50 of the Best Bridal Shower Ideas to Pamper the To-Be-Wed

From decor to food, here are the ideas you need for the nearly-newlywed.
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
by
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Feb 06, 2024

A wedding shower (also commonly known as a bridal shower) is a fun party that offers loved ones the chance to pamper and appreciate the to-be-weds. But if you've volunteered to host, you may need bridal shower ideas. Planning all the details, plus ensuring bridal shower decor feels creative and unique, can be a little daunting at first. To help, we've connected with some of our favorite wedding pros to share what to do at a bridal shower, what food and drinks to serve, the best games to play and how to decorate to inspire your celebratory event.

Our Favorite Bridal Shower Ideas:

Unique | Fun | Elegant | Boho | Modern | Creative | Small

Plus: Top Bridal Shower Tips

Unique Bridal Shower Ideas

For people who want the bridal shower to stand out, check out these six eye-catching bridal shower ideas. Here are decoration and food ideas you can incorporate into your prewedding event.

1. Tropical Wedding Shower Pineapple Decorations

    Give simple tablescape details, like pineapples, a DIY upgrade with a coat of gold spray paint. You can also use other fruits to add a fresh feel to the table, like lemons, grapes or peaches.

    2. Bridal Shower Flower Bar

      A flower bar at a bridal shower is a great opportunity for guests to make their own flower arrangements. A flower bar doubles as a unique activity and shower favor. Have guests pick their favorite petals or flowers to create a fresh assortment. We guarantee this immersive cute bridal shower idea will wow the to-be-wed and the partygoers.

      3. Wedding Shower Palm Leaf Centerpieces

        Feel free to play around with themes and do a bit of mixing and matching. This bridal shower idea was a creative juxtaposition of modern and tropical.

        4. Cupcakes With the Bride-to-Be's Picture

          Even the desserts at this bridal shower put the bride-to-be front and center. Vanilla cupcakes with an image of the nearly newlywed were served for dessert.

          5. Seed Packet Escort Cards

            If you've chosen a garden or "Let Love Bloom" theme, seed packets are a great favor for attendees. Each seed packet was for a specific flower that matched the table markers.

            6. Individual Naked Cakes

              Each guest at this bash received their own petite semi-naked cake. For people who love sweets, this is the perfect amount of sugar.

              Fun Bridal Shower Ideas

              There are numerous ways to make the wedding shower a fun and interactive experience. Below are various wedding shower ideas that'll liven up the party.

              7. The Shoe Game

                The shoe game is a timeless standby for wedding receptions and showers. The host will ask which partner is more likely to do a certain task or act a certain way. Each to-be-wed will hold one of their own shoes and one of their partner's shoes. They'll hold up whichever shoe corresponds to the person most likely to do whatever the question asks.

                8. DIY Fragance Bar

                Bridal shower DIY fragrance bar
                Photo: Jordan Maunder Photography

                  Add an interactive bridal shower activity by having a fragrance bar at the affair. Some couples do this to scent their weddings, but you can also take part in the fun. Simply contact your favorite store that creates custom smells. Guests will get to blend different scents to create perfumes and colognes that'll make for the perfect keepsake.

                  9. Bubbly-Inspired Prewedding Toast Invitation

                    A shower months before the wedding day isn't always in the cards. Consider a champagne toast with some of your dearest friends on the morning of the wedding.

                    10. Cotton Candy Station

                      You'll score major bonus points with a to-be-wed who has a sweet tooth with a cotton candy station. Some cotton candy companies even allow the guests to make their own confections.

                      11. This-Or-That Game

                        Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Red or white wine? See how well your close friends really know you with a game where guests have to choose what you like between various options.

                        12. Doughnut Bar

                          At a brunch- or breakfast-inspired shower, offer an assortment of sugary doughnuts or guests to nosh on. You can also have a trendy doughnut wall.

                          13. Guess the Number of Kisses Game

                            Simple door games, like asking guests to guess the number of chocolate kisses in a vase, are fun additions that keep the event lively. Have bridal shower game prizes on hand to reward the winners of these party games.

                            Elegant Bridal Shower Ideas

                            If the guest of honor wants an elegant bridal shower, there are ways to do it that won't overshadow the actual wedding. Use these seven ideas for your bridal shower inspiration.

                            14. Pink-and-Gold Place Setting

                              It's hard to go wrong with pink and gold. This color scheme is a tried and true color combination and looks great with floral patterns.

                              15. Bridal Shower Tea Bar

                              Add a touch of luxury to your prewedding event by having a tea bar. This is a great choice for those who want non-alcoholic options or people having a tea party bridal shower theme. If you want to take this idea up a notch, add personalized tea mugs to the bar so guests have a special favor to take home.

                              16. Fruit Parfait Table

                                For a brunch shower, add fruit tarts or berry parfaits to the menu. Individual servings are one of the best ways to offer numerous flavors for guests to try.

                                17. Mimosa Bar

                                  To add a celebratory feel to your shower, break out the bubbly with a festive mimosa bar for wedding shower guests to enjoy. You can even have small carafes of juices for people to grab and add to their bubbles.

                                  18. Garden Rose Bridal Shower Centerpiece

                                    Talk about dreamy. This romantic centerpiece was breathtaking and is one of our favorite pastel bloom arrangements.

                                    19. Single-Tier Cake With Fresh Flower Accents

                                      There's so much to love about this cheerful and petite cake. Fresh blooms and fruit, decorative icing and even an eye-catching milk-glass stand are everything you want at an elegant bridal shower.

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                                      20. Pink-and-Purple Bridal Shower Invitation

                                        Include whatever floral varieties will be present in the day-of decorations on the initial stationery design. For this shower, illustrations of orchids and pampas grass hinted at what was to come.

                                        21. Individual Lemon Cakes

                                          Especially for a tea party theme, mini cakes and sandwiches lend themselves well to a high-tea-inspired menu. We love how each cake is personalized with a guest's name.

                                          Boho Bridal Shower Ideas

                                          If you haven't found the laid-back bohemian decor you're looking for, don't worry. Check out these six bridal shower party ideas that you'll totally want to add to your mood board.

                                          22. Tasty Fresh Fruit Spread

                                          Treat the guests to a delicious and refreshing array of fruit for a breakfast or lunch affair. This is one of our favorite boho/rustic bridal shower ideas because of the perfectly placed colored mason jars full of daises and steel pails used as fruit vessels.

                                          23. Boho Bridal Shower Peacock Chair

                                            Chances are the to-be-wed will be opening presents during the wedding shower. Rent an over-the-top chair to make them the center of attention during gift time.

                                            24. Lush Boho Tablescape

                                              If you can't have the wedding shower outdoors, bring the outside in. This boho-chic prewedding soiree had grass, wildflowers and lots of greenery adorning the tables.

                                              25. DIY Bridal Shower Photo Booth

                                                We love this boho/rustic bridal shower idea. Create a photo backdrop of the party's color palette using ribbons. Copy this idea by tying ribbons of different patterns, colors and fabrics together to make your photo booth background eye-catching.

                                                26. Varied Floral Centerpieces

                                                    Dressing up the party tables with groupings of small arrangements is a great way to make an impact while minding the overall budget. We love how the succulent, ranunculus and protea are in different vases giving the scene an eclectic vibe.

                                                    27. Boho-Chic Macrame Table Runners

                                                      The wedding shower had beautiful autumn colors throughout. The tables had amber goblets, macrame runners, and votives.

                                                      28. Ivy Accent Wall and Custom Frames

                                                      Ivy wall and floral design idea for wedding shower 2023.
                                                      Photo: Kelly Braman Photography,
                                                      Florist: Modern Day Events & Floral

                                                        Instead of sweetheart chairs, the wedding shower had an ivy accent wall with frames behind bohemian-style wooden chairs. So when the happy couple sat in front of the frames it would like a cute picturesque moment.

                                                        Modern Bridal Shower Ideas

                                                        Don't be afraid to mix things up. Steal one of these modern ideas for a wedding shower for an unconventional celebration.

                                                        29. Gold-and-Teal Balloon Installation

                                                          We think the balloon installation trend is epic. Not only is it dramatic, but the installation serves as a photo backdrop for bridal shower guests to pose in front of.

                                                          30. Bridal Shower Boba Bar

                                                          Need more bridal shower inspiration? Then steal this tasty bridal shower idea. Bubble tea with tapioca boba has been all the rage for the past couple of years, so why not have a boba bar at your event? Allow guests to customize their drink by having a variety of flavors, boba and lychee jelly options.

                                                          31. Floral Centerpieces in White-Textured Vases

                                                            These arrangements may have been small, but the impact they had was immense. Astilbe, roses and greenery made up this modern bloom display.

                                                            32. Ghost Chairs With Monogram Decals

                                                              If the to-be-wed plans to change their last name after the wedding, consider highlighting that at the wedding shower. At this shower, the new monogram was placed on chairs as custom decals.

                                                              33. One-Tier Simple White Cake

                                                                While your wedding cake may be a multi-tier masterpiece, stick with something more petite for your prewedding needs. A mini cake like this would also be a welcome addition to a bach party weekend or an engagement party.

                                                                34. Lily of the Valley Cake Details

                                                                  There's a reason the royals love to use lilies of the valley in wedding arrangements. The blooms, even in icing form, are beautiful.

                                                                  35. Jewel-Tone Bridal Shower Napkins and Place Mat

                                                                    Spotlighting the to-be-wed is the most important part of the event, so try to do so with as many party details as possible. The cute phrases on the napkins and placemat were a subtle way to shout out the soon-to-be bride.

                                                                    Creative Bridal Shower Ideas

                                                                    Feel free, with the guest of honor's permission, to get as creative as possible when thinking of ideas for entertaining the crowd and keeping everyone satisfied. Take a look below to see how you can accomplish this goal.

                                                                    36. Edible Flower Petal Ice Cubes

                                                                    Don't let your beverages sit in a boring bowl of ice. Show that you've thought of everything by creating easy-to-make flower ice cubes for your champagne ice bath, bridal shower cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages.

                                                                    37. Bridal Shower Recipes

                                                                    Bridal shower recipes
                                                                    Photo: Kate Headley

                                                                    This creative bridal shower idea involves asking the guests to write their favorite recipes on a card to give to the to-be-wed(s). This helps the future married couple have an abundance of delicious meals to cook together. You can extend this idea by having a potluck of some of the recipes provided by the guests.

                                                                    38. Ice Cream Sandwiches

                                                                      If a cake isn't the to-be-wed's cup of tea, consider an alternative dessert offering like ice cream sandwiches. This is a great option because the flavor combinations are endless.

                                                                      39. Scratch-Off Game

                                                                        Craft stores often have supplies to make DIY scratch-off games. Consider placing one beside each place card as a fun and simple door game.

                                                                        40. Greenery-Inspired Menu

                                                                          The decor at this tropical-themed bridal shower had all the right elements. Illustrated palm fronds on this menu design perfectly complemented the fresh greenery atop the tables.

                                                                          41. Fresh-Squeezed Juice

                                                                            Start a morning wedding shower off right with fresh-squeezed juice. This is a good option for parties that want non-alcoholic beverages for their guests.

                                                                            42. Keepsake Favorite Memory Cards

                                                                              In addition to having a guest book at the bash, consider including party games that will provide the to-be-wed with meaningful keepsakes of memories shared with the loved ones in attendance.

                                                                              43. Custom Sugar Cookies

                                                                                Reinforce the bash's aesthetic with on-theme decorated sugar cookies. This happy couple wanted duck-hunting-inspired sweets at their wedding shower.

                                                                                44. A Themed Wedding Shower

                                                                                Mad Hatter themed bridal shower idea 2023.
                                                                                Photo: Joe Grant Photography

                                                                                  If the to-be-wed wants a themed shower representing their passions, go all the way. The bride loved "Alice in Wonderland" books and movies, so she had a Mad Hatter tea party for her bridal shower.

                                                                                  Small Bridal Shower Ideas

                                                                                  For bridal showers with short guest lists, there are options for you too. Turn up the intimacy level to 100 with these small bridal shower ideas.

                                                                                  45. Small Bridal Shower Picnic

                                                                                  This is definitely one of the best bridal shower party ideas on our list. If you're having a small gathering and the bride-to-be loves the outdoors, have a backyard picnic. We love how this lounge area has baby's breath flower crowns at each place setting, a mini doughnut wall and fluffy floor pillows.

                                                                                  46. Charcuterie Board Competition

                                                                                  Bridal shower charcuterie board competition
                                                                                  Photo: Katerina Kutas Photography,Caterer: Preludio Noleggio

                                                                                  Simple bridal shower ideas don't mean boring. For a small at-home bridal shower, consider having a competition for who can make the most striking and cohesive bridal shower charcuterie board. Each guest can choose their own theme or color palette for their creation, and whoever the guest of honor deems has the best board gets a prize.

                                                                                  47. Pastel-Hued Mug Party Favors

                                                                                    For coffee lovers, consider having a coffee bar at the shower. Gift each attendee a cute mug to use that day and bring it home with them.

                                                                                    48. Petite Centerpiece With Roses

                                                                                      Roses are a great addition to any centerpiece. From bridal showers to wedding arrangements, they work well––even for non-wedding events like baby showers.

                                                                                      49. Lavender Party Favors

                                                                                        People love getting party favors they can actually use later. Guests at this event could select a bunch of dried lavender flowers or a lavender soap to enjoy.

                                                                                        50. Heart-Shaped Bridal Shower Guest Book

                                                                                        Heart-shaped guest book bridal shower idea 2023.
                                                                                        Photo: Shelby Oliver Photography

                                                                                          Typically, having a guest book at the wedding is customary, but there should be one at the prewedding events too. This ensures that anyone who can't make it to the big day will have their well wishes given to the couple.

                                                                                          Top Bridal Shower Tips

                                                                                          To plan the best bridal shower, you need to know some hosting tips. Read below to learn a few etiquette rules and planning tasks, recommended by experts.

                                                                                          Plan inclusively.

                                                                                          Although "bridal shower" is a common term within the wedding industry, the inherently gendered term under-emphasizes the importance of inclusivity concerning wedding showers. Whether a wedding has a bride or not, a wedding shower to pamper to-be-weds with love and gifts is customary, and there are a few steps you can take to ensure the entire event feels inclusive. Many couples are shifting away from showers that only include one to-be-wed toward combined events that honor both partners who are getting married.

                                                                                          You can also feel free to move away from themes that feel bridal-centric suggests Rachael Ellen Mayo, wedding planning expert and owner of Rachael Ellen Events. "No matter who the guest of honor is, allow the celebration to be about that person. Consider themes outside the regular 'blushing bride' concept and what the guest of honor loves. Do they love breakfast food? Plan a beautiful brunch without traditional 'bridal' details. It isn't ever about being a 'bride' or 'groom,' it's about celebrating this exciting milestone in that person's life."

                                                                                          Get creative with bridal shower themes.

                                                                                          Virginia Frischkorn, wedding planning expert and owner of Bluebird Productions, Something Blue by Bluebird and Bluebird in a Box, encourages anyone planning a wedding shower to "pick a theme! It's so much easier for guests to get excited and choose gifts if there's a theme." One theme that Frischkorn suggests is an "around the clock" theme. "Each guest is given a time and should bring a gift that correlates with that time. For example, if I got 5 P.M., I would choose a cocktail shaker set or if you got 9 A.M., select the coffee maker off the registry. Another fun shower theme is a wine tasting and having guests bring a bottle to try and a bottle for the couple to keep."

                                                                                          However, Karina Lopez, expert event and wedding planner and owner of KC You There, advises that you don't need to go overboard with thematic party ideas. "Themes can sometimes get a bit out of hand. If you're having a Parisian-themed shower, you don't need mini Eiffel towers or berets everywhere. Play off the feel and color of your venue, and when in doubt, pick a focal piece and incorporate mini details here and there."

                                                                                          The host pays for the shower.

                                                                                          "The person hosting the shower covers the cost," explains Mayo. "That could be the bride, a mother, the bridesmaids, or one specific friend, but the financial obligation always falls on the person who offered to host." This is important to remember because numerous people could host a shower for the to-be-weds. "Family and friends of the family are the most common hosts of a wedding shower," notes Frischkorn. "The wedding party often has so many other expensive events surrounding the wedding (from a potential engagement party to a bach party and more), so hopefully a family member or family-like member will offer to host."

                                                                                          It's crucial to have the budget conversation early and handle it with care. "One thing to keep in mind is that weddings are expensive for everyone involved and money can be a touchy subject, so it's never good to just assume," says Lopez. "If there's a specific shower the bride has in mind, she may want to consider contributing as well."

                                                                                          Be considerate with the guest list.

                                                                                          Melissa Williams, expert wedding planner and owner of B. Astonished Events, advises that you "make sure that the guests you are extending invites to for your shower are on your guest list for the wedding. It can get tricky when you invite guests to the shower but exclude them from your wedding day."

                                                                                          Gift thoughtfully.

                                                                                          While giving a gift from the wedding registry is always a good idea, you may feel like gifting a set of mixing bowls doesn't quite celebrate your bond with the bride-to-be or guest of honor. Furthermore, for some themed showers, certain gifts may be requested. When it comes to purchasing a gift for the shower, check in with the host if you're unsure what to buy. And if you're still feeling stuck, check out some of our favorite contemporary bridal shower gift ideas here.

                                                                                          Dress appropriately.

                                                                                          With so many prewedding events to attend, it can be difficult to put together outfits for each one, both as a guest and as the person of honor. If you can't decide what to wear to the wedding shower, let the bridal shower outfit ideas below and this advice about what to wear to a wedding shower as a guest inspire you.

                                                                                          As the guest of honor, do what you want.

                                                                                          Lopez encourages to-be-weds being showered to "do what you want. Everyone seems to have something to say; 'Don't open gifts at the shower, it's boring,' or 'Don't do games, it's lame.' Open the gifts if you want and play all the games you want to play. At the end of the day, your guests will be happy as long as you are happy."

                                                                                          Samantha Iacia contributed to the reporting of this story.

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