There are many wedding traditions that are commonly practised but I think the bridal shower might be my new favourite. I’m not referring to the let’s-get-naughty-and-act-like-it’s-our-last-night-on-earth bachelorette party. Because getting married is like being on your deathbed, right?
It’s not even about the gift giving where you get some thoughtful gifts, some useful, and many that raise eyebrows and quick whispers to each other like, “how the heck is she supposed to take THAT home?” Or “What the heck is she supposed to do with that photo collage? Hang it in her new home?”
It’s really about the gathering of women who may not all know each other at first but end up bonding over the joint appreciation and love for the bride-to-be. It truly is a wonderful way to celebrate a marriage and a person, especially when there’s a surprise, a special cocktail designed by the fiancé, delicious food served by an exceptional restaurant staff, and a “he said she said” game that has everyone guessing, laughing and learning a new thing or two about the bride and groom (the bride included).
If you are planning someone’s bridal shower, here are some tips to make it as successful as my cousin Yen’s was:
1. Get a list of all of her close friends that she would like to invite to her bridal shower and/or bachelorette party.
2. Opt to use an online invitation app like Paperless Post to manage all the guests and to communicate with them easily. Chasing after RSVPs are no fun, let an app do most of the work for you.
3. Make it a surprise! Who doesn’t love surprises? Let me rephrase, who doesn’t love a good surprise? We wanted to ensure Yen would get dressed up for the surprise dinner so I sent her a message asking her to get dressed up but it tipped her off! After an urgent message from her fiance letting me know that she was bugging him for the truth, my sister and I scrambled to put together a series of lies that would throw the scent off the surprise trail. Much to our relief, we foiled all of her suspicious attempts…including telling her I had an “announcement to make at dinner”…I think that sealed the deal (wink).
4. If you don’t want it to be a lot of work, host it at a restaurant that has good food and even better service. We hosted the bridal shower at Mott 32. The staff were kind enough to help me pre order the menu in advance, give us Bobby to manage our dinner party, and even had their own ideas on how to make sure she was surprised upon arrival. Because of the amazing staff, we were all able to have a good time while being pampered and having all our needs attended to, including lots of photo taking.
The food at Mott 32 was good but 2 dishes stood out for me. The siu mai with a quail egg inside topped with black truffles. Yes, you heard me. A quail egg inside with black truffles. OMG. It was delicious! How has no one thought about this before? The second dish that I loved was the prawn with salted egg. I swoon. We only got one piece each but I honestly could have eaten a plateful.
5. Ask the groom to create a cocktail for the bride and serve it at the party. Based on Yen’s personality and palette, Sharan created a delicious cocktail which he aptly called, “The Foxymoron.” We kickstarted our dinner with a toast and a newfound appreciation for Sharan’s potential profession as a mixologist.
6. Play a fun “he said she said“ game. I sent a list of questions to the groom in advance and he emailed me back his responses. At the dinner, I went through the list first asking the bride for her answer (and everyone else for what they thought) then reading out Sharan’s responses. It was hilarious and actually really educational! Even the bride said she felt like she got to know more about Sharan. In actuality, we all did. We all learned something new about the bride, the groom, and left feeling elated about the union.
7. Instead of asking people to bring a gift, have them bring their favourite recipe instead. Yen is an avid cook and we are always swapping recipes. Everyone was asked to bring their favourite recipe instead of a gift to help build a wider recipe collection for many more meals to be enjoyed in their bright future. Think about the bride’s interests and try to customize the gift giving around something more meaningful for the couple to enjoy.
8. Bring a polaroid and a notebook and create a scrapbook at the party. I got this idea from the last wedding I went to in London. Polaroid cameras are magnetic, people love them. I certainly do. I brought my Polaroid, took photos of everyone with the bride-to-be and then had everyone stick it in a black notebook along with their message and their favourite recipe with gold and silver pens. Simple, fun, and a lovely keepsake for the bride-to-be.
Thank you to the fantastic team at Mott 32 for being so attentive and going out of their way to make the night special complete with balloons and flowers. You guys really know how to make 14 girls feel good!
Thank you to Sharan for being a gracious and eager partner in crime. He did not break when she threatened their marriage and families if he lied to her about the surprise, his answers for the “he said she said” game were hilarious and full of personality, and he created a most delicious cocktail with the most appropriate name. Yen, he’s a keeper! We also think The Foxymoron should be on drink menus everywhere IMMEDIATELY.
Recipe created by Sharan Duggal
What you need:
Sweet sparkling white wine
A twist of lemon
What to do:
Add contents to an ice-filled mixing glass or metal shaker. Stirred not shaken, for about 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.