The time leading up to your close friend's or loved one's wedding is an exciting time. It is also a busy time for all those involved, especially for the bride. By offering to host her shower you have provided a wonderful gift. I'm sure this offer has added a little stress to your life though. You want to make sure it is perfect, everyone has a fun time and it is everything the bride imagined it to be. The main thing to remember is relax, keep the bride in mind and allow your creativity to soar. When it comes to planning the food for the shower, it is important that you make some key decisions, then make sure guests know what to expect when they arrive. First decide if you are going to have the shower in someone's home or in a restaurant? If you are having it at someone's home, is it a potluck, are you making all the food or are you hiring a cater? Having the shower in a home can be much more intimate, but if you don't feel confident in making the food bringing in a cater or personal chef is a great option. Second are you going to offer a full meal or just some finger foods? Not only will this let you start thinking about the menu, it will also help you choose the time of day. If you are doing finger food, don't plan it right at a meal time. Making this decision will also allow you to plan the schedule of activities for the event. A full meal will take up much more of the event and leave less time for games, while finger foods can be eaten throughout. Third, think about the theme of the shower. This will allow you to pick the types of food that you are going to serve. What is the brides favorite food or what fits in with the theme of her wedding? Try not to get too crazy since you are trying to please a crowd. A few more things to consider are the time of year you are giving the shower. The fall and winter warrant heavier and comfort food, while spring and summer lend themselves for light and fresh ingredients. How much food do you want to provide each person? If you are doing finger foods you should have about 12 bites per person. A seated meal serving size will depend on how many courses you are having. No matter which type of service you choose, be sure to include a variety of options. Protein based, vegetable based, and dessert at a minimum of options. Cheese and chocolate always go over well with a room full of women, especially when there is alcohol. (You need to decide if you are going to offer alcohol too.) When feeding a crowd there are a few other things to consider.
A number of people have allergies such as to gluten or dairy. Some people also just have specific eating habits like vegan. Depending on the size of the group you may or may not want to accommodate those with food concerns. If you are able to accommodate them, it would make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone though. People are so grateful when you do a little extra to meet their needs.
It is also important to set the right food expectations when you send out the invitation. You don't want all that delicious food go to waste because everyone showed up full.
Think outside the box An out of the box idea for shower food is offering a cooking class. Many cooking schools will allow you to host events where one of their chefs will teach you to cook a meal, or you can bring a chef into your home to tech everyone. The guests get to learn new skills and you get a delicious meal. The best shower will be the one that doesn't stress you or the bride out, that's fun, and where the food is delicious. Just remember to relax and have some fun with it!