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How to throw the most storied bridal shower in the land

Just because your best friend is getting married doesn't mean she's grown out of her favorite storybooks. In fact, digging out her best-loved tome might give you plenty of ideas in terms of bridal shower themes, which will make for an event you'll recount over and over again.

"Use the bride's most-loved dog-eared book (whether it's the Great Gatsby or Alice in Wonderland) as a platform for details surrounding the fete," ChicagoNow.com suggests. "A Mad Hatter tea party can be created with the simplest of props, and mis-matching is encouraged. Don't feel bound to directly translate the story either - the book should be used to open your imagination."

This is certainly a great tool for planning a menu ("poison apples" for Snow White, anyone?), setting up a game of bridal shower bingo, coming up with creative decorations and putting together enticing bags of bridal shower favors.

Plus, if you should trust the guests to buy gifts that are relevant, but still entirely practical and useful, you can instruct them to bring presents based on the party theme - perhaps a set of stacked towels for Alice in Wonderland (big, small and smaller still), a tea-set if she loves Beauty and the Beast or even a lamp if she's into Aladdin or One Thousand and One Nights (genie is optional).