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Host Bridal Showers at Sale Prices

With wedding season gearing up, it's a sure bet that someone you know will be tying the knot this year. Whether the bride is a friend, a relative, or a relative-to-be, as a woman you're bound to be invited to at least one bridal shower. You may even have the sometimes-dubious honor of being the hostess. It doesn't matter if you're the bride's best friend or a mere acquaintance, a bridal shower can take a big bit out of your budget if you're not careful. With a bit of forethought, however, you can take advantage of sales to make hostessing a bridal shower a breeze. To ensure that the bridal shower is a success, follow these simple steps: Guest List: First, decide upon the number of guests your venue (most likely your home) can reasonably accommodate.

Then work with the bride-to-be in determining whom to invite. Most importantly, get a sense of the demographics of the invitees. Are they her co-workers, friends of her mother's, or her best buddies? The guest list will determine the theme and tone of the shower. Activities: Depending on the guest list, silly bridal shower games can be fun. If it's a crowd of sophisticates, though, you may want to stick to the basics and pass on the games.

Supplies: Bridal-themed paper products and decorations can bust your budget. If you have serviceable dishes, flatware, and glass ware, by all means use those. Keep an eye out for sales and discounts on shower decorations, or get creative and make your own. Gifts: When guests RSVP, they're sure to ask about gifts. You can circumvent that by making the shower a themed event. Perhaps the bride-to-be really wants cutlery, or maybe she needs luggage for her honeymoon. You can suggest that guests pool their money and buy a big ticket item - like a piece of furniture or a TV - or suggest gifts that will indulge the bride - such as lingerie, fragrances, and jewelry. You could even opt for something more out of the ordinary. One idea is to get a list of the bride and groom's all-time favorite movies, and ask guests to bring one DVD and to make a contribution toward a DVD player. This will get the couple's entertainment center off to a great start.

During the Shower: When guests arrive and you take their coats and handbags, ask them if they wouldn't mind turning off their cell phones. Everyone will enjoy the shower more if cell phones aren't ringing every few seconds. Ahead of time, ask one of the guests to bring her camera, or distribute disposable cameras to each of the guests as they arrive. Ask for the film or collect the cameras at the end of the evening so you can get the photos developed and present the bride-to-be with a scrapbook of the occasion. You should also have a camcorder on hand, along with a volunteer who will record the party. The bride-to-be can share the video with her fiancé, and it can also serve as an insurance policy should she happen to forget which gift came from whom. Have Fun: Don't let the task of hostessing prevent you from having a good time. If you've played your cards right, you've been able to take advantage of sales and throw a terrific party that the bride will remember for years to come. ZZZZZZ .


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