Bridal Shower Hosting Do’s and Don’ts

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Your sister, niece, best friend or favorite co-worker just got engaged, and guess who’s been asked to host the bridal shower? After the first flush of excitement, you might be left wondering if you’re up to the task. No need to worry. Just follow these top bridal shower-hosting do’s and don’ts, and your shower is sure to be a smashing success.

Don’t involve the bride in background drama or bother her with too many details. She has enough on her plate already!
DO: Ask the bride her preferences. Find out what’s really important to her: does she want a big celebration or a small, intimate gathering? Formal traditions or a casual affair? Perhaps she would prefer a couple’s shower. It’s her day — be prepared to honor her wishes even if it’s not what you would choose.

Don’t invite guests to the shower who aren’t invited to the wedding. Hurt feelings dampen the fun. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though — these include office showers and courthouse weddings.
DO: Send out bridal shower invitations far enough in advance so guests can arrange to attend and shop for a gift.

Don’t use Facebook for your one and only invitation. For heaven’s sake, the bride-to-be deserves real paper invitations!
DO: Follow up with a Facebook event invite if you like to better keep track of who is planning to attend. However, be discreet about your bridal shower plans on Facebook, unless it’s a big shower that everyone’s invited to.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute. This is a special moment in your friend’s life. If you put everything together a week beforehand, the bride and guests will be able to tell.
DO: Decide on a venue first, and start planning at least six weeks in advance.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Remember, the bridesmaids and close friends should be happy and willing to help. If you need help, ask for it!
DO: Delegate tasks to bridesmaids to help. Put one bridesmaid in charge of decorations, one in charge of sending invitations, three in charge of food, etc. This will make your job much easier, and everyone will have more fun when they feel they’re a part of the event.

Don’t feel like you have to spend your month’s salary on this. Go for DIY projects and don’t be shy about asking friends and family to chip in!
DO: Set a reasonable budget and stick to it. Aim to spend about 90 percent of your budget, and keep a running tab of all your expenses to be sure you’re not going overboard. This will keep some funds in reserve for the inevitable last-minute necessities.

And the biggest DO of all: Have fun and enjoy the experience! Even though you’re the host, take a step back to enjoy the shower and all of your hard work!

But wait — one more thing! Even with the shower over, the bride-to-be happily laden with gifts, and the guests emoting about what a wonderful shower it was, you can’t just breathe a sigh of relief and get on with your life. You still have follow-up work to do!

Don’t forget to send thank-you notes!
DO: Purchase, address and stamp your thank-you notes before the big day. Print out a list of all the attendees and write down their gifts as they are opened. Then before the confetti settles, fill in a few personalized words of thanks on each one and drop them in the mail. Your thank-you notes will put the perfect finishing touch on the occasion — and start the bride’s married life on a wave of goodwill!