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The Wedding Shower

By Mary Jane Holmes

The Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids usually give the wedding shower. Often, with the help of the brides mother. There may be more than one shower, sometimes co-workers will give a shower at the workplace or in a restaurant close to the job. The groom's family if they live far away, my want to give a shower of their own. One word of caution, you shouldn't invite anyone to a shower who isn't invited to the wedding. That's like saying "I'll take your gift but don't want you at my wedding." Ask the bride who she wants at her shower.

If this is to be a surprise shower, get help from the bride's mother. She will be able to tell you if Great Aunt Millie who lives several states away, will be insulted if she doesn't get an invitation even though everyone knows she can't come. Here are a few tips to help make it easier for you to manage.

Guest list - get names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all who will be invited.

Budget Decide how much you can spend, this will determine where the shower will be held, what kind of food if any will be served, and even how you will decorate for the shower.

Invitations can be printed, store bought, done on your computer, by word of mouth telephone or email. The invitations should include the date, time, place, theme, the names of the bride and groom, and at least two RSVP contacts.

Follow up verbal invitations with a printed or handwritten note with all the information. Be sure to mention if it is "ladies only or a "couples party. Also include whether or not children are welcome.

Menu the time of day and your budget will influence the menu. If you will be having the shower close to lunch or dinnertime, then you will have to serve more than cake chips and drinks. If most of the guests are close friends and relatives of the bride and groom. You can ask people if they would bring a dish. In some areas, this is the way all but the most formal occasions are handled. Buffets are less work and more informal than a sit- down dinner.

Use pretty paper and plastic products when possible. Don't forget to buy or make a cake.Location, this should be easy to find. Include a map for locals. Out of town guests can get maps from the internet.

Choose a date The shower should be held between 6and 8 weeks before the wedding, The bride's mother will be the best source for a suitable date.

Theme Ask the bride's mother, what she thinks they need the most. Some typical wedding shower themes are kitchen, bedroom linens, bath, and lingerie showers.

There are a few other things you need to take care of. Make sure you have enough tables and chairs, a place of honor for the bride to sit while she opens her presents. Remember to pick up plates napkins cutlery, and cups. Have someone bring a coffeepot, assign one of the bridesmaids to pick up drinks, chips etc. Make sure someone can transport the gifts. Get film for your camera and take lots of pictures.

If you scrapbook, make a nice album of all the pre-wedding activities from the engagement party to the dress fittings and the showers. What a fantastic gift that would be.

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