Friday, December 21, 2012

Throwing a Long Distance Bridal Shower

Hello! I am so sorry it's been awhile since I have posted anything substantial on my blog! In the next few days you can look forward to posts about crafty things, holidays, cats, and graduation! I'd like to kick off this blogging marathon with a brilliant crafty party idea. (this one is a long post! hang in there).

This fall I was asked by one of my best friend's, Danielle, if I would be the maid of honor in her wedding this winter. I was beyond excited to say yes, mostly because I was thrilled to be there for one of my friends during this special time in her life. Among the bridal party- are two of my other best girlfriends: Meagan and Alyssa. You might recognize all of these names-because we all were in Alyssa's wedding this July!

These girls are among my favorite people ever- we all became a group of friends during high school- and since then no matter how many miles separate us we can always know the other girls are there whenever we need them.

Once I was asked to be maid of honor- I started thinking about what responsibilities went along with that. Obviously i googled it- and panic ensued. Google was giving me enormous lists of tasks that are the maid of honors responsibility- so instead I calmed down and emailed Danielle to check what her expectations were. She was pretty mellow saying that she didn't think me throwing a bridal shower or other parties are really possible because she is all the way down in Texas! (I'm up in PA). So since then I had just been doing my best to help out from afar and be a supportive friend. Then it occurred to me- this isn't fair! Just because she is far away from her family and friends does not mean she should have to miss out on a bridal shower- so the scheming started! I contacted the mother of the bride and the other bridesmaid to concoct this outrageous plan.

I created a "long distance bridal shower". My idea started as a box full of cards from family and friends instead of a shower. The box would also include cute things to represent a shower. Alyssa contributed the idea of adding an element of gifts to be sent- and with tons of planning and help from everyone we finally figured it out. This is the email I sent out to all of Danielle's family and friends... (addresses have been edited out and spacing changed for the purpose of this post).

Hello family and friends of Danielle and Sean,
My name is Danielle M. I am the maid of honor in Danielle and Sean's wedding and I have a very important message for you!
I would like to formally invite you to partake in a long-distance bridal shower. We all know that Danielle and Sean are down in Texas, and the wedding is rapidly approaching. Danielle will not be able to make it back up North before the big day. After much deliberation among her bridesmaids, we have decided that Danielle and Sean still deserve to be showered with love (even all the way down in Texas), so we formulated a plan. Instead of having a physical bridal shower for the couple, we would like to gather up all of the cards and gifts and send them in a surprise package to Danielle. The package would be presented as her "long-distance bridal shower" and would include any cards from family/friends and other personal touches to help make them feel showered with love. 
Your Role in the Bridal Shower: 
How you can participate: 
1. Send a bridal shower card with a message of love for the couple.
2. Send a card with an additional gift card or check as a gift.
3. Purchase a gift online or in person to send for the shower.
If you have chosen option 1 or 2, here is what you should do: 
Please address your card/gift to the following address- 
(my address went here)
The card must be received by: November 26
If you have chosen option 3, please follow these instructions: 
Please have the gift mailed to the following address-
(neighbor of Danielle here)
These packages must be received by: December 1
Important Note: We know the holidays can be a financially stressful time of year, and that Texas is far away; you should not feel obligated to spend any money if you are not comfortable or not able to do so. 
Questions you may have:
When will Danielle & Sean get the packages? 
We are still working on negotiating the specifics, but Danielle should be scheduled to open the packages sometime between the 3rd - 9th of December. Please remember that this is a TOTAL SURPRISE! Do not mention anything to Sean or Danielle until after her scheduled "bridal shower!" (PS> the date did change and we had to keep everyone email updated on this)
Where should I shop for a gift or gift card? 
Danielle and Sean are registered at Crate&Barrel. 
Other nice options are: Williams & Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Be creative! 
Who should checks be made out to? 
Please make checks out to either Sean Arnold or Danielle Harmon. 
I can only send a card, is that O.K.? 
Yes! The whole goal of this shower is to shower the couple with love. A simple card with kind words is just as meaningful as a gift. 
I want to do option 1 or 2, but I missed the Deadline, what should I do? 
Contact Danielle M. at (my email here) to work something out!
Whose address are the packages are being sent to?
This address belongs to Danielle's neighbor. They have graciously agreed to accept the presents prior to the shower in order to keep it a total surprise!

If you have any further questions please email me at (my email here) or call me at (my phone number here)
Thank you so much for your time! We hope you are able to participate in showering the happy couple with love and support! I look forward to hearing from you soon! 
Danielle M.

After sending out this email I had many positive responses back. Originally I wasn't sure how people would take it. I didn't want anyone to feel pressured into feeling like they had to contribute or buy a gift if they felt uncomfortable or they couldn't afford to.

The end result was fabulous! We had about 5 people send along cards to be included in the box- and about 16 or so gifts that were mailed to the neighbors. I emailed everyone who was invited periodically to give them updates along the way and I sent along this picture of the box that I sent to Danielle.

Look at my post on how I created this box for more details and pictures! 

While this box was being shipped all the way to Texas- myself and the other bridesmaid were scheming away. We got Danielle to agree to google chat with us to "fill us in on wedding stuff". We even had to move the chat because the box hadn't arrived yet! (I made up an excuse to postpone it). We rescheduled the chat and had to re-coordinate with Sean's mother to have her not move the boxes from the neighbors yet. It was a total miracle but the box made it on the day we had rescheduled the video chat for. And it ended up being flawlessly executed. 

Danielle opened the box when we gave her the go ahead. (Meanwhile Sean's mom was moving all the boxes from the neighbors to their house). It was so fun to watch her open the box and be covered in all that fake snow. When she finished open the box I sent and the cards inside of it. She innocently thought the surprise was over. That's when we had her go downstairs only to find Sean, his parents, and the 16 boxes from more of her family and friends. The couple opened up the gifts and we watched from the video chat. It was so amazing to watch this all unfold and honestly I could not have been happier with the results! I am so grateful to all of Danielle and Sean's family and friends who participated! 

(pictures of Danielle in Texas during the shower soon to come!)

If you are ever thinking about throwing someone a long-distance-party. It can absolutely be done! Don't be afraid to try something new. I think this is probably one of the first long-distance-bridal-showers ever, and I loved it. If you have any questions about the specifics, or any hiccups along the way just comment below and I'll get back to you!

Happy party planning! I hope this inspired some holiday cheer! 


  1. I just love your ideas and plans and best of all directions on how to do it myself. Thanks so much

  2. We did this back in the 70's planning on doing it again!

  3. I'm totally copying your idea for my sister-in-law who lives in South Carolina! Most of her family lives in California and are struggling just to make it to the wedding. This will be a great way to honor her long distance. Thank you for writing this blog and giving me such a great idea!

  4. Thanks for ur ideas! My daughter is getting married this March and lives 14 hours away from home. I'm going to use some of ur ideas!!

  5. I love this idea. My daughter is getting married in March and our entire family is 14 hours away. They have all asked if there will be a shower. But asking them to travel twice, or do a pampered chef or other type of party seems tacky. Your ideas are so fun!!!! WE are going to go for it!

  6. Looks fantastic!! Well, I need recommendations for best Los Angeles wedding venues. Please help! Need to host bridal party too and want this party to be funky. Have collected some fun game ideas too but it will be great if anyone here can also share suggestions for wedding and bridal shower games!

  7. This is great if everyone is stateside but my daughter lives in Spain and I am trying to come up with a way to have a shower for her. Would it be okay to invite people but ask for money in lieu of a physical gift? My daughter and her fiance live in a small apartment and don't have a lot of room for gifts or for storing them until they have a bigger place. I was thinking I could send favors along with the invitation.

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