25 Pretty Bridal Shower Food and Drink Ideas

Celebrate the bride-to-be in style with these inspirational ideas.

Dessert decorated with bride-to-be heart and sugar flowers

Marija Jokic/Getty Images

Traditionally a women-only event where family and close friends give the bride-to-be gifts for her new marital home, the modern bridal shower is a bit more updated. There’s no need to confine the guest list to one gender or to pick a theme that matches your wedding. There is, however, one tradition you’ll want to stick to: keeping guests full and satisfied with a tasty party menu.

“A bridal shower is a time to indulge in all the things the bride loves,” says Alexandria Hammond of Get Plated Catering and Events. “There’s going to be fewer people, and it’s more of a casual setting, so have all of your favorite things.”

Meet the Expert

Alexandria Hammond owns and operates Washington, D.C.-based catering company Get Plated together with husband and executive chef Keyon Hammond. A classically trained French chef, Keyon’s culinary background includes Platinum country clubs and global hotels.

Beyond serving what you love, what else should you know about bridal shower food and drink? Read on for Hammond’s expert tips.

Keep the Time of Day in Mind

Choose buffet-style or cocktail service with lighter passed bites and finger foods for a morning or lunchtime shower. Planning for the early evening? "Do something heavier because people are going to be expecting more of a full meal," says Hammond. 

Elevate Your Favorite Plates 

Want to serve your favorite comfort foods? Talk with your caterer; they’ll know how to up the ante by adding unexpected ingredients. “If you want to do tacos, make it the best taco bar that you possibly can,” explains Hammond. “It doesn’t have to be a traditional ground beef; it can be Korean-style short ribs with salsa or pickled veg. Making it more personalized will make it more delectable.”

Get Creative With How You Serve and Display 

There are plenty of ways to showcase a fun focal point for your bridal shower food. Go with a themed cart, like poke or burrata. Get Plated also incorporates interactive elements such as usherette trays (walking raw bars are popular) as well as interactive service elements, including a make-your-own ice cream sandwich bar. "It keeps the conversation going when guests might not know each other," says Hammond.

If you are going to do a stationary display, Hammond recommends not using the same type of vessel for each item. "Be a little more eclectic," she adds. "Use different textures and bowl sizes to give a more visual aspect to the event."

Skip the Dessert-Only Menu

“I am not a fan of all sweets for a bridal shower or any type of event,” says Hammond. “People need balance.” If you do have more of a sweet tooth, go for dishes that are sweet and savory at the same time. Hammond’s current favorite is a flatbread with whipped goat cheese, balsamic, and strawberries.

When in Doubt, Hometown Dishes are a Great Start

A bridal shower is a celebration with family and friends, so food and drink options that make you feel like you’re back at home are a great way to thematically tie the menu together. For a recent D.C.-themed celebration, Get Plated served mini half-smokes with local beer flights, mini “jumbo” pizza slices, and, in a nod to the nearby Chesapeake, oysters. Added bonus: These dishes help out-of-town guests experience the best the area has to offer.

Be Smart About the Bar Menu  

Alcohol isn’t necessary for a bridal shower, but it doesn’t hurt. “If you’re keeping it lighter in the day, having one or two signature cocktails, along with beer and wine, is totally acceptable,” says Hammond. “If you’re going more into the evening, a full bar is also appropriate.” Themed drinks are also a fun option. Love bourbon? Do a tasting. More of a gin & tonic type? Set out a bar with different types of syrups and citrus. 

You’ll also want to have booze-free options on hand. “It doesn’t have to be a generic tea,” says Hammond. “Something more elevated, like a basil-infused watermelon lemonade, gives an interesting and refreshing taste.”

In need of some inspiration? Here are 25 delicious dishes, desserts, and drinks to serve.

01 of 25

Cheese Board

Cheeseboard with different cheese varieties, olives and cherries.

istetiana/Getty Images

Grazing boards are always a crowd-pleaser. Blend local cheeses with fresh fruit and grilled veggies so that guests can build their own plates.

02 of 25

Raw Bar

Raw Bar with assortment of raw seafood and lemons

Photo by Heather Waraska; Planning by AaB Creates; Catering by Gurney’s Resort & Seawater Spa 

For a seaside or coastal-themed summer soiree, set out oysters, clams, and lobster claws on a bed of ice and allow guests to dig in.

03 of 25

Seasonal Veggie Tartlets

Seasonal veggie tartlets on a metal serving tray

Photo by Sidney Bensimon; Catering by Blue Hill at Stone Barns 

Eggplant puree topped with farm-grown tomatoes makes for a delightfully savory bite-sized snack.

04 of 25

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Bacon wrapped shrimp with garnish

LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Bacon makes pretty much anything better, don’t you think? The combination of juicy shrimp and smoky bacon is ideal.

05 of 25

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie board with different meats, cheeses, olives, fruit and honey

Anna Janecka/Getty Images

A selection of cured meats paired with cheeses, olives, and various fruits works for every kind of bridal shower, from a Tuscan theme to a rustic fall celebration.

06 of 25

Spanakopita Triangles

Spanakopita on a board with olive oil in the background and greens in front

The Good Brigade/Getty Images

There’s just something so comforting about warm spinach and feta wrapped in layers of flaky dough—the ultimate finger food.

07 of 25

Mini Lobster Rolls

Mini lobster rolls being served by a waiter

Photo by Chi-Chi Ari Photography; Planning by  Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events; Catering by Belle Mer   

Even if you can’t be on the water, you can instantly transport guests to summer on the coast with hot buttered buns and fresh lobster meat.

08 of 25

Watermelon Bites

Watermelon bites on a tray being served by waiter

Photo by Sergio Sandona; Planning by Julie Lindenman Events; Catering by Cobblestone Catering  

Celebrating alfresco? Watermelon is a refreshing treat in hot weather, and it pairs nicely with a variety of flavor profiles. Top the cubes with whipped cheese and balsamic for a savory bite.

09 of 25

Salmon Crudo

Salmon crudo in silver spoons served on a tray by waiter

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography; Planning by Alison and Brian; Catering by Belmond El Encanto 

Serve it cured with creme fraiche and roe for an upscale twist on a favorite brunch dish, or raw and drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon juice for something more Italian-inspired.

10 of 25

Smashed Pea Crostini

Smashed pea crostini on a white plate

Photo by Amy and Stuart Photography; Planning by Alison and Brian; Catering by Belmond El Encanto 

No garden party bridal shower is complete without a few dainty crostinis. Fresh spring peas, mint, and ricotta make for a delicious spring twist on this classic passed app.

11 of 25

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls on a black plate with soy sauce and chopsticks on table

Elena_Danileiko/Getty Images

Crisp veggies wrapped in rice paper make for a healthy snack that won’t leave guests feeling sluggish. Be sure to serve in smaller portions so attendees don’t have to worry about ingredients falling out between bites.

12 of 25

Caprese Skewers

Caprese skewers on wood board being served at event by waiter

Photo by Rebecca Yale; Planning by Matthew Oliver Weddings; Catering by Renaud Traiteur 

The easiest way to serve your favorite flavors together is to place them on a stick! Combine fresh veggies, fruits, cheeses, and meat for a festive appetizer that’s also easy to eat.

13 of 25

Steak With Bearnaise Sauce

Steak with bearnaise sauce on table with sign

Photo by Olivia Leigh; Coordination by Estera Events; Catering by Big Delicious Planet  

Want to set out something a little more filling at your bridal shower? Steak strips with bearnaise sauce are a crowd-pleasing protein option that also feels a touch indulgent. Just be sure guests have tables and chairs to dine at so they can properly cut their bites.

14 of 25

Seasonal Salad

Seasonal salad with tomatoes and cheese

Ryan Herron/Getty Images

If your bridal shower will be a sit-down meal, start things off with a pretty plate of leafy greens. Dress with seasonal fruit, a creamy dressing, and toasted nuts for extra crunch.

15 of 25

Mini Shrimp Po' Boy

Mini Shrimp Po' Boy on a white plate

Photo by Ashleigh Bing Photography; Catering by Get Plated  

Dressed with green onion remoulade, these savory one-biters are sure to disappear in seconds.

16 of 25

Mini Quesadillas

Mini quesadillas on a white plate being served by waiter

Photo by Ashleigh Bing Photography; Catering by Get Plated

There's chips and salsa, and then there's the next level: poppable smoked chicken quesadillas topped with fresh pico de gallo.

17 of 25

Bite-Sized Tacos

Bite-sized tacos on white plate

Photo by Ashleigh Bing Photography; Catering by Get Plated  

Wedged limes are the perfect way to display and serve mini tacos, which can be filled with everything from fresh seafood to braised short ribs.

18 of 25

Macarons

Colorful macarons on a wood serving board

Jose Gerardo San Miguel/EyeEm/Getty Images

This popular French dessert is available in almost every color, making it easy to match to any color palette or bridal shower theme. The fact that they are bite-sized makes them the ideal party treat.

19 of 25

Donuts

Colorful donuts on a white plate with pink napkin

the_burtons/Getty Images

Dress up your favorite flavors with icing and toppings to match your shower theme, then serve them as a sweet treat towards the end of the event. Better yet, let your guests take them home as favors!

20 of 25

Chocolate Pot De Crème

Chocolate Pot De Crème on a wood board

The Picture Pantry/Alanna Taylor-Tobin/Getty Images

Not interested in brownies and mini cheesecakes? Pot de crème is a luxurious way to do dessert at a bridal shower.

21 of 25

Mini Ice Cream Cones

Assortment of mini ice cream cones on a white plate

Pekic/Getty Images

The best way to serve a dessert that melts quickly is in small portions. Miniature ice cream scoops are a bite-sized treat that guests can eat without worrying about a mess.

22 of 25

Bloody Mary Bar

Bloody Mary Bar near flowers and orange napkin

Photo by Kate Headley; Planning by A Day in May Events; Catering by Epicure Catering  

A Bloody Mary bar is a no-brainer for a brunch bridal shower. Let guests personalize their drinks with gourmet garnishes like pickled okra, hearts of palm, smoked mussels, and kimchi, or go the classic route with celery, bacon, and an assortment of stuffed olives.

23 of 25

Sparkling Wine Cocktails

Glasses of sparkling wine on a tray

sjharmon/Getty Images

Nothing says "celebration" quite like a glass of bubbles! A sparkling wine or champagne cocktail won’t taste too boozy for an afternoon soiree, but it will still help get everyone in the party mood.

24 of 25

Rosé Slushie Pops

Rosé slushie pops on an acrylic tray being held by a waiter

Photo by Aaron Delesie; Planning by EKS Events; Catering by Todd Slossberg, Chefs Club

These boozy frozen treats double as dessert and will feel right at home at any shower with a pink color palette.

25 of 25

Non-Alcoholic Options

Non-alcoholic options on a table with glasses at an outdoor event

Photo by Jeremiah & Rachel; Planning by Greenwood Events; Catering by Bravo! Catering  

It’s important to have booze-free options at any type of get-together, and you don’t want them to feel like an afterthought. Set out iced tea, lemonade, or fruit-infused water in pretty glass or acrylic dispensers so guests can help themselves whenever they get parched.

more in

The Ultimate Guide to Bridal Showers

Related Stories