Want, Need, Love: 7 Bridal Shower Essentials

Updated 06/11/14

Courtesy of Ban.do, Fujifilm, Zara, Library of Flowers, Maggie Austin Cake, Wölffer Estate, and TopShop

You might not be in charge of the bridal shower (it's usually your bridal party and/or friends of the family who plan and host), but you can still subtly drop some hints about how you envision it happening! To get the ideas flowing, we rounded up a few solid suggestions — from the perfect outfit and a makeshift photo booth to an unexpected cocktail — for throwing the most stylish shower ever. (Make sure to Pin this so your maid of honor sees it!)

1. The Fun Accessory

We have to admit, thongs and tanks that say "The Bride" in crystal lettering freak us out — but we do appreciate the spirit behind it. This "Future Mrs." headband is fun but not tacky. Rock it while opening gifts for prime photo-ops. Headband, $15; Ban.do

2. The Photo Booth Substitute

Photo booths are practically essentials at weddings nowadays, but they aren't necessarily affordable for your shower. Enter this smartphone printer. Ask one of your bridesmaids to create a pretty backdrop, break this out, et voilà, you've got a DIY photo booth! Use the pics as a cool guest-book alternative. Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1, $178; Fujifilm

3. The Dress

This crazy-cute dress by Zara is pretty but not overly girly (we love the ombré blues), and it's perfect if you're doing a casual brunch with friends. Balance the subtle flounce of the skirt with a chunky white mule (see number 7!) or flat sandal. Dress, $79.90; Zara

4. The Hostess Gift

Don't forget to thank everyone who threw the shower — from the bridesmaids who planned it to your mom's friend who graciously hosted it — with a prompt note and a small token of gratitude. We love these bubble baths from Library of Flowers — so fragrant and luxurious. Bonus points for beautiful packaging too! Wildflower and Fern Bubbling Bath, $36; Library of Flowers

5. The Food

Maggie Austin's custom-painted, individually sized cakes make for a stunning plated presentation — and they taste amazing. (Call Austin's cake studio to inquire about bespoke designs to match the theme and palette of your event.) Cakes, from $25 each, with a minimum order of $2,500; Maggie Austin Cake

6. The Booze

Bloody Marys, bellinis, and mimosas usually top bridal-shower cocktail lists. For something unexpected, tell your bridesmaids about Wölffer's new limited-edition dry rosé cider made with fresh-pressed apples and red grape skin extract (which creates the rose color!). Fill galvanized ice buckets with the cute screw-cap bottles and you're done! Rosé cider, $16 for four; Wölffer Estate Vineyard

7. The Party Shoes

Save your killer stilettos for the bachelorette party and keep things chic and comfortable at your shower. You'll be able to show off your pedi in these on-trend metal-toe leather mules. Sandals, $110; TopShop

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