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Bridal Shower Help

by Meghann on March 19, 2012

After last night’s epic burger dinner and this morning’s southern breakfast, we decided to keep it low key for dinner tonight at a local Mexican restaurant.

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Mandatory chips and salsa to start.

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And I may have ordered the most complicated meal ever for dinner.

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I wanted the veggies from the veggie fajitas (broccoli and mushrooms and zucchini – oh my!), but I also wanted some protein from the chicken fajitas. Instead of ordering one or the other – I combined them. It did feel a little funny ordering the ‘vegetarian fajitas’ with chicken, but the server didn’t bat an eye.

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Check out all those veggies! Best. Decision. Ever. πŸ™‚

I also requested that the sour cream be left off the plate and traded the refried beans for black beans.

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And subbed the flour tortillas with corn tortillas.

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Fajita perfection. πŸ™‚

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I was really excited to try one of my new Trader Joe finds for dessert.

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The Dark Chocolate Roasted Pistachio Toffee was very sweet and rich, so just a little piece was needed to satisfy my sweet tooth.

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πŸ™‚

Bridal Shower Help

Now that the RSVPs have started rolling in, I figured I could share a little behind-the-scenes info for Kelly’s bridal shower invitations.

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I had ordered the invitations from weddingpaperdivas.com back in January. It was the bride who had turned me onto the site. Kelly ordered her invitations from there months ago and raved about the great quality and low prices. I figured it was worth a short.

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I wanted something fairly simple that wasn’t too girly (because Kelly isn’t too girly) and had purple accents or purple font. I found the Antique Affair and thought ‘Perfect!’

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And then I got scared that it was more my style than Kelly’s and ran the proof by her. She approved. πŸ™‚

I’m not 100% sure what the proper etiquette is with including the bride in the planning of her bridal shower or bachelorette stuff, but I’m all for it. I mean, these are parties that are all about HER and I just want to make sure I give her the best. There will still be some surprises, but knowing whether she preferred a morning or afternoon party, whether she liked the invitations before they went out, or even what kind of food she envisioned being served have all been so helpful!

The finished product!

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I used their online designer to fill in the blanks of all the open fields. I was sent one final e-proof before the invitations went to the printer. Once the proof was approved, the invitations only took a few days to make their way to my door. It was all really quick and easy.

All 50 (!) invitations were hand addressed (printed address labels and I do NOT get along) and mailed out on Wednesday.

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And now the real fun begins – I need to actually start planning this thing! eekkk…. I’ve never planned a bridal shower before! Where do I begin?!

All I’ve got now is a location (my parents’ house), a date (April 21), and 50 potential guests (We’re expecting 30 RSVPs. Maybe.). The bride has requested a 100% vegetarian menu and cupcakes, but everything else is fair game!

Does anyone have any bridal shower advice they can share? Games? Decor? Vegetarian munchies? Help!

1 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I planned my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, but we did the bachelorette on the same day since most guests were from out of town. Because of that, the shower was a simple lunch with opening gifts, the real fun began a few hours later…
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2 Gia @ rungiarun March 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

My favorite memento from my shower is a stack of cards, each has a year indicated on the envelope (I think 1-20). Each one of the guests picked a year or 2 and wrote a card with a thought, marital tip or memory. Every year on our wedding anniversary my husband and I get to open that year’s cards. Its such a beautiful idea!
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3 Yellow Haired Girl March 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I’m looking forward to reading some of these ideas – I’m a bridesmaid for my best friend this summer and need some help with games! Also, I have the HUGEST craving for a fajita now. Thanks a lot πŸ˜‰

4 Anne @strawberryjampackedlife March 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Having just had my own shower last year and attending another one last weekend here are the games that we enjoyed:
– If the bride is changing her name, see how many words you can make out of the letters of her new name to see who knows her new name the best!
– Name this other half of this famous couple.
– Name this famous bride based on the following three clues. (famous brides included real brides like Kate Middleton and fictional brides like Pam from the office).
– To pass the time during the present opening, before the bride gets to open a present, she has to answer a question about the groom (my maid of honor had emailed these questions to my husband before the shower). Each guest gets to ask the bride a question before the bride opens up the guest’s present.
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5 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I’ve had those same toffee pieces from TJ’s in my pantry for at least 6 months. They are SUPER rich and sweet, so much so that I can’t actually eat a full piece without my teeth hurting. Perfect portion control πŸ™‚
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6 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Your dinner looks amazing!! I don’t blame you for ordering the chicken with veggies, it seems like unless your order veggie-centric dishes, you never get a good amount of vegetables.

Also, love the invitations!
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7 Brittney March 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

We didn’t do games at my former friend’s wedding shower, but her lingerie party was different. If you need ideas, one person stuck a roll of toilet paper between their legs, the other stuck a broom between theres, and you were playing against another pair of people to see who could put it in fastest… hahaha.

8 Maureen March 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm

2 things I have learned from throwing bridal AND baby showers:
~Have every guest self address an envelope for Thank You cards…it is a blessing to a bride to only have to write the cards and NOT the envelopes {OR you can do this for her ahead of time}.
~Have 2-3 games ready, but do not be militant about playing them. I hosted a baby shower for my BFF where most everyone hadn’t seen each other in years, so it was more enjoyable catching up than playing games.
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9 melinda March 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Best bridal shower game ever: Buy a small prize, thank you cards, evelopes and stamps. put the evelopes and a pen in a basket and ask each guest to enter a “raffle” by writing their address on the evelope. Draw one evelope from the entries and award the prize. The finished evelopes go to the bride with the thank you cards and stamps. Makes all those thank yous so easy for her!

10 Maria March 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I love those invites! Very cute!

I’m planning my best friend’s shower right now and just found the He Says/She Says game. Basically I made up a survey for the bride and groom consisting of questions such as “How many children do you want?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and emailed it to them. I will then take quotes from their survey and have the guests guess who said it. I’m making the cards myself and printing them, but you can find Etsy sellers who will do all the work for you!

11 Shannon March 20, 2012 at 12:59 am

Whenever I see Mexican food…i begin to crave it immediately…famished now!

And loving that invitation. Something I don’t think I would pick out, but would LOVE and just not think of it. It reminds me of being a bit French in style…like old school french.

Maybe you should give away puppies at Kelly’s bridal shower like in bridesmaids? (please tell me you have seen that movie..and if not…rent it TOMORROW!)
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12 jv March 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hilarious!! ^^

13 Allie {teaspoon of Life} March 20, 2012 at 5:56 am

I am so excited for you πŸ™‚ I planned my little sisters’ last year.
We had a mixed age group so we did a safety pin game- everyones wearing a safety pin with a ribon/bow/whatever. Any time a person says “wedding”, whoever hears it takes their safety pin. You collect as many as possibler and can still steal them back even if yours is gone.
Also did a 10 questions about Jess that ranged from Childhood to Present to give family and friends fair advantage. Each guest labeled their page 1-10. My step mom is so slick and already had pencils and books to pass around for writing surfaces!
Last was a toilet paper wedding dress. Teams of however many 3, 4… Two rolls of toilet paper, and we tried to do 5 mins but I ended up making it 8 during the game. The team wraps one of their members in TP to make theprettiest dress. Bride picks winners πŸ™‚
We did candles, soaps, starbucks. I don’t think anyone cared too much about the gifts they won. It was just for fun.
Again, so excited for you! Being able to be part of my sister’s big day meant the world to me! It was almost more fun than planning my own!
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14 Cait @ Beyond Bananas March 20, 2012 at 5:57 am

As far as having your sister involved.. don’t sweat it! My bridal shower invitations went out on Saturday ( πŸ™‚ ) … and I played a huge part in picking in the invites! I should send my bridesmaids to this post to read your comments though for the actual shower! πŸ™‚
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15 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

For my shower, they told everyone to bring their favorite recipe written on a 3×5 card, so that I would have a cookbook already started for me! I really liked that idea. πŸ™‚
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16 lynne March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I recently heard about something similar – each guest was asked bring a spice and a recipe with which to use that spice. I love that idea!

17 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake March 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

I love the invitations! Here are a few things that I loved from my shower:

My sister-in-law had customized pencils made with “Erica’s Bridal Shower” on them to be put at the tables for game time.

My bridesmaids did a “wishing well” for small kitchen/bathroom items. I think some people think this can be kind of obnoxious, but no one is FORCED to bring something & I got lots of fun odds & ends.

For decor, my mom had a friend from work put simple bouquets together (cheap!) & we order “blume boxes” (blumebox.com) to make our own centerpeices. We even used blume boxes at our wedding, too!
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18 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

I love the invitations! I ordered our Save the Dates from Wedding Paper Divas! I love that website. Best of luck to you planning the shower. I’m sure it will be great πŸ™‚
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19 Emily March 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

I hope you give lots of info… I see a bridal shower giving in my future for my little sis!
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20 Serena March 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

I don’t envy you putting a bridal shower together and I unfortunately don’t have advice I didn’t even have one. We ran off and got married in the courthouse at his bootcamp graduation.
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21 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

Roasted pistachio toffee!!! Eek!
I’ve never planned or even attended a bridal shower but one of my favorite easy vegetarian crowd-pleasing appetizers is a mozzerella ball wrapped in a basil leaf and a piece of sundried tomato on a toothpick with balsamic and olive oil drizzled on top! It can be made ahead of time and requires no cooking!
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22 Lindsay March 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

My bridal shower is this upcoming weekend and I’m all for including the bride in the planning. As a matter of fact I designed my own invites and basically helped pick everything out. I know they have some surprises which will be fun, but no one wanted to let me down as they said so they all asked my opinion on things and I gave it. I’m so excited and it makes getting married feel that much more real.

23 Lee March 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

I used Wedding Paper Divas for my invitations too. I really liked them. A lot of people commented on how nice they looked.
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24 Stef March 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding this past fall. For her shower, I included her in some of the planning, because as you said, it is a shower honoring her and I wanted to make sure it would be something she wanted. As for the menu we did lots of different types of salads, which were a big hit on the hot July day! As for games, the one that went over the best was Bridal shower bingo, each guest got a bingo card that they would fill out with things they thought the bride would receive as gifts. As the bride opened each gift, guests would mark that spot on their card. Great game because it gives the guests something to do while she is opening gifts.

25 Sara J March 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

I planned both of my sister-in-laws showers, and had lots of fun with it!
– Bridal Bingo is a good one for keeping the guests entertained while the bride opens the gifts.
– Buy thank you cards and have everyone self address an envelope.
– Interview the groom and ask the bride the same questions – I’ve also seen this where the groom is video taped being interviewed, so you can play back his answer at the shower.
– Purse raid/what’s in your purse – people get points for items, the person with the most point wins.
– make sure you have a few small gifts as prizes.

Keep it simple and have fun!

26 Margo March 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

I think it’s smart to include the bride in the planning. I really appreciated being involved with my shower. I had about 40 people at my shower, and opening gifts took forever! My bridesmaids helped speed things along. One loosened the paper a bit off the gifts (sounds weird but totally helped!). Another one can open the cards, and tell her who gave the gift. Someone earlier mentioned the self-addressed envelopes, and that is soooo smart! I’m stealing that for my friend’s upcoming shower!

27 kirsten March 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

My bridal shower was all vegetarian too. My mom ordered quiches from a local whole foods type store and they were really good. For games I really like the one where everyone has to answer questions about the bride and whoever gets the most correct wins a prize.

28 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe March 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

Feel free to send some of that toffee my way!

29 Hillary March 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

I planned my best friend’s shower last summer (with her mom’s very helpful assistance!) and asked for my friend’s preferences all along the way. We kept it super low-key and had it at a restaurant (which took care of the food) and only played a few games. My favorite was where we passed around a pad and pen during lunch to have all the ladies write a poem about the bride and groom (each person at the table contributed a line of the poem). By the end, some of the poems were pretty racy and hilarious!
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30 AlisonJ March 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

I hate how meat dishes never have the veggies I want – great idea to mix the two (although how much more did they charge?).

31 Meghann March 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

When all was said and done the veggies with chicken ended up being the same much as the regular chicken fajitas.

32 SaraRM March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

Your meal looks fabulous! I make changes at restaurants 90% of the time and am nortorious for ordering veggie meals with chicken. Difficult yes but my husband and I eat out a lot so its the only way for me to really keep balanced. I am very careful how I order and try to be very nice about it so I dont end up with unknown objects in the dish ha.

33 Julianne March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’ve been to showers where the prizes are a themed basket – wine, movie night, coffee, beach, etc. – that have fun small gifts relating to the theme. Usually each bridesmaid puts one together. Each person gets a a few raffle tickets at the beginning of the party and they can put the ticket in whichever prize they want. When playing games, the winner gets some more tickets for extra chances. Bridal bingo is good to keep people interested while opening presents. Also, timer that goes off randomly while opening gifts – the person whose gifts is being opened gets a few more tickets.

34 Cait March 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

yep, we are doing themed baskets for the shower I am planning as well. like you, each bm is doing one

35 Cait's Plate March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

You can’t go wrong with Jordan Almonds! πŸ™‚ As for Vegetarian munchies – a plate of crisp veggies, pita chips and hummus!
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36 Brittany March 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

I love the bridal shower invitations. Super cute. I wish I had more tips, but I’ve never planned a bridal shower either. :/
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37 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life March 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

Write a to-do list, and make a schedule for the planning so you do not get overwhelmed! Just like wedding planning check one thing off your list before getting the next thing done… it will all fall into place!
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38 Julie @ There and Back Again March 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

I’ve actually been planning a friend’s bridal shower for a couple months and it finally went off without a hitch last weekend! My biggest piece of advice would be something you briefly touched on… in my experience, making sure that I was planning an event that the bride would truly love FAR outweighed making everything about it a surprise. If you find yourself stressing out about any details or aspects and whether your sister will be into it, just ask her – you’ll probably both feel better knowing she’ll love what’s coming!

I also planned this shower long-distance and split the cost between four bridesmaids, all of whom are either in college or just out of college – the point is, we’re broke πŸ™‚ We found some really cool ways to throw a great shower on a budget (I just wrote about our fun idea for favors on my blog if you’re interested: http://juliesinnewzealand.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-humpday-making-personalized.html).

The best piece of advice I got was from my mom one night when I told her, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” and she said “Nobody does!” πŸ™‚ And it’s true – most people won’t throw a bridal shower in their lives, and those who do will not likely throw more than one. So if there’s something that you’re worried you’re missing or not thinking of, chances are it’s not something anyone else will notice. Your sister’s bridal shower will be its own unique event that’s a combination of you and her – perfect! Enjoy the process πŸ™‚
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39 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

So fun! And the invitations are SUPER cute!
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40 Carissa March 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

That Mexican looks delicious! I”m a sucker for Mexican food. I have no willpower over chips and beans when I’m there though!
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41 Life's a Bowl March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I am looking forward to your recap of suggestions- my bridesmaids and I are starting to think about bridal shower and bachelorette party ideas πŸ˜€ Pinterest has been helpful!

One of my momma’s good friends is planning to host my bridal shower but the current question is, do I have one or two? The one hosted by my momma’s friend could be more for her friends, my extended family, and my bridal party and the second be more for my bridal party and other girlfriends…
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42 Cait March 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I am in the process of planning my best friend’s shower. luckily, there are some amazing girls in the wedding party that have offered to help me (it is quite the task)!
We started planning last week & the shower is in May.
Good luck!

43 Rachel Wilkerson March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I saw a lot of people recommended having guests self-address their thank you cards (and other people said they would start doing that now) but I just wanted to weigh in — I find it incredibly tacky when I’m asked to do this as a guest. To me, this totally negates the good feelings that come from receiving a thank you note for a gift. Treating them like a chore and asking guests to help fill out their own thank you cards seems, to me, like the worst way to show you’re thankful.

Just my two cents!
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44 Candace March 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I completely agree!

Addressing thank you cards is something the groom can do. Put him to work!

45 kim March 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I threw a shower in Feb, and got so many compliments on how well it went!!
what I did:
– One of the best things: Write a schedule ahead of time! This way you’re not forgetting anything, and you aren’t wondering what to do next.
Then, tell people what the plan is: Ex. Introduce yourself, bridal party and mothers of the bride; give a run down of events, When are you eating? when will you play games? (get prizes! I got foam hand soaps and lotions from bath and body works) when will gifts be opened? when will they have cake?

Details:
– I held it at a restaurant – buffet style dining; I set place cards for the bride, mother of the bride, grandmother of the bride, etc.
– BEFORE people arrived, I had quizzes (and pens!) on the table – asking questions about the bride and groom — for guests to fill out while people were filing in. I had friends help tally scores and gave out 5 prizes for the most correct answers. (Have the bride help provide answers in case there are multiple options)
– Also on the tables, I had printed up a sheet for both the bride and groom for people to write down suggestions for Vows — they could be funny or serious. I gave an example “I promise to walk the dog when you work late” (this was all explained on the sheet, but I mentioned it again later) I read this out loud later for entertainment.
– When everyone had arrived, I welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming, and gave a quick run through of what was going to go on, so people would know how much socializing time they had and when we’d eat, etc.
– Once we were done eating – I gave out prizes and read the answers to the quiz
– Next – I had the bride take a quiz! I asked her fiance questions, and she had to answer what HE thought the answer was (not necessarily what is right) ( Her prize was a recipe for a good marriage – cutesy gift — Honey to keep it sweet; Hot sauce to keep it spicy; glue to hold it all together, a mini slinky to remind them to be flexible / compromise, and heart shaped teaspoons to mix it with love)
– Opening gifts — have an assembly line!! 1 person to hand the bride gifts. 1 person to put them back in the box/keep it organized, 1 person to record who the gift is from, 1 person to make the ribbon bouquet, 1 to pass out prizes for bridal bingo winners
– Opening gifts — Bridal Bingo! keeps people engaged during what can become a tedious process. Give out 10 or so prizes. Gift time is a good time to serve cake too!
– Read the Vows people suggested for the couple
– I also had a bunch of note cards for people to actually write real marriage / relationship advice on — and gave them to the bride and groom. I’m also using them as quotes for a photo book I’m making of the shower / wedding.
– point out where the favors are for them to take as they leave. Give appropriate shout outs and thank you’s to bridesmaids, friends, parents, etc.

Good luck and have fun!

46 Kristine March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I specifically requested no games at my shower but they did have everyone write one piece of advice for the me on a cute little card and then read it aloud (they also introduced themselves at the same time and told a story about how they knew me). It was a great experience because I got to keep the cards and put them in an album – a wonderful keepsake and all of the guests still got to participate.
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47 Candace March 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

This is a really silly, simple game that makes every bride blush and every guest laugh.

As the bride opens presents, have someone write down everything she says. “Is it breakable?” “Oh, my gosh! I’ve always wanted one.” “I have no idea how to use this.” Whatever — note it.

According to wedding lore, whatever she says opening gifts is what she’ll be saying on her wedding night! (Wink, wink) So, announce that and then read the list aloud.

At one shower I attended, the bride dared to utter, “MOM! You need one of these, too. We’ll share.” The guests died laughing!

48 Laura March 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I had a shower last September and my favorite activity was the timer game. When the time goes off, the guest who’s present the bride is opening gets the prize. It helps the guests get excited about opening presents

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