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Once upon a time, bridal showers were an afternoon prior to a wedding during which ladies lunched, chatted, opened gifts, and played terribly cheesy wedding-themed games. Nowadays, showers are just a way to include the bride’s Nana and Great Aunt May in some pre-wedding ritual without subjecting either of them to a penis straw. (What a trend!) Bridal showers can feel like another box you have to check in the months leading up to a wedding, especially if you’re the Maid of Honor. So how do you throw a bridal shower for the bride-to-be that people will actually want to attend? (Oh, and, of course, that the bride will actually enjoy.)

Very simple answer here: margaritas. (Salt rim, please!) But in all seriousness, the first thing to remember when organizing a shower is that you shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from the norm when planning your friend’s shower. People like to have fun at parties — even if those parties end up starting at 12:30 in the afternoon. Forget the crustless cucumber sandwiches (because who has ever enjoyed eating one of those?) and serve the bride’s favorite fried chicken. Just as the best weddings are super personal, the best bridal showers are too. Here are some ways to make your bestie’s bridal shower a great time.

To Reiterate: Serve Great Food

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Your best bet here is to get catering or even takeout from the bride’s favorite neighborhood noodle or pizza spot and keep it casual. Bridal showers usually happen on Sundays, and Sundays are for comfort food, so literally pick out what you think the bride would most like to eat on a Sunday, and order that.

Get Her Family Involved

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The thing about bridal showers is that they allow all different women from the bride’s life to get involved, even if they can’t make it to that rowdy weekend trip to Nashville. (Or, you know, weren’t invited.) Use the fact that the bride’s mother and other family members want to get involved to help with planning. Ask them what they’d love to see at the shower, and then let them go for it. Showers don’t need to be perfectly on-theme, they just need to be fun and social.

Play “Love It Or Hate It”

The only game you should play at a bridal shower — unless everyone is cool with Cards Against Humanity — is “Love It Or Hate It.” It’s a very simple game that’s enhanced by cocktails in hand, wherein one person proposes something divisive like “olives” to the group, and each member of the rest of the group has to say whether they love or hate olives. There’s no “I sort of like them,” because then the game wouldn’t be fun. Whichever team agrees with the bride’s opinion wins. Whichever team doesn’t, drinks. (Lemonade is fine.) This game is a great way for a group to get to know each other.

Have An Ice Cream Social

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In all seriousness, when was the last time you were presented with an array of ice cream flavors and toppings, then completely allowed to design your own sundae? Rather than go for a cake, offer your guests a DIY ice cream party. Going even bigger? See if you can get the local ice cream truck to stop by the venue.

Configure A Snapchat Filter

Everyone love social media, so why not organize a custom Snapchat filter so that the guests will take pictures with the bride all day. Or, you could buy an instant camera to take “Polaroids” throughout the party, if you want to go more old school.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett

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