The idea of throwing a bridal shower can seem really intimidating. Let’s be honest. It’s a lot of pressure!
Recently, I was asked to participate in the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge, “Plan the Ultimate Bridal Shower.” I immediately started brainstorming ideas so I could turn any feelings of intimidation into feelings of confidence. The truth is that throwing a bridal shower doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a few creative ideas anyone can throw a first-class, unforgettable party for the bride-to-be.
Personalize the Party
The first step in throwing a good bridal shower is knowing the bride. Sure, you can probably think of plenty of fun, creative ideas for a shower, but altering those ideas to fit the bride’s personality and preferences will make the shower truly meaningful. If the bride-to-be has a specific hobby, or if there’s something unique about her relationship with her fiancé, find ways to incorporate that into the shower.
For example, if the bride and her fiancé had their first date at a Thai restaurant, include a few Thai dishes in the shower menu. Or, if you know the song they’re having for their first dance, print out a few beautiful lyrics from the song, frame them and use them as decorations. From the invitations to the décor to the games, make the shower as personalized as possible. This will not only make the bride-to-be feel special, but it will also make the entire party stand out from every other generic bridal shower.
Devote Time to the Details
It’s so easy to take a simple dish or decoration and add little details to make it more beautiful. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are an easy, yet impressive treat at any party, but why not make them a little extra special by decorating them with white chocolate? After the strawberries are covered in dark or milk chocolate, place melted white chocolate in a Ziploc® Brand storage bag. Cut a tiny bit off one corner of the bag, and gently squeeze the white chocolate through, drizzling it onto each strawberry.
If you’re serving mashed potatoes, why not “pretty” them up, too? Whisk an egg yolk into cooled mashed potatoes, and then take a Ziploc® Brand bag and cut off one corner of the bag.
Fill the bag with mashed potatoes and pipe the potatoes out in a circular motion (using the same technique as frosting a cupcake) onto a greased baking sheet, creating pretty little individual servings. Brush the potatoes with an egg wash, and bake them until just lightly golden. Adding a bit of fancy to your bridal shower dishes is easier than you think!
Don’t Go Broke
You don’t have to have a huge, elaborate, expensive buffet to feed all your guests. Just pick a few dishes that are filling and delicious. A cheese plate always works. Go to your local market and find the cheeses that are on sale. Pick three very different types and place them on a pretty serving platter with some crackers and grapes, and you’ve created the perfect appetizer.
Serve a beautiful salad that’s full of protein because it’s basically like an entire meal in one. I love making a mixed-greens salad with prosciutto, white beans and cheese, topped with basil croutons. The flavors are incredible, and all that protein will ensure your guests don’t leave hungry. (See recipe below.)
Instead of buying guest favors, bake cookies and use melted chocolate or icing to write the wedding date on each cookie using Ziploc® Brand Sandwich Bags and the same technique as you would use for decorating the strawberries. Wrap the cookies in cellophane bags and tie them with a pretty ribbon.
Store-bought guest favors can be expensive and often just end up in the back of a cabinet or tossed anyway, but cookies? Who doesn’t love a good cookie?
Remember: Throwing a bridal shower shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. If you go into it fully focused on what the bride will appreciate and are smart about creating fancy dishes and décor without breaking the bank, you’re bound to throw a memorable, fun party!
White Bean Prosciutto Salad
3 cups cubed Italian bread
½ cup fresh basil
¼ cup olive oil
1 small garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
To make the croutons, toast the bread cubes in an oven heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. In a blender, puree basil, olive oil, garlic and salt. Pour the basil mixture over the toasted bread and toss, making sure the croutons are well coated. Set aside.
In a small Ziploc® Brand storage container, combine the dressing ingredients. Cover with the lid and shake until the ingredients are well combined.
Toss the mixed greens and beans with the dressing (you won’t need all the dressing, so add a little at a time). Top with the prosciutto, Parmesan and croutons.
Serves 4-6. Double or triple the recipe depending on how many guests are attending.
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.