Bridal Shower Themes

Shower the bride with both love and gifts by finding the perfect theme.

Bridal Shower Themes

In the past, newly married couples were young and had none of the basic items they would need to start an independent household. Modern couples are now often living on their own before they blend two households, so their needs are much different.

Planning a contemporary bridal shower requires you to carefully consider the interests and needs of a new couple. Choosing a bridal shower theme is the perfect way to help guests select a suitable gift for the couple while having fun at the same time.

General Bridal Shower Guidelines

When hosting a bridal shower, a few words of caution apply.

  • Talk with the bride throughout the planning process. The bride should have the final approval on the theme you've selected, as well as the guest list.
  • It is the job of the hostess to make sure that all the guests are clear on the bridal shower theme. This can be done with an added line on the invitation, an enclosed note, or a phone call if the gathering is small.
  • Make sure you offer guests enough options for gifts to fit any budget. If all of the suggested gifts are very expensive, guests of more modest means may decide to stay home.
  • Keep the games tasteful. Risque games are legendary at bridal showers, but keep things toned down if you will offend guests such as the bride's mother or grandmother. More adventurous games are better suited for a bachelorette party.
  • Plan for relaxing time as well as structured games and events. Guests will want to chat with the bride and their friends, which can be impossible if every minute is scheduled.

13 Unique Ideas for Bridal Shower Themes

Whether you're planning a bridal shower for your baby sister or hosting a bash for your college roommate, a well-chosen theme is a must. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.

1. First Theme

This theme is all about the many things the bride and groom will do for the first time as husband and wife. Christmas ornaments, Thanksgiving platters, and photo albums would all be good gift choices, as would items for hosting larger family gatherings.

2. Heart Theme

Pay tribute to the love the couple shares by decorating your event space with all kinds of hearts. Plan on a heart-shaped cake with heart decorations, plates, and name tags. Advise guests to choose gifts that have some connection with hearts or to simply wrap their gifts in paper with a heart motif.

3. Room Theme

With this type of bridal shower theme, guests are assigned to a specific room of the bridal couple's home and gift purchases are made relating to that room. For example, all the guests assigned to the kitchen would provide gadgets, dishes, and linens. Guests assigned to the living room might bring movies, popcorn bowls, couch throws, and computer accessories. A pretty dollhouse used as a table centerpiece would be a lovely decoration to reinforce this bridal shower theme.

4. Recipe Theme

For this type of shower, each guest brings along a copy of her favorite recipe plus one of the ingredients to make it. This is a great way to fill a pantry and get a stack of tested recipes. You can also have each person bring a kitchen item that would be used when making their dish. Special cookware or serving pieces are other areas to consider. To decorate for your celebration, use stacks of vintage cookbooks and flower arrangements inside pretty mixing bowls.

5. Color Theme

Ask guests to bring the gift of their choice within the specific color range the couple has selected for the wedding or the colors they plan to use to decorate their new home. Dishes, table linens, sheets, blankets, and other household goods are readily available in a wide range of colors, which gives guests quite a bit of flexibility in choosing a suitable gift. Coordinate your decorations and the serving dishes for your menu with the selected color theme.

6. Holiday Theme

Divide guests into groups to select gifts related to the major holidays. Many new couples have nothing in the way of Christmas ornaments or New Year's serving pieces. Include any religious holidays the couple will celebrate such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. If the couple is big into decorating for every holiday, include Halloween, the Fourth of July and Easter. To decorate for the event, display a quirky assortment of your favorite holiday decorations.

7. Seasons Shower

This type of shower is perfect if you want to keep a loose theme, but allow guests room to bring a variety of items. Guests are divided into the four seasons and asked to bring something which represents or would be used during spring, summer, fall, or winter. For example, pumpkin cookie jars would be great for fall, and delicate sheets with floral embroidery would be a perfect spring item. Use snowflakes, pumpkins, beach balls, tulips, and other seasonal motifs to create themed decor for your event.

8. Time-of-Day Theme

Assign each guest a time of the day and have them select a gift that would be used in that time frame. For example, if you were selected for 7:00 am, you could give a gourmet frying pan for breakfasts, or big, deep coffee mugs. Use decorations with a clock motif or an assortment of pretty clocks in various sizes to play up your theme.

9. Tea Party Theme

If the bride is a tea lover, this is the perfect theme for her. Ask guests to bring anything tea-related such as specialty blends, books, or hand painted tea pots and kettles. If the gathering will be more intimate, ask guests to search their local thrift and antique shops for a delicate cup and saucer pair. Offer these dainty gifts to the bride as her own personal tea set with each piece specifically chosen for her.

10. Garden Theme

This is a wonderful theme if the newlyweds will be moving to a new house or love to putter outside. Gifts for this theme can be bulbs, potting soil, garden gloves, gift certificates, and anything else you can tie to a garden idea. Incorporate potted plants into your event decor.

11. Camping Theme

A bride-to-be who enjoys spending time outdoors might appreciate a camping themed shower. Serve classic campfire treats such as s'mores. Ask guests to bring camping supplies such as a new tent, flashlights, sleeping bags, a first aid kit, or portable outdoor games.

12. Literary Theme

For a couple who loves to read, consider a library themed shower. Decorate with folded paper flowers and heart banners made from the pages of old books. Guests can bring books, bookends, or literary inspired items for the couple's home. If the couple does not want or need gifts, donating to a local library or a literacy-related charity in their honor would be an option to consider as well.

13. Sports Theme

If the bride and her husband-to-be share a mutual passion for playing a particular sport or supporting a favorite team, a sporty bridal shower can be a fun way to celebrate their nuptials. Ask guests to bring sporting equipment or items decorated with their favorite team logo. Alternatively, you could pool your resources and present the happy couple with tickets to the big game. This is a great theme for co-ed showers, too.

Make It Easy for Guests to Give the Perfect Gift

Everyone wants to give that perfect gift. A thoughtfully selected bridal shower theme will help guests choose gifts that will be cherished by the couple for many years to come.

Written by: The Printable Wedding Team