Bridal Showers Unveiled

For the bride, the bridal shower should be one of the best parts of getting married, mostly because it is the one thing that the bride doesn’t have to plan, supervise, worry about or pay for. This is the one time when the bride can simply show up and have a good time. That doesn’t mean she can’t have any input or express her choices, it just means that there is no stress involved. Unless, of course, things somehow get complicated and someone has to step in and sort it out. Here is scoop on the who, what, when, where, and why of bridal showers.

Who pays for the shower? Whoever is hosting the shower, pays. If the mother of the bride, mother of  groom, good friend, close relative or maid of honor decide to have a shower, the honor of paying the entire bill is upon them. It is common for brides to have more than one shower, and it is also common for several parties to host one shower together. The best scenario is for the maid of honor to have a conversation with both mother of bride and mother of groom to sort out the details.

What do you have to provide at the shower? Generally, the hostess provides food, refreshments and entertainment of some sort.. usually in the form of games. It doens’t have to be a super expensive, catered affair. If you have a theme, stick to it and make the most of  it. Food, drinks and decor are  great way to be creative.

When should the shower take place? Bridal Showers are usually held 1-6 weeks before the wedding. As with any event, invitations should go out 4-6 weeks prior to the date of the event.

Where should the shower take place? Anywhere!  Traditionally, bridal showers were held in someone’s home but, fortunately nothing is off-limits; restaurants, wine bar, day spa, etc.

Whyis it called a shower? Because your family and friends are ‘showering’ you with gifts.

Who do you invite? You do not need to invite every female guest or the dates and spouses of every make guest. You only invite the people with whom the bride has a very close relationship.  

And finally….. as far as bridal showers are concerned, there is only one rule: Do not invite anyone to the shower who is not invited to the wedding!!!

-Penny Frulla for Brida Expo Chicago

For more tips and inspiration planning  a bridal shower, call 847-428-3320 and get tickets to a Bridal Expo in your area.



Out of Bridal Shower Ideas? How About Henna?

Not just for Indian women, Henna tattoos are fast becoming one of the hottest fashion statements and forms of personal expression. If you don’t already know; Henna hand, foot and body tattoos have been around for centuries. Now, the people of India and that region of the world have brought their unique Henna tattoo art into the 21st century by combining it with mani/pedi spa parties for brides-to-be to create one of the most innovative ideas for a bridal shower!

Before you ask, it is not of any religious significance whatsoever, it is a cultural practice. There’s nothing strictly sacred or spiritual about it, but the Henna tattoos are considered beneficial and lucky, and always regarded as beautiful and blessed. The Henna tattoos are widely regarded as the most auspicious ornamentation a woman can wear.

 Today as an alternative to permanent tattoos, Henna tattoos are as hot as many of the celebrities seen sporting this painless art of body painting. Actress Demi Moore, and ‘No Doubt’ crooner Gwen Stefani were among the first to sport this look.

Conside these tips:

If you are going to have  Henna Party – book it far enough in advance that the tattoos will fade before your wedding day (if you don’t want them visible on your wedding day).

If you do want them to be visible, less than one week before your wedding is advised. 

They can be as little or as much as you like.

Try to avoid the black henna – according to research  it can be toxic and cause skin problems.

The best colors are the deep rich RED hues.

If you have  very dark skin, henna tattoos are going to be barely visible.

Henna Parties are popping up all over, especially during the summer months when your feet and ankles are visible in sandals. They are painless, harmless, one step up from a mani/pedi and the perfect time to have some good luck bestowed upon you and the members of your wedding party.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Unwrapped Showers – A Disturbing Trend

From time to time I hear a wedding idea that I have never heard before. If  I hear something twice in one week, I know it is something that deserves further research. But, before I will label it a ‘trend’ I need to see proof that more than one person is using this idea, that it seems to be catching on and that people are universally accepting the idea. In my humble opinion, some trends are good and (in this particular case) some trends are bad.

Recently it has come to my attention that invitees are being asked to bring gifts to Bridal Showers….. unwrapped. On the pretense of being open-minded I have responded with the obligatory, “That’s interesting, tell me more.” when, in reality, I am saying to myself “That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard”. I can’t even imagine what that gift table looks like. Haven’t they ever heard that presentation is everything? Furthermore, am I losing my mind?

The alleged purpose of the “unwrapped shower” is two-fold: To save on paper waste and to save time for the bride who could be spending that same valuable time ‘bonding’ with her guests. Lets examine this carefully:

Reduce Paper Waste: Being abut as green as any average person could be without using a palm frond for toilet paper, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. I understand not wanting to waste paper, I recycle and re-use everything possible. I still carefully open Christmas gifts so I can re-use the paper for  next year, I purchase only paper made from recycled products, I measure gifts so that I can use as much of the paper as possible and not waste a scrap. However, this is where I draw the line. In good conscience I cannot bring an unwrapped gift to anyone, anywhere, for any reason. It’s like wearing a beautiful outfit and not combing your hair. In addition, if everyone across the globe collectively stopped using all wrapping paper of any form, there would be a huge gap in the job market and parts of the economy would be out of work…. not on my watch. I always say you don’t have to sacrifice style to go green, that being an environmentalist doesn’t mean you have to change everything about the way you live. Could I be completely wrong?

If going green is really your main purpose, then you need to address that in the invitation and make it clear. Maybe you could ask guests to use ribbon only. And speaking of ribbon, when wrapping a gift for any occasion whatsoever, you should only use fabric ribbon.  It can be tied, untied, ironed and tied again. Recycling ribbon is the perfect way to go green and the plastic shiny ribbons are just not as pretty. My favorite is the ribbon with a small wire edge so you can make a big swirl-y bow and it stays in place! The real  purpose of the ribbon is to keep the box closed or the package tightly shut. So, if the box has a lid – are you supposed to just tape it or what? Could this be the reason that Tiffany & Co, uses beautiful blue boxes and fabric ribbon? You don’t need to wrap a gift from Tiffany & Co, the box is pretty and the ribbon keeps the lid closed. Whoever came up with that idea was way ahead of their time: elegant, beautiful and no waste!

Saving Time:In cases where the bridal shower is large and the bride is expected to open gifts in front of everyone, the theory is that this will save time  that could be used socializing with her friends. I understand that wedding protocol dictates that the gifts should be opened in front of everyone so the guests can oooh and ahhh over the lovely items. For me, this a tradition that could be broken without  regret. Open your gifts later and spend this time with your friends. I can think of a million ways to save time and this is not one of them and the amount of time it takes to tear into a package is the least of my concerns.

Maybe everyone should just walk into the shower and hand you a wad of cash (no card or envelope so we don’t waste paper) in front of everyone and annouce the dollar amount.

If I was invited to an “unwrapped shower”, I would bring my gift in a decorative box sealed shut somehow and attempt to understand the motive behind it and hope I could keep my opinion to myself  and not offend anyone.  But, of all the ideas I have heard in a long time, an “un-wrapped shower” is just about the worst.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago