3 Party Fouls Novice Planners Make

Afternoon tea shower delights.

Here are three ways you can botch a party. 1. Don’t have a place for coats and purses, so your guests have to walk around clutching their handbag and jacket while trying to mingle and nibble hor devours  2. Hide the replacement toilet paper so your guests have to call out for it from the powder room. 3. Apologize for the food being overdone, obliging your guests to profusely express on how delicious your cooking is.  (It really doesn’t matter if the chicken is a tad dry).

Seriously, now for the real stuff. I asked Patti, our college mentor staff, and party planning extraordinaire, for her tips on how to throw a bridal shower. Patti has a knack for making each event special. My 5 year-old son still sleeps with the quilt she made for his baby shower. That shower was a special time for me. I asked her to share her secrets so we can learn how to create a momentous event for our loved ones.

Question: Patti, how many showers have you thrown?
Patti: “I have had the pleasure of hosting close to 25 showers – bridal and baby! Why so many? Well, I have been on staff, volunteering in college ministry at our church for 17 years! One of my biggest blessings is to see students fall totally in love with the Lord and then seeing the Lord drawing two people together to spend their whole lives in marriage together! There is nothing better than to celebrate their love by throwing a bridal shower for the bride-to-be.”
Tea Shower
Cozy tea theme display.

Question: After doing so many bridal showers, how do you make each one special?
Patti: “My goal for any shower is to make it unique and personal for each bride and making the shower glorifying to the Lord. I want the bride’s personality to shine through. Some examples of the showers are an afternoon tea with lace and tea sandwiches, natural things for a natural gal with a menu of yogurt parfait with her favorite granola as a favor, a brunch theme with baked french toast and a game theme where a table displayed a custom jigsaw puzzle that was assembled through out the shower!  Make some special menu items! My plan is to make the shower all about the bride and just loving on her.”

Tea Pot Invite
Tea pot Invite with a real tea bag inside.

Patti’s Party Planning Tips:
2 Months Before the Shower
1. Determine date for shower. (Remind bride to check with mother and mother of the groom.)
2. Interview bride as to her preferences:
-time of shower: brunch, lunch or afternoon
-theme for wedding, colors, theme verse?
-favorite foods, beverage
3. Ask bride for a guest list and addresses.
4. Meet with those who have shown interest in doing this shower with you! Those are our teammates. Sharing the load is so helpful. Determine where it will be, time, theme and invitations. Also find someone on the guest list that knows the bride well enough to share a 10 minute devotion and prayer time.

Favors for Tea Shower
Personalized tea pot favors.

1.5 Months Before the Shower 
1. Order or make invitations (I am a big fan of making them or ordering through Zazzle. Be sure to check coupons for Zazzle!)
1 Month before the shower
1. Address invitations and mail them one month before the date of the shower with your teammates.
2. Plan and share responsibilities for food, decorations, favors, name tags, etc.
Day Before the Shower
Set up as much as you can the day before. The idea is to have no rush the day of!
Day of the Shower
1. Plan to have teammates arrive at least two hours before the shower to set up drinks, coffee, set out food, final set up.
2. Plan to have everything done 20 to 30 minutes before the start time of the shower. Some guest arrive early!!’

Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus.

Planning a Party?
Here are some resources from her repertoire. Download Patti’s Party Planner Worksheet.
Crowd Pleaser Recipes:
Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus (link) *One of my favorites!
Spinach Salad in a Parmesan Frico Cup (link)
Mini Frittatas
Applebee’s Oriental Dressing
Chicken Salad
Egg Omelet
Baked French Toast
Iced Coffee Slush *Patti’s new favorite.
Flower Shaped Mini Lemon Curd Tarts
Pink Velvet Cupcakes
Black Bottom Cupcakes

Patti bio

Patti has been serving on college ministry staff for almost two decades. Her husband, Mark, leads a weekly Bible Study in their home where she hosts and feeds 50 to 100 hungry college students in season and out of season. She has four married children and eight grandchildren.

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