» bridal shower: cousin sara «
Weddings have the potential to be beautiful, unique experiences. And babies are awesome and adorable. Bridal and baby showers, however, are rarely anything but excruciating. What is it about them that makes them so terrible? Is it the dumb games? The awkward opening of presents that you asked people to buy you? Is it the lack of booze? The lack of men (although that’s changing)? Whatever it is, it’s pretty universal…and usually pink.
I actually like planning showers because you can treat them like mini-weddings. They are way easier to design and manage because the guest list is much smaller and expectations are way lower. It’s a party with a built-in theme but lots of room to do whatever you want.
Invitation design by me (I believe I used Paper Source envelopes in Papaya for mailing)
Awhile back I helped my mom and aunts plan a bridal shower for my cousin, Sara. I live in Chicago and my family in West Michigan. They hosted the party in a room at the hotel where my Uncle Jim and my mom work and they took care of all of the food. I helped by making the invitations, table numbers and seating cards and putting together an icebreaker. My aunt got the flowers from a local florist (which turned out nicely - I am a flower snob) and she and my mother put together the Jordan almond party favors (kill me). These (crappy iPhone) photos show you how you can add just a little color and design to party to give it a feeling of cohesion.
I think the seating assignments were both a necessity and a nice touch. The party was comprised of a few very distinct groups, from family to friends, across a large range of ages. There were over 30 women in attendance. The best way to keep it fun was to keep people in their groups. No 22-year-old friend of Sara’s wants to hang with the fiance’s great aunt (or whatever). Plus, it made it feel more formal - in a good way - like it was a real planned party instead of just a bunch of randos hanging out.
Lastly, in lieu of games, we did an introductory ice-breaker activity before eating and moving on to presents. For this “game” had everyone draw a card when they arrived. The card had a spot for you name, a question about love, weddings, marriage or the couple, and space to write. As we were settling in, guests were invited to fill out their card (for Sara to keep later). Once seated, we went around the room and introduced ourselves and read our question and answer.
A sample of the questions:
- If you were starring in a movie, who would you want your leading man to be?
- What is the most romantic city in the world?
- What song did you dance to at your wedding for your first dance as a couple?
It went over pretty well. Some grown-ass adult women were still squeamish about talking in front of this small crowd, but I guess that’s how it goes. I’d do it again, only I’d find a way to better capture the questions as a keepsake for the bride.