The bridal shower is an opportunity for people close to the bride to celebrate together in the lead up to the big day. It can be a great way for family members to get to know each other and for friends to catch up. Ahead are high-design but easy-to-put-together ideas for the shower. Read on for who to invite, what to do, and how to make it memorable for the bride-to-be.
Bridal shower planning
Who plans the bridal shower? It can be the maid of honor, a few members of the bridal party members, or her future mother in law. Now, who gets an invitation? Everyone in the bridal party, close friends, close family, and friends of the mother of the bride and the mother in law. Craft a sweet surprise by inviting the fiancé to swing by at the end of the event.
Dreamy bridal shower themes
If you’d like to go with a theme, we suggest using a low-key activity as a jumping-off point as it gives guests an easy in to start up conversations.
Consider a wine tasting, calligraphy workshop, or flower arranging class. If she’s into wellness try group massages, blending essential oils, or having a glam squad on hand to do braids or make-up touch-ups. For a more daring take on the classic bridal shower, go with a lingerie shower.
Set the tone with the invitation
Choose a bridal shower invitation that nods to classic florals: from Brock Collection’s sweet antique rose print to kate spade new york’s modern take on daisies. Get email addresses from the bride-to-be if you don’t have everyone’s contact information.
“Rosalie” by Brock Collection. “Wild Flora” by kate spade new york. “Fleurs d’Alençon” by Oscar de la Renta. “Mountmellick” by Paperless Post.
The bridal shower look
We love a refined white dress paired with flirty accessories. No need to go to bridal boutiques—shop your favorite stores and filter for white and neutral colors. Play up the romance with accessories like oversize heart or bow motifs. Or try out your wedding hashtag or fiancé’s name with a custom hair clip.
Self Portrait Ruched Taffeta Midi Dress via Moda Operandi. Monique Dress by Reformation. Tarragon Dress by Dôen. “Amaretti Dress” by Staud. “Cora 2 Drops” by Rebecca de Ravenel. “Charlotte Earrings” by Lizzie Fortunato. “Custom Gram Comb” by Lelet NY. “Void Baguette Barrette” by Lelet NY.
Setting the scene with shower decor
If you’re hosting a seated meal, keep the decor focused on the table. Stick with low arrangements of white flowers. If you don’t have a florist on speed dial stick with one type of flower in small, narrow vases or stick with one flower per bud vase, scattered along the table. Find flowers at your local farmer’s market, shop the (surprisingly good) flower section at Trader Joes, or order blooms from a delivery service like Urban Stems or The Bouqs.
If not, use one item en masse to create an installation perfect for a photo booth. We love how the editors behind Martha Stewart Weddings turned simple Mylar balloons into gemstones with paint marker for this jewel-themed shower, but you could also use honeycomb or tissue decorations. Create a photo booth with a Fujifilm Instax. Pack a few extra frames, in case any shutterbugs go wild.
Fun and games
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: You don’t have to play games. If you have other activities planned it might be overkill, but a game or two can help bond new acquaintances. A few of our favorites:
Way back when: Show off photos of the couple at different ages and have guests guess when each image was taken.
Who said it? Have guests match facts to the person, like who can’t dance, who is the most sentimental etc. Create a checklist for guests to fill out and see who knows the couple best.
Find the guest: Create a checklist with a unique fact about each guest, then encourage people to learn more about everyone during the party.
The Ring Pop game: Each guest gets a Ring Pop at the start of the party. When they say the forbidden wedding word (like “bride” or “wedding”) they must give their ring to whoever catches them. The person the most rings at the end of the game wins.
Drinks and snacks for your wedding shower
Image: Almost Makes Perfect.
Offer self-serve or family-style food. Think frittatas and salad for brunch or sweets and fruit in the afternoon. Have bridesmaids help bring a dish or do a pickup order from a local caterer. We recommend 1-2 drink options in a large pitcher or dispenser to avoid refilling drinks throughout the party. Or host at a favorite restaurant or event space and let someone else take of the food.
To personalize the party, we love napkins and any custom party supplies from For Your Party. Enlist a witty bridesmaid for copywriting duty.
Shower them with favors, or don’t
Send guests home with anything they made at the party, like floral arrangements, essential oil mixes, or photo booth photos. Other than that, favors aren’t necessary. If you must, stick with something that does double duty by personalizing their place setting, like a velvet bow on their menu, a fan, or pretty bloom.
Gifts for the bride and the host
Snake Notelet, Smythson. Leather Jewelry Case, Cuyana. Cocktail napkins, The Loveliest Company.
If you’d like, the host can include the couple’s registry in the invitation. We love celebratory gifts or upgrades to home items they’ll use forever. This is also a sweet time to gift the bride a sentimental gift meant for the wedding day. A few ways to go off-registry:
An embroidered hanky for inevitable wedding tears.
Cocktail napkins with their combined initials.
A celebratory sparkling wine, or one in a memorable vintage.
A pretty dish for an engagement ring.
A jewelry or passport holder for new adventures.
Correspondence cards with new moniker for thank you notes.
Colorful linens to spice up dinners at home.
Here comes the shower: but now you’re well-prepared. Browse our collection of invitations to every kind of wedding shower—stock the shelves, give a gift of unmentionables, or even invite both halves of the couple.
Hero image: “Herrgarde” by Paperless Post.