There’s no question that bridal showers have come a long way. Gone are the days when hosting a shower meant rounds of Bride Bingo and Toilet Paper Gown (anyone remember that one?) Brides today are forgoing traditions that lack personal meaning in favor of gatherings that reflect their style—and are actually fun! So, when I offered to host a bridal shower for our executive producer Michelle last month, we were both excited to take a fresh approach, settling on a dinner party-style gathering that felt as cool and casual as the bride-to-be.
Although showers have evolved, I still frequently get questions on how to plan a bridal shower. In fact, “bridal shower ideas at home” is a top-searched term, revealing that although showers may be more laid-back, there’s still a desire to make this occasion feel special, unique, and creative. So, today we’re teaming up with Evite to create your Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Bridal Shower at Home with everything you need to know, from picking a theme to planning a menu to choosing the perfect Evite invitations (and what to write on them!)
Scroll on for the ultimate collection of bridal shower ideas at home, with tips for pulling your next one off with zero stress, only fun.
Determine the guest list
Traditionally, attendees include the bridal party, female family members, and close friends from the wedding guest list. However, as weddings today often take a less conventional approach, bridal showers can too! For Michelle’s upcoming wedding, we wanted to create a chance for our company team to celebrate her milestone, so we invited our tight-knit group of collaborators to gather for dinner at my house.
Pick a theme
“Theme” is a loose term, since just about any detail can inform the direction of the bridal shower. It could be centered around a favorite meal or cuisine. Color can be a theme—or even a music lyric! Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning.
Theme Ideas For A Bridal Shower At Home:
- Inspired by a movie
- Era theme (’70s, ’90s, etc.)
- Garden party
- Style theme (boho, feminine, minimal, etc.)
- Backyard party
- Tea party
- Happy hour
Whichever theme you choose, let it be the guide post as you determine the color palette, menu, invitation, decor, and favors. Michelle asked for a Greek theme, so I was excited to “take us away” to a Greek Island for the night, with a fresh Mediterranean menu, bougainvillea, and blue and white everything!
Choose an invitation
Since bridal showers have evolved, it only makes sense that the invitation process has, too! I’m a major fan of sending an evite for gatherings of any kind—not only is a digital approach simpler for the host, it’s also an easy way for guests to RSVP and revisit party details.
The new re-launched evite has thousands of fresh designs and modern invites, with both free and premium options. There are hand-illustrated and animated designs (which I love for kids’ parties), and gorgeous options by a diverse range of artists.
I chose this gorgeous orange blossom-themed invite by LA-based painter, Phoebe Tillem. It was the perfect subtle nod to our summery Greek island theme, and it took me literally 20 minutes to fill in the party details, email the invites to my guest list, and start tracking RSVP’s.
Simple decor that makes a statement
When it comes to decorating for a bridal shower at home, first take inventory of what you have. What area of your home offers the best space for a party? How do you want guests to feel from the moment they arrive through to the point at which they sit down? Decide what you have to work with and what you need to add.
For Michelle’s bridal shower, we decided a dinner among friends was the way to go. I knew we’d eat around the table in my backyard and just wanted to add something special to bring in the theme. Simple decor that makes a big impact is key for me, that nearly always comes by way of flowers. With our Greek theme, bougainvillea was absolutely necessary. We set the table with a blue and white tablecloth, woven placemats, and blue and white dishes, then simply laid stems of bright bougainvillea along the center of the table for the absolute easiest centerpiece—no floral arranging skills required!
Decor Tips For A Bridal Shower At Home:
- Use what you have. It’s not only more meaningful, but taking inventory of how your own home can inform the decor simplifies the hosting process.
- Choose one “wow” moment. For this shower, it was the stunning bougainvillea. You can almost always count on flowers to amplify decor, from centerpieces to serving tables.
- Level up your table. Food is the one staple you’re guaranteed to find at any bridal shower. Whether you’re hosting a sit-down meal or light bites, the table is where guests will gather—so make it shine! If it’s a meal, set a place setting for each attendee, personalized place card included. If you’re setting out a spread, play with levels and small dishes to bring interest to the design.
Design a menu
You’ve got the added bonus of your very own kitchen when you’re hosting at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. I opted for a mix of store-bought dips, skewers picked up from a nearby Mediterranean restaurant and a few chopped veggies for this delicious Greek-inspired menu. All that was left to do was arrange everything on serving platters—and that’s where the magic comes in. We spooned hummus into handmade bowls, charred bread in a hot oven, and sprinkled fresh parsley on just about everything. Designing food is an extension of decor, so choosing a menu that’s as beautiful as it is delicious is key.
Simple Menus For A Bridal Shower At Home:
Here’s exactly how to plan a dinner party menu, complete with all my past-life catering tips.
- Charcuterie boards. The benefits of a charcuterie board are many. But specific to a party? It’s beautiful enough to pass as decor in and of itself.
- Traditional tea. Scones with jam and cream, macaroons, petit fours. There’s something romantic and whimsical about a tea party spread and bonus: it’s beautiful, too. (This Bridgerton-inspired menu is perfection.)
- By cuisine. Whip up a memorable Parisian dinner or a colorful Mexican brunch.
What to drink
One of my favorite entertaining tips is to prepare one specialty drink for guests to enjoy. I chose a crisp bottle of white and pretty rosé for Michelle’s menu but a cocktail (or mocktail) always makes for a fun addition.
Drink ideas for a party:
- Cocktails. Just like decor, simplicity is key. Try one of these three-ingredient cocktails for a quick and delicious sip. If you’re hosting in the summertime, this watermelon refresher is my favorite.
- Mocktails. You don’t need alcohol to make a festive drink—these recipes prove it. And if you want a fun detail, any drink is made more special with a floral ice cube.
- Wine or champagne. And if you’re looking for the best rosé, start here.
Play a game (that’s actually fun)
Keep the toilet paper under the sink where it belongs and plan a game that won’t have guests secretly (or not so secretly) rolling their eyes. Here’s a tip: the success of the game depends on the guests, so feel out the crowd when you’re determining any special activities. Is it a lively bunch? Play a game of charades: wedding edition. Want to keep it low-key? Opt for newlywed trivia.
For Michelle’s dinner party, we decided to keep it easy and place conversation cards below each plate. Each guest had the opportunity to answer and it kept the conversation flowing well into the night.
Conversation Starters for a Bridal party:
- The worst date I’ve ever been on…
- In the movie of my life, the roles of my partner and me would go to…
- If I could go back and witness a singular moment between my partner and me it would be…
- My first and current celebrity crush was/is…
- The craziest thing I ever witnessed at a wedding was…
- The best wedding movie is…
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