There’s a reason it’s called a bridal shower. People are supposed to “shower” the bride with adoration, gifts, advice, food, and lots and lots of drinks. She should be surrounded by people most dear to her heart—her family, friends, and her fiancé’s family. Supposedly, people who are not invited to the wedding should not be present during the shower. That’s awkward and unnecessarily stressful. Keep the guest list small so that the bride can bond with everyone. But hey, if the bride wants a large party, then why not?
Schedule spa breaks in Bath or other cities. The bride needs to relax before her wedding day, and so do her bridesmaids, entourage, and guests. For this not to be too heavy in the pockets, everyone should pay for their services. Perhaps, the maid of honor can shoulder the food and drink expenses. The services, which cost an average of about $100, should be shouldered by the guests.
You don’t have to rent a hotel ballroom or a private restaurant to throw a party. You can do it in the comfort of your own home. If you don’t have a large backyard, ask someone else to provide the place. Maybe a cousin of the bride has a backyard large enough to accommodate everyone? All you have to do is to set up the garden with string lights, tables, chairs, and flowers. You’re all good to go. As for the food, go for potlucks. Ask everyone to bring what they think is the bride’s favorite dish. Of course, you have to coordinate accordingly so that you don’t bring the same thing.
Don’t close the bar. That’s the antithesis of what you are trying to do, which is to mingle with other people. Remember that these are the last few days the bride is legally single. This is the best time for her to talk to her admirers (as long as everything remains cordial and respectful). Allow the bride to let loose on the dance floor, too. Ask the DJ to play her favorite song and maybe announce to the whole bar that she’s taken and about to be married. Who knows? Maybe you can get a few rounds of cocktails for free.
You don’t have to get on an airplane to travel to new places. Maybe there’s a new tourist spot to see in the city next to yours. How about taking a road trip there? A short road trip is a nice way to bond with the bride. You can take multiple stopovers to try all the diners in seedy gas stations. That’s a fun way to rediscover yourselves.
Enroll in a pottery class or a flower arrangement class. These are alternatives to the usual bridal shower party. You should choose a class that the bride will be interested in. Keep in mind that this is about the bride and not you. Ask the bride what kind of new skills she wants to learn. Maybe she wants to learn how to make cakes and other kinds of pastries. Since she’s getting married, she might want to know her way around the kitchen.
A bridal shower party doesn’t need to be expensive. It has to be something the bride will enjoy. You have to know what she wants to do. You can’t force her to like something (like having male strippers) if that’s something she’s not comfortable with.