Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares theme and favor ideas for the perfect bridal shower bash!
BRIDAL SHOWER THEMES
Bridal showers can be formal or casual; they can include many people or a small group. Many showers are even held as an open house. No matter what style or type of shower you are planning, a theme is often a great way to start and work around. Make sure to consider number of guests, time to prepare and your budget when choosing a theme. The following are some theme ideas to help get you started.
Kitchen: Ask guests to bring a gift for the
Stock the Pantry/Recipe: Ask guests to bring items to help stock the kitchen. Have them include a favorite recipe or two.
Seasonal: Have a shower themed around the current season. Another option would be to assign guests to bring gifts according the season they were give. For example if you were assigned the season of summer, you could bring a gift of picnic items, garden tools, etc.
Holiday: Have a shower around a current holiday. This works well especially around Christmas as it can help the bride acquire decorations for her home and tree.
Gift Certificate: Ask guests to bring a gift certificate of some sort. This works well for someone who must travel or is moving away and cannot carry bulky gifts. You could also do a twist on this and ask guests to bring gifts that can fit into a certain sized envelope. You may be surprised at what creative items gusts come up with.
Fill a Basket: Ask guests to bring a themed basket filled for the bride.
Color: Have a bridal shower around a certain color or colors. You may want to do all white, pink, etc. Base it around the favorite color of the bride or coordinate it to match the wedding colors. An option would be to do something such as a polka-dot shower.
Spa/Pampering: Theme is around pampering the bride. The shower could be held at a home or at an actual spa.
Mood Shower: Give invitations that state what “mood” the bride is in. For example: the bride is in the mood for cleaning, the bride is in the mood for entertaining, the bride is in the mood for gardening, the bride is in the mood for gardening, etc… You could be really creative with this. Guests must bring a gift that corresponds with the “mood” they were given.
Sports: Have a shower with a sports theme. This could be a sport the bride plays or a favorite team, etc.
Couples: Have a shower for both the bride and groom to attend.
Tool: Shower the bride and groom with tools for their yard or home.
Entertainment: This shower would be based around everything that could be a form of entertainment or used in entertaining such as board games, movies, tablecloths, etc.
Time of Day: Assign guests a time of the day and ask them to bring a gift that could be used at that time.
The Great Outdoors: An outdoor theme with gifts such as camping supplies.
Honeymoon: Theme a shower around the honeymoon destination of the bride and groom. Themes such as a Hawaiian luau, Mexican Fiesta, Oriental, etc. work well.
Occupation: Base a shower around the occupation of the bride or groom.
Hobby: Base a shower around a hobby of the bride or groom.
Scrapbook: This could be a hobby shower where everyone brings a gift for the bride associated with scrapbooking or you could actually have the supplies at the shower and have guests work on pages for the bride.
Garden/Tea Party: This would be a lovely shower to hold outside in the spring or summertime.
Flower: Have the theme based on a certain flower such as daisies, tulips, etc.
Fairy Tale: This is one of my favorites. Make the bride a “princess” for the shower since her fairy tale is about to come true and she is getting married to her “prince charming.” This shower lends itself to fun decorating and favor ideas as well.
Month of the Year: Assign guests a month of the year and ask them to bring a gift that could be used during that month.
Room of the House: Assign guests a different room in the house to bring a gift for. Make sure include color swatches in the invitation.
Book: This shower would be for a bride who loves to read. Bring favorite books as a gift.
Water: Have a “shower” of a shower! Ask guests to bring anything associated with water. This can be really fun! Gifts might include: towels, bath supplies, water glasses, garden hose, umbrellas, watering can, car wash supplies, water cooler, etc.
ABC: This is a fun shower. Assign guests a letter of the alphabet and their gift they bring must start with that letter.
Pajama: This would be a fun shower for the girlfriends of the bride. Have a big pajama party.
Western: This theme would be perfect for someone who loves horses.
Decade: Have a shower based on a certain decade.
BRIDAL SHOWER FAVORS
Favors are an important part of the shower, given as a thank you to guests for taking the time to come and support the bride. Although favors don’t need to be expensive, they should be meaningful and creative and coordinate with the theme of the shower. Favors can also be used as part of the décor and as a centerpiece. They can be used as place markers at a table setting. Stack favors on tiered dishes for a beautiful presentation. Cupcake trees also are nice for presentation. Often the container or presentation of the favor can add as much as the favor itself.
• Net or tuelle wrapped candy is a very basic favor often with Jordan almonds or mints. Make sure to add some pizzazz by adding a beautiful ribbon and a cute tag. Inexpensive containers can be found at places such as the dollar store. Look for unique boxes, fabric bags, mugs, votive holders, tins, pails, etc. All make great candy holders.
• Cupcakes are lovely favors (my favorite!). A simple but very beautiful and elegant cupcake favor would be to add a single rose (or rose petal) or flower such as a mini carnation or pansy to the top of each (make sure the flowers are clean and pesticide free). Nestle in a cupcake wrapper. (Gorgeous laser cut wraps found at www.fancyflours.com)
• A beautiful display of square boxes can be filled with a favor such as handmade soap, candy or even a cupcake, etc. and stacked in the shape of a wedding cake. One for each guest.
• Give tiny flower pots planted with a pansy or other flower. Wrap the pots with a ribbon and add a plant stake or tag. Another option to this would give guests a bulb in a pot that could be forced at home. This is fun as guests can watch it grow over time. A cute poem could be added about the blossoming love of the bride and groom. Also consider giving a tree sapling…..
• An assortment of large jars filled with a variety of unique candy serves not only for a nice decoration but as a favor for guests. Include tiny scoops and have little glassine, cellophane or paper bags for guests to fill as they leave.
• A simple thank you written on a nice piece of paper and rolled up with a beautiful ribbon would be a nice favor. Personalize these and have in a basket for guests to pick up as they leave.
• Compile a recipe book of recipes brought to a shower by each guest. These may need to be delivered at a later date.
• Attach the bride’s favorite recipe to a kitchen tool or cookie cutter as a favor.
• A small book or handmade collection of romantic poems or quotes would make a nice favor.
• A simple handmade desk calendar would be a nice favor if the shower was held at the start of a new year.
• Cover the labels of soda bottles (such as Jones Soda) with personalized labels matching the theme of the shower. Add a tag that states: “Thank you for attending my shower and for helping make it “soda-lightful.”
• Personalize fortune cookies for guests. Simply steam or place in microwave for a few seconds and they will become soft. Replace fortunes. Homemade fortune cookies can be made as well. Dip in chocolate and add sprinkles for extra pizazz.
• Fill a vase with real flowers. Add a tag to each flower and let guests take one as they leave.
• Add stamped tags to purchased items that coordinate with the items. My favorite is the Favor It Wedding stamp set (only $5.00!) from PaperTrey Ink. They have darling sayings such as “Perfect Pear” (attach to a pear), “Perfect Match” (attach to a tiny box of matches), “Meant to Bee” (attach to a tiny bottle of honey), etc. Their stamps have darling borders and frames that coordinate with the sayings making the favors quick and easy. Check out www.papertreyink for more information and ideas.
• Make a CD of the bride and grooms favorite songs as a favor. A dvd could also be given with a message from the bride and/or groom.
• Remember with food, you can usually never go wrong as a favor. Simply re-package or add your own label over the purchased product. Items you might consider: tiny jars of jam, packets of dip mix or hot cocoa, nuts, mints, chocolates, etc. There are many companies that will personalize candy, cookies, etc. with names, dates and even photos.
• If your shower is around a holiday, think of seasonal items that might make good favors. Items such as Christmas ornaments, sparklers, mini Easter baskets, a tiny pot of shamrocks, beach balls, candy canes, etc.
• Give guests the bride’s favorite candy. If it is a candy bar, wrap it in a personalized label or one to match the shower theme.
• Decorated cookies are a nice favor. Cookie cutters come in many varieties and can coordinate with the theme of the shower.
• A set of handmade magnets in a tin makes a nice favor.
• A bracelet with charms that have meaning to guests might be nice for a girlfriend type shower. Each guest could also bring a charm for the bride.
• A packet of flower seeds is quick and inexpensive. Make sure to wrap pretty.
• Have inexpensive rubber stamps made with the initial of each guest.
• A set of simple handmade cards wrapped with a ribbon makes a nice favor.
• Give a cute bottle of shower gel or similar item with a tag that states: “From the bride’s shower to yours.”
• Inexpensive t-shirts that were designed by the bride or that coordinated with the shower theme would make a fun favor.
• Give guests a card stating you donated in their names to a charity of your choice.
• Use the names of candy to make creative favors. For example wrap together a Hershey’s hug and a kiss candy and a Dove Promise candy. Attach a tag that states: “True love begins with a hug, a promise and a kiss.” Or give Hershey’s hugs and kiss candies and attach a tag that sates: “Hugs and Kisses from the Mr. and Mrs.” These could be used as a favor at a shower or at a wedding. Be creative as there are many different candies that would work for this.
• The Wilton company offers many kits to create your own wedding favors that include fun little tins, baskets, boxes, umbrellas, etc. to hold candy. They also have a great assortment of wedding shaped and themed candy perfect for showers. This is an easy and quick way to create favors. Check out their items at www.wilton.com
Check out some of these places to purchase favors: