Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It’s that beautiful time of year and wedding invitations are beginning to show up in your mailbox. With all of your loved ones, and their children, getting married, there are times when you might be called upon to host a bridal shower.

The beauty of bridal showers is that they can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like, as there are very few rules. Actually there is just one: anyone invited to the shower must be invited to the wedding. It is unseemly to ask someone for a gift and then not invite them to the main event. This rule applies even if the wedding is a destination event, say in California or Israel, and you are sure some people won’t want to go. Let the guests decide for themselves.

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Of course, before you send out the invites, the bride must decide if she would like a registry or will be accepting whatever creative gifts the guests bring. I recommend a gift registry, so that gifts can be as practical as possible.

A word of caution to the bride regarding her wish list: if items on the registry seem impractical and exceedingly expensive, it can give the wrong impression to the wrong people, for example, her future mother-in-law. Keep the fully loaded picnic basket for another shopping spree and fill the registry with things the bride will actually need, like bath towels and a broom.

Invites can be as simple as a Whatsapp group, e-vites, or as lavish as formal invitations with a RSVP card. I prefer e-vites, as the system keeps track of the RSVPs for you and sends out a reminder closer to the date.

For food and drinks, you can ask the guests to bring something. Most guests will bring dessert, so you can cross that off your list. I find salads the most time consuming to make, so if anyone asks what they can bring I always ask them to make that. Otherwise, I like to make a large pot of pasta, divide into bowls and put different sauces and cheeses on each for some variety. For drinks, it’s fun to make a girly fruity drink, like sangria or margaritas. These drinks can be made with alcohol or not, depending on how you want the mood of your party to be.

For decorations, I like to use ribbons, as it gives a festive air and they are cheap. I buy them in different colors and tie them everywhere: banisters, chairs, door knobs, wherever something could be tied. Pink, green, silver, and blue are all nice color themes and, of course, you can buy paper goods to match. I love the look that comes with putting shiny, sparkly things on the table, like spreading glitter on the tablecloth, or the cheap baubles you can pick up at the dollar store. Lastly, don’t forget to decorate the bride’s chair with balloons and more ribbons.

Of course, no bridal shower is complete without some games, and there are so many fun ones. One of my favorites is asking the chosson some questions beforehand about the kallah, preferably on video, such as what she wore on their first date, her pet peeves, favorite vacation destination, etc. Another fun but bittersweet game for the guests is for them to write down a memory they share with the bride and for her to guess with whom and where this memory took place.

Don’t forget to assign someone to write down who gave what gift so that the kallah can send out thank you cards, and you’ll be all done.

May we all share in many simchos.

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