Wedding planner extraordinaire Shawn Rabideau shows you how to throw an event fit for a star.By: Sharon Naylor
SR: No matter what venue you throw your bridal shower at, there's going to be challenges.You have to pick and choose what is right for you…what are you willing to give up in exchange for the other? For example, you might love beaches because of the fabulous scenary, but the squawking seagulls might want to munch on your brunch. Or you might choose a rooftop or park where restrooms aren't convenient. These are questions you have to ask yourself. Whoever is planning the party needs to keep other guests’ needs in mind at all times. If grandma is in a wheelchair and doesn't get around too well, then a cruise on a boat or a day in the park might not be your best bet. Therefore, always look at the bigger picture.
SN: When choosing the menu, what should party hosts keep in mind? For example, cheeses will spoil in hot weather, the cake can melt to the ground, or gnats and bees may attack the food.
SR: Choosing a menu for an outdoor affair is always tricky, but not impossible. If you have the budget, I say hire a caterer. In the end, this will avoid a ton of headaches and bridesmaids can enjoy the party without having to worry if there's enough ice or if they need to make more tea sandwiches.
SN: Excellent point! Hosts shouldn’t be slaving over the details or getting stressed during the party. Plus expert caterers have worked tons of outdoor fête, so they know all of the ins and outs.
SR: Furthermore, a good caterer will serve foods that work for the time of day and year that you're throwing the shower. They have wonderful solutions so you don’t have to worry. Often, with outdoor affairs it's hard to avoid bugs such as bees, gnats or mosquitoes. If it’s a country club or a restaurant patio, ask if they can spray the area 24 to 48 hours prior to the event. This will help (but not solve) the bug issue. As for foods, choose dishes that can be passed and don't need to sit out for long periods of time.
SN: I love that! Guests adore the elegant serving style of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres and desserts, too.
SR: If you are doing a buffet, this is a great time to choose a venue that has an indoor and outdoor space that your guests can flow between. Do cocktails outside, brunch or lunch inside with the A/C and then cake and gifts outside again. Your food stays fresh and you get to enjoy the outside views and inside comforts.