Planning an upcoming shower? Get inspired with some of these ideas and tips.

By Real Simple
Updated June 22, 2017
Garden party with flowers
Credit: Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst/Getty Images

When planning a wedding there are many things to consider. Location, flowers, dress, guests… the list goes on and on. But before your big day, there are a few days allotted for the bride to sit back and be pampered—one of which is her bridal shower. For those of you tasked with planning this relaxing (and fun) day for the bride, picking a bridal shower theme can be a big responsibility. Should you go more traditional or try something trendy? Intimate or bustling? When it comes down to it—as agreed upon by numerous professional party planners—the number one thing to keep in mind is the bride and what fits her personality.

“It’s important to keep in mind if your gal pal comes alive in large groups of people, or small intimate groups,” say the women behind GATHER events. “Is she a tapas devotee or is barbecue her fave? Your guests will love being in on something that truly celebrates the honoree. Whatever you’re planning, think of her tastes and how she’ll feel and you’ll be golden.”

Here, a list of bridal shower themes—all expert-approved—that will help you find the right one for your bride.

Garden party with flowers
Credit: Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst/Getty Images

Garden Party.

This theme is a classic choice for a bride’s special day. Sara Fried from Fête Nashville—a luxury wedding planning service—says a garden party would be her ideal shower to plan. Complete with lavender lemonade, “floral” dress attire, and the bride’s name made out of fresh flowers worthy of an Instagram photo op. This sweet, timeless theme is great for a party on a budget, as your own backyard makes for the perfect setting.

Champagne Brunch.

Maura Rose of Maura Rose Events says she's seeing lots of Champagne-inspired showers pop up this season—another timeless choice. “Think brunch and bubbly, DIY mimosa bars, and anything sparkly and gold,” she says. “This is a turn from past seasons: more rustic inspired themes that were very heavy with mason jars, wood slices, and lace. I think rustic is on the way out and vintage classic is making a huge come back.”


Maureen FitzGibbon, senior designer at St. Louis-based Kate & Company, says some of the top themes this season have been pulled from the blockbuster film La La Land. “It was a huge hit and the scenes with Emma Stone and her gal pals can perfectly translate into a bridal shower theme,” she says. If the guest of honor isn't a La La Land fan, try another smash hit. With a more creative crowd, this theme could be a great chance to brainstorm ideas around your friend’s favorite movie and find ways to make it come alive.

Mixology Party.

If the bride isn't a big fan of crowds or would prefer a quiet night with the girls, this theme could be the perfect fit. Try your own version of a girl’s night out. Plan “a crowd-free night out with your best girlfriends and your own private bartender,” say the women behind GATHER events. The idea is to set up shop in your backyard or living room for maximum comfort. Then bring in a talented bartender who can whip up some refreshing boozy treats for maximum relaxation.


Who says the latest Internet sensation can't translate to the perfect bridal shower theme? This idea is not for everyone, but if your bride is on top of the latest trends and doesn't mind venturing out of the box, this could be for you. “There are tons of fun ways to incorporate the pastel rainbow look into food, drink, invitations, and décor,” says Fried.