Have you been tasked with the honor of hosting your BFF’s bridal shower? Or perhaps you’re a bride who’s decided to take matters into your own hands? Either way, you’ve come to the right page! Engaged recently caught up with Venue 131’s highly esteemed and experienced event planner, Kayla Pereira, to learn everything there is to know about bridal shower planning. Plus: We scored tons of photos from real bridal showers that Kayla has helped throw over the past few months and they’re chock full of great ideas you can steal for your own planning purposes!
By Kaitlyn Murray
So first things first: When’s the best time to host a shower?
KP: Typically bridal showers are 2-3 months before the wedding date, and Saturdays and Sundays are the best days to hold them. Popular times tend to be 11 am to 3 pm or 12 pm to 4 pm — four hours should be plenty of time to mingle, open gifts, play games*, etc.
*Speaking of party games, here’s two non-cringe worthy examples we’re really digging:
Who should be invited?
KP: Guest lists tend to include all female* guests that have been invited to the wedding. At Venue 131, we can hold up to 100 people comfortably.
*But bridal showers don’t necessarily have to be a girls-only club. If your hubby-to-be wants to be involved or if you have male friends/family that would love to attend, consider a Jack and Jill shower!
What makes Venue 131 a great place to host a bridal shower?
KP: Venue 131 is a new and beautiful space with customizable menus and room set up. It’s a wonderful place to host any memorable event, but especially a bridal shower. We have hosted so many; my staff and myself love to be a part of them and share in the happiness with the bride, her family and her friends. And we have hosted many different themed showers*; from all shades of purple to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
*Need decor ideas? They’ve got decor ideas (just see below). A general rule is to take inspiration from the theme & colors that will be used at the actual wedding (so seriously, save those save the dates! They’ll be your first clue).
KP: We also have up lighting at our full bar that we use to enhance the events color scheme, and we have an 80-inch TV screen that many brides have used for slideshows they’ve made to play throughout the shower. The guests really enjoy it.
What parts of the shower do you help coordinate?
KP: As the event planner, I assist with any needs the host may have, such as set up, décor ideas, recommendations and info for local bakers, favor ideas, etc. I have had so much fun helping put together all of our events, and I love sharing everyone’s creative ideas with the next bride. The best part above all is meeting and being able to work with all of the brides and their families throughout planning, and seeing them enjoy their event that they have worked so hard to plan and see a smile on everyone’s face!
What do you typically serve at a bridal shower?
KP: What seems to be very popular for bridal showers is our brunch menu. There is such a great array of food items that satisfys all tastes and seems to be a bride favorite.
KP: A wonderful add-on option is always our unlimited mimosas or sangria; it adds to the experience of the event and the guests love it!
Any tips on how to get a bride to a surprise bridal shower?
KP: Just recently we hosted a bridal shower for a long time customer that lived just around the corner. Her sister and I laughed as we worked out a plan to blind fold her and have the car get off and on the highway so she thought she was traveling somewhere farther than right around the corner. She was pleasantly surprised to arrive at Venue 131 and was happily greeted by all of her close friends and family.
Protip #1: As you can see below, bridal showers can often bring about a LOT of gifts! Ask for a few (at least three) volunteers to help out during present-opening time: one to be on trash duty, one to help cycle out unwrapped presents for waiting-to-be-unwrapped presents, and one to take note of who said presents came from for thank you note purposes. A fourth helper may be needed to collect bows and ribbons if the bride is planning to use a paper bouquet during the rehearsal (examples here).
Protip #2: And, like with most parties, giving out favors can never hurt!
Do you have any ‘Dos & Don’ts’?
KP: Do have fun with the planning, it is such a great time full of memories, love and bonding with your close friends. Don’t let it become stressful, delegate help to close family and all bridal party members that are willing to help. And if you let Venue 131 host your bridal shower, I will do my best to make it as stress free and easy to book!