Our Favorite Bridal Shower Themes for One-of-a-Kind Brides

french blue table
Photo: Charla Storey Photography

These festive ideas are perfect for celebrating the bride-to-be.

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french blue table
Charla Storey Photography

Planning an unforgettable bridal shower is no ordinary feat. There are a lot of moving parts to organizing and executing this special celebration. We're talking everything from guest lists and invitations to food and drinks—and don't forget other must-have elements, like entertainment and favors, if you're so inclined. Ultimately, if you're planning a bridal shower, you're really preparing for a mini-wedding; so many of the same decisions that go into planning the main event actually apply when putting together this pre-wedding party. Fortunately, coordinating the perfect event is made infinitely easier when you have one very important item picked out ahead of time: Your bridal shower theme.

With the right theme—"right" means that the bride has given the go-ahead—all of the celebration's other details will begin to fall into place. Finding coinciding décor ideas, for example, becomes easy work, as does selecting the perfect bridal shower cake to match. You can start with the essentials (the location, for one) or head straight to your favorite detail as long as your overall idea has given the bulk of the party shape and direction. Now that you know how integral choosing a bridal shower theme truly is, you'll likely want to know what types of themes are out there—and which feel inspired and unique enough for your bride-to-be. To help you on your search, we've rounded up a few of our favorite bridal shower themes that the woman of the hour is sure to approve. Planning her shower during the colder months? An elevated winter wonderland theme nods to the season and feels luxe and cozy enough for a shower. If she's a globe-trotter (or got engaged in Paris, perhaps?), a Parisian-themed event may fit the bill. Take this feminine set-up, for example: The Wildflowers used French-inspired Bella Acento rentals, like Louis chairs and a French blue tablecloth, to set this party's tone.

Still searching for the right inspiration or an especially dreamy bridal shower idea to spark your party planning? This is the best place to begin. Whether the bride-to-be is always ready for brunch or has a long-standing preference for a particular party style, you'll find the bridal shower theme to match her vision right here.

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wedding cake with map design on the bottom tier
Olivia Suriano of Nancy Ray Photography

This is an excellent theme for avid travelers or any couple embarking on an exotic honeymoon. Gifts can include luggage, camera equipment, certificates for language lessons, guidebooks, and journals. Design the menu according to their next destination—tapas for Spain, jerk chicken for Jamaica, a plate of fine cheeses for France. A bridal shower cake with a map design, like this one by Sugar Euphoria, is the ultimate finishing touch.

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AirBnB Bachelorette Party Rental
Valorie Darling Photography

If your bridal shower guest list is on the smaller side, you might be able to replace the traditional event with a weekend-long trip—think a bachelorette party without the "last-hurrah" vibe. Explore a new city, lounge by the pool, or simply use the trip as a chance to reconnect with friends or family members you haven't seen in a while. That's really what your bridal shower is all about, anyway.

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outdoor picnic spread
Ava Moore

Pack up cheese, bread, and wine and set out for an elevated picnic, one that feels more refined than an impromptu gathering in the park. A low table, set with elegant dinnerware and wine glasses, transforms this typically casual outing into something unforgettable. Make like Smells Like Peonies Events and work in simple-but-striking floral centerpieces, bright rugs, and comfortable poufs for sitting.

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rustic wedding ideas amalie orrange
Amalie Orrange Photography

She's getting hitched in a barn, so why not shower her in one? Keep her party on the refined side of rustic with distressed signage, simple florals, lantern décor, and a DIY chicken wire seating chart.

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bridal shower invitations love and light
Love & Light Photographs

If she spent her childhood summers on the Cape, infuse her shower with subtle nautical touches (there's no need to over-do it with obvious anchor or sailor knot motifs!). We love this subtle invitation set by Mary Kate Moon, which featured an illustrated oyster shell and cerulean calligraphy—two nods to the bride-to-be's oceanic shower setting.

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monogram favors
Tarin Frantz

At a preppy bridal shower, expect to see lots of bold stripes in high-contrast colorways (like black-and-white and cream-and-green!), monograms (on everything from the bride-to-be's personalized cake to her friends' favors!), and classic design motifs.

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Beach Wedding Shower Furniture
Kurt Boomer Photography

Searching for a way to make her bridal shower instantly more unique? Move the event to a sandy beach and let the natural locale inspire the tabletop décor, floral palette, and light cuisine.

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tablescape pineapple party
Mary Costa Photography

If you can't make it to the beach—or you don't live in an area with an immediate body of water—channel a tropical setting, instead. Pineapple centerpieces, monstera and palm leaves, and an on-theme pink-and-green color palette—all seen here on this tabletop designed by Studio DIY—will set the tone for her tropical bridal shower.

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Chic Winter Shower

winter bridal shower shoot julia garcia prat table setting
Julia Garcia-Prat

Cold weather doesn't have to put a damper on those party plans. There are plenty of reasons to love a winter celebration, including cozy cocktails and evergreen décor. It's also important to note that designing a wintry shower doesn't have to feel Christmas-themed. Take this Le Coeur Bohème tablescape, for example, which proves that wintry motifs, like faux fur, pine, and grapevine, can feel cozy and fresh without skewing too holiday-inspired.

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Glamping Trailer
Sarah White Photography

Flower crowns, peacock chairs, mobile campers, and vintage rugs—all of these are must-have elements for a boho-chic bridal shower.

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Jack Rodriguez

She credits her and her future spouse's complementary zodiac signs as the reason for their relationship's success, so a celestial-themed bridal shower, like this one designed by 50 x 50 Event Design, is probably in the stars. Consider using a night-sky-inspired color palette, filled with rich plums and inky navy, and send guests home with cross stiches emblazoned with their favorite constellation.

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women toasting with cocktails
Mariel Hannah Photography

Is the bride a would-be mixologist, or simply an all-around cocktail lover? Make the event her very own happy hour with a build your own cocktail bar or the fixings for her very favorite beverages.

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washington dc wedding table reception
Kate Headley

If the bride's love for vintage details is never-ending, consider coordinating a shower packed with all the prettiest vintage décor. This often requires finding a venue with antique vibes and then filling the room with plenty of Old-world-inspired elements, like Chinoiserie, crystal chandeliers, and candlelight. Pineapple Productions assembled this vintage-chic tabletop.

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Everyone's Invited

simply-chic-events-bridal-shower-1016.jpg (skyword:345022)
Jose Villa

Would your bride prefer to spend her shower alongside her spouse-to-be? Why not break tradition and throw a couple's shower instead? Invite friends and family from both sides of the aisle and prepare for a fun and festive event that feels like a smaller-scale wedding.

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bridal shower petite buttercream cake
Jeff Sampson

While bridal showers tend to be a fairly informal gathering, it's more than okay to amp up the elegance for a bride-to-be who loves that black-tie vibe. Just don't forget to choose a venue that fits the theme—and be sure to communicate the formal dress code to your guests. Refined tabletop details, like ornate cake stands, cloche accents, and gold-rimmed chargers are also a must.

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french bridal shower gabe aceves
Gabe Aceves

There's nothing like an event with a little French flair to shake up traditional bridal shower themes. Set the scene in an elaborate garden with a touch of Versaille and serve croquembouche, a classic French dessert, instead of traditional cake. Eleventh Hour Bakery built this cream puff tower.

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Cooking Class

bridal shower invitations lisa blume
Lisa Blume Photography

This bridal shower theme is ideal for foodie brides—or even those who want to learn a new skill or two in the kitchen. Instead of coordinating the whole event, pack up the party and attend a cooking class together. Whether you end up making decadent desserts or finessing your pizza-making skills, this style of event is sure to be a blast. Foreshadow the delicious meal to come with an invitation suite covered in seasonal fruits and veggies to match.

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Flower Shower

flower bar
Untamed Heart Photography

With a wedding in the works, sometimes it's best to stick to a bridal shower idea the bride already has on her brain—like a flower arranging class. Even if she's not even thinking about handmaking her own wedding arrangements, learning how to create her own centerpiece (or flower crown) may be the perfect way to unwind and still acknowledge the upcoming celebration.

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Garden Party

party lounge area
Alissa Noelle Photography

If there's one bridal shower theme that will always sound like a perfect fit, it's a garden party. There's just something about celebrating outside during the warmer months surrounded by nature and the women you love most in the world. Again, choosing the proper venue is key to achieving this theme; ensuring that the location's grounds are landscaped will only enhance the floral overload you introduce later, as evidenced by this set-up by Twink and Sis.

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Self Care

party favor
Sleepy Fox Photography

Are you confident a little extra pampering is just what the bride to be needs, but you're not feeling so sure about the spa day bill? Consider a make-your-own smudge stick bar, where she and all of her guests can hand-pick herbs based on their current emotional climates.

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Think Spring

Amanda S. Gluck

What better way to add extra oomph to a bridal shower than by embracing the season? Spring is a particularly pretty (and common!) time of year to throw a shower, and it's easy to highlight spring-inspired colors, flowers, and even foods for an event the bride will love.

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Afternoon Tea

french bridal shower rebecca yale
Rebecca Yale Photography

Let the sweetest bite-sized delicacies tempt guests at an afternoon tea-style shower. Tea sandwiches, towers of handheld desserts, and, of course, the tea itself will ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

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Sweet Brunch Shower

brunch waffles
Elizabeth Messina

If the bride considers brunch the most important meal of the day, your theme decision is simple. Pile plates high with her favorite flavors of donuts, or feel free to get extra creative with a waffle or pancake cake. Just don't forget the mimosas!

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cake pops dessert table
Liz Banfield

Does she have a sweet tooth? A candy theme is a no-brainer. Pack the event's dessert table with all of her favorite treats—cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are allowed, too!—and send guests home with baggies of her go-to sweets.

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Pink Lady

bridal shower guests wearing pink
Mariel Hannah Photography

Choose the bride's favorite color (in this case, pink) and build your shower theme around it. Get guests in on the fun by requiring a shades-of-blush dress code.

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Scavenger Hunt

Taylor Gage Photography

Does something completely nontraditional sound like it might hit the spot? Skip the organized event in favor of a party that will keep your guests guessing, like a scavenger hunt bridal shower. Head into the forest or create a hunt around the bride's favorite section of city and set off on a day of adventure.

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Jana Williams

Gather your guests around this unique idea: A movie-inspired event based off the bride's favorite film. You can incorporate the movie's details or mood to create a color palette, the invitations (like these by Prim and Pixie), and even the menu—just like the details in this Grand Budapest Hotel

-inspired shower.

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Kentucky Derby Shower

Courtesy of Claire Thomas

Look no further than this particular bridal shower theme for an idea that's worthy of the Triple Crown. You'll definitely impress the bride to be and all her favorite ladies with a celebration packed with mint juleps, Southern snacks, and all the best hat fashion.

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