Bridesmaids, Report for Duty!

... and help launch the Wedding Loveboat without making any waves.

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Congratulations!

So she's asked the Big Question -- "Will you be in my bridal party?"  Sure, you can put on a dress, carry a bouquet and be escorted down the aisle by a handsome groomsman, but if you agree to be a bridesmaid, you should realize this honor also comes with responsibilities. Knowing ahead of time what is expected of you will help get you through this very special, emotional, and memorable time ahead. It may help to remember that your responsibilities as a bridesmaid only last a short time, but the memories will last forever!
 

The Maid of Honor

In addition to performing the role of bridesmaid, the Maid or Matron of Honor (MOH) has additional wedding tasks. You are the sounding board for the bride (and groom) when wedding planning becomes too stressful, and the referee for the bridesmaids if the bride becomes unbearable. You are the glue that keeps everything running smoothly. The bride chose you from her friends and family for many reasons, but one is that she trusts you will take on the task and help keep her, and everything else organized.

Once you accept the mission to be the MOH, know that you are now the bride's on-call person. You know your friend's personality best, but understand that even the most level-headed bride may have their moments, ranging from "My mother is evil," to "The bridesmaid dresses were supposed to be coral, not orange!"

The Shower

You will also be responsible for hosting a shower for friends of the bride and groom unless a family member is hosting one

Look to the other bridesmaids for input on shower ideas and try to keep a budget that is reasonable for everyone.

Traditionally the bridal party throws the bridal shower. The maid of honor and other bridesmaids meet to set a date, decide on a theme and coordinate shopping and decorating for the event.

Bridal Shower Duties

  • Set a date — If the shower is to be a surprise, you’ll have to coordinate the date with the groom and mothers of both the bride and groom.

  • Create the guest list — If the shower is to be a surprise, ask the groom and the parents of the bride and groom for a list of family and friends and be sure to include co-workers.
     
  • Who should be invited? It’s bad form to invite someone to the shower who won’t be invited to the wedding, so it’s best to limit the guest list to close friends and family members.
     
  • Create a theme — Once you decide on a theme, you can purchase invitations, plan games, the menu and decorations.
     
  • Address and mail invitations — If there are many, the whole bridal party can help out. Invitations should generally be mailed 30 days prior to the event. You’ll want people to RSVP within enough time for you to shop for the event. 
     
  • Locating a venue — Traditionally showers are held in the home of a close friend or relative. It’s becoming more and more common nowadays to hold the shower in a restaurant or catering facility.
     
  • Plan menus, appetizers, favors and select a cake.
     
  • Decorate before the shower.
     
  • Greet guests — Guests typically arrive 30 to 60 minutes before the guest of honor
     
  • Introduce guests — Many times this is done with the help of some ice breaking games
     
  • Greet Guest(s) of Honor
     
  • Coordinate activities so there is no lull.
     
  • Keep track of who gives what gift (so the bride can write specific, particular thank-you notes)
     
  • Help the bride and groom take their gifts to their final destination

History of Bridal Showers

According to popular belief, the tradition of the bridal shower originated in Holland. Legend tells us that a young Dutch girl fell in love with a poor miller, who had spent his life helping those needier than himself. As a result, he had little to offer his prospective bride when they were ready to be married. When the young lady told her father that she intended to marry the miller, he was furious and forbade the marriage. In an effort to dissuade her, the girl's father refused to give her the customary bridal dowry. He hoped this would prompt her to change her mind and wait for a suitor with more money and higher status.

Despite her father's ill will, the young lady decided to risk the threat of poverty and married her true love. Without a dowry, the couple had very little to their names and was nearly penniless. Upon learning of their predicament, the community came to the couple's aid to show appreciation for the miller's kindness to others over the years. With the help of many kind townspeople, the groom's friends joined together and "showered" the new bride with necessities for the couple's home. Thanks to their thoughtfulness, the bride acquired what her father had denied her - everything she needed to set up a new home.

A beautiful tradition grew from the townspeople's generosity and has continued for decades. Over time, the old-fashioned dowry a young woman typically received from her family to set up her home grew into a bridal shower given by her "family of friends." Gift giving, as we know it today, was not common until the late 19th century. In fact, early bridal showers were focused on strengthening the bride's friendship with her peers, offering moral support, and helping her plan for her marriage. These traditions are often forgotten at modern bridal showers, where gift giving tends to take center stage. Today, it isn't uncommon for a bride to have more than one shower before her wedding. Bridal showers can be thrown by friends, members of either family, co-workers, bridesmaids, business associates, or church groups.

Having A Beach Theme Bridal Shower

IF THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE HAVING A DESTINATION OR BEACH THEMED WEDDING, Set the stage with a beach wedding shower.

A beach theme bridal shower is a great way to bring the ultimate wedding destination into the pre-wedding celebrations. Your guests will be delighted to experience the wedding mood. With a little planning and creativity, the shower hostess can easily fill any party venue with the look of a beach atmosphere. The beauty of a beach theme is that there are many inexpensive options available for decorations and favors that won't break the bank and will bring the seaside to any location. Consider holding the shower in a waterfront restaurant, or have a backyard luau, which would be fun if you are considering a couples shower. The atmosphere is likely to be sunny, with fun music and barefoot dancing.

Our seashell wreaths, sandcastle centerpeices or etched starfish hurricanes are perfect centerpiece for a beach feel. Real sand dollars and starfish will add easy, beachy decorative touches. Galvanized pails filled with hydrangeas snd seashell candles can also all be used. Bring in some life preservers and drape some fish netting over the tables. Using Burlap is also a beautiful touch. Then use our starfish garland to swag across the front of your tables. And don't forget to send your guests home with our beach theme favors , they are affordable and fun! Our collection of favor bags or mini galvanized pails are a great way to present them.

 

Click here to check out some great beach theme games
Click Here for some Beach Theme Party Games

There are all kinds of ocean-themed foods you can serve, such as shrimp cocktail, salmon, crab puffs, lobster spreads. You could also include barbecued shish kabobs using shrimp and pineapple and use our galvanized pails to serve fresh steamers! Refreshments may include homemade lemonade, Pina Coladas, Margaritas and Seabreezes. For dessert, cupcakes with white icing, a little brown sugar sprinkled on (sand!) with one of our chocolate seahorses or starfish standing on top.

One dramatic way of hosting this type of shower is to make the beach the shower destination. As a collective gift, make a weekend out of it and have the entire bridal party stay together at a beach house. If you plan to have your bridal shower at an actual beach, why not a 'clam bake' with a bonfire?

But, you have a bit of research to do first. You will want to take into account the weather. It may be preferable to hold the event later in the afternoon to avoid heat, traffic, and noise, but you will want to be acquainted with the level of the tide and the speed of the wind for that hour. You want your guests to be prepared and you want to protect the food from sun, tide, and flying sand.

Bridal party at the beach house Picture

when the time comes, kick back and enjoy your beach themed bridal shower.