The months leading up to your wedding day are full of celebration: Engagement parties, bachelor and bachelorette weekends and, of course, your bridal shower! It’s a moment to really revel in the excitement, to celebrate with the women you love most, and to don that “bride-to-be” badge with pride.
Whether your bridal shower will be an indulgent brunch, an elegant afternoon tea, or a fabulous dinner before you head out for your bachelorette bash, we say that your bridal shower should get just as much planning attention as your wedding day! If you’re looking for fantastic bridal shower ideas, look no further: We’ve asked some of our favorite event planners and designers to dish on the inspiration they absolutely love, and they did not disappoint. See what wisdom they shared below!
1. Wait ‘Til the Sun Goes Down
“Instead of having a traditional shower during the day, host an evening dinner with a casual atmosphere to celebrate the bride over drinks and great food,” says Sunna Yassin of Bash Please. “We love the idea of a custom menu at each place setting, as well as favors (in this case, beautiful candles), for friends and family to take home.”
2. Take Flowers Off the Table
Centerpieces are always a classic, but why not use your bridal shower as a chance to do something a little different? “Do the unexpected and design the party with flower arrangements on the back of all of the guests’ chairs,” Yassin suggests.
3. Encourage Mingling
“It’s not uncommon for guests to not yet know one another at a bridal shower, but it’s a great opportunity to introduce all of the women you love most,” says Yassin. “A great way to get people to meet and chat is by having food stations instead of a plated meal. Have the bride choose her favorite types of food, and use that as inspiration for your menu.”
4. Use the Menu as Décor
Bridal showers are often a little more casual, making them the perfect event for family-style design. “A larger menu displayed as part of the décor creates a focal point, while also keeping everyone informed,” says Yassin.
5. Make it Your “Something Blue”
Looking for a little extra luck for your upcoming wedding day? Treat your entire bridal shower as your “something blue”! “I actually created this design for my own bridal shower,” says Julie Lindenman of Julie Lindenman Events. “I went with a French country chic vibe, embraced a handpicked look for the florals, and then layered blue in with mismatched china and striped napkins.”
6. Curate a Beautiful Table
“Narrowing down a design scheme for your wedding can be challenging, but don’t just toss every idea that doesn’t make the cut,” says Teissia Treynet of Firefly Events. “Instead, save it and use it for your bridal shower!” This is especially perfect for a more elegant evening around a beautiful table with your besties. Choose a palette and design that feels fresh, inviting and warm.
7. Make it Personal
A smaller guest list means personalizing the details is an easier task to manage—not to mention, your bridal shower guest list will be all of your very closest friends! “Write each guest a personalized letter, then use that as their place card,” Treynet suggests.
8. Learn a New Skill
“We love bridal shower activities as a way to introduce your BFFs to one another and create a lighthearted atmosphere,” says Treynet. “It’s a fun way to try something new, and to learn a skill that might come in handy for your wedding or future married life, like crafting delicious cocktails that you could serve on your big day.”
9. Get Showered with Flowers
“This venue had a number of small tables instead of one larger table, so we used it as an opportunity to display flowers in a more unique and on-theme way,” says Lisa Gorjestani of Details Event Planning. “We used bud vases on the tables, then hung glass orbs filled with orchids and air plants to add height and create a literal shower of flowers over the celebration.”
10. Be Inspired by Your Honeymoon
Going somewhere tropical for your honeymoon? “Plan a paradise-themed bridal shower,” says Callista Osborn of Callista & Company. “Ask guests to bring honeymoon-related gifts, and encourage a ‘resort-wear’ dress code. Hire a caterer who specializes in the region’s cuisine, and design elegant yet on-theme décor, stationery, and rentals using tropical flowers and patterns.”
11. Throw a Pajama Party
“With so many fancy and formal wedding events on the horizon, use your bridal shower as a chance to go casual with a pajama party!” says Osborn. “Host the shower at a private residence or a luxe hotel suite. Keep food and beverages fun and informal (and include a few of your favorite late-night snacks!), and order embroidered PJs for the bride and bridesmaids.”
12. Complement the Wedding Design
“Ask the bride about the wedding design, then choose décor for the bridal shower that feels unique,” says Osborn. “For example, if the wedding will have a neutral or white palette, fill the shower with color (or vice versa). Consider hiring the same planner and florist as the bride has chosen for the wedding, as they’ll have a great sense of a unique design that still coordinates with the bride’s wedding vision.”
13. Dine Al Fresco
“Don’t be afraid to look beyond private rooms in restaurants for a bridal shower venue,” says Janie Lucia of Idyll Stories. “If you have a backyard—or know someone who does!—it is the perfect place to host your celebration. It also frees up a lot of your budget to really design the event to your taste without spending so much on the venue itself!”
14. Play with Flowers
“Traditional bridal shower games can feel dated, so why not incorporate a fresh and fun activity?” asks Lucia. “Talk to your florist about leading a bouquet-making class—everyone’s creations will fill the space with color, and can double as their favors!”