7 Out-of-the-Box Wedding Shower Themes
We’re sharing seven creative wedding shower ideas with expert tips, stylish decor and personalized themes that really celebrate the couple. That’s right, it’s not just about the bride anymore!
By: Melissa Macron
Food Truck Fiesta
Bright, alfresco decor, a laid-back vibe and tacos? Count us in! Abby Guido, owner and creative designer at Beijos Events wanted to create an ambiance that’s both inviting and fun for couples. Add in a warm, summery day, and “it was a no-brainer that the event should have a fiesta vibe,” Guido says. Think festive pillows, lots of color and beautiful bougainvillea to tie it all together.
Raise the Bar
What’s a fiesta without margaritas, cerveza and tequila? An awning-covered corner makes for a cool spot for cold drinks. Katie Hund of Wylie Weddings keeps the fresh, fabulous theme going here with more of the pretty trailing flowers, a skull accent and vibrant backdrop.
Keep on Truckin'
Made-to-order tacos, chips and guac and churros are at the ready when the guests are, thanks to a beloved local food truck. A fun addition to the party, a food truck is a no-fuss solution for all kinds of outdoor events. The mobile restaurant allows guests to grab delicious bites at their leisure — without putting the brakes on mixing and mingling.
A variety of fresh, hot tacos are cooled down with a leafy, green salad on the side — a perfectly delicious combination for a casual, alfresco party.
DIY Etching Event
Looking for something a little more interactive and creative? “Glass etching is a great way to let your guests become a bigger part of your wedding,” says Kristen Scalia, owner of Kanibal & Co. Your group of DIY party-goers can etch anything from champagne flutes to later be used at the wedding reception to make-and-take mugs for their favorite brews. Get the full instructions here>>
Sketch + Etch
When creating the stencils for etching, Christine Tischio, founder of TurnstyleART suggests text such as “cheers,” “amore,” “bride” and “groom” as easy options. Or, choose simple graphics like hearts or flowers to fit your personality or wedding theme. Then, coordinate cocktails and munchies to enhance the theme. For example, if you’re etching wine glasses, serve up sangria and cheese plates for guests to enjoy. Get the full instructions here>>
Scratch the Surface
Everyone doesn’t have to be an artist to get in on the action, but Tischio has smart tips for making your etching event go smoothly. When selecting glassware, steer clear of styles that bell out or are too rounded. “Choose an item that has a relatively flat surface,” she says. “It’s important the image lays flat on the glass to keep the etching cream from bleeding.” Tischio also suggests having one or two people do a test run of the project before the guests arrive to make sure instructions are easy and clear and have a sample of the finished product on display. Get the full instructions here>>
Swiss Cross Soirée
For the couple with a less-is-more approach or a devotion to design, the Swiss cross motif is one we adore. Just right in black and white, this theme is so simple, yet so right now. Says photographer and stylist Kim Daniels, “I love this as a shower theme because the Swiss cross motif is trending in home decor and wedding styling. You can call it a plus sign or a cross — it has Swedish, Nordic and Swiss origins. It’s a symbol of hope.”
Play It Up
To keep the theme going, add in more design elements, as with the chic, Moroccan-inspired print on these napkins topped with handmade cross holders and striped washi-tape flags on toothpicks as hors d’oeuvre picks. As long as you stick with black and white, you can weave multiple patterns through the decor for a tasteful, festive look.
Ebony and Ivory
Daniels loves mixing the minimalistic motif with rustic wooden accents, from the cake stand to the coasters and even the crosses themselves. To really go all the way with the theme, she encourages having fun with a black-and-white menu, too. Try blackberries with Brie, blinis with creme fraiche and caviar and even black-and-white cookies for dessert. Homemade vanilla cream sodas are yummy refreshers; add a splash of vodka for a cool cocktail.
Nautical Stock-the-Bar Party
A couples’ shower is a great opportunity for a classic “stock-the-bar” party, where invited guests aim to do just that, bringing gifts of bottles of alcohol, mixers, glassware, bar accessories and more. Daniels tackled this favorite party idea by adding a nautical theme to celebrate the beach-loving couple. A repurposed wooden pallet, striped linens, a captain’s wheel and “Down the Hatch” decor add whimsical, seafaring style.
Get guests on board with the night’s itinerary with invitations and menu cards that help set the theme. Here, a compass-rose motif and navy text add elegant touches to a delightful selection of cocktail-friendly finger foods; the invitations featured the same motif. To cap off the decor, Daniels added a classic touch with colorful, vintage nautical fabric used as a table runner. Ahoy!
Little touches really make all the difference. Here, blue-and-white striped straws are dressed up with golden, washi-tape sails and tucked into a glitter-dipped jar.
Retro Martini Bar
Chic, clean, classic — if this describes your couple's style, a martini bar theme will certainly stir things up. “Martinis are a great option for that classic couple, but they also work well for those who like to do things with a twist,” notes celebrity wedding planner Andrea Freeman.
Keep It Simple
Along with traditional, sleek stemware, this martini bar party offered a trio of libations from which to choose, one being a signature concoction to celebrate the couple's upcoming desert-set nuptials. Guests can take home recipe cards along with a shaker, personalized stirrers or another little themed thank-you gift.
The Desert Rose martini was inspired by sunset hues and to offer a sweet cocktail option to the selection.
Lumber Jack & Jill
Creative planner Trish Dubes of Frilly Milly Events put a truly fun spin on the idea of a co-ed (or “Jack and Jill”) wedding shower. Starting with a woodlands motif to suit the couple, Dubes dreamed up an outdoorsy theme that focused on the lumberjack — and Jill! Guests were encouraged to dress in their best logger looks and capture silly selfies in the calico-lined photo booth.
His 'N Hers
“Showers are typically geared toward the ladies, and men can feel out of place,” Dubes says. Her solution? A theme that works to incorporate decidedly “manly” food and decor while adding clever, more-feminine touches. A picnic-inspired, gingham backdrop draped in string lights, a moss-topped burlap tablecloth and vintage silhouettes set the stage for the scaled-down munchies at the food table.
Along with favorites like sliders, corn cobs, fries in paper cones and s’mores cupcakes, we love the tiny canning jars that Dubes used to serve still-warm baked beans. Each individual serving came with its own small spoon tied up with a strand of raffia. These little grab-and-go portions would work well for other themed parties too, says Dubes, who suggests camping, tailgating and picnics as other fun, outdoorsy ideas.
Forget the cliché Vegas bachelor party: This event’s a guys-only approach to the wedding shower, and it’s very cool! According to Yun-Yi Goh, creative director of The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop and Katie Kalafat, founder of First Comes Love Event Design, the idea was to create a cool, laid-back environment filled with some of the groom’s favorite things.
Go All In
“Themed events can sometimes feel overwhelming,” says Kalafat. “But the easiest way to narrow down the process is to focus on what he loves.” Consider hobbies or interests to give you direction. Poker, whiskey and cigars anchored this bachelor’s event. Goh offers more great ideas for the guys, including a lawn party for those who enjoy outdoor games, a casino-night theme for a little gambling and extravagance or an arcade party for the young at heart.
Feast for Kings
The grub for the guys included some of the groom’s favorites, while a graphic backdrop and artsy arrow decor kept the vibe trendy and cool.