Kitchen-themed parties and bridal bingo can be fun, but if you want to really impress your shower attendees, it's worth thinking outside the box. Your main goal, instructs Kristine King, president and lead event director at Kristine King Events, should be to plan a celebration that evokes your personality and "gets all the guests involved." And one way to do just that is to make your party unlike any bridal shower that your guests have attended in the past. It can be as simple as building the bash around your favorite hue (think: pink peony centerpieces, a blush balloon photo backdrops, and rosé all day) or a unique motif. Here, other expert-approved ideas that will make your shower a standout event.
Try a destination celebration.
To really zero in on something that's meaningful to you, recommends King, model your bridal shower after your planned honeymoon destination. A Luau and Tiki bar can reflect a Hawaiian getaway, while macarons and madeleine cookies can be the menu for a tasty French fête.
Have a pajama party.
Pick a cozy venue for a "booze, brunch, and bathrobes" bash, suggests bridal coach Deborah DeFrancesco. Invite all your guests to wear their nicest PJs and serve up beloved breakfast foods, along with Bloody Marys and mimosas. And to really impress your loved ones, she says, "Hire a masseuse to give fifteen minute massages behind a photo backdrop. You can send your guests away with sleep masks and bubble bath favors."
Be a giver.
Philanthropic brides can turn their bridal shower into a day of charity, says DeFrancesco. "In lieu of gifts, ask your guests to provide at least one item—clothes, toys, etc.—to those in need, and then donate your time as a group in place of a shower," she explains. A few options include cuddling animals at a local shelter or volunteering with a local food bank or charity that gives back to the community. After, treat everyone to burgers and beers.
Go back in time.
Do the time warp by asking invitees to dress in outfits that were trendy during the year you were born. Drive the theme home by treating your spandex-ed, fanny pack-clad family and friends to foods and cocktails that were especially popular at the time. For this type of festivity, notes DeFrancesco, you'll definitely want to make sure there's a photo booth.
Make it a tea party.
The "traditional and sophisticated" tea is another favorite, says King. "You can serve fare like cucumber sandwiches, scones, and fruit tarts," she explains, "have a bar set up with beautiful antique tea cups and send guests home with a bag filled with loose tea and a diffuser."
Find something old, new, borrowed and blue.
There are plenty of rituals in place for the wedding day, but you can steal some of these for your bridal shower, too, explains King. Try incorporating something old (a collage of childhood photos, perhaps), new (centerpieces that nod to your wedding bouquet), borrowed (heirloom dishes), and blue (custom-made favors) into your pre-wedding bash.
Engage in child's play.
"Remember how awesome it was being a kid?" ask DeFrancesco. Relive it by renting out space at a trampoline park, mini golf, or ice skating rink. After playing around for a few hours, she says, serve up some pizza and cake, "then send your guests home with a goodie bag filled with candy and prizes!"