bridal shower

It’s bridal season! Brides planning spring and summer weddings are getting all festivity details finalized and their besties are planning bridal showers to officially kick off all the celebration fun. While I love going to bridal showers, there is one thing I detest about the traditional shower — games! I am not a fan of playing cheesy, contrived, mindless shower games.

Sure, some games are a great way to get your entire party interacting, but I believe there are other ways to better prompt fun conversation and bridge generations. Here are a few ideas, from using food stations, activities and even party themes as alternatives to games for bridal showers. For more ideas, visit our Party Ideas board on Pinterest.

Food fun

The key elements of a successful bridal shower always consist of food and drink, sharing stories about the bride and ultimately showering her with love and gifts to begin her new married life. Since food and drink are pivotal, I think it’s a great idea to center some fun around the food stations. No matter what you’re serving, you can prompt great conversation around the unique ingredients surrounding an indoor s’mores bar. Or maybe it’s make-your-own pizzas.

One great idea is to create a soda bar at your bridal shower. Set up a variety of sodas, mix-in syrups, purees, creams and fresh fruit slices. Create a signature soda recipe for the bride that your guests can try, or invite them to concoct their own flavored soda. Then, while everyone is sipping away, invite everyone to share what they created and then come up with the perfect name for each drink. Be sure and write down each recipe to share later.

Activities over games

While waiting for everyone to arrive, instead of playing get-to-know-you games, have everyone take a few minutes and come up with clever date ideas for the newlywed couple. Write them down on popsicle sticks, place them in a decorated Mason jar and then, when the couple can’t come up with a date night idea, they can pluck an idea from the jar.

Other activity ideas include decorating mini wedding cakes in teams. Practice their cake decorating skills while also creating your own beautiful dessert. Guests can also work together to create clever Spotify playlists for the newlyweds. Create a different playlist for everything from road trips to house cleaning day to dinner prep time to romantic playlists for date night or “whoopee” time. Create a QR code and share the lists with everyone, too!

Themed parties

I’ve been to many a bridal shower and they have all varied in theme. Some centered around Disney princesses for a rather young bride, another focused on items the bride would use during a certain time of day. Another theme invited us to consider gifts around different movie or book titles. I’ve even been to Pampered Chef bridal showers where you buy your gift for the bride from the product catalog, while also buying something for yourself, too.

For an even more unique themed bridal shower, I also love the idea of transforming the shower into a party where everyone learns something new. Consider hosting a fun cooking class where you make the bride’s favorite meal. Or maybe it’s a cake-decorating or candy-making class. A floral-arranging demonstration, too, would be fun. All these are refreshing alternates, especially when you get to bring home some of your hard work!

— Jennifer Durrant