Hey hey, guys! I don’t know if you’ve heard the news yet but my sister is getting married! And fortunately (or unfortunately lol), she has appointed me to be her maid of honor! As you probably already know, the maid of honor has a lot of responsibilities on her plate including planning a bridal shower. Luckily, I had some friends who have been in a similar position to help me out. To pay it forward, I would like to share with you some tips on how to plan a bridal shower and of course, there will be food!
First things first. Send out your invitations faaaaarrrr in advance (I think this tip pertains to anything wedding related). I sent mine out at the end of May and the shower wasn’t until August 11th. I did that partly because I wanted to get it out of the way and partly because I wanted people to be able to clear their schedules. I used a website called Paperless Post to send out my invitations, which is a more formal platform. I chose this method because the invitations are visually appealing, you can set an automated reminder email (because ain’t nobody got time for that), and there’s a comment board where people can share their kind messages about the couple. I liked that everything was in one place so I didn’t have to worry about keeping track of whether people could come or not, etc. The only downside (other than having to pay) is that you have to get everyone’s email address; some people have several so you have to figure out which one works best for them. I paid about $15 for the invitations in total. If you want to go super simple you could use Facebook or Evite. Another option I considered was creating an invitation using Canva.
Honestly, the invitations are probably the part where you can afford to be a little lackadaisical if you really need to.
Planning is probably one of my least favorite things to do but in order to ensure all goes well, you must be organized. I typed out my plan on a Google Doc with several sub-categories such as Timeline, Theme, Meals/ groceries, and Other. Under certain events or items, I also created a to-do list so I could remember what specific tasks need to be completed for each item. It’s basically like you’re writing out your vision on a piece of paper then jotting down feasible steps to obtain it. The goal is to make your ideas a reality.
Regardless of how much I planned I still had to change a few things around. For example, I omitted one of the games to make sure we were on time, I opted for some cheaper mini-activities, and I changed a few things on the menu. I even ended up changing the time from 1100 to 1400 which gave me more time to prep.
The host’s job is to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves (especially the bride). So feel out the situation and allow yourself to go with the flow.
For the theme try to stick with two to three Colours. More than that will make it look messy. Our colours were mint, white and gold. We had no problem finding white decorations but mint and gold were a bit of a challenge. Pro tip: if you want to save a bit of time, order your decor off of Amazon. To ensure that the theme is outstanding, have an “Instagram table”. This is a center table that has a lot of decor on and around it -very picturesque or should I say Insta worthy 😏.
We also added little accents of the theme colours around the house -rose petals, streamers, calligraphy (done by my amazing cousin), and even flowers.
So the games were super simple. They literally took me about 10 minutes to put together (thanks to my awesome friend who helped me out).
One game we played was “how well do you know the bride?”. For this game, I created three teams of 5-6 that would work in collaboration to correctly answer as many questions about the bride as possible. The team that gets the most questions right wins! Easy peasy!
How well does the bride know the groom- I asked my sister’s fiance around 20 questions and wrote down his answers (so he wouldn’t change them). Then during the shower, we FaceTimed him and asked the bride the same questions. Don’t ask simple questions for this game. You want to stump the bride and get a few laughs in the process.
Side activity one– Who doesn’t like a little guessing game? We played the classic “guess how many jelly beans are in a jar”.
PS make sure there are prizes.
Side activity two- This was probably one of my favorite side activities. We hung a string from a couple of hooks and placed clothespins on it. On a small table, I had three sections of cue cards -date ideas, words of wisdom, and prayers. I paired each category with a different colored marker. Throughout the shower, the ladies wrote down their thoughts that aligned with the category they chose.
Words of wisdom– Before the shower ended, I opened up the floor for any words of wisdom or encouragement the ladies wanted to say to the bride. On that note, I would like to share with you some wise words from my mother:
“There is no correlation between conflict and divorce, there is, however; a correlation between divorce and habitual avoidance of conflict.”
After speeches were given, we popped the champagne and I proposed a toast to the bride!
Dance dance dance- ain’t a party without dancing right? Make sure you got an on and poppin’ playlist for this part!
I had another game ready for us but so I could avoid going over time and give people a chance to mingle/ take pictures, I decided to scratch it. Like I said, sometimes you need to improvise!
This is probably what you have all been waiting for. Of course, I went ALL out for food. We had the shower later in the afternoon; if you do the same finger foods will suffice. But cooking is kind of my thing so I had to make it special. For this event, I abandoned my vegan recipes #sorrynotsorry.
– Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole (guacamole was homemade, salsa was store-bought).
-Kabobs! I wanted to make meat kabobs but to save money and time I opted for sausage kabobs instead. I placed these bad boys in a pan, drizzled some olive oil over top, popped them in the oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then drizzled them with some balsamic reduction and BAM! You got yourself a delicious appetizer.
We had risotto, roasted vegetables, jollof rice (a West African rice), kale salad, two types of chicken (sweet basil chicken and spicy rosemary) salmon, and some bread. Except for the jollof and bread, all of the recipes were created by yours truly!
Apple crumble and whipped cream. You can find my gluten-free apple crumble recipe here.
–The cake was made by my wonderful friend Chidera from AzaryaLifestyle. You can find her recipe here.
We also had some watermelon and chocolate cake!
–Raspberry sparkler. I added a few frozen raspberries into a jar (this acts as the ice), lemon slices, with lemon juice, sparkling lime water, and some sprite. I would normally add a little bit of white wine to this drink as well!
Always make sure you ask about dietary restrictions, the last thing you want is hungry guests!
Ask for advice – As a young and fresh African gal, I know how to throw a party! But wasn’t too sure what a bridal shower entailed. One of my friends was the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding last year so I picked her brain on all things bridal showers. Pinterest is also a wonderful place to find inspiration.
Play to your strengths- What are your strong suits? Is it planning? Cooking? Baking? decorating? Whatever it is, make sure you do things to the best of your abilities in that area!
Delegate- This isn’t the part where you get to boss people around. This is the part where you acknowledge that you’re human and you need to ask for help. For example, my cousin is very creative so I asked her to write out some calligraphy for me and went to her for advice on decorations. And my friend is an excellent baker so asked her to make a cake! I wanted an awesome playlist for the dance so I asked another friend to create one for me. My aunties helped me set up, get the place prepared, and clean afterward. Remember that in order to delegate effectively you need to know what needs to be done so stay organized :).
Remember who you are doing this for- This is the last word of advice I want to give. This shower was for my sister, and if you’re throwing a bridal shower I’m sure it is for someone very close to you as well. Keep them at the forefront of your mind amidst all of the hustle and bustle. There will be times where you want to throw in the towel but instead, think of how happy they will be when it’s all done! Besides, they only get married once, it’s your job to help make it special.
“I have found the one whom my soul loves” -Song of Solomon 3:4