It's been quite the season of bridal showers as five of my best friends have gotten engaged in the last year, so I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of bridal showers. Yes, one of the main purposes is to "shower" the bride-to-be with gifts to help adorn her new house or help her and her man start married life together, but the gifts are only one portion of the bridal shower! When I started planning my best friend Christin's shower I started researching ways to make it more significant and tried my best to implement all the ideas into a special event.
The meaningful shower....
1. Welcomes others in
While the bridal shower is centered on the bride, it's also about celebrating the friends and family that have made the bride who she is. Guests want to feel cared for too even if they don't realize it. Welcoming others in can be shown in small ways such as having enough space and food for everyone. If you have some out of town guests that don't know anyone attending, it can be helpful to let an outgoing bridesmaids or friend know so that they can strike up a conversation and make sure the out-of-towners feel included. It can also mean giving guests a chance to share their wisdom with the bride. On Saturday, guests wrote date night ideas on popsicle sticks and dropped it in a mason jar for Chris and Christin to have throughout their years of marriage. It's nice as a guest to be able to give gifts in the form of loving ideas as well as ones that come in wrapping.
2. Reflects the personality of the bride
You can type "Bridal Shower Themes" into Pinterest and find a multitude of ideas, but what's important is that the theme represents her. That's what makes it special. If the bride is minimal and simple, then it's more significant to incorporate that into a shower than throwing something crazy extravagant because extravagant is not what she values. Your best bet is to get the bride's input and run with it! Christin loves monograms and is Southern to her core, so her monogram bridal shower had a Southern theme that showcased classic southern dishes such as biscuits, pimento cheese sandwiches and strawberry pie because that reflects the essence of who Christin is. Her favorite color (and wedding color), coral, was also used. Ideally, the bride will walk in and say, "This is so me!"
3. Uses time well
It's important that a timeline is created for the day, because expecting things to "just flow" can't always be trusted. Whether you're making time for eating, mingling, games or opening presents, make sure you have an idea in mind of where you're going and that you're being mindful of people's time. If there are a lot of presents to be opened, make sure guests are well-fed before so they can enjoy watching the bride opening her gifts instead of wondering if there's going to be fried green tomato sliders on the buffet. You do also want to give your guests time to eat and mingle, however- especially if you have family coming from out of town that haven't seen each other in awhile. When you create your timeline, be walking through it in the guest's shoes.
4. Gives the guests direction
Giving clear registry information on the shower invites is crucial. You don't want your guests to be stressed out wondering what to get you, or have to answer a multitude of questions about it. For Christin's she put her monogram initials and provided a link to her registry online which was really helpful because then guests knew exact items she wanted. Make sure you send the invites with ample time for their gifts to come in if they're ordering online.
5. Tells a story
A wedding is all about the story- how God brought two people together to glorify Him by becoming one. It's a beautiful story, so it's important that you let it be told! This can be done in multiple ways. One of my favorites is having pictures of the two around the room so guests can feel like they're walking along this journey with them and getting to know them better. You can tell the story through having the couples' favorite foods or naming a drink after where they met, playing he said/she said games or even having a sign or board that shows the significant dates from their relationship. On a more simple level, the story should be just verbally told! Guests love hearing love stories and having mothers and best friends tell their interpretation of what happened is delightful and adds so much life.
6. Celebrates the bride
If nothing else, the purpose of a bridal shower is this. You can celebrate the bride through any of the ways mentioned, and chances are she'll feel it just by looking around the room. While thinking of guests is quite important, at the end of the day it's about showing that sweet bride friend of yours just how deeply she is loved. Whether you're playing games about how well guests know her or letting others talk about their first impressions of the couple together, a shower should always have the goal of sharing in the bride's joy of this season of life.
Have other ideas on how to make a bridal shower meaningful? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment in the box below!