Bridal Shower Decorations - Your
Opportunity to be Really Creative
Often the types of bridal shower decorations you want to use are related to the theme you have chosen or the menu you have planned. Afternoon tea in Aunt Mary’s rose garden just cries out for beautiful table linens, lovely bouquets of fresh flowers, picked from the garden and displayed in cut-glass vases, an elegant silver tea service, exquisite china and fancy cutlery. If you don’t possess such lovely things, then beg or borrow the items from family and friends.
Generally the bride’s mother or other relatives will have sets of china and such to use for bridal shower decorations, and if you promise not to break anything or put the special items in the dishwasher, then you will probably find them more than willing to provide whatever is needed for decorations. After all, it relies on co-operation for success.
The garden itself provides the decorative back-drop, enhanced by little touches such as organza bows tied to the back of each chair, with an extra fancy one for the bride-to-be’s chair, colorful cushions scattered on benches, and perhaps an Oriental rug spread on the lawn, ready to be the focal point for present-opening. If the venue includes a pergola or similar structure such as a deck, then swaths of organza and tulle can be draped and swirled around the uprights and railings, while pots of flowers can be massed in groups to make a visual impact on a patio.
Background music, whether your function is indoors or out, is a great mood-enhancer, provided it’s not so loud to drown out conversation. Consult with the bride-to-be though. While you may feel passionate about jazz, she may prefer Mozart. If the couple has a special song, perhaps one that brings back memories of the first date or the proposal, then play it at the beginning and the end of the party in honor of the happy couple.
A CD of wedding music is the perfect accompaniment at a bridal shower, and a lovely gift to the bride-to-be, especially if she hasn’t finalized the musical selections to be played at the wedding. Music can be tied in with the theme you have chosen. French café music goes great with a bistro atmosphere, while hula tunes are perfect for a beach party. Whatever you choose, keep it soft and low-key. You want music to enhance the mood, not drown out the conversation.
Balloons, streamers, banners, candles and flowers make great bridal shower decorations. Choose heart-shaped foil balloons, filled with helium, and bouquets of ribbon-tied regular balloons in different shapes, also filled with helium. Placed in strategic areas throughout the party room, they really enhance the celebratory atmosphere.
Choose the bride-to-be’s favorite colors, or match with the colors of the bridal party dresses, then pull the look together by carrying the color theme through to the tablecloths, napkins and floral displays. At the end of the party, present the bride-to-be and each of the mothers with a foil balloon, while departing guests can receive clusters of the other balloons.
A large banner with the happy couple’s names, strung across the wall, decorated with rosettes of ribbons at the corners, can make a great focal point, while colorful streamers, coming from the four corners of the room and meeting in the centre with a large bow, really set the party mood.
Candles are another great way to go, especially if your event is scheduled for the evening. Of course, you will want to set your table with candles along with flowers to enhance the dining experience if you are planning a sit-down dinner or a buffet. Choose tapers for the table, and look to selecting candles of different heights and thickness for massing on coffee tables in the party room. If you have selected a spa theme, with gifts to match, then scented candles and the sound of running water from table fountains can add to the ambience. If you are concerned that some of the guests have allergies, then avoid the scented varieties. Turn down the lights and let the romantic glow of candles set the mood of romance and mystery.
Be sure to include flowers in your decorating plan, if only to grace the table. Choose the bride-to-be’s favorite flowers or include the same variety that will be used in the bridal bouquet. Depending on the season and your budget, you can either pick them from the garden or head to the florist for arrangements that are more formal. If you don’t have a cut flower garden, you’re sure to know someone who does.
Make sure there are no creepy-crawlies lurking in the buds, ready to wreck your party. Give them a quick shake before bringing them into the house. Enhance the flowers with masses of greenery. If you don’t have nice vases, then borrow from friends and family or use interesting and unusual containers. Flowers are a wonderful way to decorate and the perfect accompaniment to a garden theme.
If the get-together corresponds to a holiday, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day, then the beautification you choose can reflect this. Heart-shaped ornaments and cupids make a great fit, regardless of whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day. Just don’t go overboard though and lose sight of the fact that you are planning a shower, not a Christmas party or a Thanksgiving celebration.
Mini lights are another way to bring sparkle to your decorations. If you are planning an evening buffet on the deck, then string the lights around the railings and uprights. Moon lights gracing the path and illuminating certain garden features present another opportunity to lend magic to the scene, inviting guests to go for a stroll.
Indoor mini lights, strategically placed, perhaps around windows, can put the sparkle into the party. Choose clear bulbs if the rest of your ornamentation have plenty of color: aim for soft light to enhance the mood rather than the flashing, in-your-face variety that can be so annoying and distracting.
Another interesting option is to display photos of the couple throughout the room, from the time they were small to the present, to reflect on the passages in their lives. Of course, this will require some collaboration with the respective families, but it’s so easy to copy photos now. At the end of the party, the photos can be gathered up, put in an album and presented to the couple as a cherished keepsake.
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