Celebrate the bride-to-be and her upcoming nuptials by planning a celebration she'll remember forever. To help you and the rest of the party-planning crew, we brainstormed creative bridal shower themes and ideas, from tried-and-true classics like an elegant afternoon tea as well as more contemporary twists on the bridal shower tradition—a make-your-own bouquet bar, anyone? Pick a bridal shower theme that best suits the beautiful bride-to-be and celebrate her upcoming wedding in some serious style.
Sweet (and delicious!) bridal
shower themes for the most
ladylike of brides-to-be.
You can't go wrong with this bridal shower classic: Host an afternoon tea, complete with vintage teacups and saucers, a make-your-own pot of tea bar, and plenty of light nibbles and sweet treats.
Venue: A country club, someone's home or backyard, or a local teahouse.
Shower invitation: Look for an invitation design that features cute illustrations of teacups, tea bags, or pots of tea.
On the menu: Tea sandwiches (thinly sliced cucumber or radishes with butter, ham and cheese, smoked salmon and egg, cream cheese topped with sliced strawberries and honey), a variety of crostini, deviled eggs, and mini scones, muffins, and tarts from her favorite bakery.
Favors: Set up a self-serve station with jars of loose-leaf teas, scoops, and glassine bags or small tins so guests can make their own tea blends to enjoy at home.
Serve classic brunch fare along with a DIY mimosa bar with champagne and a selection of fruits and juices.
Venue: Someone's home, a private room at the bride's favorite restaurant for brunch.
Shower invitation: Keep an eye out for an invitation featuring a pair of clinking flutes, a bottle of champagne being uncorked, or a sprinkling of foil-pressed confetti or polka dots to symbolize plenty of bubbles.
On the menu: A make-your-own waffle station is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—be sure to have plenty of waffle toppings on offer, like whipped cream, maple syrup, fresh fruit, nutella, sprinkles, candied pecans, and a variety of jams and compotes. For drinks, have lots of bottles of bubbly on ice, along with several fresh fruit juices and purees (orange, peach, passion fruit, guava, etc.) so guests can create their own mimosas and bellinis.
Favors: Gift each shower guest with a miniature bottle of champers to enjoy at home.
Toast the soon-to-be newlyweds
with a boozy, fun-filled bridal
shower or couples shower.
Perfect for a couples shower, a backyard barbeque is casual and fun for the whole guest list.
Venue: A local park or someone's backyard.
Shower invitation: Choose an invitation design that features a beer or grilling theme; an illustration of a mason jar full of lemonade or a red gingham pattern would also be fitting if you're going the picnic route. Note: If this is going to be a couples shower, be sure to include both names on the invite so guests understand it's a joint party.
On the menu: Classic barbecue fare like hot dogs and hamburgers, potato and pasta salads, fresh-cut fruit, and plenty of ice-cold beer.
Favors: Choose a parting gift that matches the backyard barbecue theme, like bottle openers, beer koozies, or personalized pint glasses.
Help the couple stock their liquor cabinet with a booze-themed shower. Invite guests to bring their favorite top-shelf bottle; have gift tags and ribbon on hand so guests can write a quick note explaining why it's their favorite and tie it around the bottle neck. You could even considering hiring a mixologist to teach a cocktails class to get everyone in the spirit.
Venue: A local bar or restaurant, or the couple's home.
Shower invitation: Play up the boozy theme with an invitation design featuring illustrations of a fully stocked bar cart.
On the menu: Have a variety of mixers to go with the brand-new bottles of booze (fresh juices, sparkling water or tonic water, simple syrup, ginger beer, etc.), plus plenty of citrus-rind twists and fruit garnishes for serving. Pair the cocktails with tasty bar snacks, like cheeses, charcuterie, olives, gourmet potato chips, and spiced nuts.
Favors: A book of cocktail recipes, or chic barware accessories, like a stirrer, jigger, or bottle opener.
Pamper the bride-to-be as she prepares for
the upcoming wedding with a bridal
shower that's all about rest and relaxation.
Book a private appointment at a nail salon for group manicures and pedicures (be sure to bring plenty of bottles of bubbly!). Or, you could hire a professional makeup artist to come to the party venue and teach a beginner makeup-application lesson. Another idea: Book a group appointment at a local perfumerie and invite guests to create their own perfume blend to bring home.
Shower invitation: Select a shower invitation design that reflects the beauty theme—think: bottles of perfume, nail polishes, or even cute bobby pins.
On the menu: Light and healthy fare like soups and salads, with plenty of self-serve cucumber spa water.
Favors: Send guests home with an at-home spa kit with sheet masks, bath salts or fizzy bath bombs, and bottles of nail polish (bonus points if the polish colors are named after something bridal!).
Instead of having guests take part in the
traditional bridal shower games, plan a
hands-on group activity that everyone will enjoy.
Hit the local flower market and set up a bouquet bar at the shower venue; display each flower variety in galvanized pails and clear-glass vases, and then invite guests to make their own flower bouquet to take home. Or, you could hire a local florist to teach a Flower Arranging 101 class or an interactive lesson on how to make a flower crown.
Venue: Someone's home or consider renting out a local florist's shop during off hours.
On the menu: You could even incorporate florals into your menu—serve shortbread cookies topped with sugared edible flowers, garnish beverages with ice cubes frozen with fresh blooms, and serve slices of cake embellished with hand-painted florals.
Favors: Set up a wrapping station with plenty of kraft paper and ribbon so guests can wrap their own take-home bouquet. Or, gift each guest with a pair of shears and a bud vase or mason jar so each person can create their own floral arrangement.
If your bride-to-be is more of the outdoorsy
type, then throw her a shower that reflects
her love of sunshine and nature.
Pack a picnic for the whole group and hit the trails for a scenic hike. Just be sure to choose a beginner-friendly trail so that everyone can participate.
Shower invitation: Choose an invitation design depicting epic vistas or majestic mountain scenery.
On the menu: Set up a trail mix bar so guests can make their own variety before setting off on the hike—you can stock a variety of ingredients like dried fruit (cranberries, peaches, apricots, blueberries, banana chips, coconut chips), nuts and seeds (roasted almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds), and sweets (chocolate chips, yogurt chips, M&Ms).
Favors: A patterned bandana or reusable water bottle, personalized with the bridal shower details.