If an afternoon of toilet paper dresses and lingerie gifts from your future mother-in-law makes you cringe, it's time to start thinking outside the box for your bridal shower. Here, Ashley Smith, owner of Buzzworthy Events, and Ashley Chamblin, owner of Ashley M Chamblin Events, share some unique party ideas for the not-so-traditional bride.
DIY Movie Festival
If you want to throw a bridal shower but don't want an over-the-top party, consider an at-home movie festival. "Everyone brings a suggestion for a movie or two then set up a projector with a screen somewhere like a backyard with lounges, wine, and snacks," says Smith. Deck out your snack table with old-school theater snacks like popcorn, ice cream floats, and a gourmet hot dog bar.
Laser Tag Showdown
Channel your inner Katniss Everdeen with this unconventional (and badass) bridal shower. "Get out with your best babes and eliminate some of that anxious wedding energy in a rousing game of laser tag, paintball, or even skeet shooting," says Chamblin. Bonus points if you get the girls to dress like extras in T. Swift's "Bad Blood" music video.
Bonfire Beach Bash
Swap out a conservative bridal shower brunch for a carefree bonfire at the beach. "You can make it BYO snacks and drinks if you want to keep it casual and not plan too much or you can go all out and create "boxed lunch" style meals for everyone," says Smith. Be sure to bring a bunch of blankets to snuggle up in and speakers to play your bridal shower playlist.
Throw a Roast
You know you're close friends with someone when you can poke fun at them without any bruised feelings. Same goes for the bride and her besties. Chamblin suggests comedy lovers step out of the box and throw a Comedy Central-worthy roast of the bride-to-be. Don't forget a mini trophy for the lady with the best jokes!
An Afternoon Outdoors
Ditch the at-home bridal shower party and head out to a location that rejuvenates everyone. "Many times, bridal showers have a tendency to become stressful, so move away from that and dip into something totally relaxing," says Smith. Do you have a favorite hiking trail? How about a favorite beach? Whatever you choose, plan an afternoon around it and pack a healthy lunch for a ladies only picnic.
Rent a cozy AirBnB for a weekend long bridal shower with the women. "Whether abroad or local, explore somewhere new together and don't forget your camera," says Chamblin. For a sweet start to the trip, ask the maid of honor or mother of the bride to help put together travel themed welcome bags for your bridal party.
Any Hands-On Class
Bridal parties are the perfect chance to get everyone out of their comfort zone and try something new together. Gather the girls together for a bridal shower that lets you engage with one another, like a pasta-making class or ceramics class. "Working with your hands can also be a tension reliever, so if you are feeling a little pressure or stress leading up to the wedding, this might be a great outlet as well," says Smith.
A bar-food crawl is a foodie bride's dream come true. "Start at a cocktail bar, then head out for some appetizers, then enjoy an amazing meal before finishing it all off at your favorite dessert spot," says Chamblin. Just make sure to pick a buzzing neighborhood packed with trendy restaurants and bars for the ultimate experience.