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Planning a bridal shower for one of your closest friends, relatives or coworkers can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Hosting a bridal shower, and wondering how it all works? Follow our tips below and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Don’t forget to send out those invitations!

Make sure everyone invited to the shower is also on the wedding invitation list.

First things first: the guest list. It’s very important that everyone invited to the shower is going to be invited to the wedding, too! We get it—the guest list isn’t totally your decision. But as the host, you do have some say.

If the bride tries to invite people that won’t get to share in the joy of her big day, kindly remind her that any guest of the shower will assume they are invited to the wedding, and they might be offended if they are not. In general, the guest list should include the wedding party, the bride’s closest friends and relatives, and her partner’s female relatives.

Outside of that, let the bride’s vibe and your shower’s venue and budget determine how big the party can get. It’s nice to keep the gathering smaller and more intimate so that the bride and guests can enjoy spending quality time together!

Still concerned about the guest list? Check out this post for answers to all your bridal shower etiquette questions!

And no matter who you invite, be sure to send a real invitation! This is a big deal, so it’s not the time for e-vites or text message invitations.

Divvy up the shower responsibilities and let others help.

If people want to help, let them.

Bridal showers are traditionally hosted by a maid of honor, bridesmaids, a family friend of the bride, or the bride’s aunt or cousins. That said, even if you’re the main host, accept help from whoever offers it (except the bride).

As much as you might want to control the planning—I’ve been there!—it really can get overwhelming and expensive.

A good way to let people help is to give them small tasks that lessen your burden, like handling the cake, planning and preparing the games, or organizing the drink bar, to name a few.

Let the bride have some input.

While some brides are more hands off, most of them are not. Unless the bride specifically tells you she wants to be surprised, it’s safe to assume she’s going to have opinions on some of the logistics. Let her; it’s her wedding year!

Consult the bride on key topics like date, time, place and theme, in case she has something she definitely does or does not want. (For example, some brides don’t even like the idea of a themed shower.) Doing this will actually help you, as it will give you a great starting point for the rest of the planning.

…But don’t let the bride pay for anything.

There’s really nothing more to say about this. The bride may try to buy things for the shower, but don’t let her. The main hosts pay for everything, and any “host” who takes on smaller shower responsibilities (like just the cake or games) pays for what they agreed to take care of. That’s just how it is.

Number one on your to-do list? Have fun.

Be creative, and have fun!

Every bridal shower has food, drinks, games, a cake and gifts. If your shower has those items, you’re golden! That said, to really make it special, avoid being like every other cookie-cutter bridal shower. Get creative and throw in surprises you know the bride will love—like turning it into an in-home spa day, bringing in a mixologist to teach everyone how to make the bride’s favorite cocktail, or if you have a decent-sized group, doing karaoke or hiring a local band for some live music.

A theme is a great way to get creative! For example, you could turn the whole thing into a Disney-themed shower, decorate the venue to look like a Parisian cafe, or make it a “fiesta,” where everyone wears sombreros and drinks margaritas. Still looking for a great bridal shower theme? We have one for every month!

Pick a venue you know the bride will love.

Venues can be anything: someone’s house, a cute restaurant or even an actual event venue are all fair game. Choose your venue based on the size of your guest list, the theme and your shower budget.

A bridal shower is a very special day with the bride’s favorite people.

Make it a day to remember.

It’s the little things that count. Have photos from the bride’s childhood, or pictures of her and her soon-to-be groom framed and put on different tables. Make a rehearsal dinner bridal bouquet with a paper plate and ribbons and bows from all her bridal shower presents. Give her her “something borrowed” or “something blue” for her big day. Small gestures like these will make a big impression on the lady of honor.

Don’t host it too far in advance.

Take your time! Based on a year-long engagement, the bridal shower should fall between two weeks and five months prior to the wedding. That way, the bride has had plenty of time to ask her bridesmaids to be in her wedding, and you have time to budget and plan. You also want to be able to include the gift registry on your shower invitation, and the couple will need time to complete their registry together. Plus, the closer to the wedding it is, the more excited everyone will be for the big day!

Hosting a bridal shower, and sending out invitations? Send your guests to RegistryFinder.com so they can shop for something the bride wants! RegistryFinder.com is the ultimate destination for all wedding, baby shower and graduation gift registries.

-By Jennifer Agress, who has thrown way too many bridal showers.

The post How to Be the Perfect Bridal Shower Hostess appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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Whether you’re hosting a shower for a special friend, or just attending one, summertime parties are so much fun. They give everyone a chance to wear their cute summer dresses, enjoy the gorgeous weather and celebrate a special friend who is either expecting a precious baby or planning to marry the love of their life. From finger sandwiches to refreshing drinks, everyone looks forward to the food served on those beautiful, sunshiny days, and there’s no better time to prepare a menu full of fresh items from the garden.

We have put together a light menu of some refreshing recipes for summer bridal & baby showers that will help any host impress the guest of honor and friends.

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

With a fresh twist on the traditional watermelon balls, guests will enjoy the blend of fresh mint, feta cheese and watermelon.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups chopped watermelon (3/4-inch chunks)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumbers (1/4-inch chunks)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp. Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Preparation:

Combine ingredients and toss together.
Recipe originally featured on Kraftrecipes.com.

 Southern Cucumber Sandwiches

These bite-size finger sandwiches are delicious for a baby shower or dainty enough for a bridal luncheon.

Ingredients:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dillweed
  • 20 sandwich bread slices
  • 20 thin wheat bread slices
 Preparation:
  1. Process cream cheese and mayonnaise in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides.
  2. Combine cream cheese mixture, cucumber, garlic salt, and dillweed.
  3. Spread cucumber mixture evenly onto white bread slices, and top with wheat bread. Using a 2- to 3-inch round cutter, cut sandwiches, discarding edges. Or cut crusts from bread, discarding crusts, and cut sandwiches into quarters. Store cucumber sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 1 hour before serving.

Recipe originally featured in Southern Living Magazine.

Five Star Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

There are a variety of ways to make this delicious “tried and true” sandwich, which is a staple at every baby and bridal shower. The combination of grapes and sour cream is the perfect fit when paired with a buttery croissant.

Ingredients:
  • 6 split (3 whole) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • Good Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup chopped celery, small-dice
  • 1 ½ cups red or green grape halves
  • ½ cup good mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup walnut or pecan halves (lightly toasted and roughly chopped)
  • ½ cup chopped green apple (optional)
  • 8 to 12 Croissant rolls
Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.
  2.  When chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into 1/2–inch dice.
  3. For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Fold in the tarragon leaves.
  4. Add the chicken, celery, grapes and nuts to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the chicken and toss well. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Slice each croissant roll in half. Spread 1/2 cup of chicken salad over bottom half. Top with the other half. (To make smaller sandwiches, cut in half or serve on mini-croissants.)
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 8 to 12.

Note: Roasting the chicken breasts with the skin on creates a more flavorful and moist cooked chicken breast for any chicken salad.

Recipe adapted by Cheryl Seidel from Chicken Salad Contessa, by Ina Garten.

Raspberry-Swirl Cupcakes

It’s hard to resist a pink cupcake, especially when it’s topped with cream cheese icing. These raspberry cupcakes are the perfect dessert to finish off a baby or bridal shower.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained), plus 12 fresh berries for garnish (about 12 ounces total)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)

Frosting

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Preparation:
  1. To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners; coat the liners with cooking spray.
  2. Puree 2 cups raspberries and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract all the puree; discard seeds. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the puree for the frosting.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat 3/4 cup granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs, vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined.
  5. Fill the prepared cups half full of batter. Place a scant tablespoon of raspberry puree on each cup (you may have some left over). Divide the remaining batter evenly among the cups. Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to swirl and fold the puree into the batter.
  6. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  7. To prepare frosting: Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and the reserved 4 teaspoons raspberry puree with an electric mixer until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting until very cold, at least 2 hours. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a raspberry on top, if desired.
  • Tip: No buttermilk? You can make “sour milk” as a substitute: mix 1½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar to ½ cup nonfat milk.

Recipe originally featured in EatingWell

 Elderflower Sparklers

Because we believe a shower is not complete unless champagne is served, we have picked out this refreshing drink made with Elderflower syrup which has floral and honey flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons elderflower concentrate, or syrup (see Shopping Tip)
  • 2 cups brut or extra-dry Champagne
  • 2 cups seltzer
  • Edible flowers, or mint sprigs for garnish
Preparation:
  1. Place 1 tablespoon elderflower concentrate (or syrup) in each of 8 Champagne glasses; add 1/4 cup Champagne to each glass, then top off with 1/4 cup seltzer.
  2. Garnish with flowers (or mint), if desired.
  3. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
  • Shopping Tip: Elderflower concentrate or syrup, made from the blossom of the elder tree, has a delicate, lightly floral aroma and mild honey flavor. Popular as a drink ingredient throughout northern Europe, it’s thought to help fight fevers and colds. Look for it in specialty shops that feature northern European foods (such as Ikea) or at lepicerie.com. Apricot nectar can be used as a substitute.

Recipe originally featured in EatingWell.

by Jennifer Palmer, a true southerner, Give It blog contributor and founder of Radiate Wellness

The post Refreshing Recipes for Summer Bridal & Baby Showers appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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It is a truth universally acknowledged (or at least it should be) that all those invited to the bridal shower must also be invited to the wedding. Unfortunately, confused couples sometimes extend shower invitations to those they can’t invite to the wedding.

So what’s a shower guest to do when she finds she’s not included on the wedding guest list? Cheryl offers a few options for dealing with this guest list goof!

Hi Cheryl,

I accepted the bridal shower invite I received from my sister-in-law and promptly purchased a gift for my niece. I now find that I ‘m not invited to the wedding. How do I un-accept the invite? I was thinking I’d write a short email stating I would not attend as I  want to avoid any further embarrassment. I’m also planning on having the gift delivered to the shower. Your thoughts?

-Leslie

Photo Credit: Etsy: KT Party Invitations

Hi Leslie,

You have every right to be upset. It is considered in bad form to invite some to the bridal shower and not the wedding.

I’m curious as to why would you not be invited to the wedding as you are the bride’s aunt and therefore immediate family. Are they getting married at the courthouse with only parents present or something similar?

You have a couple of options here. 1) You can ignore the faux pas and go to the shower to show support for your niece, or 2) You can call or email and change your RSVP — letting them know that you won’t be attending. Is an explanation necessary? This depends on your relationship and family dynamics. You could be honest, but I recommend that you just say that you now can’t make it. You don’t really need to offer an explanation.

Also, it’s not necessary to send a gift to the shower. Gifts for any type of shower are taken to the shower if you attend. If you don’t attend, no gift is expected. If you want to give a wedding gift to your niece, I recommend sending her a wedding gift before or after the wedding. Again, you have no obligation to send a wedding gift as you were not invited to the wedding. However, as always, gifting is at the discretion of the giver, so you can gift or not gift as you choose.

It seems that there is a trend toward smaller venues and weddings where not all family and friends can be invited. While this is fine, the problem arises when the confused couples, parents or attendants feel they need to invite those that are not invited to the wedding to something – anything – and so they invite them to a bridal shower. Their (possibly guilt-ridden) motivation seems to be that they want those not invited to feel like they are part of the festivities. This is a misguided reaction. If they want you to be part of the wedding, they should invite you to the wedding. Bridal showers are not mini-weddings. Another alternative would be for couples or their parents to host celebrations after the wedding.

However, my overarching recommendation is usually to forgive these missteps for the sake of family peace and harmony. Consider attending the shower and forgiving the fact that you were not invited to the wedding.

Most sincerely,

Cheryl

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

This post contains affiliate links. We may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

The post Ask Cheryl: Invited to the Shower, but not the Wedding appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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When a couple chooses a non-traditional, destination wedding, family and friends might still insist on traditional pre-wedding celebrations, like a bridal shower.

How should couples handle the pressure to register and have showers for their destination weddings, especially when their wedding guest list is small?

Cheryl offers her solution, and the one etiquette rule that should never change with the times!

Hello Cheryl,

My fiancé and I are planning a destination wedding. We are much older and feel we have everything we need, but our friends are wanting us to have a bridal shower.

My problem is they also want us to register. I think many want to give gifts and others who are not invited to the destination wedding would like to celebrate with us.

What do you recommend? I’m not sure how to politely decline gifts and just have a gathering to celebrate?

Thank you,

Sylvia

Hi Sylvia,

Thank you for writing. I feel your instincts are correct. You are the one getting married, so don’t be forced or persuaded to do anything that doesn’t feel right to you. You can certainly decline a bridal shower and it’s totally OK not to register.

You mentioned some of your friends and loved ones who will not be invited to the destination wedding will probably want to give you a gift, but a pre-wedding shower is not the appropriate time or place to accept these gifts. There is one etiquette rule that really shouldn’t be broken: shower guest must also be wedding guests. A bridal shower, by nature, is a gift-giving event. If someone will not receive a wedding invitation, then they should not be invited to any pre-wedding event, including a bridal shower.

The solution: you and your new husband can host a gathering or party for your friends that were not invited to the wedding when you return, not before. This can be called a reception or celebration, but not a shower. At a reception held after the wedding, guests are not obligated to give a wedding gift, although they may if they wish.

My recommendation is that you pick a date for your post-wedding party and send out invitations before you leave for your wedding; or spread that word that the event is being planned. Your friends will then feel included and look forward to celebrating with you when you get back. The party can be as casual as you like, and you can ask the friends that want to give you a shower to help out.

Hope this is helpful. All the best to you and I hope you have a wonderful wedding!

Most sincerely,

Cheryl

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

The post Ask Cheryl: Bridal Showers and Destination Weddings Etiquette appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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Today’s question tackles the often-debated bridal shower guest list. Who gets the final say: the bride or the hostess? Cheryl offers some clear guidelines and practical advice to help bickering brides and their hostesses.

Dear Cheryl,

My mother and sister are throwing me my bridal shower and asked that we go over the invite list. While going through it, we came across my sister’s brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s name. I said she should be invited since I know her and we have discussed my wedding. But my sister feels that she should not be invited; my sister was not invited to her daughter’s bridal shower or wedding.

My sister gave the excuse that the brother-in-law and girlfriend are no longer living together; however, I think it’s sour grapes. She states that if they were living together then I should invite, but since they are not then she does not make the list. I really want the girlfriend invited but feel it is out of my hands.

What is the proper etiquette? By the way, the brother-in-law and girlfriend are in their 50’s and my fiancé and I are in our late 40’s.

Thanks,
Claudia

Invitation Courtesy of Etsy Seller MintyPaperieShop

Hi Claudia,

First I need to ask if the guest in question (your sister’s brother-in-law’s girlfriend — let’s just call her “your friend”) will be invited to the wedding. If not, then your disagreement is over. Only those on the wedding guest list should be included at a bridal shower or any other pre-wedding event.

Secondly, discussing your wedding with a friend doesn’t necessarily mean she should be invited to the bridal shower. Wedding showers should be limited to your closest friends and relatives. A bridal shower is by nature a gift-giving occasion. If you are very close with your friend, then she should be included. If you consider her a casual friend or acquaintance, then she should probably not be on the bridal shower guest list.

I’m also struggling to answer your question because your mother and sister are hosting the shower. Usually, someone outside an immediate family member hosts a bridal shower. The hostess is in charge of inviting guests to the shower and dictates the number of guests based upon her budget and available space. The bride, who is the guest of honor, should be consulted, but the host has the final say. Since it’s your sister, you may be less likely to respect her opinion compared to a friend outside your family.

Your sister states that “if they were living together then I should invite, but since they are not then she does not make the list.” This might apply to a wedding invitation, but not a shower invitation. Her relationship status has no bearing on whether she should be invited to the shower.

Maybe you’re concerned that your friend’s feelings will be hurt? Given her age, I hope that is not the case. If the guest in question is truly on your short list of best friends, then talk to your sister and let her know how important it is to you. If not, to keep the peace I would respect your sister’s wishes.

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

The post Ask Cheryl: Who Gets the Final Say on the Bridal Shower Guest List? appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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While summer and fall may feel like the time you’re attending all your friends’ bridal showers and weddings, the truth is that weddings and showers happen all throughout the year.

It’s easy to think up a cute and creative bridal shower in July or October, but what about the dreary winter months of January or February? With our tips, we believe it’s possible to throw a creative and thoughtful shower no matter what time of year the wedding will fall in.

We’ve combined some of our best themes, invitations, games, and menu ideas all into one post just for you. You can also find all of these ideas over on our Pinterest board. Scroll through until you find the month you need and then get to planning!  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

January Bridal Shower Ideas
  • This sparkly invitation from Etsy seller PaperHeartCompany is the perfect way to celebrate all the beautiful parts of winter.
  • Warm up with a hot cocoa bar at this festive bridal shower. Get creative with toppings like Heath bar bits, peppermint or raspberry syrup.
  • Have guests hang wishes to the new bride and groom on a shimmering wishing tree.
  • Keep centerpieces simple, yet glittering. A silver runner topped with votive candles will cast a beautiful wintry glow on your event.

February Bridal Shower Ideas
  • Give an ode to the month’s classic holiday by hosting a Valentine’s themed shower. It’ll be easy to celebrate love with hearts floating all around, like the ones found on this perfect Valentine invitation from JMCustomInvites.
  • It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without copious amounts of balloons and roses. Pick up some lip-shaped and heart shaped balloons to accent your food table. Run vases of red and pink roses down your tables as the centerpieces. We love the simple and sweet look of these heart shaped tea sandwiches. Pair with a large colorful salad and pitchers of sweet tea and you’ll have a beautiful Valentine’s party spread.
  • Spread the love with this fun game from GraphicWisp. Match movie quotes to their classic romantic comedy and whoever guesses the most correctly wins a prize!
  • Head over to our comprehensive Valentine’s Day Shower blog post for more Valentine’s Day shower ideas!

March  Bridal Shower Ideas
  • Celebrating the Irish bride-to-be in your life? Consider throwing a “Lucky in Love” themed bridal shower this March. These adorable green and pink shower invitations will set the tone for a fun day! Don’t forget to ask guests to dress in green!
  • Any good St. Patrick’s Day theme needs all green everything and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Gather up all the green foods you can find, such as green cake pops, a veggie tray, kiwi, grapes and green licorice. Then craft a cute paper streamer rainbow like this one!
  • String this sparkly horseshoe banner for good luck throughout your shower space!
  • Play a lucky round of bridal shower bingo with this cute board from Zazzle. Guests fill in the blanks with gifts they think the bride will receive, then they mark it off with a gold coin as she opens it. The first guest to get 5 in a row and yell “BINGO!” wins!

April Bridal Shower Ideas
  • April showers can bring more than just May flowers. What about throwing an April showers themed bridal shower? A sweet umbrella invitation will have your guests so excited about celebrating your spring bride-to-be.
  • Pick up a few cute umbrellas and hang them upside down from the ceiling. Fresh spring flowers will make the perfect simple centerpiece underneath!
  • A few pom-poms and some colorful raindrop cutouts will make an adorable backdrop to your shower’s food or gift table.
  • Any rainy spring day calls for a mimosa bar! Set up your drink station with champagne, orange juice and a variety of fruit toppings.

May Bridal Shower Ideas
  • Have a shabby chic bride in your life? Start planning a vintage-inspired spring bridal shower for her! Invite guests with this printable invitation from Etsy seller MintyPaperieShop.
  • Decorating for a shower has never been easier. Pick up assortments of springtime wildflowers from your favorite florist and use pieces like old mirrors, silver tea kettles, vintage tea cups and classic watering cans to display all your decor and food.
  • Ask guests to share their best date night ideas for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Some of our favorite ideas include: living room camp out, stargazing and taking dance lessons.
  • A classy breakfast spread is the perfect way to celebrate at this vintage springtime shower. Cook up mini pancakes, set up a yogurt parfait bar and order some mini muffins. Serve it all on silver platters!

June Bridal Shower Ideas
  • Kick off the summer with a sweet travel inspired shower for your globetrotting bride. We love the whimsical spin CupOfCreation put on these travel themed invitations.
  • Transform your event space with globes, vintage suitcases and world maps. Accent these pieces with bouquets of wildflowers and quotes like, “You’re my Greatest Adventure!”.
  • I Love You Around the World” is the perfect game to pair with your travel themed shower. Guests will match which language they think the “I Love Yous” on the left side of the page come from. The guest with the most matches wins!
  • Any great trip needs a lot of photos to capture the memories sure to come. Order this photo booth backdrop from PaperRamma so the bride can have pictures taken with all her guests.
  • Pick a few choice destinations from around the world, such as Italy, Mexico, China and the Middle East then plan your menu around these countries. Create stations filled with each country’s most popular food such as antipasto salad, mini street tacos, egg rolls and a hummus and olive tray.
  • Check out this post for more Travel themed ideas!

July Bridal Shower Ideas
  • It only seems fitting to throw an Americana themed bridal shower during America’s birthday month! This is a great month to host a co-ed shower with a backyard BBQ theme and red, white and blue everything. We love this invitation from MolsDesigns to set the tone for this summertime soiree.
  • Throwing a 4th of July themed bridal shower means food will be a walk in the park. Elevate an American classic with this build-your-own-hot dog bar. Display watermelon all around the party in galvanized serveware, like this tiered tower. Let the cake be the main attraction by covering it in strawberries and blueberries and lots of whipped cream.
  • Keep the fireworks alive with this adorable banner from Etsy seller, WineCountryBanners. You can personalize it with the bride’s wedding date!
  • Simple blue bottles filled with red and white flowers can act as beautiful tablescapes and accents on the food and gift tables.

August Bridal Shower Ideas
  • You can’t let summer end without a full-on fiesta. For that taco-loving bride in your life, start planning an August bridal shower with all the bright colors, chips and salsa and mini margaritas her heart desires! This taco invitation by LittleBeesGraphics is a festive way to ask guests to attend the shower.
  • Hot pink flowers, cacti, succulents, gold accents and paper flag banners are the best way to usher in the fiesta vibe while still keeping this shower a classy and bridal affair.
  • How well do guests know the bride? Have them test their skills with this printable “Would She Rather” game that perfectly matches your theme. Whoever scores the highest wins a prize!
  • Put together a self-serve burrito bar with everyone’s favorite toppings, like guacamole, salsa, rice and beans.
  • Mix up a pitcher of margaritas and have guests serve themselves at a festive “Bebidas” (or, “drinks”) bar.

September Bridal Shower Ideas
  • As summer fades to fall, consider throwing a preppy bridal shower. Incorporate all the end-of-summer colors and patterns like navy blue gingham, pink stripes, and white table linens. (Just make sure to get it in before Labor Day.) Any preppy bride needs a good monogram on her invitation, like the one on this invite from MeyerMarketDesigns.
  • Combine navy and white stripes with bright flowers and you’ve got a recipe for a beautiful preppy tablescape!
  • Mixing patterns for a sweet and preppy cake is a must for this bridal shower!
  • Play a round of “What’s On Your Phone?” at this September shower. Guests earn points by searching through their phone in this mini-scavenger hunt style game.
  • Keep the monograms coming at this shower. Send guests home with the bride and groom’s monogram on a delicious cookie like this one!

October Bridal Shower Ideas
  • Fall in love with a pumpkin-themed bridal shower during the month of October. These invitations from Etsy seller, LittleRoseStudio put a modern spin on classic fall decor and design.
  • Keep the colors for this shower muted and neutral. Pick up white pumpkins, mixed greenery and pale pink and cream flowers to create a gorgeous table runner like this one.
  • Obviously, an October bridal shower calls for pumpkin spice everything. A few of our unique favorites include pumpkin spice macarons, pumpkin spice party mix, and a pumpkin pie cheeseball.
  • Ask guests to share their best newlywed advice with the bride to be. They can write out advice on these adorable cards and then you can collect them in a pretty box or binder for the bride to read through later.

November Bridal Shower Ideas
  • The bride-to-be in your life has a lot to be thankful for as she looks forward to forever with the love of her life. Celebrate all those blessings at a rustic, autumn-themed shower.
  • Create an apple cider and mini donut station for guests to enjoy.
  • A DIY chili bar can be the main attraction of this shower. Put out the best toppings and decorate with hay bales and pumpkins.
  • The holidays are a great time to remember family traditions. Start the bride and groom off on the right foot by asking guests to share their favorite family traditions at the shower.
  • Gather fall florals and candlesticks to create the centerpieces for this fall shower. Consider adding in cornucopias and berries to accent as well.

December Bridal Shower Ideas Bridal Shower Planning Made Simple

Bridal shower planning doesn’t have to be hard, especially with the help of our Registry Finder Give It Blog. We have party ideas for every season that will make you the hostess with the mostest! Your guests will have it easy too by finding all the bride’s registries in one spot at RegistryFinder.com.

-Written by RegistryFinder.com contributor Sami Moss, who loved her navy and yellow nautical themed bridal shower.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The ideas are ours, but we may be compensated if you make a purchase by clicking on one of the links. Thanks for your support!

The post Bridal Showers Themes for Every Month appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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It seems like every wedding involves at least one difficult invitation situation. How should the mother of the bride handle someone who offers to host a shower, but wasn’t included on the wedding guest list?

Dear Cheryl,

Like most couples, our daughter and future son-in-law have had to limit the guest list for various reasons, and unfortunately, we have a few people that we have not been able to invite.

However, one of those people, who is the mother of one of her bridesmaids, has requested to give our daughter a bridal shower. So, should she be added to the wedding guests list?

Only 3 of the 6 bridesmaid’s’ parents are currently on the wedding guests list. If those other bridesmaids’ parents or moms are invited to the bridal shower, should they also be added to the wedding guests list?

Thank you for your help!
Jen

Hi Jen,

Thank you for writing. This is a difficult dilemma.

Your thinking is correct. There are very few etiquette rules that don’t have some wiggle room, but this is one of them. You should never invite someone to a bridal shower that is not invited to the wedding.

You have a few options here:

Option 1: You can explain your situation to the mother of the bridesmaid. Tell her you appreciate her offer, but you feel awkward or that it would not be appropriate because you are not able to invite her to the wedding. Perhaps she feels close to your daughter and assumed she would be invited. Depending on your personality, this may be the most difficult option. She may not mind that she’s not invited to the wedding, but you will not know without having that conversation.

Option 2: Add this mom to the guest list. If your daughter wants this mother give her a bridal shower, and you have room in your guest list, include her. However, from an etiquette point of view, you are under no obligation to invite the parents of your daughter’s attendants. This does not mean that you now need to invite all of the additional parents, but those remaining parents should not be invited to the shower if they are not on the wedding guest list.

You are not alone. Each wedding has its “sticky” situations. Be kind and bend where possible, but be firm when you need to be. Please let me know how it goes. Wishing you all the best as you navigate this wonderful, but stressful time.

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

The post Ask Cheryl: Do Bridal Shower Guests Also Need to Be Invited to the Wedding? appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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Guest lists are tricky, but this is one question that can be answered with clear-cut guidelines.

Hi Cheryl,

My co-worker is throwing a wedding shower for me and has asked me for a list of people to invite. My whole work team will be invited to the wedding, so I will only include female team members on invite list as far as co-workers go.  Who else should be invited? My mom? Sister? Sister-in-law? Future mother-in-law? I’m really unsure and would love your advice!

Thank you!
Grace

Image Courtesy of Etsy Seller MintyPaperieShop

Hi Grace,

Thank you for writing. There are only a few “rules” about who to invite to a bridal or wedding shower. First, be considerate of the host and ask her how many guests she would like to have. She may have space or budgetary constraints.

All of those listed in your email are usually included in any shower guest list. You normally invite your mother, sisters, future mother-in-law, future sisters-in-law, bridesmaids and other close family members such as aunts, cousins and grandmothers (if there are any in your area), along with close friends that are not in your bridal party. You don’t need to (and I feel shouldn’t) invite those that would need to travel to attend the shower.

The number one rule is that only those invited to the wedding are invited to the shower. You should never invite someone to a pre-wedding event that will  not be invited to the wedding. Since bridal showers are by their nature gift-giving events, it is considered rude to invite a guest to the shower and not the wedding.

Bridal showers should also be relatively intimate gatherings and kept on the smaller side. Most guests enjoy seeing their gift opened. It’s part of the shower ritual, so we can all “ooh and aah” over the gifts. If the shower has too many guests, the gift opening becomes long and tedious.

For more information, please see our post, “Bridal Shower Etiquette for All Involved.”  If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me back.

Best wishes for a beautiful wedding and much happiness together!

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

The post Ask Cheryl: Who Should Be Invited to a Bridal Shower? appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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There are so many easy ways to personalize just about anything these days. From custom-curated experiences to monogrammed fashion, you can make anything your very own. So, when it comes to throwing a bridal shower, why should it be any different? If you’ve been handed the task of throwing a bride-to-be’s celebration, this is your time to put her in the spotlight in her own special way—with a zodiac-themed party!

Think about it: even though we live in the modern age of the internet, most websites still serve up daily horoscopes, and I personally can’t get enough. Maybe it’s a millennial thing, or maybe it’s a form of affirming who we are to ourselves. Either way, horoscopes are here to stay—and let’s be honest, they’re fun!

But where do you get started? Below, I’ve compiled a handy cheat sheet for every sign, complete with party themes, decorations, and games that will make the bride-to-be feel like you read her mind. In other words, these ideas are perfect and will make any bride feel like you’re a total mind-reader.

Cotton candy-topped Champagne is just the dramatic touch that an Aries bride loves! Photo via Kirbie Cravings.

Aries (the Ram) March 21 – April 19

The creative Aries bride will always opt for a unique, (sometimes) dramatic soiree that includes nontraditional activities and warm colors to make everyone feel welcome. A paint party brings all of that together in one convenient spot, and most places allow groups to bring their own food and drinks for a completely customized experience. I love the idea of topping a glass of Champagne with a wisp of cotton candy and bringing an over-the-top layer cake to share, and your Aries will (no pun intended) eat it up!

A brunch buffet + satin PJs + BFFs = a Taurus bride’s dream shower! Photo via 100 Layer Cake.

Taurus (the Bull) April 20 – May 20

Often mistaken for stubbornness, the Taurus bride has a particular sense of style that lends itself to culinary-driven experiences, appealing to the senses with every detail. A girly, gorgeous brunch party is just the trick to incorporate as much decadence as possible! Ask girls to wear satin PJs, set up a brunch buffet and mimosa bar, and leave out a box for guests to drop in their recipe suggestions for the newlyweds.

For a travel-loving Gemini bride, these shower invitations from Paper and Inc. are the perfect way to get the party started! Photo via Etsy Seller DolceMeeyaDesigns.

Gemini (the Twins) May 21 – June 20

The Gemini bride might seem indecisive, but in reality, she’s always planning her next move. What can she say—this detail-oriented sign loves an adventure! A travel-themed bridal shower that incorporates foods, traditions, and games from around the world is the perfect way to celebrate a Gemini bride. Think DIY pizzas (Italy), berets (France), and a suggestion box for guests to add their favorite traveling tips and destinations—she’s got a lifetime of trips to take with her groom-to-be, after all.

Seashells make great, inexpensive accents for any Cancer bride’s beach-themed bridal shower. Photo via Frog Prince Paperie.

Cancer (the Crab) June 21 – July 22

If you’re throwing a shower for a Cancer bride, you can’t go wrong with a seaside theme. (Bonus points if it’s on the beach!) The sign of the crab is anything but crabby—she puts family first and always wants them close by her side during all the important days in her life, so sentimental details and gestures of appreciation are a must! Help her closest family members stand out with special pins, and leave out self-care goodies like a sea salt scrub or a mani/pedi kit for an easy, useful ‘thank you’ gift.

When you’re showering a Leo bride-to-be, indulge her decadent side and throw a gem-themed shower complete with a diamond piñata! Photo via Ruffles and Sweets.

Leo (the Lion) July 23 – August 22

The lion is king of the jungle, so it should come as no surprise that a Leo bride is going to give off major princess vibes. Cater to her regal side and shower her in elegance like the gem she is. Set up your space with jewel-themed decor, leave out a basket of Ring Pops, and make sugar crystal stirrers as take-home gifts for the guests! Incorporate her birthstone for bonus points (hint: it’s either a ruby or a peridot). And you can’t go wrong with a sash and veil so the bride-to-be can stand out from the crowd.

A carnival-themed bridal shower is just the trick to celebrate a Virgo bride! Photo via Girl Yard.

Virgo (the Virgin) August 23 – September 22

You’re in luck if you’ve got a Virgo bride on your hands. This modest gal might come off as a perfectionist, but she really just has a keen eye for detail and always wants her guests to feel important. Get everyone involved with fun games and a carnival-themed bridal shower! Put out a photo frame prop to capture the memories, and set up a popcorn bar complete with candy toppings for a fun snack.

Who doesn’t love a disco theme? Make these adorable cupcakes to celebrate your Libra bride at her shower! Photo via Best Friends for Frosting.

Libra (the Scales) September 23 – October 22

The quintessential girly-girl, a Libra bride is all about celebrating friendship. She’s a total party girl, so you can go over the top with a disco-themed bridal shower: think sorbet mimosas in fun cups, a dance contest, and interactive games that bring out everyone’s silly side (Wed-Libs will always result in laughs). Put up a metallic backdrop for photos, and leave out a classic romantic record out with paint pens for everyone to sign! Just remember: you can never have too much glitter.

DIY bath bombs are a great way to show off everyone’s creativity at a Scorpio bride’s shower! Photo via Bird’s Party.

Scorpio (the Scorpion) October 23 – November 21

You might have a Scorpio bride-to-be BFF, but she’s probably insisted on not having a shower. What she’s really saying is, she wants a small, unfussy get together with her closest girls that doesn’t draw too much attention. An at-home spa day is the perfect way to shower your Scorpio gal! Stock up on fun face masks and make DIY bath bombs together while sip on fruit-infused water. Request that everyone wear a robe and slippers, and hand out aromatherapy eye masks as party favors.

Tropical, sweet, and refreshing, this Mai Tai recipe can be made with or without alcohol for the Sagittarius bride’s shower. Photo via Sugar and Soul.

Sagittarius (the Archer) November 22 – December 21

As the Archer of the zodiac, a Sagittarius bride’s arrow is never pointing in one direction for too long—she’s always got an itch to get away! A tropical-themed bridal shower will transport her to a lush paradise, so grab leis for everyone, mix up a bowl of Mai Tai-inspired punch and throw a hula dancing contest to get the party started. A flower crown for the bride is a must, and you can make one with these easy DIY instructions!

Get creative with decor at the Capricorn bride’s tea party-themed shower! Photo via Weddingomania.

Capricorn (the Goat) December 22 – January 19

As fun as she is formal, the Capricorn bride typically errs on the side of tradition. Classic vintage, preppy, or even art deco in style, you’ll never see her sans-accessories, which makes a tea party bridal shower the perfect theme to indulge her. A trip to your local consignment shop should provide the perfect drinkware if you don’t mind a fun mix-and-match aesthetic—and you can whip up easy finger foods ahead of time, which always makes hosting so much more enjoyable. Send everyone home with a keepsake teacup for good measure.

Whether you whip up every dish or host potluck-style, this picnic themed bridal shower is an Aquarius bride’s ultimate dream! Photo via Kara’s Party Ideas.

Aquarius (the Water Bearer) January 20 – February 18

The unpredictable Aquarius bride is the ultimate free spirit. Her nontraditional nature means that you can expect her to always be ahead of trends in her own unique way—her shower should be no different! Throw a backyard picnic complete with colorful throw blankets and giant pillows, and let the guests supply the decor: leave out a wireless photo printer and a sign requesting that guests print their favorite photos of the bride-to-be and a basket of clothespins—everyone will love it!

A Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed bridal shower would be incomplete without breakfast pastries! Photo via ModWedding.

Pisces (the Fish) February 19 – March 20

You won’t find a more quintessentially romantic girl than the Pisces bride. She’s got a sentimental side that loves old movies and photo albums so a Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed bridal shower will make her feel like her ultimate fantasy has come to life! Play the black and white film in the background, build a donut centerpiece as an homage to the movie’s opening scene, and hang photos of the bride and groom at different points in their relationship all around the party area—she’ll love being surrounded by her favorite people and memories!

Every Zodiac Sign

At the end of the day, every bride-to-be wants to feel special during her bridal shower, and a theme that caters to her zodiac sign is one of the most unique ways you could celebrate. You could even throw a zodiac-themed party and incorporate all the signs if your particular bride is astrologically-inclined. Whatever you do, be sure to check out our Pinterest board for tons more decor ideas, recipes, games, and gifts!

-Written by Brittney Winters-Gullo, who reads her horoscope every day to make sure she always lives her best Taurus life.

The post Bridal Shower Themes for Every Zodiac Sign appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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Is it just us, or have you noticed that bridal showers are becoming larger and larger? Today, Cheryl advises a concerned hostess on how to handle a ballooning guest list. Read on for her tips and the etiquette behind why showers shouldn’t feel like mini-weddings.

Dear Cheryl,

Thank you so much for being available to answer a question for me. I’m co-hosting a bridal shower for my niece with my sister, mother and aunts on her mom’s side. We plan to invite her future mother-in-law, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and sisters-in-law – the groom’s immediate family.

To our surprise, the future mother-in-law (FMIL) has indicated that she would like to invite an additional 35-50 of her family and friends. Are we missing something? We feel as the hosts of the event, we decide who is invited and are not expected to give the FMIL 35 – 50 “spots” on the invitation list. I feel if she wants to invite that many people from her side then she should consider hosting another shower for her future daughter-in-law.

Looking forward to your reply,
Hostess who doesn’t want the “mostest” guests

Dear Hostess,

Thank for writing! You are not missing anything. The host or hosts of a bridal shower decide the number of guests since they are footing the bill and providing the space. The bride should be consulted about the guest list, but you are under no obligation to invite anyone suggested by the groom’s mother.

I recommend having a conversation with the FMIL — give her a call. As an aunt, not the bride’s mother, there’s little risk of causing future family issues. You can let her know that you planned to invite “X” number of people and that you can’t accommodate extra guests (due to budget, accommodations, or simply because it’s not the event you had in mind). She may not realize that she is being rude. Maybe she has attended a mini-wedding disguised as a bridal shower.

Here’s some additional ammunition you can use in your conversation:

The custom and purpose of a wedding shower is to “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts to help the couple start their new lives together. A bridal shower by its nature is a gift giving event and those that attend are expected to bring a gift. Therefore, bridal showers are designed to be more intimate affairs where the bride can spend quality time with her closest friends and family. It should definitely not be an event where every female wedding guest is invited! When the party gets too large, it just seems like a “grab-for-gifts.”

Those that should be invited to a bridal shower are:

  1. the bride’s attendants,
  2. other close personal friends of the bride, and
  3. local family members of the bride & groom (mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and possibly aunts and cousins).
  4. Also, you should never invite someone to a bridal shower that will not be invited to the wedding. In most cases, this is beyond rude.

Additionally, out of town friends and family members are usually not invited to a bridal shower (unless it’s the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom or the bride’s sisters). It puts undue pressure on them to accept the invitation and travel, or send a gift. A bridal shower should be an event for those closest to the bride, both in relationship and location.

I’m often asked how many guests should be invited to the shower. I usually recommend keeping it under 25 guests, if possible. Everyone wants to see their gift opened and the reaction on the bride’s face. With 50 people in attendance, how can the bride open all those gifts? It becomes rushed, as well as long and tedious for the guests.

You could also refer her to my article, Who Should be Invited to a Bridal Shower?

Hope that helps!

Cheryl

If you have questions or comments about this post, or about gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.

The post Ask Cheryl: How Many Should Be Invited to the Bridal Shower? appeared first on RegistryFinder.com.

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