It's wedding shower season, which means it's time for you to get comfortable being the center-of-attention. Before you break out into nervous sweats, consider these tips on how to stay cool and calm in the spotlight. And, we've thrown in a little tip on how to keep track of those pesky thank you notes, too.
1. Let the people come to you.
It's not your job to greet guests at the door; that's the hostess's role. If you're uncomfortable initiating small talk, take a seat and let guests come to you. Chatting on your terms will leave you more relaxed and keep guests from swarming around you. Make sure you do connect with every partygoer at some point, however—they are there to celebrate you. If you're sensing that the celebration is winding down and you may have missed a guest or two, position yourself near the door so you can thank each guest on their way out. At least by working through any stragglers toward the end, you'll know a break is on the horizon!
2. Ask your host to gear any games toward the guests, not you.
When friends of my mother-in-law-to-be decided to throw me a shower, I was touched. And nervous. I hadn't met all the guests, so I was concerned about not only remembering their names, but also keeping straight how they all knew my future husband. Since they all knew who I was, I viewed this as an opportunity to get to know them better. The host had a great idea to help me do that. Since it was a honeymoon-themed shower, during the gift opening, the host made whoever's gift I was opening tell a funny story about their own honeymoon. Not only did it take the pressure off of me, but it also provided me with an opportunity to remember discernible facts about each woman that I remember to this day.
3. Register ahead of time.
Opening a gift that you didn't ask for and don't particularly like—or worse, don't know what it is—can be awkward. Eliminate that stress by registering well before the invitations for your shower go out (with enough gifts to go around) so you lessen the chance for surprise when you're center stage. Even if you can't possibly come up with enough gifts to fill your guest list and your shower list, fake it. It's better to return things from places you know then to try and track down where the purple and pink spatula set you'll never use hails from
4. Have someone else keep track of the thank yous.
Ideally someone who knows all the guests. That way, they can clue you in on who is who if you're still trying to figure out Aunt Edna from Aunt Ida. Plus, you can focus your energies on opening the gift and thanking the respective party, while they're busy writing down who gave you what (in the most descriptive way possible) so come thank you time later, you're set.
**We also used a very nifty Wedding Gift Thank You tracker spreadsheet that helped us keep both shower gifts and wedding gifts straight. If you're interested in receiving this tracker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send to you!
5. It may sound cliche, but remember to have fun.
You may get uncomfortable with all eyes on you, but in all reality, these people have come together to celebrate you and your special day. Just relax and go with the flow. The more at ease you are, the more fun everyone else will have. Enjoy!