If there’s anyone who could use a little extra self-care, it’s undoubtedly a woman planning her wedding. While this is an incredibly exciting time in her life, it’s also one of the most stressful times. Planning your big day, whether or not you’re lucky enough to have the help of a wedding planner, involves a great deal of time, money and dedication, all of which can suck the energy out of you. This is just one reason why wellness-themed bridal showers are becoming increasingly popular. Another is because of the accessibility of massages and therapeutic treatments.
To help inspire you to plan the relaxing, self-care-centered bridal shower of your dreams, we talked to top wedding planners for their best tips on where to start.
With Zeel, you can have several massage therapists arrive at your venue for hours of chair massage sessions for all your guests. Chair massage is a fully-clothed back and neck massage that lasts between 10-20 minutes — long enough to relax, short enough to not miss on any bridal fun. Don’t worry about equipment or logistics, all you have to do is request the number of massage therapists you need and put the location and time. The rest will be taken care of.
Once you’ve taken care of the guests’ massage, don’t forget to set aside downtime for the most important person, the bride! Get the full treatment by booking a full-body massage before or after the bridal shower. You can pick between a 60, 75 or 90-minute massage but our advice is to go all out — you’d be surprised how rejuvenating 90 minutes can be! Similarly to the chair massage, the therapist will come to your doorsteps and bring all the necessary equipment.
Read more: The Benefits of a Full Body Massage
Select your venue
Hosting your bridal shower at your home, or a friend or family member’s, has is a feasible option—especially if you’re planning a wellness-themed bridal shower. Who needs all the extra noise and chaos that comes along with hosting at a public destination?
Instead, invite all of your closest friends and relatives to a quiet spot and book massage therapists to arrive at your desired time. As Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance in Massillon, Ohio, attests, “this is a great idea for budget-savvy brides who are looking to save as much as possible in preparation for the lifetime of marriage ahead of them.”
Decide on food and drink
No matter your bridal shower theme, food and drink options are always the heroes of the day. For a wellness-oriented shindig, Lindsey Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado, and Minneapolis, suggests planning a health-focused menu with good eats that not only look great but taste delicious.
“We’re not talking boring celery sticks or foods lacking flavor, but rather nutrient-rich options such as turkey meatball gyros with fresh dill and cucumber, greek yogurt tzatziki sauce, a make-your-own toast bar with avocado, sprouts and seeds or a chilled gazpacho soup with grilled shrimp,” she says. “Turn to your local health food market or local caterer to discuss catered options and, if possible, make all recipes available for guests to take home.”
Create activity stations
Of course, the main activity will be pampering but, since it’s a bridal shower, your guests will expect the mandatory bridal games. “This helps guests interact more intimately with one another in smaller groups,” says Sachs, and you can do it without straying away from the wellness focus.
In addition to massage stations, she recommends a salad jar creation station. “With most showers hosted on weekends, this is the perfect time to meal prep!” she says. “Guests can build their own salads in a convenient take-home mason jar and feel ready to take on the week with a healthy salad in tow.”
Another great idea in a gratefulness activity station. “This activity station gives guests time to pen a sweet message to their honey (or someone else in their life who inspires them) and let them know how much they’re grateful for their presence in their life,” she adds. “Supply guests with a variety of cute cards, pens, and postage stamps and watch the smiles grow as they think about their loved one receiving the letter.”
Pick your music
While creating a playlist for your wellness-themed bridal shower, might not be top-of-mind, Sachs urgest brides not to forget it. “It’s important that you choose the right music to accentuate the celebratory vibe of your wellness-themed bridal shower,” she says. “This doesn’t’ need to be slow, soothing spa music that’s going to put everyone to sleep, but it can be feel-good tunes that make you feel alive!”
Match your party favors to the theme
There are countless party favor options for a wellness-themed wedding shower. One great choice is aromatherapy, which is becoming more and more popular.
“Aromatherapy favors are perfect for a bridal shower, especially when you can combine different oils to make your own personal blends, for relaxation, for sleep aid, etc.,” says Lehman.
Another option is a goodie bag of wellness treats, like homemade muesli, granola or protein balls. “Everyone loves surprise gifts, so this gesture will go a long way and remind guests to keep their own self-care in check,” adds Sachs.
Jenn Sinrich is an experienced writer, digital and social editor and content strategist based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has written for SELF, Women’s Health, Martha Stewart Weddings, Reader’s Digest, PureWow, and many other publications. Learn more about Jenn at jennsinrich.com and on LinkedIn.