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This is for all the Maids or Matrons of Honor out there who took on the responsibilities of the highest position on a bride’s court. Congratulations! Your job—just in case you’re curious—includes not only managing the bride’s craziness (and I don’t care how cool and level-headed she is normally, every bride freaks out), planning the bachelorette party (or ‘hen’ party for you Brits out there), and managing one more big event: a bridal shower.

No, the shower’s responsibility isn’t left to her mother-in-law, her mother or some other random relative. The bridesmaids should have a hand in the shower, with the aid of anyone else kind enough to help. But fear not, planning a wedding shower need not be a button-downed conservative prissy affair. Bridal showers today can be as crazy as the bride (kidding, of course).

Wedding showers can be traditional. They can be themed. Showers can be held pool-side, at restaurants, at a bar, or anywhere your heart desires. I’ve attended lingerie bridal showers where all gifts had to be the intimate variety (I gave the bride sexy dice!). I’ve attended couples showers, and my husband even attended a tool shower…the list can go on and on. You get the idea.

You’re the Maid (or Matron!) of Honor. Holding the highest position in the wedding party, you get to be crafty with the parties. If you want ideas, if you need ideas, here are a few fun suggestions to kick up your creativity:

Get Thematic…

Most couples have a registry that lists all the items they need for their new life together. Some couples have a long list of items they need for their home, while others need very little. Selecting a theme for the shower can help focus the party around what the couple (or bride) really needs or w.... Think home décor, cookware, home improvement items…and, yes, even lingerie (for the bride who really has it all!). Gifts don’t have to follow the theme, and pushing guests into buying a certain present isn’t a propos to good etiquette anyway. However, you may certainly put a bug in guests’ ears about the theme, if they ask what the couple needs or wants. At the shower, keep the menu classy and classic with unique and artful finger sandwiches, mini quiche, Waldorf salad and fresh fruit salad or even a variety of classic appetizers (toasted ravioli, wings, chicken fingers, etc.). Keep drinks fun, but light. Offer different types of cold teas, water and the classic punch. For alcoholic options, offer up sangria or a classic punch with a champagne twist.


Games, Games, Games!

Many showers include games—which some people love, but others loathe. An easy game is Wedding Bingo, which you can find online and print out. One of the most fun games, however, features lots of gifts. Buy items related to the theme of the shower like kitchen gadgets (visit Dollar Stores or other discount big box stores) small tools, hand and body creams and fragrances (for lingerie showers), or household items (for décor themes). Then wrap each gift over and over again…and I’m talking about 20-plus layers of wrap (and, yes, you can use newspaper). Heavily secure each layer of gift wrap with tape. At the shower, guests will be instructed to unwrap the gift in a short period of time (10 seconds). Then the guest must pass the gift to the next person. Whoever succeeds in removing all the tape wins the gift.

Indulge the Sweet Tooth

Wedding showers are not complete without cake and other sweets. Typically, a shower will feature the obligatory wedding-type sheet cake for dessert. However, lots of showers now turn the sweet game up a notch. Include an entire table of sweets to indulge and delight guests. Include cookies and different types of candy. Offer bags to guests so they may take home their own treats, and give them free reign with the sweets. Include bowls of jelly beans themed in the wedding colors, chocolate candies, gummy treats, licorice ropes and a variety of pucker-worthy gummies. No guest is too old to indulge! Of course, you can still offer the classic cake (or cupcakes!).

Planning a bridal shower is so much fun, especially when you realize all the creativity you can bring to the event. Today’s bridal showers are not the traditional conservative affair from day’s past. Bridal showers can be whatever you imagine. So get creative, and go throw a crazy party for your favorite bride!

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