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Carissa, Bridal Shower Blog

As life would have it my best friend and I are engaged...at the same time! (Don't worry though, no Bride Wars here.)

Seriously, I'm just as excited about her wedding as I am my own, and it's pretty great (and, well, a little hectic!) for both of us to be planning our weddings simultaneously. Occasionally we have to schedule "no wedding talk" times during our conversations just to make sure we don't get too behind on everything else happening in each other's lives. PS: We're also each other's Maid of Honor. So in addition to our own wedding planning, we have showers, parties, surprises and bridesmaid duties to tend to as well! As you can imagine, it makes for a crazy busy season for our close group of girlfriends.

The first one of "the girls" walked down the aisle nearly five years ago—so, by now, we're starting to get this wedding shower thing down.

Carissa, Bridal Shower Blog

A couple of my pals are highly talented with decor and pastry making, so we let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to dough, sprinkles and ribbon-twisting. My specialty is games and prizes. The rest of the girls all contribute in other ways, and together we create one hell of a party!

If you're throwing a bridal shower, feel free to copy the "Brunch & Bubbly" theme that Cara, our decor queen, came up with: Black, gold and white are the colors (these Wedding Paper Divas invitations matched perfectly). I was also obsessed with the gold "bubbly bar" balloons, which she ordered from BalloonsFast.com.

Our "bubbly bar" had a few varieties of champagne with strawberries, blueberries and grapes to garnish, or guests could mix their bubbly with OJ or punch. (As pretty as the fruit-filled glasses looked, I liked the old-fashioned mimosa best!)

Carissa, Bridal Shower Blog

The get-together started at 11:00 a.m., so our food stayed with the brunch theme, natch. My friend Melissa made a bomb blueberry pancake cake and an even better biscuits & gravy casserole (keep in mind, this shower was taking place in the Midwest). We also served cinnamon rolls, fruit pizza and a sausage egg casserole. I don't know about your friends, but we Missouri girls always make sure there's plenty to eat at our parties.

And the party favors were adorable! Melissa put together mini champagne bottles with cute ribbons, straws and a tag that had the shower date on it. Plus, she filled little bowls with candy.

As far as games go, we played What's In Your Cell Phone?, which is basically a more modern What's In Your Purse? game. Guests got points for having things like the E! Online app, a text from the bride-to-be, more than 100 pictures, etc. I expected my pals to smoke our moms in this game, so it was interesting to see how tech-savvy some of our mothers are vs. how un-savvy a few of my girls are!

The next activity was a homemade personalized How Well Do You Know the Bride-to-Be quiz. This questionnaire is great for taking guests down memory lane and revealing some surprising new tidbits about our bride...like the details of her first kiss (cue the "Aws").

Carissa, Bridal Shower Blog

At last, it was time for the game that is always the biggest hit—The Newlywed Game. (I used this one.) It's a hilarious way to get to know the groom better without actually having him at your ladies-only brunch. We asked the bride how many kids her fiancé wants to have—she guessed three, but his answer was "however many it takes for a boy." (Well then!)

So my verdict on this bridal brunch? The space was decorated perfectly, the food and drinks were delicious, the games were full of laughs, the bride-to-be got a ton of great presents, but most importantly, my bestie left feeling overwhelmingly loved by her closest friends, which means our "Brunch & Bubbly" shower was a total success.