The initial instinct when hosting a bridal shower is to choose wedding related or bridal ideas for the décor, shower favors and "theme" of the event. It's easy to forget, but just the simple fact that it IS a Bridal Shower that you are inviting people to sets the theme - there's no need to drive it home with umbrellas, white bells and all the other imagery that being a bride includes - unless of course that's what you think the Bride-to-Be would want! So if that's not the case, why not venture away from "the expected" and go in a direction that will create a lovely event that everyone will enjoy - especially the Bride-to-Be! Choose one of these creative ideas or use them for your inspiration:

Destination Honeymoon! - Get the Bride ready for her honeymoon by creating the shower theme around their post-nuptial destination. Are they heading for Paris? Why not serve yummy French favorites like croissants and fancy pastries and ask guests to include something in their gifts that will signify France or will be useful when they're there. One Bride recently told me about the Bridal Shower her best friend and Maid of Honor hosted that was themed all around the tropical Mexican honeymoon that her Groom had planned for them in Cancun. She cleverly asked a local Mexican restaurant to help her out by saving their Cinco de Mayo decorations for her (which they were going to just throw out), served Margaritas and all kinds of yummy Mexican appetizers and a traditional tres leche cake for dessert. She requested that guests brought a little something with their gift to add into a beach bag for her. She received some wonderful sunglasses, beach towels and sunscreen along with a couple of fun girlie novels to take for her time at the beach. In turn, all the guests went home with a shower favor of mints in a colorful tin with palm trees and the ocean, the Bride's name and "Viva Cancun!" personalizing the front. I'm sure it reminds them not only of the fun time they had at the shower, but makes them think of the couple off in their tropical spot.

Floral Delight! - Another friend recently told me about a shower she had just attended for a family member. Apparently the budget for the actual wedding was quite small and so as is very often the case these days, corners had to be cut wherever they could. The Bride-to-Be had been shocked when she was quoted thousands of dollars for the professionally done flowers she had always dreamed of having fill the church and reception. Because of cost, she had to cut back dramatically. Knowing this, her close friend and the hostess decided to include flowers she could do herself wherever possible for the bridal shower. From the invitations to the décor, the cake and the shower favors, live flowers or floral decor was everywhere. She even had shower favors for the guests that were fun plantable daisies that would grow into their own wildflowers reminding them of this day and the Bride for seasons to come. She filled vases with all colors, shapes and sizes of the Bride's favorite flowers and used them to brighten the tables and decorated the whole shower with them. The Bride was even given her own mini-bouquet, a simple but pretty posey, at her seat to take home and the bridesmaids all had corsages that matched. To all the guests, it was simply a floral themed delight, but unbeknownst to all but a few, it was deeply meaningful and special to the Bride who had her dreams come true in a different way.

As you can see, with just a little planning and attention to the Bride an event like a bridal shower can be unique and really fun to plan - right down to the shower favors! The possibilities really are endless and it doesn't take much to think of something special. Once you've established if the guest of honor has any expectations for you to follow, just get creative and start imagining. The Bride-to-Be will have a day she'll always remember and your guests will enjoy something different than what they thought would greet them!