Calling all party-prone ladies: it’s bridal shower time! Usually the responsibility of the maid of honor, the bridesmaids, and/or the groom or bride’s mother, today’s best bridal showers go beyond the traditional luncheon and borderline-humiliating games (sorry not sorry, toilet paper dress). Host a shower that the lady of honor will remember forever with one of our thoughtful bridal shower ideas that won’t break the bank. If you do happen to have a couple of spare Benjamins burning a hole in your pocket, more power to you (and, hey, hit us up when you’re treating to happy hour). But for showers you can throw in your own home—on a budget that leaves leftover cash to cover a new outfit and travel costs for the event—read on.
Bridal Shower Idea #1: Pinkies Up
For the friend who never misses a royal wedding, a tea party-themed bridal shower is the perfect idea. Serve dainty finger foods (cucumber sandwiches, anyone?) and strong sweet tea in a garden setting for best results. This bridal shower idea is also perfect for a cozy room on a rainy day, as there’s nothing better in the mid-winter gloom than a mug of hot chai in a room of elegant women.
Must haves: pretty cups and saucers, paper doilies, baked goods, English roses, fancy hats (optional, but we’re really into this one)
Drink to serve: Cinnamon Chai
Bridal Shower Idea #2: Let’s Do Brunch
If we had to choose our favorite meal, brunch would be number one with a bullet. What’s better than a meal served anywhere from 10:00am to 3:00pm that includes everything from French toast to French fries to fried green tomatoes? This sweet and savory indulgence pairs best with sundresses and nostalgia.
Must haves: waffles, mimosas, quiche, berries, scones, bright flowers
Bridal Shower Idea #3: Spa-aaah Day
Bridal showers are all about pampering the the bride, but there’s no reason why her guests can’t be indulged simultaneously. A DIY spa day is easy to pull off at home: simply buy or make products for facials, manicures, and pedicures, or splurge on a masseuse if it’s within your budget. Nail polish, bath salts, and scented lotions make the perfect favors for this kind of bridal shower.
Must haves: manicure sets, facial masks, cucumber slices, fluffy robes, hand or body lotion, slippers, sparkling water
Drink to serve: Grapefruit & Prosecco Punch
Bridal Shower Idea #4: Bon Appetit!
If your bride is a self-declared foodie, you’ll know it: she swoons over catering menus and can’t wait for her cake tasting. Indulge her Top Chef aspirations by making and serving a gourmet meal at her bridal shower. She’ll love putting on a cute apron (also a great favor idea, hint hint) rolling up her sleeves, and trying her hand at a hard-to-pronounce French entrée. Open up a bottle of good red wine (or three) and have yourselves a delicious night.
Must haves: a big kitchen, pots and pans, mood lighting and good music, cute dishes, the bride’s favorite wine, cheese and crackers, aprons
Drink to serve: San Francisco Sangaree
Bridal Shower Idea #5: Girls-Only Getaway
If you and the girls can afford it, a destination bridal shower/bachelorette trip combined is a great way to celebrate your favorite bride. Big cities like New York, Chicago, and especially Vegas offer lots of opportunities for drinking and dancing. If that isn’t your scene, book a colorful beach house like those in Charleston, or a rustic mountain cabin (be sure to check out Charlottesville) and chill out for the weekend. Depending on where you live, you may only be a few hours from such hipster locales as San Francisco, Portland, Boston, or Durham—all great destinations to spend quality time with the bride’s commitment crew.
Must haves: bathing suits, oversize sunglasses, a LBD, high heels, flip flops, walking shoes
Drink to serve: Classic Margarita
The most important part of a bridal shower is to make your bride feel loved and supported as she prepares to tie the knot—and to ensure her guests enjoy themselves, too. A good hostess will poll the bridesmaids to find out what most of the ladies will enjoy and take the bride’s tastes and personality into account when considering a bridal shower theme.
Now make like Kendrick Lamar and get rapping—er, wrapping. You’ve got a shower to host!
Vendors Featured In This Post:
Ruzin Cunningham Photos, Hyde Park Photography, JoPhoto, Jennings King Photography, Tom Daly Photography, Sera Petras Photography, Dana Cubbage Weddings, Shoreshotz Photography, Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay