I am all about weddings, moreover marriage, as is evidenced by my choice of career. But, I am also in that stage of life where I have loads of friends who are joining the ranks of married women. It is such a joy when they choose to include me in their festivities in one way or another. The girls who were a part of my wedding made that day so special, and I want to make sure I help make someone else's day just as memorable.
But, it doesn't take too long to realize that where there is a wedding, there is stress. In my opinion, this previous fact is sad. I would be the first to admit that I have fallen victim to the stress vortex and have got sucked in by it. However, I don't believe that it has to be true.
With a couple of close friends getting married in the past couple months and another's wedding coming shortly, I thought I would share a couple of tips that I've found helpful when the duty of bridal shower prep and hosting has fallen on me.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. I hosted a shower for a friend in October and did not delegate any of the shower responsibilities (the number of ladies in attendance numbered about 50...yikes). While the shower went wonderfully, it was also quite stressful on me, and I didn't get to be my friend's matron of honor at the shower. This past weekend, I hosted another shower where I took full advantage of delegation. A couple options for how to do this could be as follows: assign menu dishes to other bridesmaids (and send them the recipe you prefer, or ask if they have a similar one that they have made before), use Pinterest to let other people help you with decor (email some other people willing to help with the decor what you would like for them to make or purchase), and don't forget the resources you have in older ladies (they often have a plethora of serving dishes, experience, and other resources that I'm sure they would be more than happy to give, but you just have to ask)!
- Focus on the bride. A lot of times, I get caught up in what I would think would be cute. But, instead try to focus on things that you know that the bride will appreciate and notice. One friend of mine LOVES coffee. So, a huge focal point of the party was a coffee bar. Some of the other decor wasn't as important to her, but she really noticed the detail that went into something that she loves. Prioritize what the bride likes, and she will be happy.
- Plan ahead. I know this seems really obvious. But, seriously, this couldn't be more true. For three weeks leading up to a shower, I will set aside one to two nights a week to spend time crafting, emailing, making lists, etc. This allowed me to schedule out what needed to get done, and made sure that the week before the shower wasn't pure chaos. For the friend's shower with the huge attendance (50+), I knew that I couldn't make food for that many on my own. So, we went with a wine and cheese theme, which meant I could just purchase meats, assorted cheeses, and some fruit. No cooking for me! Books like Ina Garten's Make it Ahead are helpful because they let you know what part of the food prep can be done before the event. I used her frittata recipe out that book for a brunch, and it got rave reviews from shower-goers.
Hopefully some of these tips are helpful to you as you plan a bridal shower, and if not, then I'll try again at some point! Happy wedding planning and shower hosting.