Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bridal Shower Alternatives

The youngest attendee Addie, who won the ScavengArt, and Mary, the Bride-to-be!

I get a lot of e-mails about how to escape from the confines of a traditional bridal shower. My answer is the same answer I give to questions about how to plan a good wedding: Think about what kind of parties you like to go to and plan accordingly!

That's why I was ecstatic when Mary shared her "Bridal Show Book Swap" and art scavenger hunt with me. Here's what she said about it:

Your blog has really helped me put things in perspective as I struggled in the beginning on how to make this day meaningful and creative on the nonexistent budget we have (I work in non-profit visual arts and Blake is a student!). I really loved the way you and Matt made the day about love and family and friends.

This was the same philosophy that was taken when my friends and I were planning the bridal shower! It was based around one of our favorite hobbies: reading! We had a lot of guests coming from out of town so we decided to roll all the traditional events into one weekend and make a mash-up of an engagement party, wedding shower, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. The result was a really fun and eventful weekend of celebration, that ran from Friday night drinks to Sunday afternoon BBQ at the Lake! The “Bridal Shower was the main event on Saturday.

The Bridal Shower Book Swap was a HUGE success! It was co-ed and everyone brought a book to exchange. The guests could leave with however books many they came with! The leftover books were donated to the local library for their resale event.

In addition to the book theme, the shower was held at a local art gallery that I am affiliated with through work, so one of the games we played was called “ScavengArt.” My friend Kathy, who works at the gallery, helped to make a scavenger hunt based on the pieces that were on display! This was great fun and everyone commented that it was nice to incorporate the venue into the party.

The second thing we did for fun was had all the guests fill in a “wedding Mad Libs,” which is one of my favorite things to do since I was in High School! These were so fun to read later in the evening while we drank wine and opened the gifts (we didn’t open them during the shower because it felt too isolating for our guests and we wanted them to be as important to the party as anything else).

Everyone pitched in and made food and drinks (we had the most amazing Lemonade/Rosemary Spritzers w/vodka …as well as non-alcoholic lemonade with blueberries and fresh lemon slices!) and the spread ended up having a sort-of 1950’s retro meets farmers market feel! My friend Katy picked up flowers that morning and gathered a bunch of mismatched bud vases and it looked beautiful!

We played Nina Simone in the back-ground and everyone mingled. I couldn’t have asked for more….

At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted but so happy that everything turned out! It makes you feel really blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Hope this inspires someone else!

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Anonymous said...

Great ideas, I love the book swap theme!

Andrea said...

Thank you for this post! I was considering not even having a bridal shower...you've changed my mind! I'm psyched about coming up with creative ideas for one now!

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