As a first time Matron of Honor, I need some serious help from you so I can throw a fabulous bridal shower for my bride!

bridal shower

Let me begin by saying thanks for all the loving, thoughtful, concerned messages some of you sent about my current health situation.  I was touched, and truly moved.  Thank you for taking the time to not only share your experiences with me but to also offer up some solid advice that might help.  To bring you up to speed, so you don’t just “worry” about me, you will be pleased to know that 1) I am already on bio-identical hormones, and have been for years 2) had recent blood work done (I get it done every three months, since I am Peri-menopausal and shit changes, literally on a DIME) 3) my thyroid is in fine working order.

The issues I’m currently dealing with are the sort of stuff that naturopaths assist with, and although the two cleanses that I’m doing in tandem, are kicking my ass, they are for my own good and at the end of it all I’m confident I will be stronger, healthier and ready for ANYTHING.

Now, on to today’s post.  Honestly, I’m struggling, and your advice would be greatly appreciated.  I’m hosting Brianna’s bridal shower, but for the life of me I cannot decide where to have it.

A restaurant??

A party venue??

Somebody’s home??

My home??

I know a couple of things for sure, the date, and that I’m having it catered.  I do not want to have to go purchase all the ingredients for the menu for the day, bring it home, and make all the dishes just for starters.  Never mind the fact that on the actual day I’d have to plate it, replenish the dishes, make sure everybody has a drink, is eating enough food, and enjoying themselves etc etc.  All while enjoying myself.

I don’t know what to do friends.  Today Brianna and I even spent the larger part of the day together in the hopes of figuring it out…and we didn’t.  We’re not one step closer to knowing what the hell we’re doing for it.  Now I’m seriously feeling like I’m failing at the Matron of Honor role.  Like what MOH doesn’t know exactly what to do for her bride??  Best friends would know what to do, shouldn’t I, her mother know even more what sort of shower to throw for her bride??

Yikes.  The pressure is on my friends, it really is.

I have so many factors to consider; we literally have people coming from every corner of the GTA.  We live centrally, so it sort of makes sense to host it at my house, because it would be fair to almost every single person attending since most of our family/guests will be driving a minimum of forty-five minutes in order to attend.  I’m trying to be sensitive about where to hold it so that the traveling distances are “fair.”  The only issue I have with hosting it at my house is that I know how I am.  I’m a busy bee, and even though it will be catered, I would still have my nosy beak in the business of the food, the serving, and of course the drinks.  Unless I can set my best friends up with the job of ensuring that I have FUN and not be all business, that might be the only way that will work.  I know the priority is my bride, but I also feel like I need to take the guests into consideration, and do my best to ensure that everybody who attends not only has a good time, but also doesn’t feel like they’ve been inconvenienced by having to attend the bridal shower.

Guys, the struggle is REAL.  I’m usually so clear about events, and planning, but this has got my ass kicked, and I truly cannot decide on the best course of action for a fabulous bridal shower.

So I’m reaching out to you for your input.  Suggestions.  Ideas and thoughts.  I want to hear about bridal showers that you’ve been to that you’ve totally LOVED, or hated.  I’m not too proud to steal anything you give me, so give it all to me!!  I want this to be the most wonderful bridal shower that any bride could ever have, or that anybody has ever attended.

Okay, well that’s probably a tad dramatic and over the top, but you get what I’m after.  I want to throw a wonderfully thoughtful, elegant bridal shower for my bride, without breaking the bank or creating a “mini” wedding.  I just want to have one that I will enjoy attending and that will make her feel special, and the guests will walk away from feeling like they just had “an experience” not just another shower that took up half of one day of their weekend.

The lines are open friends, bring it on!

13 Comments

  1. All I can say is that there is a lot to be said for having it at your own home. Once it is over you can crash right away.

  2. I was part of a team that planned a wine & cheese pairing/tasting party for a bridal shower. It was something new for all of us – and even though it was 4 years ago now, thry still talk about it today! We did the research and got a little advice from a friend at the LCBO – a great time was had by all!

  3. Hire me! I am an event planner with a strong arts slant. I think the location should be where you feel most comfortable. Home is likely that place.

    Seriously though hire someone to manage all the little minute details that you shouldn’t be worrying about. Are the guests drinks replenished? Where is the restroom? Where do I put my plate when I am done? Those things shouldn’t even be an issue for you. Having someone who is NOT family or a friend ensures everyone has a lovely time. It is natural to want to make sure everything is going as planned with food etc but as mum and matron of honour your own duties are unique for that day.

    I have planned many bridal showers for friends. A couple of friends had already long set up their home so they didn’t need anything. We opted to stock their wine cellar. It was interesting to see the selections of wine that came. No two were alike. For another couple we gave them experiences. One was tree top trekking. They loved it.

    On another note my tree top trekking couple were married bi-coastally. Once in Vancouver and then here in Toronto. It meant little time for some things. One in particular the bride had set up furniture and many other things at the ceremony venue. She had NOT planned how to get the items taken home again. Immediately after the ceremony I spoke to specific friends whom I knew could help out and within an hour everything was packed up and ready to be taken back to the brides home. It is about thinking on your feet and being creative with the options available.

    Most importantly best wishes to you and Brianna for a really fun, memorable and happy day.

  4. I was my sister’s matron of honor and although we didn’t have a theme per se, we did have coasters, napkins and trinkets with pictures of my sister and her husband as kids. Babies to teenagers. We had it catered in our church hall but Shantelle, I’d have it at your house. You have a beautiful home, it’s where she was proposed to and where she has lived almost as long as you have. YES, definitely have it catered and YES most definitely assign your closest friends that have known her since she was a baby to be the assistant hostesses. Jeanne comes to mind as one. Maybe Barb from CA if she’s coming in? Don’t forget your daughters, they will or should naturally help out with all things “shower”.
    Good luck. I know it’ll be a smash and you will surrounded by friends and family that will love it and feel the love your wonderful home exudes.

  5. Your home is beautiful–host it there for comfort, convenience and familiarity. Pick your toughest friend as co-host with two major goals–the primary goal to make sure you only act as host and secondary goal to oversee the caterers. Enjoy!

  6. I was wondering if your friend Natasha has any ideas? Her “pool party” looked fabulous! I’ve only done one bridal shower, back in the 70s, and it was very low-key. All I did was bake a cake (homemade) and put fresh flowers around it. So I wish I had some ideas for you!

  7. I’ve really enjoyed reading the other suggestions (above) – what great ideas! Having had my bridal shower in a church basement that was approximately 1000 degrees with 99% humidity, I am all for the comfort of someone’s home for hosting. I understand why you are hesitant to host, but I think you had a great idea yourself – that is, engaging some friends whose hosting duties you trust to do the work FOR you so that you can enjoy being in your own surroundings but you don’t feel the need to hover. Find people who know where all your stuff is (maybe even have a trial run!) who won’t need to bring you into the details in the moment, and who will free you up to just enjoy the day – because as the Mom and as the MOH, you definitely deserve to be with your daughter 100% and just steep yourself in the event completely without worrying about the potato salad or the ladyfingers.

  8. Hi Shantelle,
    “back in my day” we had tea parties with sandwiches and sweets for bridal showers. Fancy tea cups and all. Now they’ve turned into delicious meals with hot and cold foods. Recently I organized my own 65th birthday party to celebrate with family and friends. I planned it around a candy theme because I wanted the grandchildren to have a blast. My daughter got me started on Pinterest. Got the idea to put goldfish crackers in a real goldfish bowl. (New and clean of course!) I find Google and Pinterest to be so helpful. For your venue, do you have good parking on your own street? Party room at a nice hotel or restaurant? Whatever you decide will be wonderful because you put so much heart into your efforts. As the mother of 3, I have 2 married, and my 28 year old daughter at home. I enjoyed their wedding showers. As a closing comment, make sure you keep your sense of humour through the celebrations and have fun. It’s never perfect but it’s always memorable.

  9. My Best Lady threw me an I Love Lucy themed shower. I know themes aren’t for everyone, but the wonderful detail she put into each decoration showed how much she and my family cared. Lucille Ball is a hero of mine. We held it at the house I grew up in, my parents’ home and that was exactly where I would want to be.

    Think of somewhere she loves. Maybe a park, library, museum, restaurant, your home. Somewhere she feels comfortable and is her self. Somewhere you see her happy and radiant when you picture her. The guests, food, decor will then fall into line.

    I hope this helps! I can really only speak from the experience I had. All the best!

  10. Although have never ‘held’ a bridal shower, something occurred to me that could add some sentiment for the event. If you were to have a theme of Love All Year, you could break the shower into four parts. Begin with the season of the marriage, then the following seasons. Don’t know the dates, but say it’s in the fall – then it would be Fall, Winter…etc. Guests could be asked to bring a poem, write a poem or something to read about love in that season. Or could bring an item which signifies love in that season, or something to signify the season which then could be put into a souvenir box. For the winter season, it would be rich with love with the holidays and also Valentines day. This could mean that for the first year of your daughter’s marriage, she’d have mementos of the shower in the box, as even gifts to be used for special occasions of each season or even different things to read. It would give the guests a sense of purpose (more than just buying a gift) and unify the group as all contributing. I don’t know if this idea has ever happened, but it would be unique and provide in a tangible form – love from those who attended. It’s late here now and hope this made sense to you. Good luck with it, whatever you decide.

  11. Is there something you think of immediately when you think of the couple, their favorite thing to do or place to go, or where they met? That could be your theme, something important to both of them. I love videos of them as children and as a couple as part of the event. May I add that I was my daughter’s matron of honor and being chosen was truly a great honor and blessing! You will be fabulous at it! By the way, catered at your beautiful home is perfect!

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