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surviving the bridal shower  
by Karri Peifer
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continued from page 4

In addition to contact information, the bridal shower invitations should also include directions, and registry information. (Note: etiquette experts dictate that this is the only appropriate time to announce the bride’s desire for gifts, so feel free to list all the brides registries and gift preferences.) The invitations should also, obviously, include the start time of the shower. Afternoon is preferred, although showers can be held at any time of day. It's a good idea to include an end time on the invitations as well. This will make it easier for the guests to plan their day, and thankfully for you, the host, to make their shuffle out of the shower go a lot smoother. Without a specified end time attendees may become confused and think they're there to laze the day away and reminisce. Two hours is generally sufficient. Short, afternoon showers can also contribute to a simpler menu (you will not have to feed these people a meal if they're only going to be there for the duration of a movie: think light finger food).

the day of the party: tradition, wives’ tales, and the loose ends
Once the theme has been set, menu planned, streamers purchased, and invitations sent, a bridesmaid has only to pick out something lovely to wear and await the day when she has to entertain the hoards of celebrators. But despite many bridesmaids' secret wishes, come party day, the entertainment factor of the shower won't just take care of itself. Good breeding dictates that because guests will tend to stand by stupidly waiting to be fed or amused, you, as host, will need to plan entertainment as a preventative measure.

It is a good idea to set up the food and drink area in a central part of the house. This will allow guests to crowd around it, nibbling, drinking, and chatting. The hosts can simply steer the newcomers in the direction of the table and instinct will take over from there. This will ensure that all of the guests are occupied and also shorten the length of the shower, as the feeding is happening alongside the greeting. . Looking for bridal shower inspiration? Or a handy gift for your own bridesmaids? Check out The Bridesmaid's Guerrilla Handbook


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