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HOW TO HOST A BRIDAL SHOWER

Hosting a bridal shower can be a delightful way to celebrate the bride-to-be, filled with laughter, fun, and memorable moments. Since you are hosting a mystery party at the shower, it will surely be an event with lifelong memories. Here's how to create a beautiful and enjoyable event from entryway to games:

Entryway

  • Welcome Sign: Create a personalized welcome sign with the bride's name and the date of the shower. This could be a floral-framed chalkboard or a digital printout.

  • Photo Area: Set up a small photo area near the entrance with a backdrop that matches the shower theme. Use props like a picture frame, flowers, or themed accessories.

  • Guest Book: Place a guest book on a decorated table for attendees to write their well wishes for the couple. Consider a creative alternative like a large wooden letter or a picture frame mat for signing.

Food

  • Brunch Buffet: A brunch buffet with various options, such as mini quiches, pastries, fruit skewers, and a build-your-own mimosa bar, can cater to all tastes. (Some menu items are below.)

  • Dessert Bar: Create a dessert bar with bite-sized sweets like macarons, cupcakes, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Incorporate the wedding colors into the dessert presentation.

  • Tea Station: Offer a tea station with an assortment of teas, honey, lemon, and sugar cubes for a cozy and classy touch.

Decor

  • Theme and Color Scheme: Choose a theme or color scheme that reflects the bride’s style or wedding theme. Use these colors in your tablecloths, centerpieces, and other decor.

  • Floral Arrangements: Use fresh flowers to add beauty and a fragrant aroma. Floral arrangements can double as prizes for game winners.

  • Lighting: Soft lighting can transform any space. Use fairy lights, lanterns, or candles to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Soundscape

  • Music Playlist: Create a background music playlist that includes the bride's favorite songs or love-themed music. Keep the volume at a level that encourages conversation, as your mystery party players will need to communicate.

  • Ambient Sounds: If the shower has a specific theme (like a garden party or a beach getaway), include some ambient sounds that match the theme, like birds chirping or waves crashing.

Games (More games are below.)

  • Bridal Bingo: Customize bingo cards with potential gifts the bride might receive and play during gift opening.

  • He Said, She Said: Create a list of quotes from the bride and groom and have guests guess who said what.

  • Wedding Dress Design: Divide guests into teams and provide them with rolls of toilet paper to design a "wedding dress" for one team member. The bride chooses the winning design.

Extra Tips

  • Seating: Ensure there's comfortable seating for guests, consider a seating chart if you plan to pause the mystery party, and serve dinner if the group is large to avoid any awkwardness.

  • Favors: As a token of appreciation, send guests home with a small favor. Ideas include personalized candles, mini succulents, custom wine glasses with the event name and date, or a small gourmet tea or coffee bag.

  • Timeline: Use the example timeline from your mystery party host's instructions to keep activities flowing smoothly without feeling rushed. Allocate additional time for opening gifts and socializing.

Remember, the most important aspect of hosting a bridal shower is to ensure the bride feels celebrated and loved. Tailoring the event to her preferences and providing opportunities for guests to interact and celebrate together will make for a successful and memorable shower.

MENU SUGGESTIONS

Always ask for the nutritional requirements of your guests with the RSVPs to determine if they have any allergies or objections to particular ingredients. Recipes courtesy of the Halloween Party Host Handbook. 

 

APPETIZERS:

LOVE & CUDDLIN’ STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Garlic bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 package of large whole mushrooms with the stems removed and diced

1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled sausage

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter

Instructions:  Cut the stems from the mushrooms and carefully scoop out the tops without breaking them apart and dice the stems.

Place the mushroom caps with the scooped side up on a baking sheet.

Combine the remaining ingredients with the diced stems and mix thoroughly.

Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture (save a little bit of the breadcrumbs for the top) and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle melted butter over the top.

Cook at 350 degrees until lightly browned (approximately 20-30 minutes).

*You can substitute the sausage for diced lobster. 

 

THE BRIDEZILLA SALAD

Ingredients:

1 pound mixed salad greens

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions: Mix the ingredients together and drizzle the dressing on top.

 

ENTREE:

 

WEDDING DAY STUFFED CHICKEN

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked white Rice

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

~3/4 stick of butter

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tenderized chicken breast fillets

1 cup garlic flavored bread crumbs

Mix the white rice, cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, sautéed onions and mushrooms, 1/4 stick of butter, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of garlic bread crumbs.

Instructions:  Tenderize the chicken fillets with a meat tenderizer.  At the edge of one end of the chicken fillet, place about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture and roll the chicken fillet around the rice.  Place the chicken fillet into a baking pan with the free edge facing down.  Microwave the remaining butter for 10 seconds and drizzle over the chicken breast.  Lightly sprinkle the garlic flavored bread crumbs over the buttered breast.

Cook at 375 until done (approximately 40 minutes).  Check with a meat thermometer to determine if the meat is done.

  

THE CASSEROLE OF HONOR

Ingredients:

2 bags of frozen broccoli

1 tube of Kraft garlic cheese

½ cup jalapeno jack cheese

2 cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup

1 can of Campbell’s cream of celery soups

½ diced onion

½ stick of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:  Heat the oven to 350F. Thaw out the frozen broccoli and drain the water. Melt the cheeses in a saucepan and add the creamed soups.  In a separate pan, sauté the onions with the butter until golden brown.  Add the browned onions to the cheese mixture.  Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli in a 9 x 12 baking dish. Sprinkle garlic bread crumbs over the top of the casserole, cover and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling.  Allow to cool on the counter for at least 10 minutes before serving.

 
DESSERTS:

THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDE CAKE

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

White frosting

Various cake decorations for the dress

A mini plastic doll (~ 6 inches tall) for the bride

Instructions:  Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Line bottom with parchment or waxed paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often.

Pour the batter into prepared pan(s) and smooth top with metal spatula. Bake cake(s) about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.

Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.

When cool, cover the cake with the frosting and then place the plastic doll approximately 1/3 of the way into the cake in the middle on top.  Create a wedding gown with white frosting on the doll and build it around the doll blending into the cake.  Decorate the dress with the cake decorations. 

 

COCKTAILS FOR ADULTS:

THE BEST MAN

1 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. cranberry juice

Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.

* Note - if this party is for teenagers, simply omit the vodka.

THE BRIDAL BOUQUET

1 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. cranberry juice

Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.

 

BACHELORETTE PARTY IN A GLASS

4 oz. Hypnotiq® liqueur

2 oz. Malibu® coconut rum

2 oz. pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into a martini or cocktail glass and serve.

 

THE MOTHER IN LAW

1/2 shot Godiva liquor

1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish cream liquor

Fill the coffee mug with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk to taste

Top with whipped cream

 

Mix the liquors together in a shaker and strain into a coffee mug. Fill the mug with coffee and milk to taste and top with whipped cream.

 

*If this party is for teenagers, omit this drink and make hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream on top.  Then, top it off with chocolate sprinkles.  

 

BONUS ACTIVITIES

THE ‘DRAWIN’ YOUR CELEBRITY DREAM GUY’ GAME!

Objective:  to be the first team to correctly guess the celebrity dream guy that the other teammate has drawn blindfolded. 

Rules: Divide your guests into teams of 2-3. Each team will receive a blank sheet of paper. Blindfold one member of each team and hand them a pencil.  

The object is for the blindfolded teammate to draw a celebrity - without telling their teammate(s) who it will be in advance – that she considers to be her ‘celebrity dream guy.’  If there is a well-known ‘celebrity dream guy’ of one of the blindfolded teammates – that player cannot elect to draw that celebrity and must choose a runner-up ‘celebrity dream guy’ (i.e., everyone knows that Glenda has had a crush on Keanu Reeves for years…so Glenda must choose someone else to draw!)’ The winning team is the one who correctly guesses the celebrity dream guy first.  The game can be played until everyone has correctly guessed, and then the teams are ranked (i.e., first, second, third…last).    

Props needed: blank sheets of paper and pencils for each team.

Time needed:  approximately 15 minutes.

THE ‘FABULOUS WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE’ GAME!

Objective: to be the party's most fashionable and talented wedding dress designer!

Rules: Pair your guests into teams of 3-4.  Give at least 6 rolls of toilet paper to each team. Each team needs to select one bride, and the rest of the team are tailors.  

The object is for the tailors to design and create the most fashionable wedding dress…out of toilet paper only!   Accessories can also be made…but only with toilet paper!  The timer is set for 10 minutes and during the game play, the bride stands patiently during the ‘fitting’ and the tailors frantically design and create the most stunning wedding gown while watching the timer closely.  When the bell rings – the time is up! All brides must immediately line up, and one by one, they will model their dresses in a trendy model walk for the rest of the group. The host can play music in the background to get the bride models moving!  The entire group can judge by secret ballot or by the host alone.  The host will serve as the tiebreaker if the secret ballot vote ends in a tie.

Props needed: 18 rolls of toilet paper for 3 groups of 4 people.

Time needed:  approximately 15 minutes.

BLINDFOLD WEDDING MAKEUP ARTIST CHALLENGE

Objective: Apply the best wedding makeup on your client while wearing a blindfold.

Rules: Divide your guests into teams of 2. Give each team an eye shadow palette, makeup brushes, lipstick, and a blush/rouge with a blush brush/rouge sponge. If you want to make it more challenging, give each team a contour palette and ask them to add contouring to their makeup application.

Blindfold the makeup artist, and when you say go, they are to apply the makeup to their clients.  Call time after 10 minutes.  The host will serve as the judge or you can vote via ballot. 

Props needed: makeup set for each team (or you can do this as a timed challenge separately, but this will add to the time needed.  Have some makeup remover wipes handy – your guests will probably not want to keep this makeup application on!

Time needed:  approximately 15 minutes.

WEDDING MOVIE CHALLENGE!

Objective: To be the team that correctly answers most wedding-related movies by reading the brief descriptions! 

Rules: Pair the guests into groups of 3-4. Give the teams 10 minutes (or more) to fill in the correct movie to the corresponding brief definition.   

When the time is up and/or the guests are finished, collect the answer sheets and score them using the answer key below. 

Props needed: Printed copies of the ‘Wedding Movie Challenge’ click the link to download.

Time needed:  approximately 20 minutes.

 

Wedding Movie Challenge Answer Key:

  1. The Wedding Singer

  2. The Wedding Planner

  3. Wedding Crashers

  4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

  5. My Best Friend’s Wedding

  6. Bridesmaids

  7. Corpse Bride

  8. I now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry

  9. Father of the Bride

  10. Meet the Parents

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