How to Customize a Shower

At a certain age, weddings become your life. That happened to me last summer when I celebrated my wedding, my friend’s wedding, and my sister-in-law’s wedding. All of them deserved a bridal shower, and I didn’t want to experience the same shower three times in less than three months. We relied on themes that reflected each bride’s personality and style. We brought each one to life with coordinated invitations, party decorations, themed food and drinks, and fabulous favors. Here, three parties for inspiration.


Bride: Jessica
Shower Theme: Travel
Registry: Monetary gifts to sponsor romantic Ireland travels.

My friend Jessica had booked her Ireland honeymoon months before her shower. It was only fitting to hold her bridal shower at Rí Rá Irish Pub where wood from Irish bars crossed the pond six years ago to adorn the Downtown location. The restaurant provided finger foods, and the matron of honor and the bride’s mother created the invitations and certificates for guest donations to specific portions of the honeymoon (such as a bed and breakfast). We played games such as Guess the Native Irish Celebrity and had green pistachio cakes for dessert. In the end, every guest left with a shamrock plant for good luck.

Savory Success

Bride: Jennifer
Shower Theme: Brunch
Registry: The Red Poppy, a home décor store.

Breakfast is my favorite meal, so my brunch-themed bridal shower in my grandmother’s home was a savory success. As guests entered, they received citrusy lemon delight beverages with dollops of lemon sherbet and striped yellow straws. My aunt Donna, who owns From Scratch Catering in Wisconsin, provided a gourmet spread: quiche, caramelized bacon, flavored coffee from The Red Poppy in Evansville, almond scones, fresh fruit, and cinnamon coffee cake. The shower invitations matched the wedding invitations. Every color came from the wedding palette. The decorations included “She Said Yes” signage, engagement pictures in yellow/black/white vintage frames, floral arrangements, and candles.

Splash of Fun

Bride: Amanda
Shower Theme: Beach Destination
Registry: Household items

My sister-in-law Amanda, who lives in nearby Grandview, Ind., planned her honeymoon in St. Lucia, a Caribbean island. So we created her a ‘beachy’ shower. The custom invitations and decorations were fun, modern, and tropical. As guests entered, they received colorful leis and were greeted by purple pails filled with sand, shells, and candles, or floral arrangements. The food — burgers, chips, fruit salad, snacks — was perfect for a picnic at the beach, and the tropical punch was served in colorful glasses garnished with drink umbrellas.

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