Voicing a speech isn’t easy. Even if it’s the wedding of your BFF, be sure to experience moments of total stress. But worry not; even the most experienced speechwriters can’t entirely suppress the feeling of stress and anxiety. Public speaking is pure art, especially when it comes to a wedding.
You might know to whom you address the speech, on the one hand. Perhaps, you are as thick as thieves and share the most cringy and simultaneously the best moments of your lives.
On the other hand, though, you are not going to deliver a speech to the couple only but to a banquet hall filled with distant relatives, guests, and other family friends. And suffice it to say that some moments can’t be revealed. So what can you tell, and overall, how can you come up with a top-notch speech? Professionals from the writing service point out a step-by-step guide to help you deliver the most outstanding and moving wedding speech of all time.
A bridal shower is a much-anticipated pre-wedding event for brides, where she gathers with her bridal party and closest female friends and family members to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Tamer than a bachelorette party, many bridal showers take place during the day (some over a long weekend) and involve light drinking, eating, and sometimes a spa day or other fun event, like shopping.
The bridal shower that we know today originated in Holland in the 16th Century, an offset of the dowry system, where the family of the bride had to pay her husband to marry her. For poor brides, who couldn’t afford to marry, friends and sometimes distant family members would chip in and pay for her dowry.
Today, at least in Western society, bridal showers serve a broader purpose. Marriage usually changes the dynamics of friendships and familial relationships, so bridal showers are a great way for her friends and family to spend more time with the bride before her priorities shift towards her husband and their family. Proving that old traditions die hard, brides today are still often showered with expensive gifts or cash that can enhance or contribute to her wedding day.
Unfortunately, the social landscape is looking a little different right now, due to social distancing guidelines. Many brides aren’t comfortable throwing large, lavish gatherings while Covid-19 ravishes our world, without a vaccine in sight. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to mean that they don’t get to have their bridal shower, they just have to get creative and throw a virtual bridal shower. Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on how to have an online bridal shower.
What is a Virtual Bridal Shower
A virtual bridal shower is simply a bridal shower that takes place online. Coronavirus is a great excuse to move the festivities into a digital space, but virtual bridal showers didn’t crop up only this year – brides have been going virtual for years.
Thankfully, it’s super easy and convenient to throw a virtual baby shower. While you’ll have to forgo or modify some of the group activities, it’s still possible to have a fun bridal shower online.
Why should you throw a bridal shower?
The main reasons that brides went virtual, before 2020, were because of distance and expenses. If a bride had a wedding party that was spread out over the country, they’d have to incur an expense to fly once the wedding date arrived. It might have been too much to also ask them to come out of pocket to travel to their wedding shower, so the bride just decided to go virtual. This allowed her friends and family to still get in an extra celebration before her big day, without putting more of a financial strain on them.
Right now, limiting the spread of Covid-19 is also an excellent case for any bride who’s considering having an in-person bridal shower.
What to do if you’re not Tech Savvy
When throwing a virtual bridal showr, it’s crucial that the person in charge knows the in’s and out’s of any platforms they’ll use to facilitate it. The last thing you want is for your video to be cut out or your audio to stop working in the middle of your festivities.
It will already be a little bit harder to keep everyone’s energy up over video chat, so you don’t want anything to bring down the mood. Therefore, it’s important for the host to do a test run before the actual shower to make sure everything will run smoothly. Stick to platforms you’re already familiar with using and make sure that all of the attendees also know how they work.
How to host a Virtual Bridal Shower
The excitement of a wedding makes planning things like a bridal shower a lot of fun, but don’t be fooled the prep stage is mandatory! The only way that the bridal shower will be successful is if everyone involved is informed of the itinerary and able to coordinate, in advance.
Key things to plan in advance-
The Date of the Bridal Shower:
Choose a date when the majority of the group will be able to give the event their full attention. An online bridal shower might not last quite as long as an in-person one, but attendees should at least have a few hours to set aside for it.
Video Chat App:
Make sure it’s easy to use, easy to access, and also make sure you’re prepared to pay whatever fee may come with it (though there are free options). Zoom calls, for example, are only free for the first 40 minutes. After that, there is a fee. You don’t want to run into any hiccups during the bridal shower, so make note of details like this during this phase.
Bridal Registry :
Many brides will want to open her gifts on camera, during the bridal shower, so it’s important that her guests know what store she’s registered at, in plenty of time.
Make sure to send invitations to each person that the bride wants at her bridal shower. This usually will include every member of her wedding party and certain women from her and the groom’s families.
Video Platform Options
There are many options available to host the video chat over. Each comes with pros and cons. Here’s a little bit of information about the most popular ones:
Zoom has skyrocketed in popularity since the pandemic set in, but it’s not just for people working from home. It’s also a great option for bridal showers if you’re willing to pay. The free users can only chat with up to 100 people for 40 minutes. After that, you have to pay. That aside, Zoom allows users to set virtual backgrounds, which might be fun for guests.
Skype is a tried and true video chat platform that has been around for years. Most people are already familiar with it and probably have an account. Skype is also free to use, though you should know it only allows 50 participants at a time.
Facebook is also free to use. There’s no limit on participants, but there’s no link for you to share, so everyone will just have to jump on at the same time. It’s not the best choice if you want to keep the event private, because Facebook uploads the video to your timeline once the session ends.
The Knot is a universal registry that lets you add literally any item to your wedding registry from any site. It also lets you create cash funds for everything you can imagine. From puppy adoption to honeymoon contributions, and more. The transaction fee is only 2.5 percent – one of the lowest in the industry.
Williams Sonoma allows you to add gifts from Pottery Barn and West Elm. You can make a free, private appointment with one of their registry specialists to get one-on-one guidance. You can also get free gifts and 10% off for six months!
Amazon is, naturally, one of the most-used registries in the world. Any of its millions of items can be added to the list. Plus, there are some pretty sweet perks too! The bride and guests can both earn up to 5% when using the Amazon Prime Store Card. There are also options for group gifting, gift financing, and more!
Wayfair lets brides save 20% for six months on anything that’s still available on the registry. Brides can also receive free gifts when guests purchase qualifying products. There’s also an option to send thank you notes.
An online platform for having a virtual shower on such as WebBabyShower makes it easy by allowing users to link to registries like Amazon and Target.
When thinking of gifts for a bridal shower, think of things that will bring the bride comfort. Soft plush robes, bed linens, and scented candles will always be a great option. You can also purchase things that will help to populate her home with her spouse, such as dinnerware, picture frames, and vases. Books and chocolates, which the bride enjoys, are also great gifts. Note: some gifts, such as gag gifts, might not go over as well with a virtual bridal shower.
Invitations are usually a focal point of the planning stage, but the bride may not feel like she needs elaborate, paper invitations for an online bridal shower. Even if she opts for electronic invitations, they should still be formal and relay the tone of the shower (unless it’s informal). A few services that can be used are Evite, Paperless Post, and Canva. Within the invite, be sure to include a link to the bridal shower registry. Platforms such as WebBabyShower have a built-in invitation system.
By the time it’s time to plan the bridal shower, everything for the wedding ceremony should already be set up. To save time, you can match your bridal shower theme to your wedding theme.
Or, you can come up with something else entirely. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from the seasons. For example, during Fall you can incorporate lots of oranges, and reds into your decor. Or, you can base the theme on one of the bride’s hobbies, such as traveling.
Attire might not be quite as important at a virtual bridal shower, but the bride can still dress up if she chooses. The Knot compiled a list of styles that are popular among brides of today.
Many brides opt to have everyone eat the same foods at the same time to create a sense of togetherness. Things like cupcakes, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and wine are easy items that every guest will be able to acquire, prior to the shower.
If you have specific food items, like a special cookie with the bride and groom’s initials, then you should make arrangements to have them delivered within a day of the bridal shower.
Games will be a big focal point of a virtual bridal shower. The point of the gathering is for the bride and the attendees to have fun, and having the shower online shouldn’t cut into that. Be sure to set aside an hour or two just for the games portion.
As for the games, there are a ton of free trivia games that can be played over a video chat. You can also make a game out of trying to find out who knows the bride the best! Make sure to form this game around questions about her upbringing, college days and the dating stage between her and her groom – just keep the questions PG. Gift Bingo is also a fun option!
On The Day Of The Bridal Shower
On the morning of the bridal shower, you can decorate the bride’s background with flowers and garland – or anything to make things feel extra festive. The guests can also decorate their own backgrounds, but if things are supposed to be coordinated, make sure their decor was sent to them ahead of time.
Next, you should set up the video chat and make sure it’s working properly.
A couple of hours before, ping the guests to remind them to check their own tech. You should also take this time to prepare any food on the bride’s end that will be involved in the big day. The guests are responsible for preparing their own food.
Once the bridal shower kicks off, make sure that the guests are aware of the itinerary. Every bridal shower will include different activities and run at different schedules. Just make sure everyone knows the plan.
When it’s time to eat, make sure that everyone has options within their own space. If someone forgot or wasn’t able to get the group food, let them eat what they have on hand. What matters most is that everyone is eating together. You can lightly scold them later for not being prepared, but don’t embarrass them in front of the group – or the bride.
If you’ve scheduled a group activity, like a virtual spa day, then make sure everyone knows that, while generally safe, anything broadcast online can be intercepted – so they may not be able to get as comfortable as they would, if they were relaxing in loungewear in someone’s home or hotel room.
When it’s time for games, make sure that someone is tasked with keeping score and keeping the game rolling at an acceptable pace.
If the bridal shower is to have a movie night, make sure everyone knows which platform you’re going to stream from so that everyone can sync up.
The end of the bridal shower is the time for gifts. If the bride is comfortable, this will be the time when she opens her gifts on camera. It might seem like a small aspect, but her guests being able to see her face as she opens the gifts they bought her will mean a ton!
Afterward, the bride will probably give a sappy speech and thank everyone for gathering with her. Even if it’s not sappy, she should thank them for taking the time out of their schedule to celebrate her big day.
You’ve taken on the (oh so important!) task of celebrating the bride with a shower. Honoring the bride is an exciting responsibility to have, but of course, planning the perfect party is no easy feat. Between the food, decorations and activities, there is a slew of factors to consider. To boot, you have to pick a date, time and a place, and of course, give those guests plenty of notice by sending out the invitations.
While putting together a memorable shower may come with some challenges, a little preparation can go a long way in making sure all goes smoothly. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts and you’re sure to throw a bash that makes the bride feel super special.
Do get a feel for the bride’s preferences.
Before you do any planning whatsoever, the most important thing you can do is get a sense of what the bride is hoping for. Some brides have a really specific vision, and others might be a tad more carefree. Either way, it’s her big day, so you’ll want to find out what’s most important to her. Does she have a particular theme in mind? Is she imagining a more intimate get-together, or would she like to include all the women invited to the wedding from both sides of the family? Is she more comfortable with a casual affair, or is she dreaming about a more glamorous gathering? Has she been toying with the idea of a Jack and Jill shower that includes the men? Once you have a feel for her preferences, you can start working out the details.
Do plan a separate lingerie shower.
These days, it’s become more and more common to have multiple showers. Why? Well, hardly any bride wants to open sexy underpinnings in front of grandma or the mother-in-law. Keep it PG with a traditional bridal shower, and if you get the feeling the bride would appreciate some luxurious loungewear or lacy underthings to kick off this new phase of newlywed life, then plan a separate lingerie shower with just the bridesmaids and other close girlfriends. If the bridesmaids have to come from out of town for the shower, you might even plan the lingerie shower to be part of the bachelorette weekend in order to minimize travel. That way, she can unwrap her gorgeous bridal lingerie in the company of just her besties.
Do give guests some gift guidance. It’s a good idea to give attendees some tips on what to buy the bride. The easiest way to go about this is to offer the couple’s registry info. But rather than include that directly in the invitation, add an insert with a link to the wedding website or registry. You can also come up with a cute theme for the gifts. For example, a foodie bride will no doubt appreciate a fête where guests give culinary-themed presents.
If you’re planning a separate lingerie shower, you’ll want to include the bride’s sizes to ensure that her gifts fit flawlessly. If you don’t know her sizes — or aren’t 100 percent sure — just ask! Or if the lingerie shower is a surprise, you can ask her fiancée, who can also sneak a peek at some size tags in her collection if he’s not certain. The bride can certainly put together a lingerie wish list for guests to shop from, but even providing guests with the names of a few of her favorite stores will be immensely helpful.
Don’t delay on choosing a date. Typically, the bridal shower will happen about two or three months before the wedding. And it’s crucial to give guests plenty of notice so they can make travel plans, request to take time off work if need be and purchase a gift. So, the first order of business should be to send out those invites as early as possible — at least two months before the shower is taking place if lots of people will be coming from out of town, and at least four to six weeks if most attendees are local. Choosing the date as early as possible means you’ll have more options if you plan to book a venue rather than hosting it at someone’s house. Also, you’ll have far more time to plan the perfect menu, get creative with the decor and add those special touches that will make it a standout shower.
Don’t try to do it alone.
Just because you’re the one in charge of planning the shower, that doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for every single aspect of the event. It’s a lot to take on for one person — and odds are, if you ask the other bridesmaids or family members to help, they’ll be happy to contribute. Better yet, delegate specific tasks rather than just vaguely asking for assistance. For example, you might enlist the bridesmaids to take on the duty of assembling gift bags or hunting down some fun games to play and ask the mother of the bride or future mother-in-law to call some venues for pricing information.
Don’t be too loose (or too strict) in your itinerary
Most showers follow the same general outline: Guests mingle with some snacks and beverages, they play a game or three and watch the bride open her gifts. That doesn’t mean you have to follow this itinerary, but you do need to have one in place to avoid having people feel aimless or uncomfortable. After all, there might be guests at the shower who don’t know anyone, so expecting them to socialize and make conversation for an entire afternoon or evening may be unrealistic. Have a general idea of how you’d like to kick off the shower, what will happen in the middle and how you’d like it to end. Drawing up a plan will help to maintain momentum and keep guests entertained. Keep in mind, however, that your schedule should be flexible. If guests are having a ball at the DIY mimosa station, let them linger and enjoy without forcing them to participate in a particular activity. Conversely, if there’s a lull in the celebration at any point, it’s good to have a backup plan to bust out, like some classic bridal bingo.
It’s next to impossible to over plan or prepare for a bridal shower, but it is possible to overthink it. Remember: The bride chose you to put together this special day for a reason — because she trusts you.
Weddings are a big celebration, as it is one of the most important events in a couple’s life. However, it is not a one-day event, where everything starts and ends on the day of the wedding. There are many other occasions that build up the thrill and make the days leading up to the wedding, exciting for the couple and everyone else involved in their lives.
Just as the couple put in a lot of time and effort in planning their wedding, the bridesmaids are expected to do their part in hosting an interesting bridal shower. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task. Although it isn’t as complicated as planning the wedding itself, there is a certain amount of planning, organizing and managing that goes into it. If you haven’t hosted many parties before, or are trying your hand at a bridal shower for the first time, do not worry. This article will guide you through all that you need to know, to plan it like a pro. Let’s begin!
1.Surprise party or planned one
The first step in planning the bridal shower is to decide whether you want it to be a surprise or not. While some brides may be all for the surprise, and will enjoy what you plan, other brides are more conservative with their likes. These brides would appreciate advance notice about what to expect. You know your friend best, so go with what she would prefer. If she has plenty of ideas and has hinted at a theme that she would like, try to plan your party around her likes. After all, it is to celebrate the bride. Ask her who she would like at her party, whether there is a theme she would love and any other inputs. Then plan the bridal shower around these ideas. Nevertheless, don’t tell her everything about what you will be arranging. Instead, just tell her the date, time and venue, and leave her guessing about the rest.
2.When to start planning
The bridal shower is on your priority list of to-do’s as a bridesmaid. So, start preparing for it soon after your friend has asked you to be on her bridesmaids list. Start gathering ideas and making plans at least 3 months before the scheduled date, and set up a bridal shower calendar. Remember that your list of tasks should include the following, in more or less the same order:
fixing the budget for the party
compiling the guest list and collecting addresses
drafting, printing and sending out invitations
booking the venue or making reservations at the chosen location if the crowd is small
Collecting and compiling RSVPs and adjusting the guest list
choosing the menu and arranging food
arranging for decorations
planning bridal shower games, collecting necessary items to play them and buying prizes
pick up all that is needed to entertain the guests on the day
deciding and buying bridal shower favors for the guests
Decorating or overseeing the decorations and setup at the venue
Mark your calendar for when each of these activities are to be held. Since it is likely that you will be sharing these duties with the rest of the bridesmaids, you can split the responsibilities with them. Create a list of errands to be completed by each girl, and make sure you monitor everything is progressing as per plan, once you begin the process.
3.When to hold the bridal shower
The bridal shower should ideally be held at least two weeks before the wedding date, so it doesn’t clash with any other appointments the bride may have. However, you shouldn’t plan it way ahead of the wedding. Anytime in the two months before the wedding is ideal, as the thrill of the wedding will be building up and this is the best time to host it. Nevertheless, consider other factors such as if the guests have to travel from far to attend the bridal shower. In this case, it may be a good idea to hold the shower closer to the wedding date, so it will be convenient for those who come from far. Just make sure you confirm with the bride, and fix the date accordingly.
4.Set the budget and create the guest list
First up, work with the rest of the bridesmaids and fix the budget for the party. You should have a rough idea of how big the party will be, to set a reasonable budget. So, consider this factor first. Now, move on to deciding the venue, planning the theme and budgeting for other party expenses within this amount. It is a good idea to hire the services of a professional photographer for the bridal shower. Figure this into the budget as well. Make sure you miss nobody, by asking the bride if you’ve missed anyone in your list. You cannot however ask the bride, if you have planned a surprise party. In this case, work with the rest of the bridesmaids, or ask her family to make sure you have all the important people on the list. Collect the contact information of all those who are to be invited, and make a separate list of those who have to travel from far or have to be informed early, so they can plan for it.
5.Book the venue and send out invitations
Next, finalize the venue and make the rest of the plans. This is also the time to decide if you will have to make reservations for the venue where the event is to be hosted. If so, finalize the date immediately and make sure to do the bookings on time. Simultaneously draft the bridal shower invitations. It should include all relevant details like the time, date, venue, an RSVP request and theme, if any. Apart from this, you may also like to include the registry information on the bridal shower invite, as it will help the bride get this information out to all the guests easily. You can even DIY the invites if you have the time and the skills to handle it. Send the cards out at least six weeks prior to the shower date.
6.Make food and drink arrangements
Unless you have booked an all-inclusive package at the venue, you will have to decide on the menu for the party. Plan it according to the time, venue and weather. You do not have to offer a complete meal. Light snacks, soups and deserts are the norm for afternoon and evening parties. You may like to add some signature style dishes or innovative arrangements like a s’more bar or hot chocolate station, to make it more interesting. Keep the spread uncluttered, varied and interesting. If there are theme colors, plan food choices in matching colors. Create a schedule for the food stuff that you will be making, and place orders for those that you will be buying. If you will be serving cocktails or drinks, plan when you will go shopping for mixers, garnishes, ice cubes and all that will be necessary if you are hosting it at your home or doing the arrangements yourself.
7.Plan games and activities
Bridal shower games are not just entertainment. They are a must to help the guests break the ice. Check out our posts on fun bridal shower games here and here. Assuming that the guests at the party will belong to different age groups, it is a good idea to have a mix of both traditional games and recently trending ones, so everyone can participate. Also include games that will require the guests to be seated, and those for which the guests will have to be up and active, to keep it varied. Once you have a list of the games and activities that will be held, create another list of all that you need to buy or arrange. Then get down to collecting or creating it. If required, you can even hire an entertainer or an event planner to host the day’s activities, if you don’t want to do so yourself. You should also consider the music you will be playing on the day and have the play list ready in advance.
8.Get the party favors ready
It is customary to send the guests home with a party favor from the event. It is up to you to decide what you would like to gift. It can either be edible favors like cookies, cakes or chocolates or non-edible keepsakes like compact mirrors, purses, key chains or coasters. You can even DIY or arrange for customized party favors that match the theme of the event you hosted. Use your imagination and get creative to make these party favors stand out. Green party favors are a trend that is not only environment-friendly, but practical as well. If you have to shop for the favors or place an order for it online, make sure you do it in time. Delivery of bulk orders can take anywhere from a week to a month or more. Some favors may require further assembly after you receive them, or some of them may have to be gift-wrapped. Figure out all these factors, so you have them ready in time for the party.
8.Get the arrangements in place, and buy the remaining items closer to the date
As the date of the shower approaches, make sure you have all the decorations ready, all the DIY tasks completed and your calendar set for when you will complete the last minute shopping. If you are holding the party at your house or at a location where you have access to before the day of the shower, you can start setting up in advance. The last-minute things to buy or collect will include flowers, food and drinks. The décor items should already be arranged for and collected in advance.
9.Create a special seat for the bride
Make sure that the bride’s seat is specially decorated or customized. You will also have to arrange for extra space to stash all the gifts she receives on the day. It is a good idea to also include a notepad or register to keep track of the gifts each person brought. Since there is a tradition of opening the gifts received at the shower on the day itself, keep a pair of scissors ready, to cut through the wrappers and a large trash can to contain all the gift wrap, once the gifts are opened. Also, don’t forget to buy your gift for the bride. You can collect funds from the entire bridesmaid group and get her a combined gift.
10.Prepare for the day
Depending on how much time you will have on the day, plan your activities so that the area is set up on time. Create a checklist of everything that has to be done on the day, where everything has to be arranged and who is in charge of what. Pick up flowers, grocery and all that is to be collected on the day and set them in place. Dress yourself up for the event, and choose a dress that you will feel comfortable in, but look great in. Check all the equipment at the site before the function starts. Co-ordinate with the guests and make sure everyone remembers the time and where they should be.
With all these steps in place, you are now all set to host the perfect bridal shower, and enjoy it too. Organizing everything on time will help you ensure that everything progresses without any hassles, and you aren’t stressed out over it.