Whether you think of Valentine's Day as a can't-miss holiday for celebrating romance or an extra opportunity to show your best girlfriends some love, it makes a charming choice for a bridal shower theme: You're able to honor both the future newlyweds and their commitment alongside the powerful female friendships that support and inspire the bride. For decorations, food, and favors that read high-end elegance (and not elementary school class party), incorporate these foolproof ideas from event planners Rhiannon Bosse of Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations and Sunna Yassin and Mollie Jones Hennes from Bash Please.
Subtle holiday-inspired choices can make a bridal shower meal feel more festive, no matter what time of day you're choosing to host it. At brunch, serve heart-shaped waffles topped with red berries, suggests Yassin, or rely on in-season citrus like blood oranges and grapefruit to dress up salads and small bites. For a heartier meal, says Bosse, "a family-style bowl of red heart-shaped noodles with a vegan, creamy sun-dried tomato sauce is an easy and delicious way to impress." Toast the bride and groom with pink Champagne, rosé wine, and cocktails made with cranberry juice or bright red cherries.
While the traditional Valentine's Day palette of red and pink is the most obvious choice, don't be afraid to branch out with darker tones, metallic accents, or brighter shades. "Bringing in a pop of color with an unexpected palette is a great way to set the tone," says Hennes. "Either with a monochromatic vibe and adding hot pink or persimmon mixed with light pink, or go for a more moody tone with crimson and dark maroon mixed with black and cream accents." Create a place setting that draws in all the tones from your palette with colored glassware, plates, and linens, and simple centerpieces of taper candles or bud vases. "The right amount of décor can pack a serious punch," says Bosse.
Send guests home with a small, tasty memento of the love-filled event, say Yassin and Hennes, like shortbread cookies topped with delicious (and beautiful) edible flowers. Other popular favors, says Bosse, are truffles, macarons, and, of course, chocolate or candy, all packaged in decorative bags—or you can branch out with custom notes or other sweet trinkets. "Get creative in ways that will allow your guests to feel the love," says Bosse. "Whether it's with handwritten personalized notes at each place setting or mini cake-stands holding the dessert, everyone will walk away feeling special and cherished."