It's an honor to be included in a friend's wedding party, but it's hard to know what's expected of you when it comes to your pre-wedding role, especially if you're a first-time maid of honor or bridesmaid.
Hosting a bridal shower requires organization and planning ahead, and we've got a step-by-step guide that will help you throw a memorable celebration for that special bride-to-be.
Choose A Theme
Choose a theme that reflects the bride's personality and aesthetic. If she loves tea, why not have a bridal tea party with accents that match her wedding colors? It's important to start with the theme because everything, including the invitations, decor and favors, will stem from there.
Create a <a href="http://pinterest.com/WeddingsBy2/" target="_hplink">Pinterest</a> board for the shower and give your fellow bridesmaids pinning abilities. Pin decor inspiration, invitations, signature cocktails ideas, DIY projects, cute cupcakes, etc. Once you've built a solid inspiration board, you can meet with the other bridesmaids to delegate tasks.
Ask the bride to send you a list with guests' names and mailing addresses. Invitations should be sent out 4 weeks before the event (whether you're doing e-vites or paper invitations) and remember to include the couple's registry information. <em>Tip: Ask the bride to bring thank you cards to the shower. Pass around the envelopes of the cards and ask each guest to write her mailing address on the front. This will save the bride time when it comes to writing her thank you notes!</em>
Make It Personal
Make the guest of honor feel special by including all of her favorite things in the celebration. Incorporate her favorite foods into the menu and serve her go-to cocktail (such as rosé bubbly!) when guests arrive. For a personal touch, arrange photos of the bride posing with her fiance and with friends throughout the room. <em>Tip: Click <a href="http://www.2forcouples.com/food-a-drink/party-tricks/1010-bridal-tea" target="_hplink">here</a> for delicious tea sandwich recipes! </em>
Get creative when it comes to decorating your space and remember... the magic is in the details! Dress up any room by hanging a strip of your favorite wallpaper to one wall using removable double-sided tape (like we've done above) or customize serving trays by lining the bottom with stylish wallpaper.
Plan An Activity
While some people find shower games cheesy, they can be effective icebreakers. Name That Spice is a popular game where guests have to sniff different containers of herbs and guess the contents of each. Give the game a modern twist for a tea-themed shower by asking guests to identify different varieties of loose leaf tea (camomile, Earl Grey, peppermint, etc.). <em>Tip: Click <a href="http://www.2forcouples.com/weddings/3401-6-non-cheesy-bridal-shower-games-and-activities" target="_hplink">here</a> for more unique bridal shower activities!</em>
Keep Gift-Opening Under Wraps
While most brides love opening gifts at a shower, it can be a little overwhelming. Ensure the gift-opening portion of the event runs smoothly by asking bridesmaids (or other guests) to help. Assign one person to pass gifts to the bride, one person to collect the gifts once she's unwrapped them (including the garbage) and one person to record the gift that each guest gave them. It's also wise to have a pair of scissors close by in case the bride needs them. <em>Tip: Have one person collect the card that is attached to each gift and ask them to write down the person's gift. This will help the bride know who gave what when it comes to writing her thank you cards.</em>
Thank guests for coming by sending them home with an on-theme party favor. Tea bags in cute packaging are a perfectly sweet parting gift for a tea-themed bridal shower.