if they are just lying somewhere. If this is going to be an overnight event in a resort, host a seafood-inspired dinner near the beach.
Most resorts have bands that play music at night, but if there is none, just take the moment to exchange some light-hearted banter with the girls. This could also be the right opportunity for gift-giving and delivering messages for the future bride.
An Out-of-Town Trip
Step on the gas and head to a cool city that is a favorite of everyone on the guest list. Or if you are the adventurous type, you can opt to go to a city that no one has been to in the past. Going out-of-town will surely be fun because there is so much time to connect with the girls and experience new things together. That will potentially make it as memorable as the wedding itself.
You can do an overnight trip or a two-day trip. However long you want it to be, always have a destination in mind, a hotel or Airbnb reservation, and an itinerary for a smooth trip. You can squeeze a short program into one of your lunch dates with the girls.
How to Throw a Bridal Shower on A Budget
When it comes to throwing a bridal shower on a budget, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, think about the venue. A home or backyard is perfect for a smaller gathering, and can be much more affordable than renting out a space. If you do need to rent space, consider choosing a location that doesn’t come with many extras, like catering or decorations.
Second, focus on the food and drinks. Serve simple fare like sandwiches or pasta salads, and have guests BYOB or bring a dish to share. This will not only save money, but it’ll also make for a more relaxed and intimate party.
Finally, don’t forget about the decorations! There are plenty of fun and affordable ways to decorate without spending a lot of money. Think about using streamers, balloons, or flowers instead of pricey floral arrangements.
Who Pays for The Bridal Shower?
Traditionally, the bridal shower is hosted by the maid of honor or a close friend of the bride. However, more and more often, the shower is being thrown by the parents of the bride or groom. No matter who is hosting the shower, someone needs to take on the responsibility of paying for it. So, who pays for the bridal shower?
There are a few different options when it comes to who pays for the bridal shower. The couple can split the cost, or one person can pay for it while the other pays for the wedding. Another option is for one person to host and pay for both the shower and wedding. And finally, sometimes family members or friends of the bride will host a shower as a gift to her.
Things to Do at A Bridal Shower Besides Games
When it comes to bridal showers, games are often the go-to activity. But there are plenty of other things to do at a bridal shower that can be just as fun – and maybe even more so! Here are five great ideas:
- Have everyone write down advice for the bride on how to have a happy marriage. Collect all of the tips and put them into a book for her to read later.
- Play dress up! Have everyone try on different wedding dresses or outfits and take photos.
- Make a scrapbook or photo album of the bride’s journey to marriage. Include newspaper clippings, photos, and other memorabilia.
- Get crafty! Make decorations, centerpieces, or even favors for the wedding reception.
- Plan a menu for the reception and do a taste test (or two).