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Ten Steps to the Perfect Bridal Shower
Now that you're hosting a bridal shower or kitchen tea, you have lots of fun ahead of you. If you're not an expert party host, let us guide you through the maze of party planning techniques to create a bridal shower the bride to be and all of your guests will truly adore.
1. Remember who the guest of honour is: Before you plan anything, take some time to think about the bride and what she's like. If she's a sociable girl with hundreds of friends, she may want a big soiree, but if she's a shy sort then you will want to keep the party small. Think also about her likes and loves and you might find a theme is staring you in the face. Does she love to cook? Then what about a cooking school shower? Does she love the beach? Then why not a champagne brunch on the beach?
2. Be consistent with the theme: Now that you've decided on a theme, stick with it throughout the party. Use the theme on the invitations, decorations, with the catering and cocktails, and with the games you play. The best parties have consistent themes or colour schemes throughout which pull everything together for the guests.
3. Stick to the budget: Once you've settled on who is paying for the shower, make sure you agree on the budget and stick to it particularly if you are sharing the costs. If you have a limited budget, you can still create a really fun shower - just get creative about how you spend your money and ask guests to bring a plate of food for example.
4. Make the party safe and comfortable for everyone: One of your responsibilities as host of the party is to ensure your guests will be safe and comfortable. So, spend some time making sure the space is clean and easy to move around. Is there plenty of seating for guests? If you have elderly family members attending, make sure there is plenty of space for them to sit and be comfortable at all times. Is there enough free space for guests to rest their drinks as they mingle? If you have lots of cords for speakers and stereo systems, make sure they are taped down and moved out of the way so there are no trip hazards for guests.
5. Key area decoration techniques: To create the best visual impact, think of two or three key spaces to decorate and concentrate mostly on these such as your food table, a cake or gift table and the entrance way. Then get decorating with some themed pieces - some of our favourites are honeycomb paper bells, coloured paper lanterns, big bulbous party balloons in contrasting colours packed in tightly, paper bags in striking colours overflowing with coloured tissue paper. Party shops like Pink Frosting have gorgeous bridal shower decorations to help you theme the party.
6. Before launch, be prepared: Do a count of how many glasses, plates, knives, forks, spoons, tea cups etc you have for the party and think about if you have enough. As a general rule, you need at least two plates per guest and two to three glasses because most guests will switch drinks or leave their glass somewhere and not remember it's their's! If you have a large guest list, you might look at hiring your linen, cutlery, crockery and glasses so you have plenty ready for your guests so you don't need to be worried about washing up during the party to make sure everyone has enough.
7. Don't try and do it all yourself: Any hostess with the mostess knows that perfect parties aren't all done by one person. Make the most of your talents and if you love baking, then you make the cake but buy pre-arranged flowers for the decorations to save on time. If you love decorating but can't cook, then enjoy tinkering with the decor and buy platters from the local delicatessan instead of attempting to cook everything yourself.
8. Play lots of fun games: Games at a bridal shower or kitchen tea mean that guests get to know one another better and they break the ice. They also create frivolity and activity at the party which can get your guests feeling terrific. There are heaps of fun bridal shower games to play - see our stories on bridal shower games right here. And don't forget some fun prizes for the winners! Pink Frosting's bridal shower favours make wonderful budget-friendly but stylish prizes for guests.
9. Capture the memories: give someone the task of being the official photographer of the party and don't forget to get lots of photos of each of the guests as well as the decorations and little details. Some photos you don't want to miss include the decor before the guests arrive, pictures of each guest and photos of the bride opening her gifts. If you really want to do something lovely for the bride, you could make the photos into a scrapbook for her and give this to her as a gift.
10. Relax and enjoy: Once the guests arrive, concentrate on everyone having a great time; but don't forget to relax and enjoy the celebration yourself too. Afterall, you've put in alot of effort, so you will be able to afford some moments to sip on a cocktail and mingle with your guests to enjoy your successful bridal shower.
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