Once upon a time there was a beautiful bride. And, as the bride's best friend, you're charged with throwing her the bridal shower of her dreams.
Your first task is to gather the troops. No one expects you to go it alone. Spreading the responsibility helps lighten the load and the costs. Plus, it gives you the chance to spend some preshower social time with the other women in the bride's life. Even if you think you can pull off this gathering on your own, it's a nice gesture to give others the opportunity to help.
Keep your sights on the leading lady. Let the bride be involved as much -- or as little -- as she'd like. Some brides want to be part of every decision. Others put their confidence in a close relative or bridesmaid and remain hands-off. Either way, respect her wishes. At the very least, though, choose an available date and location and let her supply or approve the guest list.
If you're planning a surprise party, you'll want to enlist the help of a trusted friend, sister, or mother of the bride, since they can assist with the date, guest list, and ploy for getting the bride to the surprise shower on time.
Shower day will be all about pampering the guest of honor. Make her laugh, make her blush -- and capture it all on film. Assign a close friend to stay by her side when opening gifts -- to jot down each gift and who it is from.
Continued on page 2: Invitations