March Tutorial: How to host a virtual bridal shower

I'm baaaack!

Today I'd like to share with you one of the many projects that's been keeping me so darn busy this month. First of all, I have to mention that while I may talk about my wedding on a fairly regular basis, I don't think I've talked much about the fact that this is the year of the wedding in our household.

I've only ever been a flower girl in a wedding before... and that was a good 20-ish years ago. This year I'm a bridesmaid in two weddings, on top of being a bride in my own- one in June, ours in October, the last in November. But I'm not finished yet- there's two more! We're attending my bridesmaid Anna's wedding in May, and the other, which we unfortunately can't attend, is my cousin Jen's in November. Oye. So back to the project.

One of my high school girlfriends actually got married last June. Long story short, he's in the Air Force, was getting deployed, so they had a small ceremony at the time, but they still want a big celebration once he gets back. So this year, on their one year anniversary, they're having a traditional wedding and reception. Since I'm one of the bridesmaids, I stepped up to host the bridal shower. Difficult thing is, she lives in Montana and won't be back in Missouri (where most of her guests live and the wedding will be) until the week before the wedding. So I did the bridal shower working around this issue... virtual style.



The photo above was the evite that was sent out. I embedded the image into the body of an email and sent it to all the guests whose addresses I had. So how exactly do you host a virtual bridal shower? You start a blog, of course!



Step one: Email your invitation. (see first photo for mine) I recommend doing an open site after trying to do a private site myself. The hassle of sending invitations via blogger and folks who don't normally read blogs not understanding the process was a bit overwhelming- so learn from my mistake! Chances are you won't have too many uninvited folks visiting your site if you're not tagging posts and there are settings to make it invisible in blogger search and google search.

Step two: Make an intro page. I just made a post that would appear on the home page to serve as instructions for the shower itself. I also utilized the static pages feature that blogger offers to create the rest of the site. You're allowed to have ten pages total, and I used eight: (which you can see right under the header of the site) About the couple, registry, favors, advice, and four games: mad lib, 20 questions, in your purse, and first date.


Step Three: Choose your games wisely. Many bridal shower games require you to all be in the same room as each other. I picked the four that I did because they were games where guests could leave their answers in the comments. 20 questions was a game about Justin and how well Jackie knows him. I wrote questions like how did he find out Santa wasn't real (sorry if I just crushed anyone's dreams) and what was the name of his first pet. Guests left the number that they thought Jackie and Justin would answer the same way.


The Mad Lib was also fun because people just filled in the prompts, and when it was all over, I posted everyone's answers filled into the mad lib. Jackie picked her favorite for the winner. For first date- Jackie told the story of her first date with Justin, guests left their stories with their significant others, and Jackie picked her favorite for the winner. And finally, for in your purse, guests posted the contents of their purse and I had a key to award them points for each item.



Step Four: Make a page for guests to leave advice for the couple. Check out what our guests wrote:



Step Five: Get the registry information from the bride and set up a page to link to it. Since we couldn't bring gifts to watch her open them at a bridal shower, we all mailed our gifts straight to her.



Step Six: You can't have a bridal shower without a favor to thank the guests! I decided to do a printable piece of art. That way guests could print it from their own computers and frame/use it as they please. Don't think I'd leave you hanging... if you want to use my favor for a virtual shower of you own, (or if you just want a little freebie art!) you can download it here.

That's it! Simple, straightforward, and if you already have a blog then you know exactly what to do. Do you know a bride who lives far away from her guests and could benefit from a virtual shower? What other ways have you been creative with bridal showers?

Header and invitation art pieces made from downloads from Pugly Pixel.
Images of the couple courtesy of the bride.
Favor art done by Moi :)

26 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I did a lot of traveling for my bridal showers (California, Minnesota and Omaha) since our family and friends are so spread out--this is a great alternative :)

    Have a great day!

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  2. That's so adorable! What a great party!

    x

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  3. Can you show me the invite...it's not loading on the page for me. I'm putting together something similar for my friend and just wondered what you did for the invite. Thank you. You did a great job!

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    1. Not sure why it won't load, but if you send me an email at cleverbettycraft (at) gmail (dot) com, I'll forward you a screenshot of the evite!

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    2. can i also get a copy of the evite? i will email you too! :)

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    3. Hi Caryn, and anyone else who comes across this- the email invitation I used is the first photo on this page- it's shaped like a big purple tag. I embedded it into the body of an email sent to the guests.

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  4. Could you share the mad lib story that you created? Fabulous idea, and I'd like to use it if you don't mind. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Megan! I just did a Google search at the time for "bridal shower mad lib." If you zoom in on the photo above it shows that the guests only saw the prompts for the blanks, not the entire mad lib. I filled in the blanks afterwards to have the bride pick a winner and posted the winner's filled-in mad lib on the site later on. I'm pretty sure this is the mad lib I used, though I've since taken the shower site down so I can't completely confirm! http://www.diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com/bridal-shower-mad-lib.html

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  5. How amazing! And, perfect as my daughter who lives in IL currently is moving to AZ where her father and I live. She and her fiance are getting married this September (2013) at the Grand Canyon. I have been trying to figure out what to do about the shower and I thought of a virtual shower but had no idea how to do it. I do not know about blogging. I am an avid Facebooker and so are most of the family and certainly my daughter's friends. I am looking into whether there is a way to use Skype or OoVoo to have folks "dial-in" to a live session to watch her open gifts. Any thoughts on that? kacz213@comcast.net

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    1. Great idea to do a Skype shower for opening of the gifts!

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  6. I'm trying to do something similar but for the life of me I can't figure out how to make a guest registry/sign in page or how to allow guests to answer game questions on the game page. How did you make these pages interactive? So far everything will have to be done on the home page in the comments. Frustrating. If I could even add a comments section on some of the individual pages I'd be happy. Do you mind sharing how you did it? Thanks

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    1. Hi Terry,
      If you still need the answer to this (sorry, I had a baby recently so haven't been checking in often!) I believe it is a setting within Blogger under preferences. I'm sorry I can't be more specific as it's been a while since I set it up but I know it's in there somewhere!

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  7. I also thought about how one might do a virtual bridal shower and so naturally I googled the idea and saw this blog. THANK YOU! We also have a Montana connection - my daughter is in Texas along with her fiance but the wedding will be in Montana where we are from. But I am living in Washington DC until August and relatives are scattered across the US. So virtual is the way to go! Did you consider having a webcam skype/google plus hour?

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    1. We did consider a live camera setup, but it just wasn't feasible with the demographics of the guests we were inviting. If you try it out definitely let me know how it went, it sounds like it'd be really fun!

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  8. I also thought about how one might do a virtual bridal shower and so naturally I googled the idea and saw this blog. THANK YOU! We also have a Montana connection - my daughter is in Texas along with her fiance but the wedding will be in Montana where we are from. But I am living in Washington DC until August and relatives are scattered across the US. So virtual is the way to go! Did you consider having a webcam skype/google plus hour?

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  9. I also thought about how one might do a virtual bridal shower and so naturally I googled the idea and saw this blog. THANK YOU! We also have a Montana connection - my daughter is in Texas along with her fiance but the wedding will be in Montana where we are from. But I am living in Washington DC until August and relatives are scattered across the US. So virtual is the way to go! Did you consider having a webcam skype/google plus hour?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also thought about how one might do a virtual bridal shower and so naturally I googled the idea and saw this blog. THANK YOU! We also have a Montana connection - my daughter is in Texas along with her fiance but the wedding will be in Montana where we are from. But I am living in Washington DC until August and relatives are scattered across the US. So virtual is the way to go! Did you consider having a webcam skype/google plus hour?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also thought about how one might do a virtual bridal shower and so naturally I googled the idea and saw this blog. THANK YOU! We also have a Montana connection - my daughter is in Texas along with her fiance but the wedding will be in Montana where we are from. But I am living in Washington DC until August and relatives are scattered across the US. So virtual is the way to go! Did you consider having a webcam skype/google plus hour?

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  12. Did you do prizes for the winners of the games? If so, how did you get the prizes to people? I'm thinking at the wedding or just splurging and mailing it to them.

    Great idea!

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    1. Hi Leann! I did gift cards as prizes and mailed them to guests. It wasn't 100% ideal but it was cheaper to mail. People told me they liked that they got to go shopping for a little something for themselves!

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  13. Lauren,
    Thank you so much for your sharing your experience with hosting a virtual shower-what a wonderful post! My daughter and her friends are mostly in North Carolina, and several of us are in far away states, so a virtual shower is ideal :)
    Any new thoughts, ideas, or experiences to share as you've bound to have come up with more since you posted this!
    Also, I am new to setting up a blog. Would you describe what an "open site" is and would you have a suggestion as to which site to use?
    Thank you bunches!
    Shawne in Arkansas

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    1. Shawne, I actually haven't done any virtual showers in a couple of years so no new ideas to share here! I would recommend using blogspot (the same platform this blog is on) for a beginner as it's the easiest to use. When you get started setting up your blog you'll have an option to make it "open" like this site where anyone can visit the web address, or "closed/private" where only people who have been given the link or who have a password to access it can get in. Totally up to you to decide how you want to set it up but I found the open site to be less of a hassle for me. Hope that helps. Lauren

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    2. Thank you very much for your reply with all the additional information :). I am looking forward to getting started on all the fun! Best to you Lauren, Shawne

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  14. This is the best idea! Thanks so much for all the great insight. I'm planning to host a virtual shower for my sorority little via Facebook, but I'll definitely be borrowing a lot of these ideas!

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  15. This is just a brilliant idea!! Why this idea didn’t come in my mind while planning for bridal shower party for my sister. Well, her bridal shower was also fun and enjoyable. I organized a dance party at one of domestic chicago wedding venues.

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