Bridal Shower Ideas


Bridal showers are one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding. Planning a bridal shower can also be fun and can be done on a limited budget if you are resourceful. While the trend seems to be hosting the shower at a venue such as a restaurant, why not consider a bridal shower at home. It is less expensive, more intimate and gives you more options as to your menu.


While it is supposedly a faux pas to have the mother of the bride plan the bridal shower, my daughter's bridesmaids enlisted my help. I offered to host it in our home and they were thrilled. We all talked and decided on a rather unconventional approach. We would do a co-ed, or as more commonly known, a "Jack and Jill" shower. Since they wanted to do it in May, I suggested a Kentucky Derby theme and we did it on Derby Saturday. I have always found that using a theme makes planning a celebration so much easier. It gives you a road map for your plans. So a Derby theme it was and off to work we went. We created cute Derby themed invitations on line. Next we decorated straw hats to serve as favors. So easy and inexpensive. We found the hats online and used ribbons, tulle, buttons, boas, and artificial flowers to create amazing Derby hats for all the ladies. We made a special white and tulle bridal themed hat for our bride.

For our menu, we kept it simple - we made assorted sandwiches, salads, fruits, and pastas - as if you were on the racetrack sidelines picnicking. We had lemonade, iced tea, beer, wine, and fresh fruit sangria in a punchbowl. For desserts we made dozens of mini-cupcakes and displayed them on cupcake stands. We added chocolate covered strawberries, homemade cookies, and cake ball desserts. If you have never eaten cake balls you are in for a treat. Small bite sized nuggets of cake and frosting, dipped in melted chocolate. We used the chocolate for candy molding and did a rainbow of colors.

I always love to include a game at our own family celebrations so I came up with a Derby Dollars guessing game. We set up a booth with buckets labeled for all the racehorse contenders and let the guests put in their guess for the winner. We drew a grand prize winner out of the winning horse's bucket! Everyone gathered to watch the race, so fun!

The final gathering was to watch both the bride and groom open their lovely gifts. It was a beautiful celebration filled with all the people they both love so much. Best of all, this whole shower cost pennies in comparison to hosting it out of the house. Many of these ideas would be perfect for a more traditional bridal shower with a garden or tea party theme, so let your creative juices flow and you can plan a beautiful bridal shower on a limited budget.

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For my sister's bridal shower, we used clear glass cylinder vases with white costume (parade) beaded necklaces inside, at the bottom. The beads looked like pearls! It was gave a decorative touch that was simple yet well-complimented.

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My niece is a lawyer and I gave her a "swear by" shower. On the card we told the guests to bring things they "swear by" so that we could save the bride a lot of time and energy.

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At my daughter's shower, I wanted homemade desserts. So when people asked how they could help, I asked them bring 12 homemade cookies. Some of them brought more and I was given fancy trays with doilies.

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15 Questions

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May 24, 2010

I am hosting a bridal shower for a friend of mine, but I am on a really tight budget. I am having it late in the evening so we are only having desserts, but I need ideas on desserts, games, and anything else. Please help me.

By Overwelmed from Noblesville, IN


November 30, 20160 found this helpful
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A family recipe book is a wonderful sentimental idea for a wedding shower. ask each member of the wedding party, bride and groom to ask their family members to contribute a favorite recipe in order to hand down these recipes to the next generation of the family and to keep the recipes alive in the family. Handwritten recipes are Priceless, and copies of these recipes can be made and inserted into the family recipe book, you can have someone to design the cover or have a photograph made of the family to be the cover page, a dedication page can be made by one of the family members to the bride and groom and it will be a treasured item in the kitchen of the newlyweds

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Some friends and I (baby boomer age) are hosting a wedding shower for a friend. Any tips for showers for more mature brides? We dearly love this woman (who has been married before, but is a widow) and want it to be fun but not R-rated!

Tooz from Kentucky


By Frances (Guest Post)
March 20, 20080 found this helpful

A group of friends pooled our money and kidnapped the bride to be, took her to the mall shopping with the money we had collected and then treated her to dinner at a favorite restaurant. That was such a success that when another friend was to get married, we repeated the fun. They both had grown children and had their households well established.

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By Karen from Kentucky (Guest Post)
March 20, 20080 found this helpful

When having a shower I always hated the games using paper and pencil. This game you ask the guest questions, etc. 1. who has the most buttons, 2. who has the most rings, the most keys on their key rings 3. who is wearing black panties, etc. It's a lot of fun without a lot of planning.

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

Is it a shower or a bachelorette party? I've never heard of an r-rated bridal shower. Just do the normal thing-- send invitations that tell where she is registered, play goofy shower games, eat food, etc. They may not need lots of household stuff but they could register for gifts anyway.

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

I had a bridal shower for a wonderful friend of mine and we all had such a great time. My friends aunts and great aunts even had a good time.

One of the games I planned was:
Bridal Shower Pictionary
I had a dry erase board (borrow or purchase one, saves on paper and you and your family may use it like we do to play at home) made up an easel to hold the board or you may find a nail in the wall where ever you are holding the party that will hold the board.
I made up different index cards with all things related to a wedding or marriage on them. Then we divided up into equal teams and with our dry erase markers in hand the fun began. The team with the most points at the end won the prize (depending on your budget you could give everyone something). I set a 2 minute time limit for each turn/card. Not everyone wanted to draw but they all had a great time trying to guess what was being drawn.

I wish you the best of luck and a wonderful time!

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March 21, 20080 found this helpful

A couple of ideas. My future daughter - in - laws party was at a friends. First thing was when someone got there, they were handed a clothes pin, springy kind, and told to attach it somewhere on there clothing. Whenever someone said the future brides name, they lost their clothes pin to the one that noticed they said her name. The one with the most pins at the end of the party got a prize.
Also, on a piece of paper have everyone write down the bride and grooms name,(John Doe & Mary Smith) then have them find as many words as possible from their names in 5 minutes. The one with the most gets the prize.
Also,very fun, everyone got a roll of toilet paper and the bride stood in the middle of the room and everyone made a wedding dress on her. Gown, trane, bouquet , head dress and even the ring. That was lots of fun.

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March 21, 20080 found this helpful

Another look at the toilet paper wedding dress.

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March 27, 20080 found this helpful

We had a shower a month ago for my grandma's sister (Widowed many years ago) and our future Uncle the same. We did a combined shower and played "BRIDAL BINGO". Everyone is handed a blank bingo page and you add names of guests on your sheet, each guest must put thier name on a small square sheet of paper and place in a bowl. It was nice to meet his family and know their names before the wedding.
At the wedding, it was nice to know their names and talk about how the bingo game made it easy to break the ice.

Hope this helps,

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October 26, 2010

My daughter lives in Australia, she is getting married here in the states. What kind of shower can I give her, she obviously cannot transport toasters, irons, and coffeepots back to Australia. Help!

By kt from MI

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May 19, 2000

Has anyone ever done a time-of-day bridal shower? Apparently, each guest chooses a specific time of day out of a 24 hour day and brings a gift specific for that time period. My friend and I are hosting a bridal shower and would like to use this format, but I would like some gift suggestions/ideas for the guests for different time periods (e.g., 3 a.m.). Thanks for your help.

By Julie


December 1, 20000 found this helpful

The way I've seen this done is that the time of day is assigned by the hostess and included in the party invitation -- so you don't have to assign 3 a.m. if you don't want to! Suggestions for overnight hours might include bed linens, nighties/robes, bedside table lamp, decorative night light -- you get the idea!


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

What else is there to do at 3 am. Take old B movies and popcorn. So they can cuddle up on the couch in each others arms. :0)


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December 1, 20000 found this helpful

1. You could omit that time.

2. Late night escapade -- or my husband and I got matching underwear, lingerie, body oils, candles or something on that order.

3. If they are going to school-- Movies, popcorn, popper, pizza stuff or coffee stuff - assuming they will be up studying.

4.For the people that would be sleeping at that time -- They could be dreaming so basically you could get them anything and attribute it to a dream; sheets, pillowcases, nature sounds music.

Hope this helps. You just have to stop and think. My shower was like this and we had a ball!!!

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June 8, 2012

My sister is marrying for the 1st time at age 53. She has been living on her own for years, as has her fiance who was married previously. How do you plan a shower for this and what do I suggest for gift giving. She doesn't know either.

By Lyn P. from Hamilton, NJ

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April 1, 2011

I need ideas for a bridal shower for a co-worker. Any ideas for decorations and games? We was also thinking of playing the newly wed game, does anyone have any good questions?

By Katie Clodfelter

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March 24, 2013

My son is getting married and we are having a couples wedding shower for them. We live on a lake and I'd like a theme to go along with this and ideas for food, games, etc.


By Linda Foster S.

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May 15, 2012

Where can I find a affordable location for a bridal shower in the Baltimore, Maryland metro area?

By Shawn

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October 26, 2010

My daughter is getting married this year. I would like to give her a shower. She doesn't like a lot of fuss and prefers gatherings to be simple and fun.

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April 3, 2010

We are planning an autumn bridal shower for a young friend, and looking for some decorating, food and fun ideas from the ThriftyFun community. Thanks for your help with this.

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