21 Best Bridal Shower Ideas for Every Style and Budget
One of the most intimate and memorable moments leading up to a wedding is the bridal shower. Use the following bridal shower ideas, planning tips, and bridal shower gift ideas with VRAI created diamonds, to host a bridal shower she’ll never forget.
What Is a Bridal Shower?
A bridal shower is an event thrown before the wedding to celebrate the bride-to-be. Bridal showers have been held since the 16th century. They started as a way to financially help women who were getting married without the support of a dowry.
Today, the bride-to-be’s bridal party and loved ones come together to honor the bride, and give gifts before her big day.
What Do You Do for a Bridal Shower?
Bridal showers usually involve food, exchanging gifts or advice, and an activity or theme. The bride’s interests and tastes will determine what to do for a bridal shower.
How to Plan a Bridal Shower
While the bride doesn’t typically host her bridal shower, she is often involved in planning or approving final details. Follow the steps below to plan a seamless and successful bridal shower.
Know the Guest List and Date
The bride’s schedule will determine the best date and time. If the bridal party doesn’t live close by, consider having the shower close to the wedding date, or bachelorette party, so that everyone can attend.
Bridal showers traditionally include the bridal party, the mother of the bride, and any loved ones that the bride wants to attend.
If the shower is a surprise, limit the guest list to people you know she wants there. If they weren’t invited to the wedding, they typically aren’t invited to the shower.
Choose a Thoughtful Theme & Location
The bride-to-be may or may not have a preference for their shower. If not, choose a theme or activity that reflects her interests, or pays tribute to her relationship.
Once you’ve chosen the theme, it’s easier to narrow down a location.
Estimate the Total Cost
The host may cover all the costs, or the guests may chip in. Create a plan based on the budget of those contributing. Research the cost of all details including food, drinks, venue, and activities, to estimate the total cost before booking.
Let Guests Know What to Expect
Use the invitation or a group chat to let the guests know ahead of time what to expect, including what to wear, how long the shower will last, and what to contribute (speeches, money).
If guests are helping with planning, confirm everyone’s responsibilities beforehand.
Don’t Forget the Details
Bridal showers often have decorations, food, drinks, playlists, games or activities, and photography. If you have a theme, it’s easy to plan these details accordingly.
The shower might also involve a specific activity, or catering, where most items are taken care of. When planning menus, consider any dietary restrictions, and alcohol-free options.
Communicate Gift Expectations
Guests often bring bridal shower gifts or contribute to the total cost. But gifts are not always a requirement, so let guests know ahead of time what’s expected. If the shower requires special attire or items, these can also be given as joint gifts to the bride.
Pre-plan the Bride’s Arrival and Departure
Planning the bride’s arrival and departure will prevent any last-minute stress, especially if the shower is a surprise.
Simple Bridal Shower Ideas
If you’re wondering how to do a simple bridal shower, consider the ideas below.
- Bridal Brunch
Honor the bride with an elegant brunch with their favorite foods and drinks. You can do this at home or her favorite restaurant.
- Dinner Party
Host a cozy dinner party, or book a private room at a nice restaurant, for an intimate evening sharing delicious food.
- Tea Party
A classic tea party complete with teapots, baked goods, dressed-up attire, and bridal shower games, is a festive way to celebrate. Have it in a backyard, dining room, or rooftop.
- Girls Night In
For bridal shower ideas at home, consider a girl's night in. Have everyone come in matching pajamas, set up a projector, and play bridal-themed slumber party games.
- Craft Party
Organize a simple at-home DIY craft party. You can create a special memento for the bride, like a group scrapbook, or hand-painted cards or mugs.
- Personalized Picnic
A picnic is a fun bridal shower idea if you’re on a budget. Choose her favorite viewpoint, or the backyard, and have picnic blankets, baskets, and fun goodies. Pair it with a sunset for unforgettable photos.
- Spa Day
If the bride loves self-care and wellness, create an at-home spa party. Have everyone wear robes, do face masks, and relax together. You can even lead a group meditation or yoga class.
- Destination Themed
If the bride loves to travel, or met her future hubby on a trip, use that for the theme. Pay homage to her favorite place(s) - a Parisian cafe, a traditional Mexican cantina, or a Balinese-inspired garden lounge.
- Game Night
Host a bridal-themed game night for some lively competition and group bonding. You can make it extra special by adding prizes related to the bride.
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Unique Bridal Shower Ideas
If you’re wondering how to make a bridal shower unique, consider one of the ideas below.
- Airbnb Experience
Most Airbnb Experiences offer private groups. This is an easy way to find a fun activity that’s fully organized and tailored to the bride’s interests. You can find almost any activity on Airbnb, led by a local expert.
- Personalized Tasting Menu
Hire a chef to create a personalized tasting menu. You can do this at home, or rent a private room.
- Wine Tasting or Cocktail Class
If drinks are more her style, plan a trip to a local winery or book a sommelier for a private at-home tasting. For a hands-on experience, consider a cocktail-making class.
- Art & Sip
Different companies offer guided private classes that pair creative activities with wine or cocktails. Painting, ceramics, or unique activities like book-making, or tote bag printing, can all be found. These workshops can also be done alcohol-free.
- Outdoor Adventure
Get outside and go on a day hike, paddleboarding, kayaking, or perhaps a sunset boat ride.
- Murder Mystery Party
For true crime or theater lovers, host a murder mystery dinner. You can buy different murder mystery games with a range of themes. Choose her favorite, assign the guests their characters, and let the games begin.
- Scavenger Hunt
Plan a scavenger hunt based on trivia about the bride, and/or their relationship. This also makes a fun bar crawl.
- Culinary Adventure
For a fun bridal-themed food tasting, make your own food tour and explore all the places she’s been dying to try. Alternatively, host a cooking class to get creative together.
- Private Shopping Experience
Book a personal stylist to take the group on a unique shopping experience. If you’re on a tighter budget, create a shopping tour around town. Enjoy champagne and fun snacks in between thrifting or boutiques.
- Dance Lessons
Book a private dance class to let loose together. Whether that’s salsa, pole dancing, or hip-hop - pick a dance style that she’ll love.
- DJ Class
Learn how to spin like a DJ with a group class. You can also book a private karaoke room if singing is more her style.
- Scent-Making Workshop
Learn to make your own perfume or essential oil kit in a private scent-making workshop. Candle-making, or creating skincare products, are other fun alternatives.
Bridal Shower Gift Ideas
It’s traditional to give gifts that help the bride begin this next chapter, such as items for their home or that are on their wedding registry.
Alternatively, personalized gifts, like engraved jewelry, make excellent bridal shower gifts.
Consider some of the following bridal shower gift ideas:
- Bridal jewelry
- Monogrammed towel set
- Date night experience
- Home decor or kitchenware
- Couples games
- Self-care items
- Gift cards
Bridal Shower FAQs
Consider the following for bridal shower etiquette.
Is Jewelry a Good Gift for a Bridal Shower?
Jewelry is a wonderful gift for a bridal shower. Jewelry can be customized to reflect the bride, and worn as a reminder of this special moment.
What Do Guests Wear to a Bridal Shower?
The theme or activity will inform what the guests should wear. Avoid wearing white, however, or the same color as the bride.
Who Normally Pays for the Bridal Shower?
The bridal shower is usually paid for by the host. Depending on everyone’s preferences, and budgets, the cost can also be split between the guests.
What Do You Do First at a Bridal Shower?
Bridal showers usually start with greeting the bride, and introductions.
How Long Do Bridal Showers Last?
Bridal showers commonly last between two and four hours. If the bridal shower involves a big night out or activity, it can last the entirety of the evening.
How Many Days Before the Wedding Is a Bridal Shower?
Bridal showers happen before the wedding, but there’s no rule for how many days beforehand.
Does the Groom Go to the Bridal Shower?
The groom traditionally does not usually participate in the bridal shower. He may make an appearance to greet the guests before they leave, or to pick up the bride.
What Is the Bride Supposed to Wear to a Bridal Shower?
Brides often choose to wear something dressy and white, like a cocktail dress or pantsuit. The shower theme may change what the bride wears.
Shop VRAI Bridal Shower Gifts
Explore our inventory of Carbon Neutral Certified lab-grown diamond jewelry for a bridal shower gift that celebrates the bride’s beauty and values.