It does not really matter what the level of culinary expertise is, it is really the planning of the meal which reflects the theme, budget and experience. When thinking about what food to serve, think of easy bridal shower afternoon menus rather than overextending. Remember, if there is a need to ask for the help of friends and family, ask them.
As the bridal shower is supposed to ‘shower’ the bride with all the love and support of the family and friends, then nothing should block the way to declare pot luck. As opposed to catering, pot luck can mean that guests would bring in their best recipes which are all homemade and comfort food which everyone enjoys. There may be no etiquette to what food goes with what, as long as the food is enjoyed, then everything else can hang – just enjoy the day! Take note: do not get trapped in the kitchen when everyone else is having the fun of their lives.
If there is no pot luck declared, then it is best to plan out the meal ahead of time. Consider the venue and the theme. If the venue is in a restaurant, discuss the ready menu the restaurant may have pre-prepared for all their clients. If the venue is the home, consider cooking in the kitchen days or hours ahead of time or simply hiring a caterer. Whatever the decision, the meal plan is very important. Also, remember what the bride likes to eat.
If the venue is in the garden or in the great outdoors, consider serving finger food. If the theme is an afternoon tea party, then think simple and elegant cucumber sandwiches, scones, and tiny cakes.
For an afternoon tea begin with a row of delicate sandwiches: cucumber, smoked salmon, and cream cheese. Have the crusts sliced off and shape the sandwiches into finger-food-sized. Differently shaped tiny sandwiches are also good. For the scones, prepare the scones and the jams that go with it. Think strawberry, blueberry, marmalade, and other jams. Think of delicate butter cookies and some shortbread as well. Display the goodies in plates covered with delicate paper or linen doilies. Serve hot and cold caffeinated and decaffeinated teas. Juices are also allowed for the bridal shower afternoon tea menu.
When making the sandwiches, stop being a martyr! Recruit the friends and family members, everyone loves to make sandwiches. This way the companionship begins in the kitchen and extends to the party and beyond. If there is help needed, just ask, before you know it, everyone would come to prepare the delicate goodies.
Prepare the venue against insects. Set up some citronella candles on the tables and, if in the garden, in between plants. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the food and each other’s company without having to deal with pesky insects.
Take note: if the venue is outdoors, make sure that when planning for the bridal shower afternoon menu to consider foods which are not attractive to bees and insects. Otherwise, if there are sweets, just set a lit citronella candle beside the dish to discourage the pests.