22 Modern Bridal Shower Ideas You and Your Guests Will Love

Bride squad in dressing robes sitting together on floor cushions

Lisa-Marie Behr Fotografie; decor Katrin M. Events; planner Kiss Bubbles Love Wedding Coach

Like weddings, modern bridal showers are all about experiences. So we totally understand if you're not the type who wants to sit and play games or open up gifts in front of a big audience. Some of these activities and traditions have barely changed at all, so your guests will greatly appreciate some fresh ideas being worked into the mix.

From heading into the kitchen to hosting a charity fundraiser, here are 18 modern shower ideas.

01 of 22

Host a Wine Tasting With a Professional Sommelier

Bride and two bridesmaids in dressing robes holding wine glasses

Katie Ruther

What's a bridal shower without some bubbles? Instead of the standard mimosas though, invite a wine specialist to guide the group through wine tasting 101. You can even theme the tasting around a place you have traveled to or where you’ll be honeymooning. Caterer Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs shares the example of focusing on Tuscany: You can set up long farm tables and serve a family-style, Italian meal, paired with different Tuscan wines for each dish.

02 of 22

Unleash Your Inner Beyoncé

Bride dancing in a circle of wedding guests

Bokeh Photography

Suit up for your own dance class and learn the moves to your favorite song, says Chancey Charm Denver planner Lauren Groeper. Hire a choreographer to teach you and your guests a signature dance. “Hula lessons are perfect for a Hawaiian wedding and guests can always learn the 'Orea Pou Ine Nifi Mas' dance for a Greek wedding,” Groeper explains.

03 of 22

Create Beauty Products

Homemade coffee scrub ingredients on a tray with a jar next to a brush and bottle of lotion

Alina Nechaeva / Getty Images

Everyone wants to feel good and look good so incorporate that into your bridal shower, suggests Raquel Bickford of ROQUE Events. "Creating sugar scrubs will be fun, plus the guests will take them home and use them to get that sought-after glow," Bickford says. You can also have someone show the group how to blend essential oils, or have a perfumer help you make a custom scent.

04 of 22

School Your Guests in Calligraphy

Calligraphed dinner menues

Phil Chester; Idyll Paper by Tara Spencer

Beautiful script is becoming more important in the days of technology; so if you’re going to handwrite something, it best be well done. Sign everyone up for a calligraphy workshop, where you will begin to master envelope addressing and thank-you notes.

05 of 22

Get a Tarot and Reiki Reading

Tarot deck with the strength card face up on top surrounded by crystals

Alexthq / Getty Images

Abby Lee of Sugar Plum & Co. suggests taking the bride squad for some good vibes with a tarot reading and Reiki healing session, "Get all your chakras cleared before the big day!"

06 of 22

Head to the Kitchen

Two women making homemade pasta in the kitchen

Anchiy / Getty Images 

Cooking classes are all the rage for corporate team building, and the interactive quality of these parties makes them ideal for bridal showers, notes planner Andrea Freeman. Freeman advises to keep it simple and have guests make one item; for example, craft mozzarella and then enjoy Caprese salads.

07 of 22

Make It a Coed Party

Bride and groom at reception table with bridal party

Ashley Jensen

Throw an evening bash with all your friends and family—not just the gals. Host a couple’s shower, where guests can honor both you and your partner, and make it a full-on party. Have a bar with some of your favorite drinks, and hire a DJ or throw on your number one playlist. "We're seeing less daytime, female-only showers,” says Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events.

08 of 22

Put a Spin on Opening Gifts

Bride opening gift

Arctic Rose Photography

“Some brides feel that they need to open gifts, so there are ways to make it fun,” explains Maddy K, owner of Maddy K Events Atelier. Make the production into a larger game; set a timer for, say, every five minutes, while you open the gifts. When the timer dings, whoever’s gift is being opened wins a prize and the guests are entertained while some of the focus is deflected from the bride.

09 of 22

Be Your Own Bartender

Tequila bar

Sara Lobla 

Gather your closest friends and family to learn the art of the craft cocktail, recommends planner Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events. Have a skilled mixologist guide your group through the basics of shaking and stirring to put twists on classic drinks, such as an old-fashioned, martinis, and daiquiris. “Not only can you all hone a valuable hosting skill, but an interactive team building activity will give you something to do while having something delicious to toast with,” Banta says.

10 of 22

Make It a Charity Fundraiser

Hands of several volunteers placing canned food in a donation box

mixetto / Getty Images

Use your bridal shower as an avenue to give back. Michelle Rago, founder of Michelle Rago Destinations, suggests hosting a “Shower the World with Compassion” party, where guests can learn about and donate to a charity or charities that are close to your heart. “There is so much waste in the world, what better way to give back than by establishing a lifetime of philanthropy as you start your married life?” Rago says; “We can all make a difference that can change the world.”

Establish a no-gift policy and share how guests can participate in the charity on the invitation—to keep the momentum of giving back, have everyone volunteer at a local soup kitchen before cheering with your own celebratory meal.

11 of 22

Organize a Community-Supported Picnic

Cushions on a large rug in a grassy yard

Andrea Posada

 

"We love the idea of the bride’s friends getting together to see what the bride considers local- and small-business owned, and then creating a community-supported picnic," says Bash Please wedding planner Sunna Yassin. "The picnic can evolve into many different things but can start with a local beer, wine, or fun cocktail bar to-go kits that the ladies can sip on. The overall goal is knowing the bride’s favorites were had and that her community is supported."

Sprinkle in picks from the bride's favorite local businesses that sell things like cheeses, produce, pastries, as well as flowers and art for the decor.

12 of 22

Learn How to Spin Like a DJ

DJ in a red suit

Vienna Glenn Photography

If Paris Hilton can do it, so can you and your gals. Set up a masterclass with a local DJ or head to a spin school, such as Scratch DJ Academy in New York and Los Angeles. You can host a private workshop, where your guests learn the basics of the turntable, mixing songs, and of course, the timing of scratching.

13 of 22

Host a Private Shopping Day

Two friends shopping in a boutique together

Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Who doesn’t want a personal shopper? Make this dream come true for your guests—and yourself—by hosting your bridal shower at your go-to boutique. Many brands and local stores allow for private gatherings, where Champagne is served alongside canapés, and personal shoppers help guests take their fashion to the next level. When planning, ask if the store offers discounts for private events—sometimes you can save up to 20 percent on that perfect pair of shoes for your bachelorette.

14 of 22

Hire a Hot Chef

Chef with tattoos chopping up chicken slices on a cutting board

Anchiy / Getty Images

We’re cutting straight to the point here: Invite a good-looking chef to show your gals how to whip up homemade pasta or that elusive hollandaise for eggs Benedict at home. Planner Jove Meyer notes that the activity enhances the idea that it’s a party for everyone, not just the bride; “It takes the focus off the bride-to-be and allows it to be more of a group celebration,” he says.

15 of 22

Do a Health and Wellness Day

Group of adults meditating on a rooftop

 Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Are your guests heath gurus? Serve cold-pressed juices and acai bowls along with wellness chats for a fun-filled way to geek out on all things well-being. Bring in a yoga teacher to lead a vinyasa flow class or guide you through a meditation.

16 of 22

Bite Into a Cheese Experience

Cheese wheels on a cutting board with knives

Samm Blake

 

 

Find a local cheesemonger, like the French Cheese Board in New York, that allows for private events and host a custom cheese tasting, where your guests can learn about different styles, production methods, and flavors of the world’s best cheeses. Consider pairing the cheeses with drinks—and it doesn't have to be wine.

17 of 22

Get Artsy

Two friends making art together; girl at desk drawing a portrait in the forground

 StefaNikolic / Getty Images

Ever heard of Paint Nite? It’s a company that puts on art classes at bars, which equals painting with a drink in hand—that definitely says bridal shower. Customize the experience by having guests paint their beloved pets or their significant others.

18 of 22

Take a Makeup Class

Bride getting makeup done

Jami Laree Jeskey

It’s time to get glam, just because it’s your bridal shower so hire a makeup company—bonus points if it is your wedding day artist—to come on-site and lead a makeup class. You can focus on techniques like smoky eyes, highlighting and contouring, or applying false lashes. Your guests can employ the newly acquired skills for your wedding day to look extra fabulous.

19 of 22

Eat Chocolate and Drink Wine

Close up of women's hands holding red wine glasses

Alex Lasota

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love chocolate and wine, so combine the two for a truly luxurious experience. Planner Jennie Maretti of Pixies and Petals has organized parties like these with local specialty chocolatiers who can pair styles of chocolate with different varieties of wines. “Make sure to include dark, milk, and white chocolate and have the chocolatier tell the story behind how each is made,” suggests Maretti.

20 of 22

Try an Airbnb Experience

Friends sitting on a rock watching the sunset

Westend61 / Getty Images

Looking for something unique that you don’t do every day? Check out Airbnb Experiences for inspo, says Shannon Leahy of Shannon Leahy Events. The activities are localized and priced per person, plus you can comb through for those with good reviews. Experiences include everything from sushi rolling classes to tattoo courses, ghost tours, and hiking excursions.

21 of 22

Attend a Candle Making Workshop

Flat lay of a handmade candle with essential oil, a wooden spoon, and candle wicks on a table

 Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images

Cherelle Joseph of Perfectly Planned 4 You says a candle-making workshop is the perfect bridal experience. "Give your bridal party an enjoyable experience with a difference as you learn each stage of the candle making process," she says. "You will have the chance to smell and test a beautiful selection of fragrances and essential oils and learn and how to use them." Look for something local or go for an online class like the Makers Mess candle-making workshop.

22 of 22

Craft DIY Wedding Projects

A tree with a wooden wedding welcome sign and metal hoops hanging with paper notes inside

Whitney Darling

From handmade wedding signs to full ceremony backdrops, there's endless potential when it comes to DIY wedding decorations. "There are some great projects that would make for a fun night in with your girls and that would add a lovely personalized feel to the wedding," says Joseph. "Also, it gives your wedding unique handmade touches that set it apart from the crowd."

Now that you've created an epic queue of activities, it's time to work on that bridal shower guest list—who even gets invited to this shindig, anyway?

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