Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Showers of Blessing

"I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26
Soon it will be June, the month that many people consider the "wedding month". Before weddings are showers...bridal showers. I love bridal showers and everything associated with them. I like creating shower games, finding decorations to match the bride's colors, and planning a menu that blends some of the tastes the bride enjoys with the colors she has chosen. 

Last year my sister-in-law Karen married her sweetheart and I had the pleasure of hosting a bridal shower for her. 

The bride's mom, the bride Karen, and her future mother-in-law 
Here are some simple bridal shower ideas that I used: some borrowed, some modified, and some original. I hope some of these bridal shower ideas prove useful next time you have the pleasure of planning a bridal shower!
Choose the shower colors and reflect it in all the details of the shower.  Some of the details that are simple to incorporate with the shower colors are corsages, candles, figurines, ribbons, frames, tablecloths, plates, napkins, plastic wear, banners, doilies, baskets, prizes, wrapping paper, bows, serving plates, serving bowls, figurines, frames, the food & drink, even the kitchen towels.

This shower's colors were red and white.
In the shower invitations I asked each guest to bring a recipe to share. As guests entered I had recipe cards available to record the recipes to share with the bride. Each guest wrote her name on the back of the recipe card she completed. Not only did that give the bride a record of who shared each recipe, but also names to be used for prize drawings.

Recipe Cards for Guests to Complete

Personalization for a bridal shower is also a nice touch. An easy way to provide a touch of personalization is to remove labels from water bottles and replace them with labels that have the names of the bride and groom with the wedding date in the shower colors.
Personalized Water Bottles

Games at a bridal shower  are always fun and only a couple are needed, so there is plenty of time to honor the bride by providing time for her to enjoy opening her shower gifts.  Here is a game that is fun to play. Put the word BRIDAL down the left side of the page and SHOWER down the right side of the page and connect them with a line.  Award 1 point for any word that begins and ends with the letters on each line, 2 points for each word that relates to a wedding, and 3 points for the longest word on each line from the shower guests.

Keep game supplies and gift/giver sheet in one place for easy access.
Also, remember to have a special page in shower colors for the brides gifts to be recorded both as a keepsake and a reference for thank you notes.  Another shower idea is to find thank you notes that match the shower colors and have guests address an envelope as they enter.  Use the envelopes for prize drawings and give the thank you notes and addressed envelopes to the bride for her use later.

Now for the food...a blend of sweet and salty is always a hit for bridal showers.  Keep the colors of the bridal shower in mind when planning it.  I always enjoy including mixed nuts and cream cheese mints for a simple sweet and salty combination.  The recipe for the Slush Punch is at the bottom.  Here are a few examples of the food I served for this red and white bridal shower:
Tortilla Roll Ups

Red and White Chocolate Pretzel Rod Bouquets
Homemade Cupcakes with Coconut Filling

Mini Brownies filled with Peanut Butter Cups or Mounds

My niece Jessica and I slushing the Slush Punch.
Here is the punch recipe I used for this bridal shower.  It needs to freeze over night, so be sure not to wait until the day of the shower to make it!
Slush Punch
(Serves 50 guests)
2 4-serving size boxes of strawberry Jell-O
46 oz. pineapple juice
2/3 cup of lemon juice
1 quart of orange juice
4 liters of 7-Up
6 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
In a large sauce pan combine sugar, water, and Jell-O.  Boil for 3 minutes.
Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice.
Divide mixture in half.  (I used Zip Loc Freezer Bags.)  Freeze over night.
When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of 1 container (1/2 the mixture) in the punch bowl and stir in 2 liters of cold 7-Up.  Do the same with the other half in a 2nd punch bowl OR save it for another event.
NOTE: Put this out at least an hour before the shower.  Appoint a "punch slusher" to use the punch bowl ladle to create the slush.  This punch has a consistency similar to an Icee and is a fun texture for a bridal shower punch.


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