This might be a long overdue post, but thought of still posting this in remembrance of an important milestone of a good friend. As you might have seen in my social media or previous blog post, one of my closest friends Jeremie had her wedding last February. It was hard thinking how to organize a bridal shower party given the restrictions this quarantine, but we modified it in compliance with IATF’s protocols on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This post might not be applicable in our present quarantine set-up, but I just want to share with you how we prepared Jem’s bridal shower last February. If the pandemic situation improves in the future, hopefully, you’d learn a thing or two from this post.
Form a committee
Two heads are better than one, so approach your close friends to help you in planning. You don’t have to pool a lot of people, just choose the ones you think are reliable enough or can help you execute it properly. Helen and I exchanged ideas through chat by early January, and we reached out to Jhoi to help us with the video presentation. Before pandemic, way back in 2018 during Jhoi’s bridal shower, we had several friends who joined us in the preparation. This time is different, so we had to make use of our available resources.
Check the bride’s interests
Jem loves exploring outdoors, climbing mountains, and traveling. However, because of the pandemic, we opted to have a staycation to have quality time with her before her wedding. It was not difficult executing our ideas because Jem is flexible to anything. Her personality is like that, and she’s not hard to please.
Choose the venue
This is very important especially in the pandemic situation. Bookings should be made in advance. Choose a private place where you can hold the programme and move comfortably without disrupting others. We decided to rent a condo in BGC through Airbnb for an overnight stay for us three (Jem, Helen, and myself).
It was quite hard securing our accommodation because most of the Airbnb listings require either a medical certificate or a swab test proving you are negative from COVID-19. Helen got her certificate from her local barangay in Cebu, while Jem and I applied for it online via https://www.makati.gov.ph/content/lsi-medical-clearance. It was easy applying in Makati, as they would just verify if your name is in their database of PUM or PUI. They sent the medical clearance in our email three days after.
It is important to inquire with the host about the requirements and the available facilities or equipment in the condo. Aside from the medical clearance, we presented our valid IDs at the reception and sent them to the host.
Identify the participants
Message the bride’s close friends or the significant people in her life. I asked Jem’s close friends at church and office to join while Helen suggested inviting our Sunday school teachers and career group leader from our church. Combining our peers and adult advisers was a good idea because the conversations shifted from fun to serious which was well-balanced and enjoyable too.
Set a party theme
I thought of choosing a green-themed party where all participants will wear green (Jem’s wedding motif) but when I suggested a pajama party, my co-organizers found it cute! I created an online invitation too and incorporated Jem’s name in it. Cute right?
Think of the programme flow
Our programme was a mix of a virtual and physical bridal shower. The three of us were present at the venue then we invited Jem’s friends and mentors to a virtual party. Helen was our assigned host, so she took charge thinking about the programme.
Our programme looked like this:
- Introduction of guests
- Virtual games (How well do you know Jem)
- Messages and advices for Jem
- Video presentation
Although the physical party is more preferable than the virtual one, holding an online celebration is also advantageous in some ways aside from safety and security. We had long hours of spontaneous conversations and exchanges of advice without worrying about the time or curfew. We also had the chance to let our friends abroad join this event.
Others: Food, props, gifts, and other activities
One of the perks of staying in a condo is the availability of a kitchen where you can cook your food. However, the unit we stayed in did not have the complete cooking utensils so we just ordered food online. We ordered chicken, pizza, and pasta from S&R, some of Jem’s favorite food.
For the props, Helen ordered a complete bridal shower set from Shoppee that includes balloons, letters, and a bridal veil for an affordable price. During Jhoi’s bridal shower, we had to purchase them separately. It’s a good thing that everything can be bought online nowadays.
Helen and I gave her small tokens — not really naughty or grand gifts but meaningful presents that will remind her of our friendship. I also printed our photos that day using my Instax printer that served as our souvenirs for that special day.
After checking out from the condo, we had a pampering and mini-pictorial session at Nailaholics in Market!Market!. We had a pedicure, manicure, and foot spa for the wedding preparation.
Of realizations and appreciation
When Karen, an F4 close buddy died, it dawned on me that time is fleeting and everything is temporary. Her sudden death made me realize that I should treasure moments like this with the people I love because we don’t know what will happen. So I said to myself that every time I am given the opportunity to express my love to other people, I will do my best. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, expensive, but something that comes from the heart will always be worth remembering.
It was a brief moment to bond with both of them, but I appreciate to have spent quality time with these girls that may not happen again in the near future.
Anyway, the bridal shower was successful as I’ve seen how Jem and the other guests enjoyed this party!