How to Host a Stylish Bridal Shower Outdoors

Wedding planner extraordinaire Shawn Rabideau shows you how to throw an event fit for a star.

outdoor bar station










Bulldog Photography


SN: What’s hot in bridal shower drinks right now, especially at outdoor weddings? Sangrias? Iced teas? Frozen drinks?

 SR: Everyone is always looking for the new "it" drink. Right now, I would say that beverages with all-natural ingredients that have a light taste are most popular. These would include: sweet tea vodkas, vodka and pomegranate, and fresh lemonade with sprig of mint. Even a champagne with a sweet-tasting nectar is perfect for a bridal shower. When planning parties, I always ensure that I have beverages for the non-drinkers too.

SN: Everyone’s on a budget these days, but what are some things the shower hosts shouldn’t cut corners on?

SR: Never cut corners on the venue, food, flowers or beverages when it comes to bridal showers. However, you can certainly avoid the favors! People toss them in the trash and it's money that could be spent elsewhere, such as upgrading a food station. If the bride feels compelled to gift something, then come up with a favor with the venue or caterer that the guests can take home and eat. For example, you can give guests containers with slices of the bridal shower cake or petit fours. Or make a monetary donation to a local charity, such as Wedding Wish.

SN: Shawn, what are the three biggest trends in bridal showers right now?

SR: The three hottest trends in bridal showers are:

1.  A throwback to Jack and Jill parties: many couples are combining their engagement parties with bridal showers and including both men and women. It's a great way for family members and friends to get to know each other before the big day.

2. Creating décor that guests can take home as favors, such as a garden party with pots of herbs and flowering plants. It serves a dual purpose and can save you money.

3. Photo guest books are always a hit because they create memories for the bride and groom. In addition, guests enjoy writing messages in them and sharing their photos. It's a win-win for everyone!

SN:  What’s coming up for you? Anything new in the works?

SR: Right now, I am super busy planning and designing my summer weddings and gearing up for fall weddings as well. I am working on a book and will be announcing that shortly. And there are a few other projects in the works, but I'm keeping those a secret for now…

SN: Our bridesmaids are going to want to follow everything you’re doing…where should they go to keep up with you?

SR: BG readers can keep up with me on my Facebook fan page and Twitter account. Plus you can join my newsletter for e-mail updates.

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