Wedding Planning Guide

20 memorable bridal shower themes

Bridal shower themes

Image source: Pinterest

A bridal shower is one of the special events leading up to the wedding nuptials where the bride-to-be can celebrate with close friends–typically in a less formal environment than the rehearsal dinner or the wedding. This party is traditionally hosted by the maid of honor, close friends, or bridesmaids. If you’re getting ready to shower a bride with love, we’re here to make it a little easier with a list of 20 unique theme ideas. To best pull off these bridal shower party themes, we’ve included tips on food ideas, decor suggestions, favor options, and other unique looks that will make for the perfect celebration.

SHOP bridal shower invitations


1

BRIDAL BRUNCH

When it comes to bridal shower ideas, a bridal brunch is a great option that can be planned for any month of the year. If you’re hosting during a warmer month, you can throw a beautiful outdoor shower with tables in a backyard or garden. Opt for self-serve drink and food stations and let guests have a relaxing and fun mid-morning celebrating the bride. Make attire fun by asking everyone to wear colorful floral maxi dresses. If you’re hosting a bridal shower during a cooler time of year, rent out private space at one of the bride’s favorite brunch spots, ask everyone to dawn their pearls, and set up a more formal mimosa brunch meal.

  • Decor ideas: Whether you’re hosting outside or inside, adding some greenery and florals for decoration is a nice touch. If you have food and drink stations outside, frame the signs for each with these natural elements. At a more formal sit-down inside, weave greenery such as a eucalyptus garland or colored florals down the table.
  • Drink ideas: Set up a DIY bubbly bar so guests can make their own delicious drinks. Bonus: drink stations can double as decor.
  • Favor ideas: Package up mini bottles of champagne or rosé with a custom label for each guest that has the bride’s name on it, her wedding date, and a thank you to the guest for coming to the shower.
Bridal Brunch

Bridal Brunch by Haley Warner

2

“WE DO” BREWS & BBQ

Perfect for a couples shower, a backyard or park barbeque and brew can be a great outdoor option for a spring or summer event. It is great for the guy (or gal!) who prides himself on being a grill master and it allows for a more casual setting. Invite guests to wear more comfortable clothes and encourage them to hold off on a gift and instead to bring their favorite six-pack of beer.

  • Favor Ideas: Provide guests with a small jar of homemade BBQ sauce or a custom bottle opener with the couple’s names on it.
  • Decor Ideas: Red and white checkered tablecloths are a must!
  • Food Ideas: Consider a barbeque and picnic theme. Ribs, potato salad, rolls, corn on the cob, etc.
Vintage Coaster

Vintage Coaster by Fig and Cotton

3

BEACH CELEBRATION

Whether your feet are in the sand or you’re just planning to bring the beach to the bride, an easygoing beach-themed bridal shower is perfect for the surfer babe or sun goddess bride. While you can certainly go for the nautical theme, another option is to play off the natural beauty of the ocean and the beach for a natural, breezy event. Keep it informal with linen attire, and host a bridal shower picnic full of pastels, seashells, and bites.

  • Food ideas: Go along with the beach theme and serve oysters, some cold treats such as popsicles (if it’s hot), and if you’re serving desserts such as cupcakes or cake, have them decorated in a beach theme (with barnacles, rope, etc.).
  • Game idea: Play “a message in a bottle.” Each guest writes words of wisdom for the bride and puts them in a bottle. The bride will take these home for the happy couple to open together and will serve as a sweet keepsake.
  • Drink ideas: Drinks may vary depending on what food is served, but safe bets would be champagne and a specialty cocktail. See if you can factor in a miniature cocktail umbrella into the presentation! Keep water on hand if you’re at the actual beach for extra hydration.
Gallery Abstract Art

Painted Layers Splash by Alethea and Ruth

4

AFTERNOON TEA PARTY

If the bride is refined, an elegant afternoon tea bridal shower is the perfect way to celebrate her. Whether you host the event in a tea house, a backyard garden setting, or indoors, bridal shower ideas like this one can easily become an event fit for the Queen herself. Ask attendees to wear dresses and don hats for a tea time that might even have a boozy twist to it.

  • Drink ideas: If you’re looking to spice it up a little, take a twist on traditional afternoon tea by making some of them “spiked”. These recipes are a fun way to toast your gal pals and you can always leave some teas of the non-alcoholic variety, as well.
  • Food ideas: Tea sandwiches are a must! Provide an assortment of sandwich combinations like ham and cheese, smoked salmon and egg, and cream cheese topped with sliced strawberries and honey. Other menu items could include a variety of crostini, deviled eggs, mini scones, muffins, and tarts from her favorite bakery.
  • Favor ideas: 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.
Tea Time

Tea Time by Lori Wemple

5

GARDEN PARTY

Planning a bridal shower concept comes with quite a few to-dos, but cultivating a garden-themed celebration is one that is quite easy and sophisticated! Lean on Mother Nature to provide much of the beauty for a backyard shower and incorporate additional greens and roses into the decor for a beautiful setting.

  • Decor ideas: Use some customizable garden color-themed decor for place settings, menu signs, game cards, etc.
  • Drink ideas: Serve up cocktails with edible flowers and for non-alcoholic beverages, try using ice cubes frozen with flower petals inside.
  • Favor idea: Mini-potted plants. Let love grow!
Garden Balloon

Garden Balloon by Itsy Belle Studio

6

BUILD-YOUR-OWN BOUQUET BAR

Bridal shower themes are the most fun when there’s an interactive component! Hit the local flower market and set up a bouquet bar at your shower venue. Display each flower variety in galvanized pails or 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. Consider hosting at someone’s home or renting out a local florist’s shop during off-hours.

  • Food ideas: You should absolutely incorporate florals into your menu! Serve shortbread cookies topped with sugared edible flowers and serve slices of cake embellished with hand-painted florals.
  • Favor ideas: Set up a wrapping station with plenty of kraft paper and ribbon so guests can wrap their own take-home bouquet.
  • Game ideas: While not a game per se, we’d say there’s nothing more fun than creating bouquets!
Image source

Flowers & Greens by Susan Moyal

7

REST & RELAXATION DAY (SPA OR SALON VISIT)

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 is to book a group appointment at a local perfumery and invite guests to create their own perfume blend to bring home.

  • Drink ideas: Lots of bubbly, as well as self-serve cucumber spa water.
  • Food ideas: Light and healthy fares like soups and salads. Seeing as how you are indulging, consider a collection of fine chocolates to sample.
  • Favor idea: Send guests home with an at-home spa kit with sheet masks, bath salts, fizzy bath bombs, and bottles of nail polish (bonus points if the polish colors are named after something bridal!).
Pamper

Parfumerie by Smudge Design

8

A GROUP NATURE HIKE

For the outdoorsy couple, plan a unique bridal shower out in nature with a scenic hike and pack a picnic. Just be sure to choose a beginner-friendly trail so that everyone can participate. When you get to a scenic spot – whether it’s a lake, the top of a mountain, or a beautiful meadow– settle in with your closest friends for a lovely meal.

  • Food ideas: Set up a trail mix bar so guests can make their own variety before setting off on the hike. 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).
  • Favor ideas: A patterned bandana or reusable water bottle, personalized with a wedding monogram or hashtag.
  • Game idea: Play couples trivia! Whether you do a couples shower or girls-only event, ask a series of questions about the couple and if both members of the couple are there have them respond with their own answer and what they think the others’ response will be. If the groom isn’t there, get his answers ahead of time and have fun laughing at all of the responses while enjoying the great outdoors.
Rustic Wooded Romance

Rustic Wooded Romance by Melissa Egan of Pistols

9

TROPICAL SHOWER CELEBRATION

If you’re throwing a summer bridal shower, make it feel like a sun-soaked getaway with palm frond decor and tropical flavors galore. Look for a spa, hotel, or friend’s backyard with a pool and gazebo that can be sectioned off semi-privately or rented for an afternoon to celebrate the bride. Embrace the tropical theme with colorful tableware, pineapples carved as vases or cocktail glasses, and flamingo patterned napkins or tablecloths. This is one of those bridal shower party themes guests definitely won’t forget! If you have guests who cannot attend in person, send them a mini package in advance along with a link to log into the shower virtually. Encourage virtual attendees to pick a fun virtual background, so they can still participate in games and have a great time.

  • Food ideas: Keep it light with fruit salads, popsicles, and platters with cheeses, nuts, and crackers.
  • Drink ideas: Create cocktails and juices that play off the tropical theme such as a pineapple mojito, guava mimosa, or coconut pina colada.
  • Favor ideas: Provide bamboo fans or take-home pineapples as a fun and quirky favor.
Tropic Drape

Palm by Kaydi Bishop

10

AHOY! IT’S A NAUTICAL BRIDAL SHOWER

She’s tying the knot and there’s only one way to celebrate the mermaid at heart – with a whimsical nautical-themed bridal shower. If you’re able to host the shower on the water or on a boat that’s ideal, but this theme will be just as great in your living room! It will easily come to life using the traditional blue and white colors as the base for decorations and adding all kinds of other decor and personality on top of it. Have the bride don a sailor’s hat and enjoy her "last sail before the veil."

  • Decor ideas: Use accent colors such as yellow, red, or pink. Fun additions include rope, fishing net, sand dollars, anchors, and driftwood.
  • Food ideas: Crab bites, mini shrimp, cupcakes with edible anchors...the options are endless!
  • Favor idea: Set up a candy bar with candies that are different shades of blue. If you have mini mason jars on hand, allow guests to fill one as their departing favor.
Down by the sea

Down by the sea by Sandra Picco Design

11

COUPLES COCKTAIL SHOWER

Hosting a couples cocktail-style shower allows guests to interact with each other while learning (and tasting) something new. Hosting the shower at a local bar in a private space with a mixologist is great, but it’s just as wonderful to host in someone’s home! You just have to weigh factors such as the number of guests you’re hosting and the capacity of your space, budget, and availability. This theme lends itself to a virtual component for those who cannot attend in person. Include a login where guests can view the mixology class and craft up a drink at home to sip along with you.

  • Decor ideas: Regardless of where you host, you can keep decor pretty simple and focus on the beauty of the cocktails you’re making. String twinkly lights, wind greenery and florals on tables, use small and large crates to display the cocktail(s) you’ll be creating, and perhaps use gold balloons to hang for the initials of the couple getting married.
  • Food ideas: Pair some bites with the cocktail you make. You may go with oysters, small sandwiches, gourmet pizza bites, etc.
  • Game ideas: Prompt guests to write down their favorite date night ideas and leave these in a box for the lovebirds to revisit once they are married.
Love cocktail

Love cocktail by Kim Dietrich Elam

12

RUSTIC-THEMED SHOWER

Rustic-themed weddings have been growing in popularity over the last decade, so it only makes sense to consider a rustic bridal shower theme as well. If weather permits, go for an outdoor shower where you can incorporate hay, exposed wood tables, and chalkboard signage directing guests into the venue. For added fun, suggested attire could include funky vintage dresses with cowboy boots.

  • Decor ideas: Use burlap to decorate mason jar vases, old suitcases and crates at varying heights to display desserts, and votive candles where safe for extra whimsy.
  • Food ideas: Consider a waffle bar, a candied apple station, or tiers of mini pies and tarts.
  • Drink ideas: Sweet tea, lemonade, and a bowl of the bride’s favorite cocktail mixed ahead of time, which drinks can be ladled out of.
Woodland Fairytale

Floral Canopy by Griffinbell Paper Co.

13

KITCHEN-THEMED BRIDAL SHOWER

If your friend loves to cook, use this bridal shower theme as a chance to not only elevate her skillset to Michelin Star status, but to also have some hands-on fun! Plan a recipe the guests can all work to complete at the get-together. Have guests bring recipe cards for the bride-to-be and put them in her new recipe box upon arrival. Adorn her with a chef’s hat and an apron as she greets her guests. If possible, encourage guests to purchase kitchen-specific registry items as gifts if they’re going to bring something to stick with the theme.

  • Decor ideas: Use cookbooks as centerpieces, or common kitchen items such as cheese graters and mixing bowls full of floating flowers.
  • Food ideas: Italian recipes can be perfect for making together as a group. Roll out and cut pasta, fold ravioli, or construct homemade pizzas from scratch. One group can even be in charge of preparing the salad. It only seems fitting to sip on some Italian wines during the process too!
  • Favor ideas: Cooking themed favors such as whisks or dish towels will make for practical parting gifts. You can tie a raffia or twine bow around them with a label that says “thank you!”
Retro Kitchen

Retro Kitchen by Annie Holmquist

14

STOCK THE BAR EVENT

Help the couple stock their liquor cabinet with a spirits-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 bottleneck. This shower is fun to host at a local bar or restaurant, or the couple’s home.

  • Drink ideas: 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.
  • Food ideas: 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.
Bottoms Up

Top Shelf by Sarah Brown

15

A FRENCH TWIST

A très chic Parisian theme lends itself to elegant celebrations, and, given it is known as the city of love, of course we might as well combine it with a lingerie soiree for the bride-to-be! Whether the shower is indoor or outdoor, invite guests to step into the imaginative streets of Paris where elegant streamers are strung from above and tall replicas of the Eiffel Tower sit among authentic French desserts. Guests could be asked to bring the bride lingerie as she embarks on the exciting journey as a new wife.

  • Decor ideas: Experiment with black, white, and pink with gold accents. Miniature French flags spiked into hors d'oeuvres can also paint the scene.
  • Drink ideas: Champagne, of course! Use Eiffel Tower glass charms for a fun effect.
  • Game ideas: Test everyone’s foreign language skills. Read off a word in French and have guests write down what they think the English translation is.
Pretties

Pretties by Phrosne Ras

16

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

Bridal shower themes are especially fun when you can tie them in with the couple’s interests. In this case, throwing a travel-themed shower is perfect for the bride/couple who is getting excited about the honeymoon. See if there is a way to pay tribute to their favorite travel spot in your party planning. Use vintage luggage, old travel books, and funky cameras as table centerpieces. Feature photos throughout the venue of the couple’s actual travels together. If they’ve included anything on their registry that is travel-related, encourage guests to purchase these items so the love birds can use them on their honeymoon.

  • Decor ideas: Utilize maps, globes, and travel guides. Incorporate a “Traveling from Miss to Mrs.” sign if it feels right.
  • Game ideas: Give each guest a “passport” with prompts on it. It is basically “find someone who,” where you’re encouraged to mingle among guests to find someone who’s wearing red, has an older sibling, etc. The first person to fill their passport wins.
  • Favor ideas: Everyone will appreciate a nice luggage tag.
Vintage Pack Your Bags

Vintage Pack Your Bags by Dawn Jasper

17

FORTUNE TELLING PARTY

If the bride is passionate about psychics and tarot readings, what better time to gather loved ones together to look at the future than now? Put this in the category of one-of-a kind bridal party themes and be clear in the invitation that if any guests are not comfortable having their cards read, they are not going to be pushed to participate. Enlisting a psychic, palm reader, or card reader to predict futures is only part of the fun. Set up crystal stations, an incense bar, and astrological info so people can compare their signs. This slumber party-esque shower is a lovely way for women to gather before the big day.

  • Decor ideas: Drape tables in deep green, blue, and purple velvets for a sense of rich decadence. Use candles, incense, and twinkly lights. Greenery is great on tables if you’re eating a meal or setting up stations.
  • Favor idea: Attendees choose a crystal from the crystal table to take home.
Radial

Dip Dyed Glitter by Everett Paper Goods

18

CALMING YOGA RETREAT

If your best friend is an avid yogi, then a relaxing and rejuvenating bridal shower to de-stress with friends is the perfect way to gather. Ask your friend’s favorite yoga instructor to teach the class and request that attendees bring their own mats (make sure you have extras just in case). Prepare a separate space for after the class where everyone can lounge, eat, chat, and hang out.

  • Decor ideas: Disperse floral arrangements a safe distance from yoga mats throughout the space. Also, light little votives or use battery-operated ones. For the lounge space after yoga class, bring in colorful pillows, lanterns, and a special yoga wrap for the bride that says “Mrs.” on the back.
  • Food ideas: Keep food light after class. Think fruit, nuts, finger sandwiches, or acai bowls.
  • Drink ideas: Smoothies or spa waters infused with cucumber, lemon, orange, or strawberry.
Geo Elegance

Greenery by Leah Bisch

19

CAMP OUT

Throw her a shower that’ll reflect her sense of adventure. Find someone in your friend group who has a great backyard or locate a park that has the right space for the key elements, and pitch a tent and sleeping bags for a campout. These include things like a bbq meal, roasting s’mores around a fire, and sharing lots of laughs over games and good stories.

  • Food ideas: BBQ, hot dogs, s’mores, mini pies.
  • Drink ideas: Fireball hot chocolate is the way to go if you’re going to spike a classic! Mulled wines are also delicious on a chilly evening.
  • Game ideas: Horseshoes, a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt, Jenga, stargazing...the options are endless!
Rustic Boho

Rustic Boho by Cass Loh

20

COOKING CLASS

Plan a group cooking class for the bride-to-be’s bridal shower! This is a more formal spin on our above “Kitchen-themed” idea. Find a local chef who has a kitchen set up and event space that will fit your guest list. This is perfect as a couples shower theme. Start the shower with mingling and drinks and instead of playing games, use the cooking class to replace games. The final product will be the meal guests eat for dinner! It’s the perfect interactive way to spend an evening.

  • Decor ideas: Because space needs to be mostly cleared for cooking, considering stringing twinkly lights from the ceiling or doing high balloons that say “The Future Mrs. ____”.
  • Drink ideas: Talk to the Chef in advance and pair wine with what you’ll be cooking. Provide a thirst-quenching mocktail for those who don’t wish to drink.
  • Favor ideas: Favors could include local spices or salts, packaged with a label that has the bride’s wedding monogram on it.
Calling All Chefs

Calling All Chefs by Jennifer Wick