A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my bridal shower with my Mom, future mother-in-law and many of my good friends. Like many brides, I had visions of a fun-filled afternoon celebrating in my favorite restaurant. My maid-of-honor and I were balancing budget concerns with our desire to have awesome food & a great location! Luckily for us, we were able to rethink our options to give us the experience we both wanted – hopefully they will help you with your own planning!
4 Tips for Creating Your Perfect Shower:
1. Be flexible with your timing. If your favorite restaurant is also not open during lunch hours, it’s worth it to ask if you could be accommodated during the mid-late afternoon, when they will be setting up for dinner. We were fortunate to have access to Acme Food & Beverage Company, an absolutely fantastic southern-infused restaurant. Normally Acme doesn’t host private events during the day, but we were able to work with them to accommodate us during the hours of 1:30-3:30. (Mainly, we just had to be flexible that there would be servers moving about in different parts of the restaurant!)
2. Rethink your dessert. Yes, you could go with the restaurant provided dessert. But this may not be the best option, both logistically and budget-wise. First, if you’ve talked a restaurant into accommodating you at an off-time, then they may not be able to provide dessert. Second, a dessert that your guest can take on the go provides flexibility for those that may be full from lunch! Third, bringing in your dessert may be a cost-effective way to lower the price at a restaurant that typically offers prix fixe menus. By eliminating the dessert course and substituting in a more cost-effective – and adorable one! – you might be able to afford the restaurant/location of your bridal shower dreams. 🙂
For us, bringing in cupcakes allowed us to host at Acme and still provide a dessert. We offered cupcakes from DaisyCakes – an awesome, local business in Durham, NC. This was a great way for people to enjoy their dessert either at Acme (or take it with them, for those who were full!) and was easy to set-up, as no plates/knives/forks are really necessary. And they were not only delicious, but adorable!
3. The food! Trust your vendors. If you are working with a top-rated vendor – such as your favorite restaurant – then you know they will produce an excellent product. Give them some guidelines (I like pimento cheese! I like southern! Vegetarian, please!) but allow them to work their mastery. Most likely you’ll be wowed by what they are able to do with your budget. This is also a great way to make your own proposal to a restaurant – give them your budget, and see what they come up with!
Here’s what we got when we put our trust in their expertise: Biscuits with sauteed apples and pork belly, bacon-wrapped scallops, grits with craw-fish and sausage, and crostini topped with a fried green tomato and house-made pimento cheese were but some of the highlights. Yummm!!!!
4. The best part of a bridal shower is the opportunity to catch-up, laugh, and enjoy the company of your best girlfriends. Make sure you have plenty of downtime – there’s no need to fill every minute with a game or activity.
Need Inspiration for Bridal Shower Decor? How about: