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While it is supposedly a faux pas to have the mother of the bride plan the bridal shower, my daughter's bridesmaids enlisted my help. I offered to host it in our home and they were thrilled. We all talked and decided on a rather unconventional approach. We would do a co-ed, or as more commonly known, a "Jack and Jill" shower. Since they wanted to do it in May, I suggested a Kentucky Derby theme and we did it on Derby Saturday. I have always found that using a theme makes planning a celebration so much easier. It gives you a road map for your plans. So a Derby theme it was and off to work we went. We created cute Derby themed invitations on line. Next we decorated straw hats to serve as favors. So easy and inexpensive. We found the hats online and used ribbons, tulle, buttons, boas, and artificial flowers to create amazing Derby hats for all the ladies. We made a special white and tulle bridal themed hat for our bride.
For our menu, we kept it simple - we made assorted sandwiches, salads, fruits, and pastas - as if you were on the racetrack sidelines picnicking. We had lemonade, iced tea, beer, wine, and fresh fruit sangria in a punchbowl. For desserts we made dozens of mini-cupcakes and displayed them on cupcake stands. We added chocolate covered strawberries, homemade cookies, and cake ball desserts. If you have never eaten cake balls you are in for a treat. Small bite sized nuggets of cake and frosting, dipped in melted chocolate. We used the chocolate for candy molding and did a rainbow of colors.
I always love to include a game at our own family celebrations so I came up with a Derby Dollars guessing game. We set up a booth with buckets labeled for all the racehorse contenders and let the guests put in their guess for the winner. We drew a grand prize winner out of the winning horse's bucket! Everyone gathered to watch the race, so fun!
The final gathering was to watch both the bride and groom open their lovely gifts. It was a beautiful celebration filled with all the people they both love so much. Best of all, this whole shower cost pennies in comparison to hosting it out of the house. Many of these ideas would be perfect for a more traditional bridal shower with a garden or tea party theme, so let your creative juices flow and you can plan a beautiful bridal shower on a limited budget.
For my sister's bridal shower, we used clear glass cylinder vases with white costume (parade) beaded necklaces inside, at the bottom. The beads looked like pearls! It was gave a decorative touch that was simple yet well-complimented.
Drop necklaces into the vases, about 1 or 2 per vase, whichever looks best. Add flowers to vase. Then add water, being careful with the flowers, if they are real.
Note: Mix it up! Add other baubles in the vases that sink or even float, with a nice bouquet. Other colored (or metallic) parade beads can add a fun touch to any party or holiday! Have fun with it. I'm sure you can think of other similar great ideas to jazz up a vase of flower!
Also, we added cute little springtime figures (on a small stick/dowel) that were in Michael's Crafts dollar section. For example, a wooden bumble bee and butterfly, already colored and pretty.
By Erin from Tampa, FL
My niece is a lawyer and I gave her a "swear by" shower. On the card we told the guests to bring things they "swear by" so that we could save the bride a lot of time and energy. It could be appliances, gadgets, cleaning products, etc.
We also played The Price Is Right where the guests guess how much the price of 10 items were and there were two winners. Oh, all of the items I selected were specially selected to be used for other purposes, like white vinegar, baking soda, denture cleaner, club soda, etc. Anyway, the guest that guessed the closest to the individual prices without going over was one winner and the other won if they guessed the total price of all the items without going over.
Then after doing the Price is Right game, I told them the other purposes of each item (usually about 3 things). For each item I would ask them if they knew of other uses for them. If they did and shared them with the guests, they would get a Hershey's kiss or hug tossed to them. After that game was over all the items for the Price is Right game went into a large laundry basket and went to the bride to be as an added gift.
When she would open her gifts each person would share how their gift was a "swear by" item to them. Everyone had a great time at the shower because it was so non-typical and a fun time of sharing. They all asked for my tips and websites at where I got my info from. It gave the women that were strangers a lot of bonding and connection time to make friends and have some comeraderie.
Some ideas were from ThriftyFun.com
It was great. Enjoy.
At my daughter's shower, I wanted homemade desserts. So when people asked how they could help, I asked them bring 12 homemade cookies. Some of them brought more and I was given fancy trays with doilies. Out of 40 people, 20 girls brought 15 cookies each. This was a success and delicious as well. Kudos to all my helpful friends.
By Chris M from Buffalo, NY
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am hosting a bridal shower for a friend of mine, but I am on a really tight budget. I am having it late in the evening so we are only having desserts, but I need ideas on desserts, games, and anything else. Please help me.
By Overwelmed from Noblesville, IN
A family recipe book is a wonderful sentimental idea for a wedding shower. ask each member of the wedding party, bride and groom to ask their family members to contribute a favorite recipe in order to hand down these recipes to the next generation of the family and to keep the recipes alive in the family. Handwritten recipes are Priceless, and copies of these recipes can be made and inserted into the family recipe book, you can have someone to design the cover or have a photograph made of the family to be the cover page, a dedication page can be made by one of the family members to the bride and groom and it will be a treasured item in the kitchen of the newlyweds
Some friends and I (baby boomer age) are hosting a wedding shower for a friend. Any tips for showers for more mature brides? We dearly love this woman (who has been married before, but is a widow) and want it to be fun but not R-rated!
Tooz from Kentucky
A group of friends pooled our money and kidnapped the bride to be, took her to the mall shopping with the money we had collected and then treated her to dinner at a favorite restaurant. That was such a success that when another friend was to get married, we repeated the fun. They both had grown children and had their households well established.
When having a shower I always hated the games using paper and pencil. This game you ask the guest questions, etc. 1. who has the most buttons, 2. who has the most rings, the most keys on their key rings 3. who is wearing black panties, etc. It's a lot of fun without a lot of planning.
Is it a shower or a bachelorette party? I've never heard of an r-rated bridal shower. Just do the normal thing-- send invitations that tell where she is registered, play goofy shower games, eat food, etc. They may not need lots of household stuff but they could register for gifts anyway.
I had a bridal shower for a wonderful friend of mine and we all had such a great time. My friends aunts and great aunts even had a good time.
One of the games I planned was:
Bridal Shower Pictionary
I had a dry erase board (borrow or purchase one, saves on paper and you and your family may use it like we do to play at home) made up an easel to hold the board or you may find a nail in the wall where ever you are holding the party that will hold the board.
I made up different index cards with all things related to a wedding or marriage on them. Then we divided up into equal teams and with our dry erase markers in hand the fun began. The team with the most points at the end won the prize (depending on your budget you could give everyone something). I set a 2 minute time limit for each turn/card. Not everyone wanted to draw but they all had a great time trying to guess what was being drawn.
I wish you the best of luck and a wonderful time!
A couple of ideas. My future daughter - in - laws party was at a friends. First thing was when someone got there, they were handed a clothes pin, springy kind, and told to attach it somewhere on there clothing. Whenever someone said the future brides name, they lost their clothes pin to the one that noticed they said her name. The one with the most pins at the end of the party got a prize.
Also, on a piece of paper have everyone write down the bride and grooms name,(John Doe & Mary Smith) then have them find as many words as possible from their names in 5 minutes. The one with the most gets the prize.
Also,very fun, everyone got a roll of toilet paper and the bride stood in the middle of the room and everyone made a wedding dress on her. Gown, trane, bouquet , head dress and even the ring. That was lots of fun.
Another look at the toilet paper wedding dress.
We had a shower a month ago for my grandma's sister (Widowed many years ago) and our future Uncle the same. We did a combined shower and played "BRIDAL BINGO". Everyone is handed a blank bingo page and you add names of guests on your sheet, each guest must put thier name on a small square sheet of paper and place in a bowl. It was nice to meet his family and know their names before the wedding.
At the wedding, it was nice to know their names and talk about how the bingo game made it easy to break the ice.
Hope this helps,
My daughter lives in Australia, she is getting married here in the states. What kind of shower can I give her, she obviously cannot transport toasters, irons, and coffeepots back to Australia. Help!
By kt from MI
Larger items can be shipped, but more than likely she doesn't need those items anyway. I would suggest a linen shower, with suggestions of what colors she would like in those items.
I threw a baby shower for my friend who was visiting from out of town. Everyone who came to the shower chipped in for a gift card to a store where she was registered. Everyone just emailed me how much they were contributing, I bought the gift card, and then they gave me the money at the party. In this kind of situation, I don't think gift cards are tacky, they are practical. If people want to give her something more "personal" they could bring a love poem or a piece of marriage advice and you could put them all in a scrapbook for her.
These days you can buy gift cards online. Why not find out what stores she is registered in and ask people to contribute to a gift card, they can give you the money and you could send for the gift card. This way she gets something useful. Each guest could also bring a great recipe and a helpful hint to add to a book. Don't forget to take photos to put next to each recipe and hint. The photo/recipe book will be a great hit. One added thought is that each person decides on the gift from the registration and that pic goes into the book also. Good luck.
My daughter lives in Australia. It is a nightmare to mail anything. Believe it or not, best value to mail is priority. Large box ain't so large. 12 x 12 x4 1/2 is $64. One ounce envelope is 94 cents. Good luck. Wait till you hear the phone rates. Internet email is possible but not reliable. Apparently lines there are anything but up to date.
You could do a money tree, with a short explanation on the invitations why there should be no bought gifts. Gift certificates might NOT be a good idea - stores in the States may not be in Australia. Or maybe you could suggest gift certificates to mail order houses, but then shipping costs would deduct from the gift amount. I'd go with the money tree.
Make sure you have activities planned as there will be no gift opening during the shower (which usually takes up a good amount of time). Tape numbers under chairs and draw numbers for prizes, that's one idea. I'm sure there are quite a few games to play at showers.
I agree with the concept of the money tree and gift cards, but you could add a virtual twist to it. I once attended a baby shower where they streamed live video to the mother who was on bed rest in another state, or if you are not that techy, simply record the the event and send it to your daughter. Either via mail or digitally. This way she can really feel apart of the event.
Make sure to send her (a party care package) either ahead of time or after. Don't forget to include shots of the room, food, you playing any games, and messages to the bride.
Hope that helps. Good luck and congratulations.
Has anyone ever done a time-of-day bridal shower? Apparently, each guest chooses a specific time of day out of a 24 hour day and brings a gift specific for that time period. My friend and I are hosting a bridal shower and would like to use this format, but I would like some gift suggestions/ideas for the guests for different time periods (e.g., 3 a.m.). Thanks for your help.
The way I've seen this done is that the time of day is assigned by the hostess and included in the party invitation -- so you don't have to assign 3 a.m. if you don't want to! Suggestions for overnight hours might include bed linens, nighties/robes, bedside table lamp, decorative night light -- you get the idea!
What else is there to do at 3 am. Take old B movies and popcorn. So they can cuddle up on the couch in each others arms. :0)
1. You could omit that time.
2. Late night escapade -- or my husband and I got matching underwear, lingerie, body oils, candles or something on that order.
3. If they are going to school-- Movies, popcorn, popper, pizza stuff or coffee stuff - assuming they will be up studying.
4.For the people that would be sleeping at that time -- They could be dreaming so basically you could get them anything and attribute it to a dream; sheets, pillowcases, nature sounds music.
Hope this helps. You just have to stop and think. My shower was like this and we had a ball!!!
Please tell me more about your time-of-the-day shower because I want to do one for my best friend. How many people did you invite? Did you have more than one person per hour? How did you tell them which hour to buy presents for? Did you provide examples? I'd love to hear the details!
My sister is marrying for the 1st time at age 53. She has been living on her own for years, as has her fiance who was married previously. How do you plan a shower for this and what do I suggest for gift giving. She doesn't know either.
By Lyn P. from Hamilton, NJ
Your sister probably has all of the household stuff she needs. A friend of mine had a cute shower theme: guests were supposed to bring something you needed "to survive a marriage." It was fun and funny. I've heard of other people having showers with a stipulation that you bring something that couldn't be bought in a store. Otherwise, have a not-too-cutesy shower (luncheon, cocktail party) and celebrate the bride-to-be! :)
I need ideas for a bridal shower for a co-worker. Any ideas for decorations and games? We was also thinking of playing the newly wed game, does anyone have any good questions?
If the couple have already chosen their color scheme, use those colors for any dishes, napkins, decorations and so on. For the "newlywed game," here are one or two questions...
1. Where did you meet and when?
2. What's his (her) favorite color? Favorite food or drink?
Congrats to the happy couple!
My son is getting married and we are having a couples wedding shower for them. We live on a lake and I'd like a theme to go along with this and ideas for food, games, etc.
Where can I find a affordable location for a bridal shower in the Baltimore, Maryland metro area?
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My daughter is getting married this year. I would like to give her a shower. She doesn't like a lot of fuss and prefers gatherings to be simple and fun. Does anyone have any ideas for a gathering of about 15 women? I would like ideas for food, games, and decorations. It will probably been in my home.
By Sheila from Ontario, Canada
If she is not wanting a lot of fuss, I would suggest that you do the shower at a local tea house or someplace like Panera. This way you don't have to fuss with decorations and you can have a simple, but elegant afternoon. (04/03/2010)
A lot of what you do depends on your budget, where you live, and what you like. The showers that I have attended just had paper streamers hung around the room, served cake, coffee, and punch. The games were things like how many words could be made out of "wedding" or "bride and groom". Prizes were small kitchen utensils like spatulas, etc. and the winner then presented these items to the bride. I realize now they do things a lot fancier, but it isn't always necessary. Also in this era, balloons are really popular decorations. (04/04/2010)
Also where I am from, the bride's mother never used to give a shower. There is usually enough of them by the time the attendants give one, and usually somebody on the groom's side. I don't know how they do it around here anymore. For the last several years, I haven't known anybody with people in the wedding age group.
Your heart is in the right place but mothers do not give showers for their daughters. It is socially incorrect and looks like another bid for gifts. Inviting the guests to the wedding is enough "asking" from a family member.
A close friend or member of the wedding (not related) is the appropriate host. (04/04/2010)
One of the best things that my grandmother did at my shower was to ask each guest to bring their favorite recipe on recipe cards included with the invitations. They were asked to complete a recipe in several categories. It was nice to finally have some family and friend favorites. She had a lovely recipe box that every put their recipes in to. Two of my aunts gave me a nice laundry basket filled with kitchen and laundry gadgets. It was invaluable.
She made chicken/tuna/ham salad finger sandwiches; carved a watermelon and had fresh fruit on the inside; champagne with a strawberry inside each glass; and she made petite cakes for the cake out of a sheet cake pan and iced them in pastels. It was a beautiful shower. (04/04/2010)
We are planning an autumn bridal shower for a young friend, and looking for some decorating, food and fun ideas from the ThriftyFun community. Thanks for your help with this.
By Sally M. from Chewelah, WA
A really cool idea that my friends did for my bridal shower was give me a bunch of ingredients (needed to make a cake) and made me make a chocolate cake from memory. I just had to guess what ingredients went into a cake and hope it turned out. I had to guess how much flour, sugar, eggs, oil, etc. It turned out pretty good, in fact, the only problem was that it stuck a little to the pan. This is a fun shower game if your bride to be loves to cook. (09/22/2009)
For my daughter's shower we took small metal buckets and used tangerine colored Gerbera daisies for centerpieces. I took an orange ribbon and glued it around the bucket and made a bow to put on it. For the favors I bought these little "nut cups" shaped like purses. I threaded very thin tangerine ribbon through the little cut-out holes and made a bow for each one. I found clear Easter grass that was king of sparkly and put butter mints wrapped in orange paper inside them. (09/24/2009)
Make fridge magnets as an invitation. Ask your guests to bring a plate of eats and cool drinks. RSVP is very important because you should know whose coming. Some people ask for a set amount so that the bridal couple can use the money to buy appliance for their home. (09/25/2009)
I will be co-hosting a bridal shower in April. It has been a while since I attended a bridal shower. I am looking for ideas for food, decorations, and non-embarrassing games or activities.
Mary from St. Paul, MN
One of the things we did for my bridal shower was buy some pretty flowering houseplants, and my mom added ribbons around the pots to "dress" them up. Those were used as the centerpieces for the tables. I didn't want to play a lot of embarrassing games either, so I made up a "quiz" for the guests that had multiple choice questions about my husband and I (kind of a how well do you know the engaged couple quiz). The ladies with the highest scores got to choose a centerpiece plant as their prize to take home.
I believe we had small gifts for all the guests to take home, but I can't quite remember what they were! If the bride to be has a particular interest, hobby, etc., maybe you could build on that and get creative with themed decorations and prizes. Good luck, and I hope it's a great party! (01/16/2008)
I just helped with a Kitchen Themed bridal shower. We had a similar game of questions, and a matching game of famous couples (some real, current and historical, and some from Disney). Also, to keep with the theme we had a guessing game with 6 different spices and herbs. I got all of the games on-line by typing Bridal Shower into Google.
When the bride was opening her gifts, we attached the bows and ribbons to an upside down paper plate for her to use as a bouquet at her rehearsal. (01/17/2008)
If the shower is in the morning you can do bacon, eggs, fruit salad, muffins, etc. If it is an afternoon shower you can do a cold cut platter with rolls, macaroni salad, potato salad, chicken, etc. Make it easy so once you set up a buffet table you just have to check to replenish as needed.
When my daughter had her shower they played BINGO. Made up bingo cards of items typically given at showers, (toaster, glasses, etc) then there were several prizes. The first person who won got to pick, next one picked next, etc. Kept people watching as she opened gifts, made the time pass quickly. (01/17/2008)
When I got married my church threw me a bridal shower. They had a word scramble thing with words of things in kitchens and such. It was fun to do. There are so many ideas online for bridal showers. Hope the bridal shower turns out great. (01/18/2008)
A really great "new" game is made up of the guests guessing several different white food items that we use all the time in the kitchen. These items were placed in a Ziploc bag and the guest had to guess by sight and feel only. Items included, flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, powder sugar, alum, etc. It's amazing how difficult it is when you can't smell or taste. (01/22/2008)
By Sherry H.
I am not sure if this is embarrassing or not, but there is a site that will help you to organize and plan a lingerie party, but much of the stuff can be used even for other types of parties. Everything there is free. There are ideas for games and even free downloads you can use to make your own games. There are free invitations and free name badges, etc. There are puzzles to download and cut out. There is even a party budget calculator you can use. Have a look, maybe some of it will be useful for you: