Jung Lee is a world-renowned event designer and lifestyle expert with over a decade of experience. In 2002, Jung and her husband Josh started Fête, a full-service event planning and design production firm in NYC. Since FÊTE is one of the only event companies that actually conceptualizes, designs, plans and oversees all key event elements in-house, Jung and her team are able to provide unmatched quality control and ensure that each custom experience is rich in meaningful detail and that no two events are ever alike. Jung Lee claims the award for “Top Wedding Planner” by VOGUE, and has even expanded into retail with her home décor store and top registry destination, Jung Lee NY. She has created spectacular celebrations for a roster of celebrities, exclusive clients and private companies.
Today she's sharing 10 tips for planning a bridal shower. On the subject of bridal showers, take a peek at our most popular free bridal shower invitation generator.
1. The point of the shower is to have all the important women in the bride's life come together, support her, and shower her with lots of love and wonderful gifts. But also, on a practical standpoint, it's also for the ladies who don't know each other- a chance to meet and share this experience before the wedding.
2. Please go with a nice paper invitation (electronic save-the-date is fine), but it is so nice for the bride to have all her paper products from all the events surrounding her wedding in a keepsake book after. In fact, try to do as many wonderful personalized details, such as a few fun couple facts printed on cocktail napkins or coasters.
3. The venue for your shower should be intimate and reflect the bride, but with that said, it can be anywhere- Someone’s house, a restaurant, a loft-for-rent, the beach, an outdoor terrace, a park, or anywhere that has a special meaning. The most important thing is to make sure your guests will be comfortable. If you’re outdoors, have a decent rain plan so you’re not stressed.
4. Don’t do themes unless there is something very specific that resonates with the guest of honor, but asking all the ladies to wear a fascinator or a hat is fantastic for photos and lots of fun!
5. For a seated meal, I prefer assigned seats, where the host and bride have thought about everyone. Mixing up people makes for more interesting conversations around the table. But either way, make sure you are connecting all the guests to each other and letting them know about any shared or common interests so they can strike their own conversation. Even if it is not seated, or you prefer not to do assigned seating, it is very important that there be a few key designated people to make sure everyone is introduced to each other and that they feel good. That is an essential role of the host. The bride should also make guest connections to each other. Being honored in this way is an important rite of passage!
6. Bridal Showers are girl parties and they should be so fun! Have a pretty signature cocktail that reflects the bride, and also offer non-alcoholic ones for ladies who are either pregnant or don't drink. Have a well thought-out menu selection, and a display of beautiful sweets for afterwards.
7. Although party favors aren’t essential, it’s important that you offer something thoughtful if you’re going to do them. Some kind of edible is always nice. I also love a customized favor to which everyone can contribute. For example, if the bride is amazing in the kitchen and people know her for this, the MOH can ask all the guests for their favorite recipes, organize them into apps, mains, etc., and then print them all in a beautiful little book.
8. Holding your guests captive for an hour while you sit and painstakingly open each gift is the most boring thing in the world, for everyone! A modern alternative is not bringing the gifts to the shower at all. Nowadays, guests can buy gifts off the couple’s registry and send a notification rather than the physical gift. We do this at Jung Lee NY with our ‘hold registry’ option, and believe it’s the modern and best way to go. Nobody has to physically drag anything to the party and pack it all up after- that becomes a lot of work! This is the same reason why we no longer bring gifts to weddings. We live in a time where the shower shouldn’t be centered on gifts. The focus should be the party, the mingling, and the bonding around the bride.
9. There has been a longstanding tradition where the groom comes at the end of the shower with a bouquet of flowers for the bride. Who doesn't want to keep that tradition! It's often fun to see him, the fathers, and a few other men who are important to the couple.
10. I am not a big fan of games as most are so awkward, but the one game we do that's a lot of fun is the "soon to be newlywed" game. This happens towards the end of the shower, when the groom and a few friends come for dessert. The bride and groom should be positioned so everyone can see them (usually bar stools are easiest to use). They both get white boards, and the moderator/host asks 10 interesting questions to them while someone keeps score. It is a lot of fun, and guests often feel more connected to the couple through this.