We love party planning. Nothing brings us more joy than assembling guest lists, deciding on color palates, and planning menus, but planning for weddings is a whole different story. Not only do you have to make a million decisions for one of the most populous events you'll ever host, but there are also so many side parties to deal with (alongside your trusty maid-of-honor, of course) that eloping looks better and better by the day. We've found the best and worst bridal shower trends of the year to help take a little off your plate. No need to thank us.
There are two ways to do a destination shower. If you have a smaller guest list and know your friends aren't too strapped for cash, you can literally yeet off to a spa, vineyard, or beach for the weekend in place of a traditional bridal shower. It'll provide some much-needed R&R for you and everyone in your bridal party who have been helping you plan through the madness. You can even combine the bachelorette party and your shower if you just want to get them all done with during one huge event. On the other hand, if you're an asshole someone who decided to do a destination *wedding*, your bridal shower could be themed around your wedding locale to get guests pumped for their mandatory vacation.
Martha Stewart Weddings and Southern Living both listed smaller bridal showers as one of the best trends of 2019, and we can see why. Instead of inviting a bunch of relatives that you barely even know and feeling obligated to include friends-of-friends to avoid hurt feelings, keeping the event exclusive allows you to celebrate with the people that really matter in a more elegant, relaxed environment. Southern Living recommends a laidback, family-style Boho picnic, and we're all about it.
We don't mean you should include more random "How Well Do YOU Know The Bride?" quizzes or games where you have to tell the difference between two practically identical napkin options before turning them into a makeshift bridal veil. While we love drinking, eating appetizers, and opening gifts, some brides are choosing to branch out and host event-themed bridal showers like a group cooking class, a wine tasting, a private group yoga class, or flower arranging. Hell, go crazy and hike to a zip line with all of your ladies or go to one of those places where you just destroy stuff in a small room. It's *your* shower, so take this opportunity to get all of your friends in one place doing something you actually like to do.
If you noticed a small amount of vitriol pointed towards traditional bridal shower games, congrats on decoding our thinly veiled disdain. If you think your friends are so boring that they can't just have a nice time at a party without literally playing Mad Libs (an actual suggestion we saw) or weird trivia games, you might need new friends. We aren't against a classy cornhole set up, a theme-appropriate sport like croquet at a garden party (or truth or dare at a slumber party 👀), or something a little out there like dart paint, but you don't need every hour scheduled with inane games that no one actually wants to play.
Another example of a party activity that wouldn't make us want to pull all of our hair out strand by strand is a DIY dessert area. This can be as simple as decorating cupcakes and crafting the perfect ice cream sundae or as complex as a full-fledged baking party. You and your girls can all make mini-pies from your great-grandma's recipes, or you could each make your own small batch of cupcakes with various options catering to different dietary restrictions (because you know everyone is either vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten-free, or some combination of the three). Just don't try to use this as an opportunity to make treats and freeze them for your wedding day, that's tacky.
How are people still recommending donut walls for weddings? It's been at least two years since they were ~quirky and original~, now it's just unimaginative and trying a little too hard. People are finding new ways to incorporate donuts into their events like a donut tower (which honestly just seems a little unsanitary) or a tiered donut stand, but unless you're the heir to a Voodoo Doughnuts fortune or marrying into the Kreme family, move on to bigger and better things.
Outdoor parties are just prettier than parties in traditional venues for some reason. Even if you decided it was too risky to do an outdoor event for your big day, use your bridal shower as an opportunity to throw the enchanted garden party of your dreams. You can also do a boho garden party, a sporty garden party, a ~whimsical~ garden party, or one of the millions of other garden-centric ideas in Southern Living's bridal shower theme guide. You'll immediately fall in love with their fairytale vibes.
If you're Latinx and want to throw a fiesta-themed bridal shower, more power to you. Go for it. Have a ton of fun and please invite us. If you're a white girl who wants to eat tacos and take pictures in sombreros, don't do it. This seems like something that shouldn't need to be said in 2019, but "fiesta" was listed as one of the best shower themes of the year by Southern Living, Country Living, and a bunch of other major publications who honestly should know better by now. Other people's cultures are not here for your entertainment or consumption. Duh.
The award for most inventive use of a bar cart goes to One Stylish Party, who set up a "flower bar" instead where guests could choose an assortment of flowers and greenery, then take them to a creation station to built their own take-home bouquets. People don't really get the opportunity to make floral arraignments on the daily, but it's super fun and the station will be an aesthetic addition to the party decorations.
Again, we highly recommend trying out a flower bar. But under no circumstances should this turn into a flower-crown-building activity. Even the Los Angeles Times has noticed that flower crowns are out, and boho queen Vanessa Hudgens told W Magazine she would only wear one at a Renaissance fair. If these aren't *clear* red flags to you, you might be a lost cause. If this was 2013, we'd say go for it, but it isn't. Unless they're those weed flower crowns, then we might make an exception.
TBH, we've recommended bubbly bars before and we will definitely do it again. They're glittering, pretty, and customizable, making them a crowd favorite that will get your friends properly tipsy. Set out champagne, sparkling wines, and Pellegrino for your designated drivers alongside garnishes like fruit, candy, and edible flowers. Your bridal shower is something to celebrate and it's not really a celebration without champagne. Pop those bottles, botches. TBH, that could be a fun game: who can get their champagne cork the farthest?
If you immediately thought about mimosas when we said "bubbly bar," a brunch shower is definitely the move. While we're still on the fence about brunch wedding receptions, we're solidly in favor of brunch-themed bridal showers. Have a mimosa bar, nine types of pancakes, a waffle decorating station, literally anything your breakfast loving heart desires. Brit+Co suggests Boozy Brunch or Pancakes & Pajamas interpretations of the brunch theme, and they sound like a cozy opportunity to day-drink while eating carbs. What could be better?
First, they try to take away Roe v. Wade, now they want our bridal showers? We think not. Women make seventy cents on the dollar, so we get to have a special party to celebrate finally getting our FWB to commit (or like finding eternal happiness with a life partner, whatever). Men control most of the world's governments, so they get to sit back and watch us have our party instead of turning it into an opportunity to throw *themselves* a party where they do the same sh*t they do every time they hang out, just with less incentive to act like human beings. We're not saying it's an even trade-off *at all* and like, yeah, #NotAllMen — we get it, Chris Evans' Twitter is enough proof that there are good men in the world. Just stop trying to take our sh*t, please. We're only half kidding.
We're not talking about those stupid paper mustaches and gross piles of weird hats that people throw out for a makeshift "photo-booth" at every party. We're also not advocating for slapping some wrapping paper on a wall with a few balloons and calling it a photo station, we're not animals. But a classy photo backdrop and a sign with your party hashtag or something as simple as putting "Sharon's Bridal Shower✨🌸" on a small wooden plaque will give your guests an incentive to get bomb pictures for their IG that they'll actually post on their feed instead of just storying it. It'll make everyone who didn't get an invite lowkey jealous and people will see that you're, like, really popular.
We don't have anything against tea parties. We've done high tea at the Plaza, Alice's Tea Cup, The Savoy, and that cute little tea place near our apartment that no one else knows about because we love a good finger sandwich and tea is super cozy. That being said, this tea party suggestion popped up all over the web, and it's just not really a great move. We're neither seven nor seventy, so tea is best saved for a cute afternoon or an unimportant birthday instead of a statement event that will follow you around for the rest of your life. Just have a picnic instead, you can still serve cucumber sandwiches and scones but you won't seem like the urban elite version of a horse girl.
Are you still young and fun? You're reading the whisp, so clearly the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Instead of throwing a traditional bridal shower, throw a low-key rager at your pool. Like, don't go full red solo cup. Put effort into the appetizers and the decorations, and pretend to be a functioning human being, but at the end of the day, this is just an opportunity to chug frozen cocktails with your best friends, take bikini pics, and splash around in the pool like you're back in college.
If you decide to include a bouquet making station or a DIY dessert table, it might be tempting to send your guests home with their flowers and cupcakes as their only party favors for the event. We understand the desire to cut corners, but having your guests make their own favors kind of scream "I'm poor and ran out of time!" Don't undermine your party by making fun activities seem like manual labor or work-for-hire. Include at least a tiny other favor like mini champagne bottles with custom labels or something cheap you found on Etsy so your loved ones know they're special to you. Let your guests leave with a warm fuzzy feeling because this whole event is honestly about celebrating your friendships.
Nothing says "I love you" like a homemade trinket that *you* made. It could be as simple and cost-effective as making lemon bars and handwritten notes for everyone or something more elaborate like a homemade body balm and sugar scrub. This will trick everyone into thinking you have your sh*t together while also reminding them that they are loved by you. Also, if you're someone that actually enjoys crafting, this can be a fun TV-time activity to soothe your mind and flex your creative muscles.