Tips for Planning a Bridal Shower in True Smoky Mountain Fashion

As soon as he pops the question, a bride-to-be’s head starts spinning with ideas and dreams. The dress, venue, reception, and all the little details of her dream wedding come into focus and the planning begins. One of the most exciting pre-wedding moments is the bridal shower! We are sharing our top tips for planning a Smoky Mountain bridal shower in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and surrounding areas. Or bring the Smoky Mountain flair to your town with these tips.

Are you newly engaged? The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association is pleased to help brides plan every aspect of their weddings, and today we are talking about planning a Smoky Mountain bridal shower. Forward this to your maid-of-honor or whoever is planning your wedding shower and get ready to be celebrated!

Planning a Smoky Mountain Bridal Shower

Smoky Mountain Bridal Shower
Photo courtesy of Wildflower Event Center

Step 1: Venue

First, you’ll need to start researching bridal shower venues. Here are a few questions to answer to help narrow things down:

What’s your expected guest count?   

Ask the bride for a list of desired attendees. The more people invited means the bigger the space you’ll need. The Sevierville Civic Center offers event space to fit any sized group.

What type of event space for rent would be ideal for the Smoky Mountain Bridal Shower?

Once you have a general idea of who’s coming, you can start scouting for party locations! There are many options for choosing a wedding shower venue in Gatlinburg, but we really love The Melting Pot. The restaurant offers private event space in Gatlinburg with views of the Parkway, lots of amenities, and over-the-top delicious food.

Most wedding venues have special pricing for smaller groups and discounts on weekdays. A good example of this is Wildflower Event Center. This wedding venue in Sevierville is also a beautiful place for a shower. Additionally, contact the bride’s ceremony venue to see if the business offers a multi-event discount.

Many restaurants have private rooms or semi-private sections available, and if you plan on using them to cater for the event, they may provide the space free of charge or at a reduced rate. Hard Rock Cafe® in Pigeon Forge and Ole Red in Gatlinburg are both exciting event venues in the Smoky Mountains.

An outdoor location like a beautiful backyard or a city park can be a laid-back and affordable option. However, consider table and chair rentals, decor, and restroom facilities for guests. Hosting a bridal shower at home or outside may seem like a budget-friendly option, but the costs can quickly add up. 

Hosting a wedding shower in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg? The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association is rich in members that can accommodate you. View our list of event venues and local restaurants to learn more.

What is the bridal shower’s theme or style?

Courtyard by Marriott Gatlinburg
Photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott in Gatlinburg

The venue will set the tone of the event. Consider the venue’s regular decor and build from there. For example, it would be difficult to plan a rustic-themed shower at an upscale hotel ballroom. Rather, the ballroom complements a modern or chic style. Courtyard by Marriott in Gatlinburg has the perfect mix of styles to pull off a shower with any theme.

Look to the couple or bride for the best answer. Modern, rustic, barn, boho, and chic are all trendy options. Create a Pinterest board and add the bride and any other planners as collaborators. Doing so is an easy way to form the theme which will help point you towards a venue. 

Step 2: Decor

Robin from Sevier Blumen
Photo courtesy of Sevier Blumen

Decorating for a bridal shower should be fun and easy. If the theme and the venue pair well, everything else should fall into place. The amount of décor is entirely up to you and the bride as well as the budget. If you are planning a bridal shower in the Smoky Mountains, view our list of members who specialize in flowers, gifts, and decor.

Keep it simple with cost-effective decorations like balloons, streamers, greenery, and pictures of the couple. Simple decor can be pulled off more easily if the venue itself is attractive.

To take the decor up a notch, partner with a florist like Sevier Blumen for a professional touch. A business that specializes in balloon displays like Dazzle Events will take your decor to the next level. Let a professional do what they do best while you take care of other details.

Step 3: Food and Beverages

Photo courtesy of Cakes & Confections by Merry

Although you don’t need to serve a full meal, the guests will appreciate it, especially if you’re serving alcohol. Buddy’s Bar-B-Q in Sevierville offers catering options to fit any budget.

Hors d’oeuvres or finger foods are traditional bridal shower fare. For something different, go with brunch or a spread of sweets. Read our article about wedding reception desserts for ideas that apply to showers too.

Create a custom drink for the event or set up a festive bar. It gives guests a chance to interact while also enjoying a delightful and refreshing beverage. Examples are a mimosa or wine bar, lemonade or milkshake bar, or a champagne wall! Mocktails also make an event feel more festive; it’s all about the presentation. 

The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association has many members that are restaurants and caterers. View our members to help plan your Smoky Mountain Bridal Shower.

Extra Details for a Smoky Mountain Bridal Shower

Photo courtesy of Rocky Top Wine Trail

Go the extra mile and treat the bride to an elevated experience with these additional details:

Have a special seat for the bride.

There will be cards and presents for the bride to open. One of the best parts of a bridal shower is seeing the bride’s reaction to unwrapping or receiving her gifts. Be sure to have a comfy spot for her to relax and enjoy every minute of the experience. Also, have a pen and paper ready so someone can write down what she received and who she received it from.

Doing this will make creating and sending thank you cards much easier and it will help her remember who gave which gifts.

Entertain your guests.

Whether you plan for silly and fun games or other activities, providing some form of entertainment and engagement is the top way to liven up a bridal shower. If traditional shower games don’t fit your theme, get creative and find a way to entertain the guests.

Background music adds to the ambiance of an event. Choosing live music or a local DJ is a special touch. Smokey Mountain Sounds is a local DJ in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.

How about a tasting with local wines from the Rocky Top Wine Trail? If you aren’t local to the Smoky Mountains, these wines can be ordered online and shipped directly to you.

A photo booth is an excellent way to inject energy into an event. Once Upon a Shooting Camera is a company offering a photo booth in the Smoky Mountains. An extra benefit of having a photo booth is that everyone will have fun mementos from the day.

If you are planning a Smoky Mountain destination wedding but hosting a bridal shower back home, ask your planner for unique ways to add a touch of the Smokies to your event. Local planners like A Touch of Whimsy are glad to offer advice for planning any wedding related event. Doing so is a special touch that gives a nod to the upcoming nuptials.

Toast the bride.

As the host of the bridal shower, it is your job to act as emcee. You will need to indicate when it is time to eat, play games, and open gifts. The host can also give a toast to the bride as a special way to honor the bride and celebrate your friendship. Other guests of honor such as the bride’s mother may also wish to give a toast. Plan it in advance so everyone has a chance to gather their thoughts.

Planning the Perfect Bridal Shower

The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association is a group of industry professionals in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and surrounding areas who help couples plan the perfect wedding. The perfect bridal shower is a prelude to the big day!

There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but using some of these tips can help you plan the perfect bridal shower. For more resources, visit our website as you plan a bridal shower or other wedding events.

Cover photo for this article is courtesy of A Touch of Whimsy.

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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