1. Skip the awkward small talk and host a class.
Especially handy if you've got a guest list that doesn't know each other that well, hosting a class can be a great way to bring the group together. The bridal shower above decided to invite a bartender over for a cocktail class, but anything interesting and instructional would do, from tamale making to home repair.
2. Suggest a casual (really casual) dress code.
If you are hosting a brunch shower, why not have everyone come over in their comfy PJs? Have a girls' day in, complete with mimosas, good gossip, and lots of laughter.
3. You can transform any theme for your shower.
Got a friend that is just not the blush and gold type? Incorporate her favorite things, but just "elevate" them into something chic for a lovely surprise. For example, this purple and black tablescape was at a Tim Burton-themed shower.
4. Host it outdoors.
Are you the hostess with the mostess, but you don't have the large house to go with it? During the summer, have the bridal shower at a local park and pack picnic boxes for each guest. It's a cute idea, plus it is way cheaper than trying to rent space.
5. Modern tea parties are pretty darn cool.
Speaking of saving money, one easy way is to keep your refreshment bill to a minimum. The best way to achieve this? Serve tea and cake rather than cocktails and a meal. Not all tea parties have to look like a pastel scene from Alice in Wonderland. This very modern black and white example above is charming and sophisticated.
6. A food station is a hostess' best friend.
If you do want to serve a meal, an affordable and simple option is to go with a popular food station, such as one with tacos or baked potatoes. People can make their own plate and personalize it according to their own dietary preferences or restrictions.
7. You can make great details with what you have around you.
Got a few rolls of washi tape in your desk drawer? Use them to create festive drink markers. You can assemble them ahead of time, or have each guest make their own.
8. Keep silverware bundled together for convenience.
These printable napkins are an adorable touch to a practical idea. Most people don't have a dining table for 15, so many bridal showers are a collection of guests trying to balance everything in their laps. Make it a little easier on them by wrapping up your silverware.
9. Hand out a favor on the way in, rather than the way out.
Get creative with your favors and incorporate them into the party, rather than simply hand them out as you say goodbye. The sweet tissue paper crowns looked amazing in the photos of guests at the fiesta-themed bash.
10. Understand that not every friend is an extrovert.
Those silly bridal shower games that involve making the guests feel a little foolish? Yeah, those will make your introverted pals break out into hives. If you really want to play games, then select one that involves more one-on-one interaction, like these printable Mad Libs above.
Credits: Camille Styles | Lipstick, Heels, and a Baby | Catch My Party | Eric Kelley Photography | The TomKat Studio | Taylor Kenzie Photography | Hostess with the Mostess | Lemon Thistle | Kara's Party Ideas | Something Turquoise