Here’s the scenario: You rented a perfectly gorgeous venue for the bridal shower you’re throwing. It wasn’t over the top expensive, but you shelled out a pretty penny for it. That doesn’t matter though because the bride will L-O-V-E it! You now have three hours to host the shower of the century.
Here’s the problem: You now have THREE hours to host the shower of the century. Three hours to set up, greet guests, mingle, eat, play a few games, open gifts, serve the cake and tear down. Oh, and by the way, did the manager of the venue mention that any time over the three hours will cost you an extra couple hundred dollars?
Sound familiar to anyone?
We ran into this situation with my sister’s Chocolat(e) Bridal Shower. We had three hours to make it all happen. Luckily, we were able to beg an extra half hour for set up, but that still didn’t leave us much time. How many times have you gone to a shower that began at noon and next thing you know, it’s almost 4:00?
Exactly. Time flies when you’re having fun.
So, as the host, how do you fit everything into your time limit and NOT get stuck having to pay for an extra hour or more?
My budget friendly tip: skip the gift opening.
“GASP! The horror!” cry the Emily Post’s and Martha Stewart’s of party planning.
I realize that the purpose of a bridal shower is to “shower” the bride with gifts. However, how many of us have attended a shower and groaned silently through the entire gift opening process? Be honest. No one can see you nod your head as you sit on your couch reading this.
Even without the gift opening at the shower, the bride is still being “showered” with gifts. The only difference is now she gets to spend more time mingling with her family and friends. Plus, no one has to feel like they went the inexpensive (read: cheap) route by being compared to the gift that would have cost an entire month’s paycheck.
Another plus, the bride isn’t faced with this situation, “A crock pot! I love it! Just what I’ve always wanted…even though it’s the third one I opened today…” Being the duplicate gift giver (even if you did buy your gift three months ago) always feels awkward.
Here’s the way I see it: It’s now considered okay to send out evites rather than handwritten invitations. Showers were once for women only, but now it’s commonplace to have a “Jack and Jill.” Mothers and sisters of the bride were NOT to host the shower, but very rarely do I attend a shower that is NOT hosted by a mother or sister. Why do we have to stick to the rule of opening gifts at the shower?
My sister did not open her gifts at her shower and we were able to get everything done within the three hour time limit. We did let the guests know that gifts were not going be opened during the shower with a note on the menu card that read,
“So that we have more time to enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company, win fantastic prizes, and eat more chocolate, Megan will not be opening gifts during the Choco-Soiree. She wants to thank you in advance and she wants you to know that she appreciates every item that you so thoughtfully picked out for her and Dru to begin their life together as husband and wife.”
That evening her and her husband-to-be took turns opening gifts. No one knows if they were a duplicate. None of the guests had to feel as if their gift wasn’t as expensive as someone else’s gift. Megan and Dru loved every gift they received and each guest received a Thank You note.
To open gifts or to not open gifts? It’s a personal choice. However, I don’t think you need to feel as if you’re breaking a cardinal etiquette rule if you chose to save the gift opening until after the shower.
Posted by A Yummy Mummy On A Pink Park Bench