party time: hosting a bridal shower

a little known fact about me: i love hosting parties. i don’t have a lot of opportunities to host parties, but when i do, i get all Suzy Homemaker and really love all of the details.

my brother recently got married, and like the awesome older sister i am, i threw my new sister-in-law a bridal shower. i drove to the Twin Cities for a weekend in October and threw the shower at my grandmother’s apartment complex. we used the complex’s big community room for the party—it was perfect for my bridal shower seven years ago and worked just as well for this shower.

i’m a bridal shower hosting novice. i’d never planned one before, i’ve only attended them. and since i came from out of town, i needed some help. my aunts picked out the majority of the decorations and put together the centerpieces, and my brother and mom helped me shop for and make the food.

for decor, we stuck with white and gold with pops of evergreen (one of their wedding colors) and focused on a few vintage-inspired touches. in the invitations, i included a recipe card and asked each guest to write a family recipe on it and bring it to the shower. my grandmother gave my sister-in-law a recipe box as part of her gift, so she and my brother now have a set of go-to recipes if they’re ever in a rut. (i reused this idea: my aunts did this for the shower they threw for me.)

i wanted the shower to be as budget-friendly as possible. this was fairly easy to do, especially because the cost was spread out over four different people. we also reused IKEA picture frames that my aunts purchased for my bridal shower—they repainted them to match the theme and put photos of my brother and his fiancé in them.


i did a ton of Pinterest research and found a few easy-to-make finger foods, including Caprese salad skewers, chicken salad, a meat and cheese tray, homemade Chex mix and finger sandwiches. my mom made her homemade salsa, and i baked four different dessert bars.

the food.

i found inexpensive, plastic champagne flutes from Amazon for the mimosa bar. here’s a link to a mimosa bar how-to, including printables. instead of printables, i used mini chalkboards (from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground), and my aunt wrote on them with a chalk pen.

PRO TIP: i recommend using frozen berries instead of ice so the mimosas aren’t watered down. but what do i know, i’m just a brunch junkie.

a lovely photo of my brother and i at the mimosa/dessert bar.

the shower was a mix of both sides of my family and some family friends, plus my sister-in-law’s family. we asked each guest to write their name and how they were related to the bride or groom on a name tag so everyone easily knew who they were.

i had guests contribute ideas to a “date jar” for when my brother and sister-in-law can’t figure out what to do. ideas ranged from “watch a movie” to “go ice skating” to “play a game.” check out this link for date jar ideas.

my mom manned the name tag table.

we played a few games and had prizes for the winners of each game. there’s no need to break the bank on prizes: my aunts and i collected little gifts leading up to the shower, like Bath & Body Works minis (we got these free with coupons), a set of kitchen hand towels (from Target) and a $10 Target giftcard that my aunts received as a bounce-back reward.

you can download pdfs of the custom game sheets i created for the shower: Find Someone Who, How Did He Answer and What’s in My Purse.

until next time,

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