5 Charleston Wedding Shower Themes and Ideas

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Charleston, South Carolina has often been ranked as one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the U.S. If visitors aren’t totally enchanted with the shops and boutiques, local eateries, and historic homes, then the stunning ocean views and world-famous, Spanish-moss-covered live oak trees will certainly win them over. Needless to say, Charleston is a fabulous location for any bride’s or couple’s wedding shower. Thanks to an abundance of color and culture, you won’t be hard-pressed to find things to eat, see, and do in this gorgeous port city.

Charleston driveway lined with live oaks

Photo Credit || Aaron and Jillian Photography

Read on for five fun and locally-inspired Charleston wedding shower ideas.

Theme: Hello, Historic Downtown

The historic downtown area of Charleston looks like something drawn on a postcard (and if you pop into a souvenir shop, you’ll see that it is). Beneath the quaint and quiet guise of a sleepy Southern town is a city bustling with activity. Beautiful hotels, incredible restaurants, cool bars, and unique boutiques are found aplenty in Charleston, ensuring your guests remain dazzled well before and after the shower.

Charleston couple in front of historic trolley

Photo Credit || Paige Schaberg Photography

Where to Host:

  • Upstairs at Midtown — They had us at exposed brick walls. This historic venue is as lovely as it is accommodating and is the perfect place for a smaller event. With plenty of cozy areas to host a private party, on-site catering, and lots of pizzazz (did I mention the brick?), it’s one of our favorite wedding shower venues.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • The William Aiken House — This 18th-century inn and venue is quite literally a thing of our dreams. With several private room options, two guest rooms for overnight stay, private gardens, and spacious ballrooms, you might expect to see Scarlett O’Hara flitting down the staircase of The William Aiken House. This is an excellent choice for hosting a sophisticated shower in the heart of downtown.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • Wentworth Mansion — The Wentworth Mansion is one of the grandest hotels, spas, and meeting spaces in Charleston. And we haven’t even mentioned their chef’s gourmet Southern cuisine: shrimp and grits better than Grandma makes ’em. If you choose this backdrop for your event, be prepared to be pampered and well fed.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

What to Do:

  • A Downtown Scavenger Hunt — On your mark, get set, go! See the sights and foster a bit of friendly competition with this fun team activity. Call on Charleston Convention Group for assistance organizing the search.
  • A Tour of Historic Downtown — Palmetto Carriage Tours & Old South Carriage Company Tours are our personal favorites. Not only do you get to tour the town in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage (go ahead and start practicing that wave), but the guides will give you the inside scoop on the city and its must-see locations.
Couple kissing in front of downtown Charleston building

Photo Credit || Molly Joseph Photography

Fun Decor & Favors:

  • Antique Plates & Glassware — 428 Main Vintage Rentals is a great resource for vintage pieces that add a romantic twist to any bridal shower. They’ve got everything from plush fuchsia sofas to old doors perfect for an escort card display. Catch us toasting under the luminescent bar sign.
  • Custom Tote Favors — Design custom totes for the occasion and fill the bags with souvenirs to remind guests of their visit. Your guests will love receiving coasters, postcards, koozies, or even a mini bottle of champagne to commemorate the weekend. At a loss for inspiration? Check out Etsy for some great finds.

Theme: Carolina Coast

When most people think of Charleston, the waterfront views are the first thing to come to mind. Wherever you find yourself in the city, a beach is always a Cupid Shuffle away, which means it’s easy to have to the best of both worlds: city and beach life. If you’re planning a shower for a beach-loving bride-to-be, you can’t go wrong with a coastal theme.

Charleston couple posing in front of the ocean

Photo Credit || Richard Bell Photography

Where to Host:

  • Spiritline Cruises & Events — Instead of watching the waves from the beach, why not celebrate on the water with a dinner cruise? Not only is Spiritline one of the most highly recommended charters, but they also accommodate groups of all sizes and go above and beyond to help to plan an event that fits your needs.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • Folly Beach — You won’t struggle to find stunning water views from just about any venue in Charleston, but nothing beats the beach itself. Soak up the sun on Folly Beach while honoring the engaged couple and don’t forget to invite us, please. Quick note: Make sure to read up about necessary permits and beach rules before planning your event.

Private Spaces: No. On-Site Catering: No.

What to Do:

  • A Harbor Tour — If you’d rather keep the celebration on the mainland, hit the water with a boat tour, catered dinner, and dancing courtesy of Charleston Harbor Tours.  With both indoor and outdoor seating on either of their two famous vessels, this group gets their guests up close and personal with Charleston’s harbor in luxury.
Couple on boat with American flag in the background

Photo Credit || Jennings King Photography

  • Plan a Beach Day — Sometimes wedding planning is as simple as a day at the beach. Hit up the bride or groom’s favorite beach with some floats and beach games on Charleston’s sandy shores.

Fun Decor & Favors:

  • Sand Vial Favors — This simple DIY activity involves only two things: a glass vessel and sand. Turn the vials into necklaces, ornaments, or simply a memento for your mantle. Whatever you choose to do with this souvenir, it will serve as a great memory of your day on the Carolina coast with the soon-to-be Mr. or Mrs.
Couple pouring sand vials into box at ceremony

Photo Credit || Michael Stephens Photography

  • Seersucker and Lily Pulitzer Prints — These nautical prints are as fun as they are wearable. Find key chains, coasters, change purses, and more for your guests in these beachy patterns to introduce some posh Southern style into your coastal theme.
Sarah & Ryan custom beer glasses with anchors

Photo Credit || Amelia + Dan Photography

Theme: Lowcountry Backyard Boil

Charleston natives and tourists alike are crazy about Lowcountry-style seafood, and we don’t blame them. The spices are fantastic and fresh-caught seafood is hard to beat—especially on the coast. For an authentic Charleston celebration, treat the guest of honor and guests to a classic Lowcountry boil.

Where to Host:

  • Charleston Crab House — This ocean-side restaurant is a local favorite thanks to its quality food and no-fuss atmosphere. If you don’t want to take on the whole “boiling” thing yourself, their staff will provide your party with a private space and plenty of fresh seafood. You won’t have to lift a finger.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • Your Backyard — If you, the bride or groom, or a close friend or family member resides in Charleston and is willing to open their home, then host this casual-style celebration in the backyard. Cooking this coastal cuisine is a great way to bond with the wedding party and test your chops in the kitchen—er, backyard. All this meal requires is enough space and a quick Google search for tips about how to host the perfect seafood boil chez toi.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: No.

Lemonade and iced tea on outside table with "Lowcountry Lemonade" sign

Photo Credit || Aaron and Jillian Photography

What to Do:

  • Backyard Games – Divide the group into two teams and host some friendly competition with sack races, horseshoes, corn hole, darts, and other classic backyard games. Work in wedding themes wherever you can (for example, turn that horseshoe into an engagement ring) and coordinate prizes for the winning team.

Fun Decor & Favors:

  • Seafood Bibs
  • Customized Crab Mallet Favors — Etsy’s makers have a great selection to choose from!
  • Bottle openers
  • Beer koozies
Pink, blue, and orange beer koozy party favors from Charleston wedding

Photo Credit || Art of Roxy Photography

Katie & Kyle beer koozie and rings

Photo Credit || Richard Bell Photography

Theme: Old Southern Comfort

You’re in the heart of the South, so why not host a wedding shower that harkens back to days past? It’s easy to do in this city and it’s a fun way to incorporate some of the best aspects of Southern food, cocktails, and culture.

Where to Host:

  • 82 Queen — This award-winning restaurant checks every box on a host or hostesses list. First, the food is amazing. Second, this restaurant has some of the most gorgeous private event spaces we’ve ever laid eyes on. Third, they know what it takes to throw a fabulous Southern party… right down to the Lowcountry cuisine and those thoughtful touches of Southern hospitality.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens — This plantation and garden looks like something out of a dream. The historic home and the lawn filled with moss-covered trees makes one feel as if they’re living in a fairytale. You couldn’t ask for much more from a wedding shower, could you? The romantic ambiance and incredible private event spaces make this stunning backdrop perfect for a party of any sort. We personally recommend the outdoor pavilion.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: No.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Photo Credit || Alyona Photography

What to Do:

  • Classic Southern Cocktails Tutorial — From mint juleps to mojitos, have a pro teach the crowd how to whip up some of the South’s finest cocktails. Afterwards, sip on your creations under the shade of those live oaks.
  • Southern Lawn Games — Play a round of corn hole, horseshoes, croquet, or ring toss. You don’t have to loosen your collar or slip off your sandals for these leisurely games.
Mint juleps

Photo Credit || Amelia + Dan Photography

Decor & Favors:

  • Customized sunglass croakies
  • Compact mirrors for the ladies, money clips for the guys
  • Charleston Stone Corn Grits — A Charleston classic that makes for a fabulous shower favor
  • Paper fans
Brown paper fans as wedding reception favors

Photo Credit || Jeanne Mitchum Photography

Theme: Charleston in the ’20s

Charleston, South Carolina made its mark on the map when their famous dance, aptly named “The Charleston,” took the world by storm in the 1920s. Hearkening to that incredible era, we adore the idea of hosting a wedding shower that’s all about getting in touch with Charleston’s roots and having a 1920s-themed party.

Where to Host:

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

  • American Theater — This old theater is full of classic Art Deco touches that are perfect for a Gatsby-style wedding shower. If you opt for this venue, ask about screening a movie on the big screen. Having The Great Gatsby or a classic ’20s movie like Coquette playing softly in the background will add that perfect touch.

Private Spaces: Yes. On-Site Catering: Yes.

What to Do:

  • Charleston Dance Class — Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk—or, dance, that is. You can’t party like its 1929 until you get out on the dance floor and learn the Charleston, so slip on your dancing shoes and give it a whirl. Prepare for awesome photo ops and cries of “Encore!”

Decor & Favors:

  • Get Gatsby glam — Feathers, crystals, sparkles…you can’t be too over the top when hosting an Art Deco-style party.
  • Mini Liquor Favors — Prohibition was in full swing in the ’20s, but that didn’t stop many from smuggling it into any and all parties. In honor of the old tradition, send guests off with mini bottles of spirits from Charleston Distilling Company.
Couple on cobblestone streets in front of vintage car

Photo Credit || Molly Joseph Photography

There’s you have it, ladies and gents: five fun ways to bring a little Charleston charm to your wedding shower in this gorgeous city.

Happy planning!

Featured Image Credit || Brandy Angel Photography

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