A bridal shower is a wonderful way to celebrate the bride-to-be, and hosting one for someone special to you is an honor. Although perhaps an overwhelming one if you’ve never planned one before! If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. These tips cover planning from beginning to end for the perfect bridal shower in beautiful Lake Placid, NY (or beyond).
Bridal Shower Origins
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Bridal showers aren’t a modern pre-wedding tradition. In fact, bridal showers date back to 16th century Holland when a father refused to provide a dowry for his daughter. To help, people from the town where the bride-to-be lived came together and gifted her with items to start her home to make up for the absence of the dowry. The idea stuck, and today, female family members and friends come together at bridal showers for games, refreshments, and, of course, to gift the bride-to-be.
Tips for Planning the Bridal Shower
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Yes, plenty of details are involved in planning a bridal shower. But, to make the process easier, we recommend taking it one detail at a time, following these steps.
1. Determine your budget
The host traditionally pays for the bridal shower, from food and drink to decorations to the venue and any other costs, so the first step in planning is to set the budget. While costs vary, paying $15 – $45 per person for a bridal shower is common. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to budget. But if, as a part of the wedding party, you’ll already be spending quite a bit on expenses for the big day and are worried about budget, you may want to co-host with another bridesmaid or family member.
2. Pick the date
While the bridal shower is often about two months before the wedding, it really depends on other pre-wedding events and the bride-to-be’s preferences. However, we recommend you start planning the event at least six months before the wedding date to have more options with schedules, venues, and other details.
3. Decide on the guest list
Ask the bride-to-be for a list of people she wants to invite and get their contact information. Remember, those invited to the bridal shower should also be on the wedding guest list. The average bridal shower guest list is between 30 and 50 people, but what’s most important is that the number is comfortable for you and the bride-to-be. You’ll want to send invitations about six to eight weeks prior to the bridal shower so guests have as much notice as possible.
While bridal showers were once mostly held at the host’s home, today, they more commonly take place at restaurants and event venues. There are a number of reasons for this, including convenience, parking, space for guests, and especially in a location like Lake Placid, you want to ensure you maximize the ambiance and view of the beautiful Adirondack mountains!
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With the venue chosen, you can now work on the bridal shower menu. Aside from learning any preferences or food restrictions from the bride-to-be, you’ll also want to consider whether you want to make the food, ask guests to bring dishes, or hire a caterer. Each option certainly has its pros and cons, but bridal shower catering can offer not only more diverse menu options but also frees you up to focus on other details, like enjoying the event!
5. Consider a theme
A theme isn’t necessary for a bridal shower, but it can be fun! It could be tied in with the wedding theme or something unique to the bride-to-be. A theme can also help inspire the decorations. But theme or not, you don’t have to go over the top with the decorations, especially if the bridal shower venue is already a scenic location like Lake Placid. Some flowers, balloons, and personal touches for the bride-to-be are all you need.
6. Select your activities
While games like toilet paper wedding dress, pin the tail on the groom, two truths and a lie, and bridal bingo are somewhat of a tradition at bridal showers, if the bride-to-be isn’t a fan, it’s ok to select other types of activities. You could shift to options like a date night idea jar, advice cards, a recipe collection, or well-wishes for the couple to open on each anniversary. Or, do something totally different, like a wine tasting or photo booth, or make some type of wedding-related craft like scrapbook pages for the bride-to-be.
7. Make gift suggestions
Typically, you’ll note where the bride-to-be is registered on the bridal shower invitation. However, if you’re hosting a themed event, you might want to request specific gifts that correspond with it, like lingerie, cooking, or stocking the bar. Also, remember favors for the guests which could also tie in with the theme of the bridal shower, the food, or the bride. Or the favors could simply be something small and fun.
Getting lost in the details is easy as you get into the planning. But if you focus on making the celebration special and fun for the bride-to-be, you’re already on your way to the perfect bridal shower!