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A Country Bridal Shower

It is possible to throw a fun, chic, non-stressful Bridal Shower. I know because my grandma and I recently hosted one for my cousin’s intended, the lovely Jenna, and it was a blast. Here’s what worked for us.

The Bride-To-Be and my Grandma’s wedding dress

Start the party with a lot of food and barely any chairs: Showers have weird traditions that don’t exactly make for easy socializing. Would you make a bunch of strangers sit around in a circle and watch another woman open gifts under other circumstances? Not so much. And it’s the worst when they make you wait until the end for the food.

So don’t torture your guests. Feed them first, give them plenty of places to congregate (but not settle in) and they’ll be just fine.

Serve fun food that doesn’t stress you out: It’s a party, not a hostessing exam.

We served a combination of church basement comfort food and fancy nibbles. My grandma threw in a couple of wild cards — bites of sharp cheddar on homemade skewers and mini Drumstick cones like you’d find on an ice cream truck that she passed around before gift opening —  and these touches made the party. The unexpected is always more fun.

And yes, we served a million desserts. The bride likes cream puffs! I had a moral obligation!

Let functional items shine: A country shower is a great excuse to dig out heirloom serving dishes and decorative items like fancy cake stands that don’t see a lot of use. For the finishing touches, we used lace tablecloths, pretty paper and hand stitched dishtowels as accents.

Pick one show-stopper and don’t overthink it: I bought a bunch of mason jars at the thrift store and carted them to Prairie Petals in downtown Fargo.

Kimberly Hess and her team of flower wizards produced a cheerful tumble of wildflowers that managed to be both striking and laid-back.

Bring back the cocktail hour: Who doesn’t want a cocktail when you’re chatting and eating cream puffs? It’s only natural.

We mixed up fresh lemonade and mojitos in pretty pitchers and put out cocktail shakers of vodka and rum so guests could serve themselves. That way everyone could enjoy something refreshing and nobody made a big deal out of who was imbibing and who was not.

I knew we had a good thing going when the chatter reached a dull roar and I had to send the groom out for more rum!

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