Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Display Showers - to display or not to display?

If you are searching for a contemporary way to host a Bridal shower, a "display shower" may be just the way to go. They are appropriate for people who do not want to go the traditional route of watching the Bride open gift after gift. Also, it may be a great choice for parties that have a large number of guests. In this article, I will write about my experience with a display shower for 80 guests...

The invitation is very important. The Mother-of-the-Bride selected an invitation that was inserted into a clear cellophane bag and then tied with a pretty ribbon (it was then placed in the white envelope and mailed). It was a perfect selection that indicated to the guest how the gifts should be "wrapped". Guests are to "wrap" their gift in cellophane so that it has a transparent view. Bows, ribbons or other beautiful decorations can be then used to further enhance the presentation.

In the first photo, my co-worker and I started prepping the three six foot banquet tables with hat boxes and other items to LIFT the gifts and give the table dimension and interest. We were careful to make some areas higher in an effort to spotlight the larger gifts. A flat surface is not going to look attractive and may appear rather boring and dull. So make sure you are prepared! The linens are then laid out to cover the boxes. This preparation is done PRIOR to the guests arrival.

As the guests arrive, their gifts are placed and positioned on the table according to a specific category such as kitchen, bath and bed. This method makes it easier to organize items according to a theme and looks very appealing. Notice in the second photo all the kitchen items...cookbooks, coffee maker, food processor etc. Also, AND most importantly, there are tags on the gifts that correspond to the appropriate gift giver! This makes it very easy for the Bridal attendants to record all the Brides beautiful gifts in an organized fashion. Additionally, it ensures that everyone feels appreciated and it invites free flowing conversation amongst the guests. A display shower allows the guests to mingle more and enjoy each others company while they are waiting for lunch to be served.

The third photo displays some of the bath items. Notice how you can see the powder blue bath towels through the clear "wrap" and the pretty, sheer, organza ribbon that is used for embellishment. The only gift that we decided not to unveil was the gift from Tiffany's. This was done because of the expense and fragility of the gift enclosed. Also, the color of the box speaks VOLUMES. Everyone knows where it came from!!:-) If you are hosting a display shower, always be especially careful of gifts such as fine china and other exquisite items. It is best I think NOT to display them or set aside a special table with just one setting of the fine china, flatware, glassware etc. Use your best judgement.

After lunch is served and the Bridal shower is coming to a successful close, it will now be time for the Bride to open her very special gifts from her Mother, Grandmother and Mother-in-law. These should be the only gifts that are wrapped in a traditional manner. As you can see in the last photo (foreground of picture), my customer rented the Bridal chair especially for this. It is appropriate to set these special gifts apart from the others so they can have the full attention of all the guests.

Hopefully, this information was helpful in deciding if a display shower is the kind of party you would like to host. Regardless of the theme, setting or other details, just make sure you put your best effort forward and always think about the personality of the Bride. The type of person she is should guide you in the right direction. Happy planning!!

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