Wedding season is here! And with it comes the flurry of bridal showers, hens days and kitchen teas.
If you've been to a few bridal showers, you'll know the most memorable events have a well-thought-out activity or theme that suits both family members and friends.
Making your celebration stand out from the crowd can be tricky, especially if you're trying to keep costs at a minimum in the lead-up to the wedding. Here are some of our favourite cost-effective bridal shower suggestions your guests are sure to love.
Elegant High Tea in the Garden
Save on venue hire by hosting an elegant high tea party in your own garden (or the backyard of a friend or family member). Source mismatched tea cups and saucers from a charity shop for a cute, eclectic look, and arrange them on the table over a white linen tablecloth. Have the bridesmaids serve a range a fragrant teas, and 3-courses of bite-sized sandwiches, fluffy home-cooked scones and decadent cakes and macarons. Intersperse the food and drinks with games like crowd-favourites: croquet, giant jenga and bocce.
Home Styling Party
This is a good one for the bride who loves interior decorating, or is looking to deck-out a new home in household items and linens. A Lorraine Lea home styling party combines a good dose of retail therapy with champagne, canapes and bridal-themed games, all in the comfort of your living room. Best of all, it requires minimal planning by the bride-to-be or maid-of-honour. All you need to do is work out your guest list, put on some drinks and snacks, and your Independent Stylist will organise the rest. No need for guests to go gift-shopping before the shower, they can contribute towards things the bride has on her homewares wish list instead. During the party, guests are encouraged to indulge in a bit of shopping too, and the more they spend, the more free and discounted product the bride will receive - it's win, win!
Winery Tour & Picnic
To keep costs low, one of the guests or members of the bridal party will have to be the designated driver. Hire a mini bus from the local car rental provider - depending on the company, mini vans up to 26-seater vehicles can be driven with a standard car licence. Map out a wine-tasting route of vineyards in your local area. Choose a spot to stop for a picnic lunch, and take along a cooler full of delicious cured meats, cheeses, breads and dips to snack on while sampling the winery's finest drops. The rows of vines and beautiful country scenery will provide a striking backdrop for bridal shower photos. (It's worth calling the vineyard ahead of time to ensure they'll allow you to have a picnic on their property.)
Get ready for a fun and interactive cocktail-making afternoon you can host at home. This concept works best if all the guests can fit at one table, so it's best with smaller groups. The bride selects five of her favourite cocktails and the bridesmaids can lead a step-by-step cocktail making lesson for each one. Lay the table with a glass per person, cocktail shaker, garnish and all the ingredients required for the first cocktail. The bridesmaids stand at the head of the table and give instructions to help guests make their own beverages. Start with a lighter, champagne cocktail and work your way through all five, finishing with something sweet like a espresso martini. Serve a shared plate of nibbles to accompany each cocktail. This progressive, degustation-style shower can span over a number of hours, with breaks for games and opening the presents.
Do you have any other ideas for cost-effective bridal showers? Let us know!