With the words “social distancing” and “quarantine” added to our vocabulary this year (thanks, coronavirus!), many hostesses are scrambling to Plan B. Luckily, we have a solution for you…host a virtual bridal shower!
Sure, virtual bridal showers aren’t as much fun as celebrating with family and friends in person (boo, social distancing). But they’re a decent solution as we find ourselves in these uncertain circumstances.
Virtual bridal showers aren’t a new thing. They have been around for a few years. But we suspect they may rise in popularity as people come up with innovative ways to shower the bride from afar. If a virtual bridal shower isn’t your thing or you have a large guest list, you should consider hosting a bridal shower by mail.
Here are some of our tips and virtual bridal shower ideas to get you started.
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Send out a virtual bridal shower invitation
First, you’ll want to share your virtual bridal shower details with family, loved ones and friends. We’ve recently created several bridal shower by mail/long-distance shower invitations that can be customized with your virtual bridal shower details!
Sending your virtual bridal shower invitations
You can either mail, email or text your invitations to guests. Our invitations can easily be printed through our print partner, Prints of Love. You can also print on white cardstock using your home printer. Read more about how to print our invitations.
If you do choose to print and send your invitations, read our helpful tips on how to address bridal shower invitations first.
Use free video conferencing websites and apps
There are a ton of free online meeting/video conferencing websites you can use for your virtual bridal shower. This allows guests to see each other, see what the bride is doing and talk to one another.
You can use free conferencing software like Google Hangouts (guests will need a free Google/Gmail account to use it, if they don’t already have one), Zoom and even the FaceTime group chat feature (for up to 32 guests).
If you have a lot of people you’re “inviting,” you may want to opt for only doing a virtual gift opening. This can be live-streamed using Facebook Live or Instagram Live on the bride’s social media accounts. Just tell guests the time, date and bride’s profile so that they can tune in to watch.
Go over video chat etiquette with your guests
A word of advice for the virtual bridal shower hostess: before your virtual bridal shower starts and everyone has joined, take a few minutes to talk about some basic video conference etiquette.
If multiple people talk at once or someone doesn’t mute their mic, it picks up all the background noise at their house. No one will be able to hear anything, and it will prompt many people to likely leave the call. You don’t want that!
Do a virtual gift opening
Most people will agree that one of the best parts of a bridal shower is seeing all the great gifts! If the bride is comfortable with it, have the bride open her gifts virtually on the video conference/FaceTime call. Or, as mentioned above, if there are a lot of people you’re “inviting” to your virtual bridal shower, it might make more sense to just live stream the gift opening only using Facebook Live or Instagram Live on the bride’s personal social media accounts.
If you are doing a virtual gift opening, you will want to put registry details and a “deadline” to mail cards or gifts so that they arrive in time for the virtual gift opening.
Get some fun party backdrops
Just because all your guests aren’t in one space doesn’t mean that you still can’t have some fun decor for the bride as a backdrop! We recommend some of these favourite bridal shower backdrops below to add some interest to the bride’s background while she’s talking online to guests and doing her virtual gift opening. Simply purchase them online and ship directly to the bride-to-be!
Gift ideas for a virtual bridal shower
If you’re looking for some good gift ideas for a virtual bridal shower, here are some favourites! You can purchase directly from Amazon or Etsy and have the gifts shipped directly to the bride-to-be. You often can even select that it’s a gift and include a personal note so the bride knows it’s from you, and often there’s even a gift wrap option you can add on.
Just keep in mind shipping times – right now, Amazon is prioritizing other orders related to food and household goods, so shipping may take longer.
Here are some of our favourite bridal shower gift ideas from Amazon that you can ship directly to the bride’s home:
Virtual bridal shower games
Just because you’re hosting a virtual bridal shower, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have some fun games! There are several bridal shower games for an online shower that you can do:
My printable bridal shower games:
I have a variety of bridal shower games in my Etsy shop that you can still use for an online bridal shower! These are available to download instantly as soon as payment clears. Simply purchase my games, download them and email them to your guests. Have guests print them off and you can still all play together that way.
How old was the bride game
You’ve probably seen the ‘how old was the bride’ game all over the place online, and it’s really simple to do for an online version, too. Simply have the hostess hold up a numbered photo of the bride (glue the photo to an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of cardstock and number the paper in the top) and have the guests write down at home how old they think the bride is in each photo. Then, go back through the pages and tell everyone the correct answer. The person with the most correct wins!
How well do you know the bride game online
Host a fun, interactive “how well do you know the bride” game using the Kahoot! Kahoot is an online platform that allows multiple people to play an online quiz. The hostess simply needs to set up the quiz in advance, email the link and sign-up instructions to guests prior to the online bridal shower, and then guests just need to use their phone or computer to play together online.
Arrange for a fun activity
If you’re hosting a smaller online bridal shower, it could be fun to arrange for a fun “virtual” activity for guests to enjoy together. Hire a sommelier to join the call and talk about wine pairings, consider asking a florist to do a flower arrangement lesson, bring in someone to show how to make your own bath products, etc.
If you are doing a follow-along type activity that requires supplies, be sure to ask the person you’re hiring for a supply list in advance of the virtual bridal shower. Make sure you email the supply list a few weeks in advance to your guests so that they have time to acquire the supplies (which, during the pandemic, will mean they likely have to order online, so bear that in mind when planning any potential activities).
Ask others to share their virtual bridal shower ideas
Last, but not least, be sure to check out popular wedding websites and apps like The Knot, Wedding Bee, etc. all have active community “chat” sections where you can search for ideas and answers. Simply do a search for virtual bridal shower ideas or throw a question on the community boards to generate some ideas and answers for others about their tips for hosting an online bridal shower.
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