It's wedding shower season! Every year around this time our inbox is flooded with questions on where to host showers locally and what are some of the rules of the road as it pertains to guest lists, themes, and so on. Here's a few tips on how to gently guide your shower host toward throwing the best bridal shower in town!
Who to invite
This one's on you. Hosts typically ask their brides for a list (with a number that they're comfortable with) and then you put together the guest list. It's important to only invite individuals that were invited to the weddings—if they aren't included in your wedding festivities, it's unfair to expect a gift from them for a shower—and only invite each guest to only one shower (obvious exceptions with family). The latter is tricky to do with bridesmaids, but if you do opt to include them at more than one shower, be very clear that a gift is not expected.
Where to go
Finding a space in the Twin Cities is easier said than done—not because there's a lack of venues, rather, there are so many. As a result, it's hard to know where to start. This story from our last issue of Weddings offers so unique locations worth considering, otherwise, I often direct brides to the following venues: Gather at the Walker has a beautiful view of the city and can do a condensed menu to keep you in budget, 112 Eatery and the Bachelor Farmer both rent out their upstairs for a larger venue, the Loring Kitchen has a few amazing spaces that can be used and (in my experience) they've been very accommodating in terms of budget accommodations. Other venues include Yum (their back room is perfect for a less formal gathering), the patio at Forepaugh's in St. Paul is great in the summer, and if you're craving something a little more elegant, head in the direction of Golden Valley Country Club (you don't have to be a member to have an event there).
What about the men
A coed shower is an especially good idea for the groom's side of guests. Heading to a shower with your mother-in-law-to-be and all her friends (especially if you've never met half of them) can be tricky. Instead of spending an afternoon memorizing names, talk to your host about a coed shower. This way, your significant other can introduce you to the people who matter most to him, and you both can share the thank you notes! To get your guy excited about going, consider a his-and-her theme, where half the guests are assigned gifts for him and half are assigned gifts for you. (Beware, guests will definitely go off registry for this . . . however, you'll likely come away with some pretty fun gifts—think shovels, tool kits, and electronics.);