7 Fun and Unexpected Themes for a Bridal or Baby Shower

Skip the same tired party themes, and throw a shower the bride- or mom-to-be will never forget.

Invites, venues, decor, menu choice, games — the to-do lists for planning a bridal or baby shower is long. But the primary task of choosing a theme is usually what helps you make all of those important decisions with ease.

If you're planning a shower this spring and you're looking for more than the typical ho-hum suggestions, this roundup is for you. I’ve gathered the best ideas for a standout shower that will keep your guests oohing and ahhing all through your party.

Camp-Themed Shower



women laying in grass, laughing a phone.

Photo by: Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images

Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images

If you want to relive the fun of sleepaway or day camp, a camp-themed shower is the perfect choice. Activities could include making adult friendship bracelets or creating a faux "color war" with guests divided into two teams that compete against each other for prizes. In terms of food, s'mores would be a fun option for dessert, and typical grilled fare, like burgers and corn on the cob, would be perfect for savory entrees. Consider making your own "bug juice"-themed cocktail with cranberry juice for another fun camp homage. Pull in nostalgic elements like vintage cafeteria trays (check eBay) to serve food.

Pajama Party Shower



Shot of a group of young friends spending quality time together at home

Photo by: PeopleImages.com/Getty Images

PeopleImages.com/Getty Images

For a fun, casual afternoon, consider throwing a pajama party shower. Guests can come dressed in their PJs, and you can hand out slippers as a party favor. Serve up a crowd-pleasing popcorn bar with a variety of toppings and flavors with mini popcorn boxes or tubs. Ask guests to bring their favorite DVDs as part of their gifts so the bride or soon-to-be mama can enjoy binge-watching them in the months to come.

Flower Shop Party



If your guest of honor loves flowers, a flower shop party would make for a truly unique and special afternoon. Hire a floral designer who can come and give everyone at the event a lesson on how to put together their own boquets (and provide enough flowers for everyone to take home their creations). Use crepe paper flowers as part of the decor, or blow up large photos of beautiful arrangements. Serve fresh sandwiches and salads (think poached salmon on a bed of greens or mozzarella caprese sandwiches). For dessert, dish out mini cakes each covered in yummy frosted flowers.

Celebrate Spring With a Flower-Arranging Party

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Book Club Party



Friends discussing books together

Photo by: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Book lovers would go crazy for a library-themed shower. For a baby shower, tell guests to bring along their favorite children’s books to help the mom-to-be build her collection. For a bridal shower, choose a theme based on the bride’s likes (such as historical fiction or romance), and advise guests to each bring along their favorite book in that category. Visit a thrift store to pick up some vintage books to use for decor throughout the event space. Create beautiful letterpressed bookmarks as a party favor for each guest. For food, think along the lines of a French cafe and offer savory fare like quiche, small salads and roasted vegetables.

MCM Bash



Friends dancing at early evening party

Photo by: Peter Muller/Getty Images

Peter Muller/Getty Images

If you’re missing Mad Men as much as I am, a mid-century modern shower would be a fun choice. For a unique twist on food, update some old recipes from a '50s cookbook (think delicious, modern updates of beef wellington, salisbury steak, creamed corn or jello molds). If you really want to go all out, ask your guests to dress in '50s attire and to bring along MCM-inspired gifts. Visit a flea market or some thrift stores to find some great '50s serving pieces or glassware to go along with your theme.

Destination Shower



Girl and grandmother setting table for family meal

Photo by: Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

For a travel-loving bride-to-be, a destination shower is an awesome way to celebrate her love of adventure. If she already has the honeymoon destination picked out, it would be fun to tie in her shower theme with this choice. You could coordinate all the decor and food around her travel plans. For example, a honeymoon in Italy could translate into a beautiful Italian lunch with Italian ceramic serving pieces, Italian background music and even an Italian cooking gift theme.

Out of Africa Party

Another fun idea is to build your shower theme around a favorite movie of the bride or mom-to-be. Out of Africa (my favorite!) would make for a fun and elegant African safari or glamping-inspired theme. You could create a dramatic safari tent vibe by pinning and draping white sheets on the ceiling. Faux sheepskins on each chair and exotic flowers (like birds of paradise) can also help to create an African safari feel. Consider a menu featuring chicken skewers, roasted vegetables and couscous salad.

Simple Decorating Ideas for Baby + Bridal Showers

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Next Up

20 Top-Notch Cocktails

If your next gathering calls for mixed drinks, we can help you plan the beverage menu. Here are 20 party-perfect potent potables.

A Fun-Filled Baby Shower

Entertaining expert offers tips for throwing a fun baby shower for both parents.

Poured Fondant Petit Fours Recipe

Pretty pink petit fours are the perfect dessert for spring tea parties, bridal showers and Easter gatherings. Admittedly, they are a bit of work, but the end result is well worth the effort.

10 Creative Baby Shower Ideas + Cute Pics of HGTV Babies

Because a baby shower doesn't have to be boring.

How to Throw a Virtual Baby Shower

Here are 10 must-do tips for hosting a memorable baby shower, even if it is across many miles.

How to Make a Paper Airplane Garland

An unconventional use for handmade paper airplanes, this garland will give the illusion of them flying through the air. Use the garlands over the food buffet, gift table, or even over the entire room to make a travel-themed party really come alive.

The Makings of a Pin-Worthy Engagement Party

Because pretty parties are always more fun.

8 Timeless Wedding Trends (You Won't Regret)

Your wedding day may be gone in the blink of an eye, but the photos will last forever.

9 Engaging Ideas for Hosting a Virtual Wedding Shower

Here's how to bring friends and family together digitally to celebrate the happy couple with a virtual wedding shower.

Our Solution for the Post-Holiday Slump? Host a Party, Of Course!

Don't let the end of holiday festivities spoil your fun! Stage a wacky celebration to get you through.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages