SDB is a bridal shower and tea party enthusiast who understands the importance of a well-planned event.
Traditionally, bridal showers were hosted to 'shower' the bride-to-be with gifts to begin her new married life with. As with any tradition, however, it is perfectly ok to modernise it and personalise it with your own interests or choices. One such way to customize a bridal shower is to give it a unique theme. Below are some suggestions and tips for throwing a bridal shower tea party.
In This Article
- Games and Activities
- Party Favours
Bridal Shower Etiquette
Generally, the maid of honour and/or the bridesmaids host the bridal shower. Modern women, however, may prefer to put something together themselves and ask the bridesmaids and mothers to help, which is perfectly acceptable.
Tradition also suggests that bridal showers be an intimate gathering of only 10 to 20 of the bride's closest friends and family. Feel free to invite as many guests as you please, though, but be mindful that the people attending the bridal shower are also usually invited to the wedding.
Bridal showers are commonly held four to six weeks before the wedding so there is still plenty of time for organisation and preparation. An informal afternoon gathering will suffice, as bridal showers do not have the same formal etiquette as a wedding.
Due to the casual nature of the bridal shower, invitations can be issued informally as well. Regular post, email, phone or via your favourite social media platform are all acceptable ways to issue invitations. Handwritten or self-printed invitations are a lovely touch, though, and can include wedding theme colours to give guests a small preview of what is to come.
People often wonder whether they need to bring a gift to a bridal shower, and the answer is generally yes. The gift is usually smaller than the wedding gift and is traditionally something for the couple's home. In today's modern age, many couples live together before marriage and may already have their home set up. A lovely alternative is to gift the bride-to-be something just for her. Among the gifts I received was my Grandmother's handwritten cupcake recipe—a beautiful treasured keepsake.
The Bridal Shower Menu
A traditional tea party is generally a relaxed and informal affair with an abundance of delicious food. It can be held indoors or out, and the food can be anything you desire. The best option for your bridal shower tea party is minimal fuss with maximum effect.
Imagine a beautifully decorated table laden with delectable treats for all to enjoy. Your guests will be delighted to peruse the table helping themselves to whatever takes their fancy. This will free you up to enjoy your party without losing time individually serving the food. People love to try little morsels of this and that, and choosing what to eat can be half the fun.
You can mix both sweet and savoury foods in abundance and let everyone enjoy the tea party at their leisure. Use your imagination, and by all means, put the food you love best on the menu; after all, this day is all about you!
My guests and I enjoyed tarragon chicken and cucumber finger sandwiches, a selection of savoury tarts and canapés, scones with whipped cream and jam, decadent cupcakes, delicate pastries, sponge cake, pots of tea and celebratory champagne.
So, put on your thinking cap and reach for the stars. You may decide on traditional fare or perhaps a mixture of your favourites—the choice is yours.
Bridal Shower Games and Activities
While bridal shower games are completely optional, they can be a great way to start the party. They can be a good way to break the ice and set the scene for a memorable bridal shower. Prizes can be anything from chocolates to gift vouchers. Get together with your bridesmaids and have some fun planning. Here are a few ideas.
Guess the Romance Movie Quote
Come up with as many popular romance movies as you desire. Select a quote from each movie. Read each quote aloud one-by-one as guests must try to recall the movie title for each quote. The highest number of correct guesses wins the game. This is a fun game to get started with, and usually, much laughter ensues.
Guess the Love Song
Similar to guess the romance movie quote, this game is won by correctly guessing the name and singer of each song. A small part of each song is played for the guests to guess. Again, the highest number of correct guesses wins.
Words of Wisdom
Each guest is given a piece of card and a pencil to write a note to the bride-to-be. It can be happy marriage advice, good wishes or a family recipe to pass on to the bride. Set up a large glass bowl for the cards to be dropped into. I attended a bridal shower where this was done, and it was lovely to see everyone passing on their wisdom, advice and love to the bride.
Polaroid Camera Station
Set up an area where photos can be taken with the bride-to-be. Be creative and have a little fun with props such as novelty glasses, feather boas, tiaras and of course a mini veil. The bride to be can keep the polaroids and put them into a scrapbook. This is an activity everyone loves to be involved in!
Hide as many novelty rings as you like around the garden, house or venue. By the end of the tea party, whoever has found the most rings wins.
Guess How Many Sweets
Fill a beautiful glass jar with sweets and set up with some colourful paper and pencils. Each guest writes their name and number of sweets they think are in the jar. The person whose guess is closest to the real number takes home the jar of sweets.
Bridal Shower Favours: Take-Home Goodies for Your Guests
Take-home gifts for your guests are a lovely way to thank them for celebrating a beautiful occasion with you. While they are completely optional, there are some simple ideas that are easy to put together to create a special treat. Enlist the help of your bridesmaids to put some thought into memorable gift ideas and to add the finishing touches to make them truly special.
A teacup and saucer wrapped in a beautiful ribbon (matched to your wedding theme) presented on the table when guests arrive is a perfect gift to take home. They can use it that day and will always be reminded of you when they use it at home. This is the gift I opted for, and I included loose-leaf tea samples inside.
We wrapped up the tea in colourful paper satchels. You could also use tiny canisters, boxes, organza or tulle pouches and adorn them with ribbon. Potpourri or bath salts can be presented in this way too.
Scented bath soap, candles or essential oils are other lovely ideas that can be beautifully put together to make treasured gifts. Have a brainstorming get together with your bridesmaids and have fun dreaming up your own blissful way to thank your guests.
What Are You Planning for Your Bridal Shower?
Robert Sacchi on May 26, 2020:
SDB (author) from Australia on May 25, 2020:
Thank you Robert, perhaps down the track.
Robert Sacchi on May 17, 2020:
This is a good article for people who are planning a bridal shower or planning to attend one for the first time. Have you considered an article about weddings?
SDB (author) from Australia on May 16, 2020:
Thank you Nell, much appreciated.
Nell Rose from England on May 16, 2020:
A lovely article, and very useful for someone planning a wedding.
WriterJanis2 on September 06, 2012:
Love your wonderful ideas.
OliviaDaughter LM on June 28, 2012:
Lovely lens, I love your intro photo. I do some event planning so I am always interested in shower ideas. Thanks for sharing !
GreenfireWiseWo on June 28, 2012:
Great ideas - thank you.
anonymous on June 25, 2012:
You've tucked some very nice information here. I like the idea of doing minimal for maximum results.
LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 06, 2012:
very nice lens
Fushi LM on June 05, 2012:
I really love the way you have presented a wonderful party idea which my friend will love to try for sure.
ismeedee on April 19, 2012:
High Five!! My best friend is planning a tea party shower as I write- I shall be sending her the link to this lens!
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on April 19, 2012:
I don't have one to plan at the moment, but these ideas would be good for a regular party too.
Auntie-M LM on April 19, 2012:
What lovely ideas!
MrsPotts on April 13, 2011:
This lens is a nice place to start for the basics plus ideas and resources.
Fondi on March 28, 2011:
SDB-another great blog, i love the way you think so sophisticated!