Maid of Honor Advice
What exactly happens at a Bridal Shower?
When I was a maid of honor planning the bridal shower I had one major disadvantage. I had never actually attended a bridal shower, at least not since I was old enough to remember. In order to plan it, I had to ask around a lot and do some research to find out exactly what we were supposed to do.
I in no way mean to imply that bridal shower structure is akin to rocket science, but here's a quick guide to show maids of honor what the typical structure looks like. Of course, if you're so inclined, you can always change, mix up, or completely ignore the traditional bridal shower structure and plan something totally different!
Greeting and Eating Period
As the guests arrive, the maid of honor should be there to greet them and offer them some kind of refreshment. Mimosas (champagne and orange juice) are often a favorite for morning or afternoon bridal showers. You should definitely have non-alcoholic choices as well.
In terms of food at the bridal shower, you may want to have appetizers around for the guests to nibble on during this greeting period. Then, the main meal is generally served as soon as all the guests have arrived and settled in. Alternatively, the maid of honor could serve the main food choices just before the bride opens up her gifts. That gives the guests something to occupy themselves with during this sometimes tedious process.
Main Bridal Shower Event and Other Planned Activities
After the bridal shower guests have had some time to socialize, congratulate the bride, and have a drink and maybe some food, it's time for the maid of honor to roll out the creative events and activities she has planned. You could lead such great bridal shower activities as the bride quiz or other unique themed events. And of course, the maid of honor should have plenty of prizes on hand for the game winners, funniest, second winners, and even losers!
The Opening of the Gifts
Then it's time to set up the bride to open her gifts. Alternatively, you could switch or intermingle the bridal shower gift opening and other activities.
For the gift opening, the maid of honor should seat the bride next to the presents on a bride throne (perhaps with balloons, streamers, or flowers attached to it). Then hand her gifts one at a time while the bridal shower guests watch. Since you'll be busy, enlist one of the bridesmaids to record what gifts the bride received from each guest (so that she can write thank you notes). You could also choose to record the gifts while the bridesmaids hand them to the bride, as you like.
And of course, one of the bridal showers guests or a bridesmaid should be given the task of making the bridal "veil" or "bouquet" out of the ribbons and bows from the gifts as the bride unwraps them. She'll need a paper plate, scissors, tape, and maybe a stapler. The maid of honor may want to get a picture of the bride wearing the homemade veil for the bride's memory book (and maybe for blackmail...just kidding!).