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Hosting Wedding and Baby Showers

The purpose of this type of party is not only to shower the guest of honor with gifts, but to welcome her to this new phase of her life. We'll look at planning a wedding shower, but with a few minor alterations, this party can easily celebrate the birth or adoption of a child or pet.

    You'll Need
  • Ingredients for each of the recipes and the tools necessary for serving them
  • Décor, including fresh flowers
  • Items for making favors: sheer fabric or netting; dried lavender; sewing notions or craft glue; pinking or craft shears; and ribbon, lace, or other trim
  • Items and prizes for shower games
  • Music CDs Wedding Shower
Usually hosted by the maid of honor or other close friend of the bride, the wedding shower was traditionally an event at which the bride was given items for her trousseau. However, wedding showers now serve more as prewedding get-togethers, a chance for the bride (and groom, if you're planning a co-ed shower) to spend a few intimate moments with guests before the big day.

If you are the maid of honor, but are operating on a very small budget, talk to the bride about asking one or two other members of the wedding party to co-host the party with you. Try to select a co-host you already know, and have a logistics meeting before you begin any planning, just to make sure you and your co-host(s) are in agreement about the division of costs and labor.

Date, Theme, Budget, and Venue
Approximately four to six weeks before the wedding—Work with the bride and groom to select a date that works for them, their family, and the rest of the wedding party. Sunday afternoons are usually the best time for wedding showers; begin at about 2:00 p.m.

Wedding theme—Talk to the bride about how you might be able to incorporate her colors or other wedding elements into the shower. Try to avoid themed showers; although they are cute, they require extensive planning and are often not worth the effort.

Low to midrange budget—You'll probably need to spend between $8 and $12 per person.

Your home or another group venue—Most showers are hosted at the home of one of the bridesmaids. However, you can also host a wedding shower in a rented space or a park. Talk to the bride about her preferences, and concede to her wishes. The one place you should not have the shower is at the bride's home.

Guest List and Invitations
Work with the bride and/or groom to determine the guest list. You'll probably host about 25 to 30 people, including the wedding party, friends, and other family members. If the bride wishes, a co-ed shower is perfectly acceptable.

Paper invitations are a must for a wedding shower. Try to keep the wedding colors and theme in mind when selecting the invitations, and avoid anything too cutesy.

In recent years, there has been some controversy about the best way to notify guests about where the bride and groom are registered. Traditionally, no mention is to be made of gifts; if asked, the bridal party or parents of the bride and groom may divulge where the gift registry is located. However, this tradition is silly. Everyone registers, and most people use an online service (www.theknot.com or www.theweddingchannel.com) to coordinate wedding details, including the gift registry. Why make a secret of the registry, requiring guests to hunt down the gift list? Instead, include on the invitations a short note that directs guests to the registry—either the online service that contains all the information, or the two to three stores at which the bride and groom registered.

Menu
This vegetarian menu is so hearty and filling that your guests might not even notice there's no meat!

  • Appetizers—Stuffed Mushrooms, Classic Spinach Dip, assorted cheeses and crackers
  • Side dishes—Spinaki, Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes," Erica's Favorite Salad
  • Main course—Stuffed Eggplant (cut each cooked half into halves, or use Japanese eggplants)
  • Dessert—Low-Carb Cheesecake
  • Beverages—Very Berry Lemonade
If you think that meat will really be missed, add Mom's Famous Tri-Tip Roast with Gravy and make only enough Stuffed Eggplant for half the guests.

If your budget allows, order a sheet cake from a bakery that specializes in transferring photographs to cake decorations. Use the couple's engagement photo as a template, and have the bakery reproduce the picture on a great-tasting sheet cake.



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Reproduced from Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time, by Tamar Love, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing.

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