Before the big day, it’s a wonderful experience for the bride to celebrate with her own group of friends and family. This is also an opportunity for some pre-wedding gift-giving to help brides prepare for the next stage of their lives.
Whether you’re planning your own bridal shower, or you’re in charge of a friend’s, you want to create something special, memorable, and celebratory—without throwing an event that rivals the wedding in scope and budget.
Many magazine photoshoots show bridal showers full of pink, white, and frills, but when you throw a DIY bridal shower, it’s easy to customize the palette and atmosphere to the bride’s unique personality. Consider this your guide.
As you begin to plan a bridal shower, make sure you start with a clear, focused theme. Once you have a theme, you can begin teasing it with the bridal shower invitations. It can also help drive your choices for everything else on your to-do list, like decorating the venue and even creating gifts for guests.
When zeroing in a on theme, consider the following:
Plan around the bride’s hobby: Is the bride a dedicated knitter or succulent enthusiast? Obsessed with astrology, or in love with the beach? Decorations can speak to that interest. After all, the bridal shower is all about the bride, so creating a theme that speaks to something she loves will make her feel loved.
Tie it to the wedding destination: If the couple is getting married in a unique locale, the shower could reflect the wedding’s location, whether it’s Tuscany, Thailand, or a local cidery.
Make it seasonal: Allow the date of the shower to determine the theme and palette. Think autumnal foliage in October or cozy tartans in winter.
Play on a cultural tradition: Whether it’s English high tea, a Japanese tea ceremony, or anything in between, theming the shower around a meal or event that already has its own bridal shower traditions and vibe can simplify planning.
Take inspiration from film: Does the bride have a favorite movie? Let its visual palette guide the planning.
Choose a color scheme: Not every bridal theme has to be elaborate. Does the bride love the color green? That alone could drive the decor.
Recreate a memory: Use a bridal shower theme to transport the bride back to a cherished time in her life—that might be her semester abroad in Scotland, her years working as a Disneyland character actor, or even just one particularly awesome Halloween.
Once you have a theme, get ready to start crafting.
Let’s admit it: The bridal shower is a great photo opportunity. That’s why so many Pinterest boards feature elaborate “Bride to Be” balloons and other dramatic backdrops.
Creating a banner or photo backdrop can help you further specify your shower’s color palette, as well as provide a focal point for the room.
Below are a few easy ideas for creating an attractive bridal shower backdrop.
There’s perhaps no more iconic decoration than inflatable letter balloons spelling out “Bride to Be”—or perhaps a fun wedding hashtag. Pick up a set on your next trip to the craft store.
Want to take your balloon game up a notch? Balloon garlands are widely available at craft stores, but you can also create a custom piece with the following materials:
You can begin by arranging the decorating strip in the shape of your choice on the wall (use glue dots). Then, after blowing up the balloons, pull the ties through holes in the strip. Once you’ve arranged the balloons to your liking, you can add florals and greenery to fill out the display. For more ideas, see our guide to wedding balloon decor ideas.
Create an attractive, bright flower wall using flowers and greenery that fit with your theme and color palette.
If desired, spray paint the pegboard in the color of your choice. Then, you can begin arranging your florals. Fix them into the board with pieces of wire, pushing the wire through holes and twisting together in the back.
If you’ve chosen a large pegboard, you may want to glue foam to the back to give it greater stability.
You can also add flowers to a picture frame or hula hoop (or use several) to create a minimalist, yet striking backdrop.
First, choose a hula hoop or frame. You can spray paint your material of choice to match your color scheme. If using several hoops or frames, attach them with floral wire. Then, use additional floral wire to attach small bouquets, individual stems, and greenery. You can also use fairy lights or any other light objects of choice.
Once you’ve assembled your backdrop, you’ll have a good sense of your base colors and materials. From there, you can create accents that use similar colors and flowers. You can even choose to echo the shape of your centerpiece.
Some ideas include:
Adding more balloons at place settings or at the gift table to complement a balloon arch or banner
Creating tiny accent bouquets in jelly jars using leftover flowers from a wreath or flower wall
Adding more framed photos if you’ve begun with a floral frame, or adding spherical and circular objects to match the hula hoop
In addition, consider a few other ways to finish the effect.
If you’ve already begun a floral theme, continue it with bouquets around the room. Stumped for where to find vases? Try the following options:
Tea tins: If you're an enthusiastic vintage shopper, you’ll have no trouble finding decorative metal tea tins that could double as vases.
Mason jars: Minimalist, cost-effective, and oh-so-trendy, mason jars are handy vases. Choose several sizes, or use some of the iconic blue jars to create more visual interest.
Wine bottles: A lovely addition to a bridal shower and a great excuse to open up a few bottles with friends. Save up your wine bottles (or ask a few friends to help). Then, the options are endless. You can keep cute labels on, remove them all, or even spray paint the bottles gold (or another color). When all is said and done, place just a few stems in each.
Don’t want to arrange loose flowers? Use a bar cart or table to create a flower “bar” with several varieties of flowers and greenery to choose from. Then, let guests assemble their own bouquets and use them to decorate the room.
Instead of using cut flowers, you could decorate with easy-to-care-for plants that can then double as guest gifts. Consider the following, which thrive in many homes:
In three words, a Champagne tower is drinkable, sparkly, and stunning. Stack wide-rim champagne glasses (we recommend plastic) in a tower. Just be sure to place a tray underneath to avoid a mess when you start pouring.
Fill in white space on the wall with garlands. Depending on your level of craftiness, this could be as simple as hanging fabric or as complex as making origami cranes.
Potential garland materials include:
Tulle: Hang long, thin pieces of tulle, or cut tulle into squares and fold them over a piece of twine or yarn. Bunch the sides together, and use another piece of string to secure the tie.
Paper: Is origami your forte? This is your chance to shine. Similarly, folding decorative vintage wallpaper and simply gluing the sides together can also create an attractive garland.
Greenery: Clip leaves or even flowers to twine.
Tinsel: Buy pre-made tinsel garlands, and hang several together to create a dramatic, shimmery effect.
Pom-poms: Available in many sizes and colors, pom-poms are another great garland material.
If your wedding shower involves a meal, be sure the table is decorated to match the rest of the decor. Keep a few table decor elements in mind so that the table itself looks good enough to eat:
Rather than buying a brand-new tablecloth or runner, think about what’s already in your fabric drawer. If you have leftover tulle from crafting a garland, that could serve as an interesting accent over a plain white tablecloth.
Depending on the theme of your shower, a found material like a vintage quilt could work, too.
Placards assign seating and do double-duty as decoration. Create something that fits in with your theme. Ideas include:
Looking for an attractive table centerpiece? If you’re a confident baker (or you’ve watched every episode of The Great British Bake-Off), a vivid homemade cake can be the perfect finishing touch. Decorate with edible flowers or a custom made cake topper to complete the effect.
At Zola, we know that there’s so much more to plan than just the wedding alone. From bridal showers, to rehearsal dinners, to your honeymoon, there are a million details to consider as each marriage begins.
It’s our goal to help couples plan every aspect of their weddings with more ease and less stress. With easy-to-use wedding website creation and registry tools, we have everything you need for planning.
Tired of crafting? While it’s admirable to DIY as much as you can, our wedding boutique is here to help fill out your decor and take one more thing off your to-do list.