Being the maid of honor is a delightful honor but it comes with some serious responsibility, too. One of the biggest responsibilities of the maid of honor – besides keeping the bride sane through her wedding day – is planning the bridal shower.

There are so many details to oversee in a bridal shower that it can easily get overwhelming. The recipe for a successful bridal shower, though, starts with taking a deep breath and realizing that it’s better to focus on fun than perfection. To keep it simple, make it special, and make it memorable – without joining the bride in that special road to insanity – is the key.

Invitations & Decorations

Unless you are a graphic designer, head to the local party supply store and have fun picking out some pre-matched invitation sets.  Choose a theme, like Mardi gras or Las Vegas poker night if that’s the direction your party is heading, or match the bride’s wedding color. Keep the decorations simple. Be sure to pick up some balloons while you’re there (see games).

Note: if you’re on a tight budget, you can get creative online and print beautiful invitations that cost very little or even use an online invitation system like eVite to send out electronic invites.

Games & Activities

Move those Hips!

Every woman in my family has been subjected to this game at her bridal shower. It’s hilarious fun and so easy to prepare. All you need is a couple pairs of nylons, two potatoes, and two balloons. Put a potato in the right foot of each nylon, then tie the other leg around the waist of the people playing. The idea is that the leg of the nylon with the potato in it will swing between the legs of the player, at least once there is some hip action going! Two players swing the potato to make it hit the balloon and race to a finish line. The winner will earn a prize for the best hip action.

Build Memories

My sister, who was my maid of honor and hosted my bridal shower, had the most wonderful activity for my guests. As each person arrived, she took a Polaroid picture (digital would be even better, these days) of them with me. She had a table full of scrapbooking supplies, and each person created a scrapbook page using the picture. I still cherish those pages.

Here are even more games you can play.

Menu

Choosing foods for the bridal shower can be daunting, but unless the event is centered around the food, such as a meal or a tea party, the food should be casual, comfortable, and easy. Choose from these ideas:

Beverages

  • Tea and coffee
  • Punch
  • Champagne
  • Beer/wine
  • Mimosas
  • Mojitos
  • My favorite: two 2-liter bottles of seven up with a container of lime sherbet scooped in

Brunch

  • Quiche
  • Ham, cheese, breads
  • Fruit tray

Luncheon

  • Taco bar (fun but messy)
  • Salad
  • Salmon

Desserts

  • Ice cream sundaes (make your own, yummy!)
  • Cheesecake (an assortment of flavors)
  • Cupcakes or layer cakes
  • Eclairs
  • Chocolate fountain

Hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and finger foods

  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Nuts and pretzels
  • Chips & dip
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Fruit & veggie trays

Gifts & Prizes

Every guest who attends the bridal shower should leave with a special memento of the occasion. You can tie the gift to the theme of the shower, or incorporate the bride’s wedding colors. Here are some fabulous ideas for gifts and prizes:

  • Box of chocolates or chocolate roses
  • Jelly bellies in the colors of the wedding
  • Bath basket
  • Potted plants
  • Skincare gift basket
  • Tea bouquet
  • Picture frame (guest and bride)

What bridal shower tips do you have to share?