I am all for rule-breaking, and changing things up when throwing a bridal or baby shower. For example, a co-ed shower, skipping opening gifts or playing games, and swapping a fancy tea/brunch for another type of food.
However, with all the new trends and boat-loads of ideas out there, some of the more old-fashioned bridal and baby shower ideas have gone by the way side. But, I think it is sweet to keep the traditions going, if the guest-of-honor would like.
Here are some to keep in mind.
Always make it a point to take family photos, especially multi-generation photos, with Grandma, Mom, and Bride. These family photos will be treasured for years to come.
Practice Bouquet for wedding rehearsal: Find a paper plate, cut a hole in the center, and, as the bride-to-be is opening her shower gifts, take the discarded ribbons and bows from the gifts and create a bouquet-looking masterpiece to be held during the wedding rehearsal, in place of the real wedding day flower bouquet. Even if this doesn’t get used, it is still a fun little keepsake some brides may enjoy. This can also be referred to as a wedding bonnet, and you can tie it on the bride’s head as a funny hat for the rest of the party!
How ever many ribbons are broken or have to be cut as gifts are opened, is how many kids you can tease that the couple will have – ha ha. *eye roll*
Sometimes instead of just shopping off the wedding registry, the bridal shower gifts will be suggested to follow a certain theme, such as lingerie, honeymoon items, or kitchen items. One option is called “Around the Clock” where each guest is assigned a certain time of day, and brings a gift that relates to it – items you’d use in the morning, versus late at night.
Make sure you are prepared to write down who each gift is from, so that the bride can send thank you notes.
It is fun if the Groom wants to surprise the Bride-to-be and show up at the party (bonus points for bringing her flowers!) just before gifts are being opened, and stay for that portion of the party. Guests who have yet to meet the lucky guy, will enjoy this, as well. Same goes at a baby shower: with the Dad-to-be showing up to help open gifts.
During a baby shower, save the greeting cards, and also cut out a little square of the wrapping paper on gifts – the cute ones. My Mom always did this, and I love looking back at all the “vintage” paper design from the 80s and 90s in my baby book/scrapbook, along with seeing the names on the cards of who all attended my mom’s baby shower for me. This is fun for kids birthday parties, as well.
The diaper “cake”. A tiered centerpiece constructed from stacks of diapers, decorated with ribbons, and trinkets. Worth asking the Mom-to-be if she has her heart set on someone making one.
Another sweet idea is, instead of a card on the gift, asking each baby shower guest to bring a children’s book for baby, with a handwritten note inside. There are little rhymes you can find to add to the invitation, such as: “Just one last request, and we hope it’s not hard, Please bring baby a book in place of a card. By signing your book we will remember and share, Your special gift, even when you’re not there”. If you are running out of room on the actual paper invitation, include this on a separate slip of paper inside the envelope – just make sure it is easy for guests to find so they don’t miss out.
Not really a tradition – but, a note for baby showers to make sure you have a really comfy chair for the mom-to-be to sit in for opening gifts!
Jordan Almonds as party favors – skip these. No one needs to break a tooth!
However, any occasion where guests bring a gift, it is polite to have party favors – any little treat or gift you like – from a cookie, or theme-colored M&Ms, to a bottle of nail polish or pretty travel-size lotion. Fancy tea bags, packet of flower seeds – there are a million ideas to choose from, and can be related to your party theme.
Do you have any other traditions to add?