Once upon a time, a bridal shower was ladies only and consisted of finger sandwiches, punch and cake. Everyone would bring a gift and the ladies would play wedding games centered around the bride. Recently though, the trend is leading more to including the men as well and centering it around a fun coed party. One great idea for this is a casual, southern barbecue.
Venue and rentals: Think about who is giving the party for the couple and who has the best backyard. Add a mixture of tables and chairs, some twinkle lights you are good to go. Although, it's always fun to mix and match tables and chairs, you can always check with your local rental company. They can also provide you with linens, plates, silverware and glasses.
Menu: You will need something everyone will enjoy and that everyone can eat. Think about the bridal couples favorites when planning the menu and be sure to include a vegetarian or vegan option or two for those that have dietary restrictions. Also, think about food that can be partially prepared beforehand so that not much time is lost at the grill itself. Keep your appetizers and side dishes simple too. Make at least one or two ahead of time and of course if your budget allows, think about hiring a local caterer to handle the food for you. If you decide to do this on your own, make sure you select someone ahead of time as the griller. You may want to divide the time between two people so they can each enjoy a little of the party.
Pick and chill the beverages ahead of time. Place bottled drinks in ice-filled tubs. If you are serving alcohol, think about sangrias or punches that are served in a bulk in pitchers. Be sure to also include non alcoholic beverages for those who prefer it. Give someone the responsibility of refilling the containers as they become low.
For a cookout, a propane grill is probably for more suitable because it's faster and requires less attention. You can generally rent a large grill so you can cook more at one time. Make sure to have an extra container of propane so you don't run out.
With regards to dessert, think about cupcakes or different types of brownies and cookies. This allows things to be easier to pickup and eat while talking and visiting.
WEATHER: Watch out for the weather forecast and always have a backup plan in case of rain. Make sure you arrange canopies to cover the grill and reception tables. If the weekly forecast looks dreary and you don't have the ability to bring it in house, think about renting a big party tent or two smaller ones from your local rental company.
Those are the basics. For more ideas on food and decorating ideas, check out our Pinterest Boards: