A couple of Sundays ago marked my first official pre-wedding event - my bridal shower. The dress has been bought, the vendors have been booked (most of them, anyway) so it was time for me to have my first glimpse of wedding fun, and I was so excited. I wasn't really sure what to expect, so I went into the experience with an open mind. What I found was that it was slightly stressful, but very fun at the same time.
My bridal shower was a little different. I live in Florida and am from Michigan originally, so I decided that since my family is flying to Florida for the big event, I would come to them for the shower. Plus, it was really important to me for them to be there. My mom and my maid of honor (who also happens to be my sister) planned the shower, and did a wonderful job. They would consult me on the important decisions to see if I would like them, but mostly, they took care of the food, décor, centerpieces- everything. That, in itself, made the shower much less stressful for me. I would recommend encouraging the person who is planning your shower make executive decisions.
One of the decisions that my mother and sister made was to hire one of my sister's friends to make the food for the shower. My sister is in college, and her friend is majoring in Hospitality and loves to cook. My sister and her friend created the menu, went to the store and bought the food, and on the day of the shower as we were all rushing around to get ready, she was in the kitchen, cooking at her leisure. In the craziness that proceeded the shower, I can only shudder to think what would have happened if my mother, sister and I were in the kitchen, struggling to make the food on time. Hiring a caterer was one of the best decisions that we made. Keep an open mind because there may be someone you know who loves to cook that would love to cater your shower, as opposed to a pricey, high profile caterer.
When I was getting ready for the shower, I found myself growing nervous. Many of my friends and family were going to be there, simply to give me their well wishes to send me into married life. It felt like a lot of pressure! As I felt myself growing more and more nervous, it occurred to me that this is probably kind of how I was going to feel on the morning of the wedding. I have always wanted to be a bride that is the "anti-Bridezilla," and remains cool and calm under pressure. I thought, how can I really enjoy myself if I am stressed the whole time? Why ruin something so fun with stress? Right then and there, I decided that this was a good exercise to prepare me for the wedding day and that I had nothing to be nervous about. All I had to do was have fun. After that, I felt the stress melt away, and I felt fine. I ended up having a great time. Approach your shower with no expectations but to have fun, and you can't lose.
Throughout this wedding planning process, I have learned one sure thing- if you approach a situation as stressful, then it's going to be stressful. It seems like an obvious concept, but I am always surprised at the number of brides that let their wedding planning take on a life of its own. Don't get me wrong, everyone has stressful times, but ultimately, I have enjoyed wedding planning to the fullest. The same goes with the bridal shower. The best piece of advice I have for brides to survive their bridal shower is to approach your shower not as stressful, but as fun.