Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bridal Shower #1 - Bridesmaids Rule!

Last month we started "Shower Season". There were two bridal showers for my daughter in our town - one the traditional Bridesmaid-hosted one, and the other was thrown by some of my church friends (or, as it became known as, "The Old Lady Shower.")

The Bridesmaid shower came first, and I did not know what to expect since few of these girls had ever even been to a bridal shower before, so they were clueless what to do. My younger daughter, being the MOH learned from her web searches that she was supposed to spear-head the project. She cornered me one day about 6 weeks before the planned day with a panic-stricken look and begged me to help her plan it.

At first I really thought I was going to have to pull a major MWE (Modern Wedding Etiquette) No-No and basically plan and execute my own daughter's bridal shower. But as it turned out, I basically just gave my younger daughter a nudge in the right direction. I let her know it was time to send the invitations out, and time to plan the shower, and I just sort of gave her the highlights of most of the showers I had been to: Send out the invitations, then at the shower you visit, eat, maybe play some games, and open gifts!

I encouraged her to contact the other bridesmaids for a planning session. This was a bit out of her comfort zone, since the other bridesmaids were her sister's friends and a few years older than her. But she dutifully made the first contact and mostly through texts and Facebook messages they decided how to divide and conquer. My younger daughter was put in charge of the invitations.

Since she is a Freshman in college and in the Performing Arts (with auditions, voice and dance lessons solidly booking her schedule) she asked if I would scout some invitations out for her, then she would send them out. The issue was, we were cutting it close to the shower date...we had to get those things in the mail FAST!

No problem, I thought. Back in my day, invitations came in little cellophane wrapped packages that you purchased in any grocery store or Walmart. They had fill-in-the blank lines where you put in the details of when, where, and who to RSVP to. I soon found out, once again with the changing times came a new breed of invitations. Those little fill in the blank notes are becoming very scarce--few stores carry them anymore. Custom-printed invitations are what's expected now, evidently.

Complicating this was that the MOH didn't want to give just a generic bridal shower -- she wanted a Theme to work with. Again, Mom did some web surfing, and we came up with an "Around the House" shower theme. Basically, you assign each guest a room, and the gift that guest brings should be used in that room. I found some adorable Around the House themed invitations online - but again, other than a verse explaining what type of shower it was, they were all blank and ready to be custom printed. Unfortunately we had run out of time to order any.

My younger daughter said friends had told her of a nice wedding supply store near her college campus in Oklahoma City, so she ran out on a Saturday morning to check them out -- again I told her to buy "fill in the blank" ones if she could find any that would work. We must have texted back and forth 20 times that morning -- with her sending me photo texts of what she was finding. Well, she found some cute Around the House invitations all right - but you guessed it, they were totally blank. Well, she of her friends loves to hand-print things, and she had volunteered to help with the invitations. I was skeptical, but she went ahead and bought the cards. Believe it or not, her friend hand-printed 20 invitations that day. They actually came out really cute!

The other bridesmaids are all local here in town and all know eachother so they met a few times for planning sessions. I kept in touch with them through Facebook, asking if they needed any help, but they took care of everything! The only thing they asked me to supply was a floral centerpiece, which I was happy to take care of.

Everything looked so pretty when we arrived at the shower, which was held in the family home of one of the bridesmaids. One of them had made a white apron for my daughter to wear which had "Bride" on it in bejeweled studs. The munchies were so good, and everything was so pretty and color-coordinated!

In spite of my reading that shower games were basically passe' now and nobody liked them but old ladies, one of the bridesmaids had planned quite a few little games for us. Well, the guests (other than me and the bridesmaid's mom who owned the home) were all 20-somethings and they really got a hoot out of the games! There were prizes plenty for the winners of the games, and all sorts of favors as well. Nobody went home empty-handed! For being bridal shower Newbies, these young ladies really outdid themselves! I will write soon about the second "Old Ladies" shower!