More commonly known, in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as the Kitchen Tea, the bridal shower, stripped to its bare essentials, is a gift-giving party (mostly of kitchen items for those sticking to the kitchen tea) for the bride-to-be just before her wedding.
For some it’s changed from the rather demure tea party, where everyone sits and natters in a corner about their weddings, to a rather raucous all-night party in which the bride and her friends, quite literally, let their hair down. These parties are more often called hen’s nights or bachelorette parties and are more common in the UK and the USA (there is also a bridesmaids’ luncheon given by the mother of the bride for the bride and her bridesmaids but this is confusing enough already).
How can the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid, whose job it usually is, to ensure a successful bridal shower? And how best do you survive it?
- Step 1: remember to keep it simple – the main affair is definitely still the wedding, you don’t have to compete
- The ideal time to hold the bridal shower or kitchen tea is around 6 weeks before the wedding, any closer to the wedding and the bride will be in a state
- It’s usually arranged in secret, so contact the groom to find out who he thinks the bride would like to see at the shower
- Location – choose somewhere that is easy to find, that can easily accommodate itself to a gathering of gals
- If you’re all on a budget, choose someone’s home and get people to bring a plate of eats
- Lose the idea that you need a theme – honestly, there is enough of that sort of thing involved in the wedding preparations
- If you are interested in playing games at your shower, consult the internet as there are numerous sites with suggestions
- If you’re at a venue, see if they won’t do a fixed menu for a fixed cost per head, that way you can let guests know what they can expect to pay ahead of time
Happy Wedding Planning!