Bridal Shower Alternatives – Fun Ideas for a Non-Traditional Event

Bride and bridesmaids

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A bridal shower is a pre-wedding celebration held to honor the bride-to-be and an opportunity for the female guests to give her gifts. It is usually a day-time bash which is held between three months and two weeks before the big day.

Throwing a bridal shower is a centuries-old tradition and the main purpose of this event was to help the bride to set up her home by giving her gifts to do just that. The event is organized by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids or close female friends.

Nowadays, many brides prefer not to have a grand bridal shower since they either don’t have the time or they just don’t want to blow it out of proportion, but still wish to celebrate with a small group of family and friends before the special day comes around. Many brides also like the idea of having a unique non-traditional style bridal shower as this allows them to be true to themselves and to express their personality.

If this is the case or if you’re just not into sipping mimosas and opening gifts in front of a group of people, check out our list of bridal shower alternatives.

1- A Pool Party

balloons on water

If you’re planning on celebrating the bridal shower during summer, why not have a pool party? Pool parties are a great way to have lots of fun and soak up vitamin D. If you don’t have a pool at home you can always host the party at a friend’s house provided they have one. If not, you could purchase day passes at a rooftop hotel pool for a day full of fun in the sun. Give the bride a day she won’t easily forget with her closest friends swimming, lounging, drinking cocktails and getting a tan as well!

2- A Day at the Spa

Girls at spa bridal shower

This is a great alternative for a bridal shower and gives the bride a chance to unwind and get away from the stresses of wedding planning.  Being the bride means having a lot of pressure and a spa day would help take away the stress and the anxiety by creating a comfortable, soothing environment for her to rest and relax with her close girlfriends. You could arrange the spa day just for the bridesmaids and the bride or you could invite a small group of her close friends and family to join.

3- A Picnic at the Beach

Girls at the beach for bridal shower

Here’s another great idea for a summer soiree: a beach picnic! We recommend making this an evening celebration since it allows for cooler temperatures and a much more comfortable environment than during the daytime. String up some fairy lights and dig out a fire pit to add ambiance to the event, if you have the resources. If you’d like to host a daytime picnic, don’t forget to have sunscreen, bug spray and some very large hats on hand!

4- A Farm Trip

Girls at sunflower farm

Take the bride and her friends on a trip to a local farm and spend the day breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the change of scene and getting in touch with nature. There’s so much to do on a farm, for example, getting involved in farm activities, hand feeding and cuddling friendly animals and going on hayrides around the property. Shopping for fresh produce to take home is also a great idea.  If the farm has a creamery or cider cellar, finish off the day sipping and trying out sweet treats or toasting marshmallows around a campfire.

5- A Bachelorette Party

Gather up the girls for a night of fun and drinks, put on those dancing shoes and go all out for this one! You can begin the fun with holding the bachelorette party at a house or even a hotel room and ending it at the nightclub. Plan which club you will all go to and enjoy the drinking, dancing and the music. The purpose of this party is for the bride to spend some time with her closest friends, get away from wedding planning and relax completely without any distractions.  

6- Wine Tasting

Wine and grape closeup

If the bride has a passion for the vino, she is going to love this one! Treat her to a wine tasting bridal shower to celebrate her upcoming wedding. It’s a good time to brush up on your knowledge of wine and also to mingle with everyone while simultaneously enjoying delicious food and pairings. The bride will surely thank you for opting out of a traditional celebration!

7- Go Camping

camping bridal shower

Here’s another creative and non-traditional alternative to a bridal shower, especially for the outdoorsy bride. Go camping and have a classic camp ground with pup tents and a bonfire or have a glamping-style area instead, depending on what you think the bride would prefer. Sit around the fire enjoying and sharing stories and most important: don’t forget the marshmallows!

8- Go Cycling

Girls cycling for bridal shower

Plan a bridal shower theme around the bride’s love for cycling! You can choose to ride around the town, on the bride’s favorite route or try going somewhere new. Take out the bicycles and prep each basket with snacks and a bottle of water, especially if the ride is going to be a long one. Don’t forget to check the bicycles first to make sure that everything is working fine. You wouldn’t want one to break down on the way! Pair this with a picnic and gifts at the destination for the bride and the girls for an extra touch.

9- Go on a Road Trip

Girls sitting at the back of a van

This is a great opportunity to take the bride on a weekend trip out of town with her girls. If there is a destination that she’s always dreamed of visiting, now would be the time to make the dream a reality (as long as it’s within reasonable distance and budget of course). A day trip is a great bonding time and the journey becomes as meaningful as the destination. End up at a hotel in the countryside or another nearby city. It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s well organized and executed. However, make sure that the bride is free and able to take this time off during this period because if she’s got a lot of wedding planning to do, a weekend away might be the last thing she’s up for.

10- Cheese Tasting

Round cheese closeup

Treat the bride and her friends to a lovely experience tasting high-end cheeses with delicious pairings. This is a creative and yummy alternative to a bridal shower that will push them to discover new flavours and pairing combinations they never knew existed.  If the bride is a foodie, this would be perfect for her and she would love the experience. Also, wine tasting is an added bonus!

Tips for Organizing a Bridal Shower

The bridal shower is usually hosted by the maid of honor or one of the bridesmaids, close female relatives or either the bride or the groom’s mother. Whoever plans to host the shower, it’s best to communicate with the rest of the group to avoid two different people planning two different showers.

Whether you’re planning to go with an alternative or with a traditional bridal shower, make sure to keep the guest list limited only to people who are invited to the wedding as well. Only females are traditionally invited to a bridal shower and they’re typically close friends or family from the bride or groom’s side. Make sure to invite people who you think the bride would like to have and be most comfortable with.

When choosing a date for the ‘shower’, try to decide on one that is convenient enough for both the bride and the guests. If the bride is having a wedding registry, it’s best that she has put it together before you send out the invitations so that the guests can purchase gifts from it to gift at the shower. This is more convenient for the guests, and the bride will receive gifts that she really wants and needs.

A bridal shower should be lots of fun not only for the bride but for everyone involved and we hope you found our ideas creative and inspiring! Enjoying planning a great experience for everyone!