Planning your bridal shower food is one of the most important elements. Your menu is one of the center pieces of the party, and keeping bridal shower guests fed and happy with a variety of tasty treats should be a priority. The bridal shower food should also be one of the items you leave some wiggle room in your budget for as you're planning your party.
But planning the menu can sometimes be a little daunting, because there are a lot of moving parts to consider––finger food, seated meal, or buffet, and even the bridal shower theme. The good news: Whatever kind of shower you’re throwing there is a perfect menu for you. Here, some bridal shower food ideas to get your creative juices flowing and leave your guests craving the food even after the party is over.
Whether you’re having an evening bridal shower party or a bridal shower brunch, the time of day you’re planning to have your shower will play a factor in the kind of party food your menu will consist of. Are you going for a more relaxed vibe at your house or at a friend's? Are you springing for an event space or hosting it at a restaurant?
An afternoon cocktail hour shower will generally consist of smaller bites and hors d'oeuvres. There are so many ways this can go with twists on bar food, such as mini hamburger sliders made with veggie or impossible burgers, elevated tacos, or even Pan-Asian inspired dishes incorporating seafood such as shrimp and scallops.
If you're hosting a shower during dinner hour, consider serving heavier items, because some people may be expecting a full meal. Think caprese salads, dishes that incorporate hummus and other protein, or personalized pizzas with a twist.
If you’re hosting your party earlier in the day, a brunch menu may be more appropriate. You can’t go wrong with a take on waffles, pancakes, breakfast sandwich sliders, and fresh fruit. Also, don't skimp on things like hash browns and breakfast pastry classics like blueberry muffins, scones, and donuts.
Planning any kind of party regardless of its size is an undertaking. And when it involves potentially cooking a lot of food, the task can feel overwhelming. Depending on where you have your event, either at home or in a venue, one thing you can do to help alleviate the stress is to hire a professional chef or caterer. They can work with you to create a customized menu that incorporates your favorite party foods and others that are sure to be winners.
When working with a chef or caterer, be sure to ask them their professional opinion on how to approach the menu. They can help give you advice on something you might have not considered and can help you get creative and come up with new takes on familiar dishes. Taking popular items such as avocado toast and doing a mini version of it as hors d'oeuvres can be the fun twist that will leave a memorable and delicious impression on your guests.
When it comes to planning your bridal shower always remember to plan around the season. This can greatly affect both the kinds of food you can have and also where you will be having it. This will also ensure you’re working with the freshest, highest quality ingredients you can get. Going to a local farmers market, for example, can be a great way to help introduce you to items that are currently available and can also be a jumping off point for some menu items.
For summer and spring showers, think about seasonal berries and fruits that can be used to create beautiful fruit salads or berry-infused drinks or desserts. Also, consider the bounty of fresh vegetables available for a variety of veggie-inspired dishes. For fall and winter, items such as leeks, squash, and other root vegetables can easily be used in a variety of ways—everything from complex sauces, soups, roasts, and more. Remember to think about how to use proteins in a way that incorporates the seasons, as well.
The sky's the limit when you’re planning your shower menu. Having a DIY element, such as a make-your-own ice cream sundae or sandwich bar is a fun way to get your guests talking and interacting with the food in a different way—a unique memory for sure.
The container you choose can also help mix things up. When you're looking for bowls, trays, and other serving vessels, think outside of the box. Using interesting containers to serve things such as a salad, dessert, or more can also elevate the food—especially if you’re opting to have food stations.
When you're hosting any kind of party there are certain items you can never go wrong with. Cheese boards are one item that leave a lot of room for possibilities. You can include everything from olives, nuts, marinated veggies, pickles, fruit, and cheeses from around the world to cured meats. If you're strapped for ideas, considering food items that your hometown or state is known for can also be another way to get creative. For example, if you live in Vermont, incorporate maple syrup into your menu. You can also source local items from surrounding farms and merchants to show hometown pride.
Although a bridal shower is a celebratory occasion, you can decide how much or how little alcohol you want to include. If you choose to have a bar at your shower, you can limit it to things like beer and wine and just have drinks passed as opposed to offering a fully stocked bar. Signature cocktails are also all the rage nowadays and having two specialty drink items can also help to cut back on what people are drinking. No matter what, be sure to have some non-alcoholic options such as tea or orange juice on hand, too.
Ultimately, you have the final say. Do what makes the most sense for you, your partner, and your budget. There are a lot of ways to approach it, and although food is one of the big ticket items for a shower, it doesn't have to break the bank or be a stressful endeavor.