Since in-person gatherings are out (at least for the next few months), why not take your bridal shower virtual! Bridal showers are a great way to celebrate the bride, which is particularly important during this extra stressful wedding planning season. Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your virtual bridal shower a success.
There are tons of virtual hangout software programs available. You’ll want to look for one that allows you to include lots of people and doesn’t have too short of a time limit. I’d recommend going with whichever software you are most comfortable with, but my preference is Google Meet (free) or Zoom (paid version).
While I am usually all about a paper invitation, I think for a virtual party an email invite works better. Even if you do decide to send paper invitation, I’d recommend following up with an email with specific instructions, links, and passwords. Make sure to be really explicit in instructions on how to log into the event. While instructions won’t eliminate technical difficulties entirely, it will hopefully reduce the number of them at the beginning of the event.
I’d also recommend keeping the list on the smaller side (under 20 people) because too many more tiny faces on your screen make it almost impossible to interact. With 10 to 20 people everyone should get a chance to say hello, although mute buttons should definitely be used when people aren’t speaking.
One of the most impactful ways you can create a festive environment, even though a computer screen is coming up with a theme. While sometimes themes can lean into the cheesy, we could all use a little extra cheesy-joy these days. Your theme can be anything from a city that holds some significance to the bride-to-be, a movie, an era, or even a letter of the alphabet. With a virtual bridal shower, the largest place you will be able to create the theme is through the dress code. Encourage guests to wear something on the theme to help create a fun atmosphere.
Another thing you can do to set the mood is to create a playlist! Even with a virtual event, it is helpful to have some music in the background to help smooth over any awkward silences. Logistics for this can be a little tricky, but I recommend just playing the music through your speakers and never switching to mute. You’ll want to keep an eye on the volume, so you can still hear people speaking over the music (unless you want the music to take center stage for a dance break).
As for décor, since the party will be taking place in the homes of everyone attending, setting up the typical décor is pretty difficult. One option is to send favors ahead, so people can décor their own spaces. These favors should be simple, some balloons, and a fun glass, so it isn’t too much work for anyone to set up. Another option is to create some custom backgrounds that people can use on their screens. Canva has some great templates that you can customize for your event. Just make sure to send these out ahead of time with instructions on how to set-up the background.
One of the biggest activities during a bridal shower is seeing the bride open all her gifts. This can be easily accomplished virtually with a bit of preplanning. Encourage guests to order gifts ahead and have them sent to the bride’s home. If you want to make sure the bride isn’t accidentally opening her presents thinking it’s the dog food, ask guests to include “bridal shower” on the address recipient. While most items should come off her registry, I also think it’s a sweet gesture to have some gifts she can use immediately. Send flowers to brighten her space or a bottle of champagne for her to enjoy during the shower.
Bridal shower games are a must. Again, they are cheesy and silly, but we’re embracing that for this bridal shower. I’ve included a few bridal shower game ideas that are virtual friendly, but the sky’s the limit!
Where were we?- In this game, a picture is shown of the bride and/or groom and guests must identify where and when the picture was taken. This game is a great way to walk down memory lane. It’s also pretty easy to set-up, just create a slideshow with the images you want to use.
Newlywed Trivia- This game tests who has the best knowledge of the couple! There are a lot of different ways you can set this up, but I’d recommend creating a PowerPoint with multiple-choice questions about the bride and/or groom. Instead of having guests shoutout their answers, have them write their choice on a sheet of paper and show the camera. This way everyone can participate.
Zoom Scavenger Hunt- I was inspired by this Bon Appétit video to create this game. Guests will have to race to find all the items on a list. I’ve created an example one (there's a PDF at the end of the blog post), but you can also create your own with specific things relevant to your friends. Just make sure most people will have the majority of the items. The game isn’t fun if it’s impossible.
Mad Libs Vows- This is probably the easiest option. Like any other Mad Libs, someone will ask for word suggestions for particular parts of speech until all the blanks are filled in and then read the message aloud. For this specific Mad Libs the bride will ask for the words to complete her “vows” and then read them aloud. It’s a silly and simple game, but always lots of fun. I've included a PDF of one I created below.