Wedding Wednesday- What you Need to Know to go to your Own Bridal Shower

by - Thursday, December 01, 2011
To take advantage of all the family togetherness of Thanksgiving, my aunt Ann and matron of honor Shelly threw me a bridal shower! Even though I have done a bunch of these as a bridesmaid or just a lay(wo)man, I felt really intimidated by the whole thing. So if you are like I was, frantically googling various tenets of lady etiquette on the interwebs, here are the things I learned:

1. No, for serious, it does not matter what you wear- For a few weeks before, I kept poking around looking for some former bride to tell me what is proper to wear to my shower. The answers varied from "who cares" to "you must be the best dressed person at your shower" to "look like a stepford wife" (see the picture on the left... which I honestly enjoy, because who knows where that hair ends?). None of these are true. You should wear something you feel cute in, because everyone will be looking at you. It doesn't have to be super formal or nice unless the shower calls for it. You just need to feel cute and have the nunjas covered up.

2. Unless you are having the most epic shower in the world, it is really nice that everyone introduce themselves- If everything goes really really well, people will cross out of their God-given clique (their family) and talk to someone that they don't know that well. Then they will know each other, at least vaguely, on the big day, making for a party that looks less like a middle school dance!

3. Favors and fun stuff are the best- Ok, so if you are the bride you probably don't have much control over this, but having a bunch of built in activities takes some pressure off of you as the bride. The wish tree was really cool, and I am not sure what I will do with them, but I really loved reading what everyone said.

The lollipops are actually wash cloths. Just genius/adorable. If you want to know how to do it, you would have to harass Shelly for the answer to that.

4.  Embrace the Silliness- Of course, this may actually be my life philosophy. If they bring you a princess (or queen, whatev) crown with a veil attached, don't be embarrassed, just go for it! If it makes you look like a dork in any way do it as soon as possible. Whether you like it or not, people are looking at you to set the tone, so if you act annoyed or too cool for something, that is the kind of tone you will get coming back at you. Plus, how often will you get to look so silly?
5. Take a second to notice all the women who love you enough to put on the shower in the first place- wow, putting on a shower is a lot of work. A lot of work you get yelled at if you try to help with it. Not only do they do this really nice thing, but it is always so great to just see everybody working as a team and really enjoying it.
6. Lean on small children- If they are cute, let them do whatever they want. Cute kid= distraction. If other people are paying attention to them, then there are fewer eyes on you! Plus, there is nothing you can say that will be as cute or funny as what a four year old will say. Embrace it. As long as they stay happy they are a major asset.
7. Prepare to be really surprised- Going into this, I was expecting like a spoon and two towels. I thought the boy was ridiculous for registering for as much as he did, but people are super generous. And they surprise you with things that are super thoughtful and creative and fun, like cool felt wreaths and this amazing quilt that my Aunt Patty made us. It kind of blew my mind, and I really have no idea what I am going to do with all of this stuff, but I am sure we will figure it out.
8. Scrapbook it! I did a scrapbook shower for Shelly when she got married because we couldn't all get together, but I would highly recommend it for showers where everyone will actually be together too. It gives everyone something to look at, and it is the best memento ever. It was so thoughtful and touching, and some of them are pretty hilarious too.

10. Just enjoy it! You love these people for a reason, and they love you too, so chill out. Just keep moving around the room so you are sure that you see everyone. Other than that, I am not sure there is a trick to doing the whole thing. Enjoy it. This really will be the only time this happens to you, where people give you kitchen goods and mixers and other fancy stuff for literally doing nothing. I did nothing. A boy gave me a piece of jewelry, and now people are giving me towels and such. It's pretty bizarre, but in the best way possible. So just enjoy it, for realsies.

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