Tuesday, 1 October 2013

*Surprise Bridal Showers*

This is going to be a kinda 2-in-1 post about 2surprise bridal showers I was actively involved in planning. I learnt a whole lot of stuff on the web which really helped in my planning, so in the spirit of giving back I am doin this post. I hope it helps anyone planning to surprise their engaged friend, it really is the sweetest thing when friends to come to celebrate the graduation of one of ours from single-dom to double-dom.lool. you all know by now that I’m a clown. Sit back and feed ur eyes and mind and enjoy this picturesque post.

Bride-to-be in her 'royal' accesories (2nd shower)
customized tee for the friends (2nd shower)
Lingerie Cake (2nd shower)
souvenirs-rose pattern compact mirror & cupcake packaged towel
Surprise!! moment (1st shower)
DIY crown and name tag on a guest in the bedroom (1st shower)
Finger food array (2nd shower)
The first surprise shower I planned was for my friend Melissa (I blogged about her proposal here), her wedding was slated for April but I wanted to start off preparations for the bridal shower early to avoid complication, so I formed a BB group sometime in February and added the few friends I knew who in turn added some more from her University and Secondary school (I had met a number of them during her traditional wedding so it was not hard to flow), we were about 20 in total the group. I was glad discussions started early and all ‘cos I love to plan ahead so things go accordingly, although some of her friends thought the group was brought up too early, they eventually thanked me for starting it on time.
Make a to-do list. Here’s mine:
  • Selection of a Venue (Park, Hall, Someone’s house, commercial apartment)
  • Selection of a Tentative Date for the Shower
  • Decoration
  • Minimum amount to be contributed (usually decided after deliberations or can be before so there is a budget to work with)
  • Commencement and Deadline for Payment
  • Cake
  • Food (Preferably small chops-spring rolls, meat balls, samosa, cupcakes, doughnut, etc.)
  • Drinks (variety of soft drinks, malt, water, juice, punch, alcohol)
  • Gifts for the Bride-to-be (Lingerie, Customized t-shirt, etc.)
  • Eating Utensils (Disposable plates, cups & cutlery, toothpicks, straws, serviettes, foil paper, Knife for the Cake)
  • Games & Activities
  • Bride-to-be’s outfit (Crown, Sash, outfits, pins, etc.)
  • Others
Bride-to-be in customized t-shirt {front} (1st shower)
Bride-to-be in customized t-shirt {back}(1st shower)
Friends & Bride-to-be in sexy police outfit (1st shower)
  1. Start Planning Early if it is a surprise bridal shower that involves her other friends u don’t know. Why you may ask- because decisions involving more than 3 people takes a long time!!! talk less of 20 girls! You don’t even wanna know, and there are soooooooo many things to decide on and we haven’t even moved on to contributions for the event.
  2. Invite her close friends into a forum and let them also branch out and invite other close friends but remind everyone to be hush hush about it! Else they spoil the surprise.
  3. Do some research (Google is your friend, find sites with bridal shower post, games, d├ęcor, themes, etc. It will help to have some ideas to be deliberated on)
  4. Will the shower be themed or unthemed? (unthemed ones are easier)
  5. Welcome opinions and deliberate respectfully and be polite (you don’t know some of these ppl and dnt know where you may meet again. I remember a bridal shower that went awry due to the attitude of the Coordinator-not cool* remember it is not about you, but about creating a special memory for a friend)
  6. Once the major decisions are out of the way (mainly things that have to do with costing), the next step is to delegate (you honestly cannot do it all by yourself).  Pair up at least 2 people and make them accountable to the group, do this for all the different tasks in your to-do list. I t is ok to be involved in some and you also have to follow up on all the others to keep everyone on track (don’t be bossy/overbearing doing this though, it’s easy to get carried away-try to remember that the other friends also have their own life and schedules). One way I found easy was giving the delegates a week or 2 to come back and report their findings to the group so decisions can be made, and during that week, after discussions, we will gently remind them that we would be expecting feedback on the agreed date. I helps ease tension and burdening anyone.
  7. DIY (Do it yourself) In the 1st surprise shower, I bought cardboard pieces, glue and other materials from the market to make crowns, name tags and decorate the venue. While in the 2ndd, one of the ladies who was into printing, made tees for us although we paid for them, the price was very minimal. Make use of group members to cut costs (if there’s a baker or decorator among you, make use of them to save cost).
  8. Gather intel/info on your expected audience (are most of them single ladies or is it a mix of married women and single ladies, are they gentle or loud) this will help you in ur selection of games and activities for the day. In the 1st surprise shower I planned, I did not do this and the crowd was the loud kind dat mostly jst wanted to eat, make noise and get themselves & the bride-to-be drunk. We did not play up to half of the games but they still had fun although if I had known earlier I would not have planned for the other games and wasted resources. The 2nd shower was the opposite as it was made up of mostly married women. We played practically all the games and were able to compile a book for the bride from them.
  9. Have someone recording and taking pictures of the event so you can give the hubby to watch later and enjoy and the bride-to-be can also add it to her memorabilia.
  10. Make a nice playlist everyone can dance to, its usually safe to go with the songs in vogue
  11. You will need someone to act as a DJ overseeing the music, another as the MC and someone monitoring the food and drinks while u can be in charge of games and activities so you don’t get overwhelmed trying to handle it all, this happened to me at the 1st surprise shower but i learnt and the 2nd turned out way better.
  12. After the cutting of the cake, don’t forget to divide it so everyone gets a piece to eat and take home and also keep some for the bride-to-be to take home.
  13. Remember the food (preferably small chops-) can never be too much and its beta it goes round than for it to not. The guests can take home the leftovers of the food and drinks.
  14. Most importantly keep the shower a surprise right till the very end, don’t forget to have a believable story to get the bride-to-be to the venue without her suspecting anything.
  15. And just as important, don’t forget to have fun!!!
I hope this helps you in planning an awesome surprise bridal shower. Find the game docs here and feel free to customize it for your own games. Enjoy the pics. Please drop a comment if you find this post useful in ur planning or if u have any other ideas. Merci.

Cover photo used for the compilation of advice from friends
Photo used as target for Tissue wedding dress game

fooling around
Drink mixing chart
wedding ring ice cubes
Champagne cubes
photo cut out can be used for drinking like a sir
Photo cut used for the cardboard crown
Who has the groom game
Lipstick Souvenirs from the friends

Sex Pot
Helium filled ballon with fun pics of friends and the couple as decor
Bride-to-be in  sexy 1st outfit (1st shower)
Bride-to-be in sexy police outfit as 2nd outfit (1st shower)
DIY Fruit & Alcohol Punch i made (Crazy stuff)
Decorated  furnished Apartment we paid for the night (1st shower)
Friends, Bride-to-be and the Lingerie cake {All smiles}


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