Monday, March 8, 2010

Something other than a Bridal Shower...

I know it’s rarely heard of, but a lot of brides do not like the idea of a bridal shower/bachelorette party. They don’t want the typical party, usual games, and borderline raunchy antics they are often charged to carry out and/or endure. Sometimes, they just want to chill with some good friends and family or have a fun night minus the wang dangling in the face. If you happen to be in charge of orchestrating a last-brouhaha for such a bride-to-be, then here are a few suggestions I've found to give her one final send off from singledom without relying on the traditional and expected.

The Bridal Open-House
This is a great idea for brides who are having a destination wedding or are really low-key and family oriented. For this set-up you only need a location, preferably somewhere open and conducive to mingling, a table for gifts, a table for food, minimal decorations, a small radio and lots of places to sit and chat. During the hours of this open house, guests can swing by, drop off gifts, express their well-wishes to the bride-to-be, mingle, and then go about their day. There are no games, no coordinated events or themes, certainly no pressure. All the bride has to do is eat, enjoy, and socialize.

Bridal Brunch
The bridal brunch is just as it sounds, a brunch with the bride. This brunch can be hosted or it can be done at a nice restaurant favored by the bride. There may be a few toasts here and there, but for the most part, it’s just relax, have a mimosa or two, and enjoy. This is best for small groups or bridesmaids and family only celebration.

Girl’s Day Out
The Girl’s Day Out involves bridesmaids and the bride. It can also include the mother of the bride, but the agenda of the day will determine whether or not it’s a ‘mom’ type excursion. This Day Out will comprise of a morning and afternoon spent doing all of the things the bride loves to do. Start the day by going to a museum or art gallery, visit the zoo, or some other cultural center. Take a breather by having lunch at her favorite restaurant, then swing by the salon for a manicure and pedicure. Afterward go see the latest chic flick, and/or wind up the day with dinner and dessert, and some cocktails at a local happy hour. The possibilities are endless, and given that all the events are tailored to the bride’s likes, she’s bound to have a great time.

Spa-day is self-explanatory and perfect for the bride who just loves to be pampered. Starting the day with a nice breakfast before visiting the spa would get everyone in the right frame of mind. There are many places now that cater to these types of bridal showers and offer special packages, which include tasty dishes perfect for grasping with wet fingernails.

The Wedding Dress Excursion
This excellent idea came from 5thyear, a party theme generating company. This event is perfect for brides who want a mild bachelorette party experience without all of the attention. For this, the bride get’s to dress in nice, everyday attire while all the ladies attending must wear a used/undesirable wedding dress. They can either go out to a local bar or just hang out at home (it’s a lot more fun out in public), and the ladies get to show the bride-to-be just how much ‘fun’ she’ll be leaving behind after saying I-do. Check out the link to read an excellent account of this type of party at its best.

One Crafty Event
This final suggestion is for the bride who likes to get her hands in the mix. Is she crafty, a scientist in the kitchen, a commendable nature lover with a green thumb? Whatever her pleasure is, center a morning, afternoon, or day around it. If she likes crafts, organize a special party and demonstration at the local hobby store? If she likes gardening, why not have your rendition of a garden party at a local flower garden, complete with a mid-day picnic. Does she like to cook? Well make the day a regular culinary event by taking a course or two, or by hosting a kitchen and cooking party. Any event centered around her leisure-love is sure to be a big hit.

Good luck, and if you’ve come up with your own party ideas, feel free to share them with me!

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