8 Tips For Planning A Non-Lame Bridal Shower

by Kalie Eyman

Let's face it: Bridal showers can be awkward, and bridal shower planning can be ridiculously stressful. All of your female relatives, from both sides, in one place. Add in your crazy friends, and you might end up opening black leather lingerie in front of your fiancé's grandmother (hopefully she's a chill grandma).

Typically, this is a time for you to have fun with the ladies and indulge in your feminine side, especially if your fiancé wasn't on board with all of your Pinterest fantasies for the big day. Whether you're the bride, bridesmaid, or the hostess, there are plenty of ideas out there for throwing a beautiful and memorable bridal shower that doesn't suck. It's also the perfect opportunity to make stylish decorations, crafts, and delicious treats for a smaller crowd; if you're planning a large wedding, it's easier to do the fun stuff yourself for a smaller event, like a bridal shower. Read on for eight ideas and tips on throwing an awesome bridal shower.

1. Set the tone with amazing invitations.

Planning a wedding is all about compromise, since you and your S.O. are likely going into this with different ideas of what makes a dream ceremony. The bridal shower is where you get to go crazy with whatever style and colors you're loving at the moment. If you're the host planning for the bride, make sure to get a feel for her favorite colors and ideas for a bridal shower.

2. Step it up with stylish decor.

Now is the time to bust out all of those crafts that you've been adding to your Pinterest board for the last five years. It's much easier to make those super cute, DIY teacup candles for an intimate bridal shower than it is for even a medium-sized wedding.

3. Keep it classy with laid-back games.

Don't feel obligated to plan those cheesy party games that always end up taking forever. Nobody wants to end up spending their entire Sunday at a five hour bridal shower because there were three endless games, then present opening, and finally cake. Create a game that's more casual and laid-back for guests, like a fun mad-lib printable about the happy couple. For something completely different, consider planning a surprise activity for the bride that's related to the wedding or honeymoon. For example, a hula dancing lesson with everyone if the bride will be honeymooning in Hawaii. Just be sure to keep the activity relatively short so there's plenty of time for chatting and celebrating.

4. Shower your guests with cute (and usable!) favors.

Bring your shower to the next level with super cute gift bags or favors for your guests. You can't go wrong with homemade jars of jam (or store-bought!) wrapped in colorful fabric and tied at the top; it'll be a hit with the old ladies and college friends alike.

5. Set up a chic cocktail bar.

Whether it's mimosas or margaritas, everyone loves a good drink bar. This idea doubles as decor — cover a buffet table in a cute table cloth and set out champagne, a mix of juice options, and bowls full of fruit for garnish. Finish the set up with colorful paper cards to label each item and help guide guests.

6. Pass out sweet treats while opening presents.

Sometimes the present unwrapping can end up taking over the shower, especially if the bride doesn't keep things moving along while opening. Keep everyone entertained with fun desserts and candies during this part of the shower to make the time fly. From an array of French macarons to delicious mini cupcakes, stick with small treats for easy snacking while mingling.

7. Splurge on sophisticated florals for table decor.

Forget the cheesy paper decorations and party confetti — amazing floral centerpieces are all you need for an instantly chic bridal shower. Gather up vases from around the house or purchase an assortment in a bright hue, then simply fill with the bride's favorite store-bought flowers.

8. Serve up bite-size eats for elegant yet casual food.

From cucumber sandwiches to mini burger sliders, finger-food is ideal for creating a relaxed and refined affair. For a tea party-themed shower, arrange several tiered cupcake towers with a mix of mini sandwiches, scones, and biscuits. Since most bridal showers are during the daytime, whatever you choose, the key here is serving easy-to-eat food that's light and refreshing.

As always, look to Pinterest (and if you're the shower hostess, look to the bride's Pinterest!) for DIY ideas and delicious recipes for putting together an awesome bridal shower.

Images: Arcadia Wedding Design/Etsy, Owen and Aki/Flickr, Paper Fox LA/Etsy, Jessie Owen/Flickr, shiny happy sprinkles/Etsy, ForeveryMomentCo/Etsy, Stefano Berlotti/Flickr, Frosted Blue Vase Collection, $44 each/, Robyn Lee/Flickr