We've all been to a bridal shower that while nice, was lacking in flare and excitement. If you're hosting a shower, try a fresh and flirty spin with a Cocktail Themed Party. This is perfect for a group of women who would like to let their hair down a little but still celebrate the bride in a classy way. This theme can spread from drinks (of course), to the food, décor and even getting the guests involved by suggesting they attend wearing cocktail dresses. This is a fun twist on the classic bridal shower.
First of all, keep in mind that this isn’t the Bachelorette Party and shouldn't be an excuse to get sloshed! You can definitely keep up the cocktail theme without crossing the line to a wild party - remember Nanas and Aunties will be in attendance. Although, I think my Nana would be the first to raise her glass and have a good time, but that's beside the point!
Consider creating a signature drink inspired by the bride and keep her personality in mind when designing it. For example, a bubbly bride who loves the color pink might inspire a pink lemonade and vodka cocktail; make it a spritzer by adding a splash of champagne. For an Irish bride, you might stir up an Irish cream liqueur cocktail, likewise, for a little Latin flare, create a special Sangria blend for your bride.
Understandably, you might not have a designated bartender to concoct these tasty drinks, so try to plan ahead by mixing the base of the drinks ahead of time and keep them in pitchers or dispensers. Margaritas (on the rocks) are perfect premade drinks to keep on ice! For the spritzer I just mentioned, the vodka and lemonade can be mixed and set in a pitcher with the champagne on ice ready to "splash" on top when served.
Speaking of champagne - a mimosa bar is perfect for this cocktail party. Allow your guests to design their own desired drink with juices of their choosing. Set up your bar with a platter of strawberries, raspberries and garnishes to accompany the bubbly.
Now that your ladies have full glasses, it's time to feed them. Cocktail parties and delicious hors d'oeuvres go hand in hand, so treat your guests to bite sized items. Offer an array of choices so the ladies can fill up, still in keeping with your cocktail party theme. I personally love an assortment of cheese and Italian meats with baguette slices and crackers. Other appetizer favorites include stuffed mushrooms, caprese salad on a skewer (tomato, mozzarella & basil), pinwheel wraps and of course shrimp cocktail - you can even make this the focal point of your buffet table! Let your food and drinks play a part in your décor.
A great way to design and decorate a cocktail themed party is to incorporate the glassware itself. For your centerpieces, use oversized martini glasses (10”-12”) and fill them with beautiful floral arrangements. If you are working on a tighter budget fill these large glasses with water and colored glass rocks then top with floating candles or a couple large flower heads such as vibrantly colored Gerbera daisies or roses. To flank the large centerpiece use regular sized wine or martini glasses then fill them with brightly wrapped chocolates or candies to match your flowers. The ladies will love the sweet treat with their cocktails.
You can also use these regular sized glasses and flip them upside down on the table. Put a flower head inside the upside down glass and place a votive candle on the base of the glass.
At this point you're almost set but what bridal shower would be complete without dessert. Again, bring your theme full circle with the dessert choices; you can never go wrong with cupcakes and cocktails! Not only are cupcakes more dainty than a large cake, you can also opt for cocktail infused cupcakes - think chocolate liqueur or limoncello. If you aren't ready to take the plunge with cocktail flavored baked goods, simply let your dessert complement the drinks you are serving.
As you wrap up your successful Cocktail Themed Bridal Shower, send your guests off with a great favor. Your girls will love an individual sized Cosmopolitan mix or miniature cocktail shaker filled with candy. If you are feeling a little crafty, take a trip to the Dollar Store and purchase a cocktail or champagne glass for each guest. Using a paint pen or even a Sharpie in your theme color, personalize each glass with your guests' names. This way no one will misplace a glass and each lady will leave with a personal memento from your classy, fun and flirty bridal shower!