20 Bridal Shower Ideas That'll Make Any Bride's Party Perfect
These creative and unique bridal shower ideas, from themes to activities, will spice up your party.
Between lavish bachelorette parties and multi-day wedding celebrations, it's easy to forget about the customary bridal shower. And while the typical bridal shower is hardly as exciting as the rest of the wedding festivities, there are ways to liven things up so the main event isn't opening presents at your future mother-in-law's house. Whether you're a beaming bride or a stressed maid of honor, this article is packed with unique, easy-to-pull-off bridal shower ideas.
Bridal Shower Activity Ideas
Host a cooking competition
There's nothing like a little competition to spice up your shower. "Whether you're seeing who can create the most presentable entrée or who can put a creative twist on an old family recipe, hosting a cooking class will both fill up your guests and keep them entertained," says Brian Green, owner of Atlanta-based wedding and events company By BrianGreen. Ask your caterer for ways to incorporate your honeymoon destination into the party with a global culinary feast.
Create an interactive "make your own bouquet" station
Source flowers from your local farmer's market or even the supermarket for a DIY bouquet-making activity. This is a great interactive event that's not only entertaining, but leaves everyone with a personalized party favor.
"Set up your bouquet-making station with sharp scissors, trash cans for scraps, and fun ribbon and tissue paper to wrap everything up," says Malori Maeva, owner of Form Floral, a full-service florist in Arizona. She adds that it's best to get a mix of focal flowers (roses and peonies), fillers (button mums, spray roses, or tulips), and some greenery. Set everything out in mixed vases and let your guests go wild!
Do goat yoga
Cute goats, comfy yoga pants, and celebratory drinks afterward—try coming up with one bride who wouldn't love this! This animal-focused activity is a great way to add some nature to the party while also getting your guests moving, says Lainey Morse, founder of the viral Oregon-based Original Goat Yoga. Other fun ways to incorporate animals into the theme include horseback riding and walking shelter dogs.
Have a lipstick print-reading station
Tarot cards might tell you your future, but they're officially in the past. "Having your lipstick print read is a cute activity that will definitely stand out in a sea of your typical tea-time showers," says Nikki Butler, owner of Phoenix-based Salt Fringe Events. Have everyone kiss their print around a white picture frame filled with a group photo as a quick, memorable gift for the bride-to-be!
Master a craft
Hire a local calligrapher or sketch artist to teach your guests a new craft. "Calligraphy is a timeless skill that your friends [have] probably always wanted to learn but never took the leap, and they can use it forever!" explains Kim Pestalozzi, owner of the New York wedding planning and design firm Chère Rosalie.
Bonus tip: Enlist the person with the best calligraphy to help with wedding invites! You can let out a sigh of relief, and they can feel special playing an important role in your big day.
Go on a wine tasting tour (or host your own)
Whether you are lucky enough to live near a vineyard or just appreciate a nice, full-bodied red, you really can't go wrong with a wine tasting shower. "Have everyone bring a bottle from a different country and go on a blind testing tour," suggests Kristina Savina of the Toronto-based wedding planning website Wedding Forward. If you're going to an actual vineyard, request a private room for opening gifts in an intimate setting.
Bridal Shower Theme Ideas
Have a Fixer Upper theme
Channel your inner Joanna Gaines with a Fixer Upper-themed bridal shower! For the bride who doesn't want gifts, has a newer home, and doesn't mind getting their hands dirty, this is the perfect bridal shower theme.
"A few platters of food and a good playlist make this a lot of fun for everyone as they can shower the couple with several home improvement projects rather than gifts," says Danielle Boyer, a coordinator with the Pennsylvania-based company Planned Perfection. Make this a couple's shower for twice as many helping hands!
Go with a flower child vibe
"From creating your own mini herb garden to making DIY smudge sticks, there is a bohemian bride in your life that would absolutely love this theme," says Butler. Consult with a local rental company to create a lounge space with rugs for the ultimate laid-back event.
Host a pajama party
You don't have to host an actual sleepover to have a pajama party-themed bridal shower. Have guests wear silk button-up tops with printed bottoms so they're comfortable while you watch movies, sip some bubbly, and play classic bridal shower games. "Slumber party-themed gift ideas like travel slippers or personalized luggage tags not only match the theme, but make great necessities for a weekend getaway," says Savina.
Party with a purpose
There are multiple ways the philanthropic bride in your life can use her bridal shower for good. "In lieu of gifts, the bride could ask everyone to bring an old prom dress or a retired bridesmaids dress to donate to a local women's organization such as Becca's Closet or WGirls," says Pestalozzi. You can drop them off as a group and reward yourself after with a brunch afterward!
Host a roaring '20s-themed party
"Everyone wants to tap into the roaring '20s theme now that we are in 2020, and it's easy to create with a simple color scheme of black and gold with some art deco touches," says planner Kris Lavender of Kris Lavender Wedding & Event Planning in Atlanta. She already has four bridal showers with this theme this year! Have a prize for the most on-theme guest to add a flair of competition.
Have a Friends-themed bash
TV show-themed parties are becoming more and more popular, and they're such a fun way to celebrate the bride with her favorite show to binge watch. For instance, a Friends-themed party "would be perfect to throw at the bride's favorite local coffee shop," says Boyer. "Include a banner that says 'The One Where "Bride's Name" Gets Married' and play a round of trivia with small prizes for a simple yet fun activity." Could that be any cuter?
Host a spa day
This theme is ideal for those bridal showers that are part of the bachelorette weekend, where some R&R will definitely be necessary. "A technically unconventional venue, a spa would allow everyone to mingle while also getting pampered," says Savina. She adds to inquire about special bridal packages for a sweet deal, or even to contact a company like Glamsquad that will come to you.
Unique Bridal Shower Detail Ideas
Switch it up with digital invites
With save-the-date cards, invites, and thank you notes, there are so many paper components to a wedding. Save your guests the worry of the bridal shower invite getting lost in the mix with a chic, online invite sent right to their inbox.
Not only are digital invites stress-free, but they're also much more customizable. "A digital invitation lets you add pictures [or] a video message and makes for faster RSVPs from guests," explains Keverne Denahan of KardZee Wedding, a technology-based invitation company.
Ask guests to stock the bar
This fun, modernized version on the Stock the Kitchen party is perfect for the cocktail-loving bride. "This gift idea is great for the couple that already lives together and might not need much for the home," says Boyer. Open up the gift list to include the couple's favorite bottles of booze on top of necessities like champagne flutes and bottle stoppers to ensure they get fully stocked.
Add flowers to your drinks
Want to take your bridal shower drinks up a notch? DIY floral ice cubes will add a pop of color to any signature cocktail. "Make sure you don't use just any flowers here—some can be poisonous and flowers grown for arranging can contain chemicals," explains Maeva. "We recommend ordering dried edible blooms online to add to your ice cubes." Fill a few ice trays with edible flowers and water and leave them to freeze for a few hours before the party starts.
Put together the ultimate charcuterie board
Pass the cheese, please! "A meat, cheese, and veggie platter allows your guests to create their own plate and graze while they chat and sip," says Jennie Purtell, founder of cheese and charcuterie board company All Aboard. A company like Purtell's will do all the hard work for you, and a beautifully curated board can double as chic decor!
Have a cake bar
Forget outdated cake pops and cupcakes. Instead, have all the cake and eat it, too, with a fun cake bar! "A cake bar is super unique and you can have multiple different decorations, flavors, and cake heights to create a pretty display that has a little something for everyone," says Michelle Le, owner of Lovele Sweets, a custom dessert shop in northern Virginia. Ask your baker to include some nods to your wedding colors or themes for some hidden Easter eggs for your guests!
Put up a picture perfect flower wall
Live flower walls can be pricey and tricky to execute. Skip the stress and get the same look with silk blooms (try AFloral), which you can use to create the wall ahead of time. "The best flowers for photo booths are large blooms such as roses, peonies, and mums," adds Maeva.
Plan the party around an experience
Today's brides are here for a unique experience that gets their party out of the house. "From the new restaurant in town to an open, airy studio with plenty of party space, to an interactive venue with built-in activities like laser tag or bowling, take the tradition out of the bridal shower with a fun venue," says Ashley Cook, founder of Ashley Skeie Wedding & Event Planning. Consider Groupon or Airbnb Experiences for an out-of-the-box experience right in your hometown.