How to Throw the Bridal Shower Of Your Dreams


Luminaire Images

If you’ve ever been part of a wedding, you’ve probably had a tiny feeling of dread when you shoved this one event to the back of your mind — the bridal shower.

Why does the bridal shower invoke such mixed feelings?

Well, I mean, think about it. In the history of pop culture, bachelorette parties are the events that evoke hot male strippers and hangovers that you’ll talk about for days whereas bridal showers are painted all prim and proper. It doesn’t take long for prim and proper to get old. Plus, no one really actually knows what’s supposed to go on during a bridal shower except for the fact that it’s clean and there are gifts to be opened.

In this guide, I will be really cracking open the books to give you a comprehensive overview of how to get started on planning a, quite frankly, b*tchin’ bridal shower. Now let’s get started!

The Nuts & Bolts


Melissa Becker

As elaborate as parties can get, these are the three ingredients to practically guarantee a good time for guests:

  1. Good conversation
  2. Good food
  3. Good vibes

People, myself included, very rarely have exacting standards for what makes a good party. This isn’t an insult to whoever planned the event, it just happens that people have very short attention spans. It won’t really matter if your napkins turn out to be a cranberry pink instead of a rose pink, because people are just going to be focusing on what’s going to be impacting their senses most heavily — the people, edibles, and general atmosphere surrounding them. I can practically guarantee you that as long as those three prerequisites are fulfilled, you will not have a mediocre bridal shower. In fact, if everyone and the bride are enjoying themselves, you can consider your bridal shower a success.

You certainly can go all out Bridesmaids style (and give me a golden retriever puppy as a shower favor), but my point is to not stress out too much over getting every detail right. The bridal shower is meant to be intimate, so pay close attention to what sort of bride you’re planning it for. Maybe she’s extremely high-maintenance and wants her bridal shower to get featured on Style Me Pretty — fine. But most likely, she’ll just be happy to see that her closest relatives and friends are there to celebrate her and support her.

Themes & Schemes


Jasmine Star Photography

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A Relaxed Portland Restaurant Wedding by Christy Cassano Meyer Photography

Kate + Akeem (331 of 400)

Ah, Portland. There’s so much I love about that mystical city tucked away in the forests of the Pacific Northwest — the artisan bakeries, strong coffee, and hip little outposts on every corner. It only makes sense that a wedding in Portland would have it’s own relaxed but unique personality, right?

Kate and Akeem had a simple celebration with friends and family that started at the St. Mary’s Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, and ended at a quirky picnic-inspired restaurant in downtown Portland called Picnic House. Along the way there were many laughs, fun wedding details (love that chalkboard guest book!) and a crazy dance party. Kate looked stunning in a simple, elegant white cocktail dress, and she and Akeem are just too adorable together. You’ll see it for yourself in these gorgeous photos by Christy Cassano-Meyer! Ready to see more of this fun Portland restaurant wedding?

Kate + Akeem (001 of 400)

Kate + Akeem (018 of 400)


Kate + Akeem (090 of 400)



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Wedding etiquette: Do I have to ask my friend to be a bridesmaid if I was in her bridal party?

Laura Nelson | Snippet & Ink

Laura Nelson Photography

QUESTION: Do I have to ask my friend to be a bridesmaid if I was in her bridal party?

GINA’S ANSWER: Absolutely not. If that was the case I’d have a giant wedding party that included people I rarely see anymore. Take stock of what kind of wedding party (if you want one at all) that you’d like and what you expect of the people in it. Base your decision on your life right now, not your life five or ten years ago.

JESS’ ANSWER: Definitely not! However, ask yourself what your reasoning is. Is it because you have too many sisters? Female cousins? You want to make sure you’re sister-in-law to be is part of the bridal party? These are all excuses that your friend will understand. No matter what your excuse, always discuss with the person openly.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: Nope. Reciprocity is nice but not always realistic, therefore you can explain to them that they are important to you too, but it just is about the situation. For example, if you have more siblings/family that need to be in your wedding or vice versa, then it should not be expected to reciprocate. You can ask that person to do a reading at your ceremony or to give a toast at dinner if it really means that much to the them, so they are included. Feelings might get hurt, so I would recommend addressing this situation from day one and clearly explaining your reasons for your arrangements. Avoidance is never a good policy.


Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.


Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.

DIY Vintage-Style Birdcage Veil for Brides

Tattooed Martha - DIY Vintage Style Birdcage Veil (10)

Photo by Corey Bruce Photography

Hello again beautiful brides! July was a busy month with our wedding and friends and family in town, but I’m back and ready to share some more DIY projects with you. Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to create your own vintage-style birdcage veil at a fraction of the cost that bridal stores will charge you for one!

A birdcage veil is great route to go for a no-fuss veil that you won’t have to worry about the wind blowing into your face while you say your vows or ruin your lipstick!

Tattooed Martha - DIY Vintage Style Birdcage Veil (1)


  • ½ yard French netting (available in most craft stores or look on Etsy for a custom color)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread, matching the color of the netting
  • Thimble (this really helps with pushing the needle through the netting without also pushing it through your finger!)
  • Hair comb

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