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Monday, January 17, 2011

My Bridal Shower Planning Experience

This what keeps me busy this past few days that's why I haven't been writing on my blog.  I organized a bridal shower for my friend who is about to get married a few days from now.  This is not the first time I planned for this kind of event although the last one was years ago.  The planning was quite rush since the initial bridal party idea "failed".  Well, it just failed because the number of confirmed attendees was way too less than what I have expected.

Initially, I planned for a spa party.  This kind of party is already getting famous not just for a bridal showers but also for any type of event that is relaxing, fun and kikay.  My idea of spa party for bridal shower is not only having a spa treatment but also giving a bonding time with your girl friends.  A few spa party packages have incorporated this idea with inclusion of food and souvenirs.  But most of them does not have their own venue to provide this party package.   There are about 2-3 spa service packages that can provide venue but the spa service is very limited and the duration of stay is about 4 hours max.  (More details on the spa party packages I've gathered on the next blog).          

So my dilemma is finding a very cheap venue where we can hold a spa party.  Separate payments will be made for the venue and spa party provider.  I need to have sufficient attendees to divide the expenses.  Another dilemma.  It's really hard to get all attendees to confirm most especially if you hardly know some.  The age bracket of the guest list were also quite extremes so you have to consider those student guests.  For sure they wouldn't have that much money to splurge on a spa.  Dilemma noted.  I forgot to mention that most of the spa service provider requires at least 10-15 pax for the spa party to push through.  Another potential dilemma.  And of course, I also need to find a strategic location that is accessible to all or at least most of the guests.  Considering these, I trim down my options then as follows:

  • Option 1: Hotel + spa party package = Php 1,000++ per head, location: Ortigas
  • Option 2: Spa party package with venue (limited service) = Php 800 per head, location: Mandaluyong
  • Option 3: Spa party package with venue (limited servie) = Php 6,000++ minimum, location: Makati
  • Option 4: Spa party package with venue (any service) = Php 6,000++ minimum, location: Paranque
The last option seems a great deal but the location may be a problem and the minimum amount may become expensive when there are only a few confirmed attendees.   Same is true with option 3.  I need substantial number of attendees to divide the cost, however, this option only provides very limited service.

My very big dilemma comes in when I got the final list of attendees.  There were only less than 5 guest who confirmed (excluding me and the bride).  I got quite frustrated.  How can a friend turn down a friend's bridal shower? Well, their reasons may be valid, I don't wanna know anymore.  We're already considering option 4.  It will turn out, upon dividing the cost, each will shell out at least Php 1,500++ for the spa party package.  Quite a big amount already although all confirmed attendees are already working so I'm pretty sure we can all manage it.  But then again I thought of the location.  The location is advantageous to me as it is very near to our home.  However, I kept on thinking how will the guest leave the area as it is located in a village?  None of us know how to drive.  There are van shuttle services coming from Makati that reaches to Paranaque, specifically passing by that spa venue.  However, that shuttle does not pass by the same area to return to Makati.  I know there are tricycles in the village but I'm not so sure as to where their final drop off is located (I live in a different village that's why I'm not familiar with it).  Easy to come in but difficult to get out, unless you have your own car.

With these, I'm close to revamping the whole bridal shower plan, excluding the spa party idea already.  After some more thinking and consultations, I decided to held this bridal shower in a hotel, the traditional way: games, stripper, girl bonding and gift giving.  I already omitted the stripper idea due to budget constraints (sigh).  So now I'm in search of a very cheap hotel, sticking to a budget of Php 500-600 per head.  There were quite a few hotels in Makati that suites my budget.  I find a one somewhere in Salcedo but unfortunately it's already booked for my specific date.  I'm almost close to booking and reserving at Go Hotel, the cheapest I can find that has about 22 square meters of space, still small but maybe just enough for us.  A friend of mine texted me and she was kind enough to offer her discount voucher at Holiday Inn Galleria where you can stay overnight at almost half the price.  Without second thoughts, I grabbed the opportunity.  Holiday Inn may not be a five star hotel but it is enough already and fits our budget perfectly.  The overnight accommodation stay with buffet breakfast for two, is already a great gift for the bride and her future husband.  They can have an advance honeymoon there, haha!

All these were decided 5 days before the bridal shower event.  I still have ample time to decide on the games, decor, prizes, etc.  Maybe I'll discuss these in a separate blog and how the bridal shower went.  I'm very thankful to my friend for giving me her discount voucher.  It cuts the time of searching for a very cheap hotel.
Here are some tips [I learned] in planning a bridal shower:
  1. ONLY invite people in the bridal shower if they are also invited to the wedding.  Otherwise, don't bother.  It will just create emotional issues on the part of the guest.
  2. Be considerate.  As the host/organizer of the party, you have to consider your guests' and the bride's preference.  You cannot plan/organize an event that is in favor to you (you are not the bride!).  You have to consider your guests' budget, location, age, gender, religion, to name a few.  But of course, you cannot please everybody.  Only your judgement (and right thinking) can lead you to the common good.
  3. Have a back up plan, in case something unforeseen circumstances happen on the day of the event itself, like a sudden unavailability of a guest.  This is very important especially when your whole plan is dependent on the number of attendees.
  4. Constantly remind your guest about the event.  One text or email may not be sufficient.  Some may forget about it.
  5. Have a theme.  It is a lot easier to plan when you have a theme.  Everything follows with it from the decor up to the token/souvenirs.
  6. It will be helpful to consult other guests/friends for ideas, comments and suggestions (very helpful in cases you're running out of time).
  7. You can still have fun even with little resources, that includes money and guests!  That's why thorough research is required and the helping hand of friends as stated in #6.
  8. Have fun and enjoy.  The planning stage and coordination with guests may be stressful but always remember you're doing this for a very good friend.  You want the best for her last few days of being single.


  1. I only joined a bridal shower once. In the future, I wanna attend a Turkish type of bridal shower. I wanna experience henna painting and going to the Turkish public bathroom with the girls! :)

  2. ^Hmm, i wonder how other countries celebrate a bridal shower, if any, or a Turkish bridal shower for that matter. How is it different from ours? What's with the Turkish public bathroom?


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