Check out these tips for letting the bridal shower food set the mood!

Check out these tips for letting the bridal shower food set the mood!

A wedding shower should be fun! Games, a chance to talk about the upcoming wedding, and of course, the food.

Oh, yeah, the food. If you’ve been to a lot of showers, you might think the official food is supposed to be soggy sandwiches, gooey potato salads and one of those big, tasteless cakes. Or it’s a catered affair that rivals the annual budget of a small city. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are so many wonderful, creative bridal shower food ideas that are tasty, fun and won’t cost a fortune. And it all starts with the mood you want to create!

Fun, casual and light

If the wedding shower is scheduled for a Sunday afternoon or will be held on a sunny day in the back yard, pick fun finger foods that encourge people to sample, snack and wander.

Replace those oh-so-tired finger sandwiches with something unexpected like Tomato, Basil and Cheese open-face empanadas, made fast and easy with wanton wrappers and colorful with fresh, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs from your garden and creamy handmade gourmet mozzarella cheese. Pair them with other easy to pick up and sample appetizers, a couple of veggie or fruit bouquets, a some loaves of crunchy French bread and you have a simple, affordable and elegant spread. 

Want to include dessert? Make it easier for the bride and her attendants to fit into gowns by replacing that calorie-laden cake with grilled fresh peaches, nectarines, mangoes and other fruit and a minty yogurt dressing. Sweet enough to feel like dessert without making that final fitting a nightmare.

Elegant, sparkly with a hint of bling

If you’re planning a wedding shower for an evening, or if the setting is a bit more formal, make sure the food has just as much sparkle. If you’re watching the bottom line, fear not. You can still get lots of bling for a little bit of green. 

Start with ripe, ruby red cherries pitted then dipped in white chocolate and sparkling cupcake sugars. Put them on sticks for easy, finger-free eating, then stand the whole bunch of them in a pretty cut glass vase.

Serve tempting strawberry champagne punch in pretty champagne flutes (a simple mixture of champagne, orange juice, crushed strawberries, ginger ale and raspberry sherbet turns into a sparkling treat!).

Offer a selection of gourmet cheeses and breads, some French pate, and perhaps some simple cream cheese and caviar canapes. 

For dessert, a rich flourless chocolate cake or tempting Pots de Cr?me will lend the perfect finishing touch.  

Beachy, no matter where you are

If the happy couple is planning a beach wedding or just loves the ocean, planning a wedding shower on the beach is a perfect choice. But even if the beach is hours away or the weather is too chilly, you can create that mood with the right bridal shower food choices. 

For outdoors, consider making the shower into lobster boil or clam bake. For an indoor party, you can opt for steaming bowls of clam chowder, chilled lobster rolls or tropical conch salad. If the theme is a sunny beach, add bowls of chilled mango, iced pineapple juice (in coconut shells, if you can find them), and a tangy Key Lime pie for dessert. 

For a New England beach theme, serve the chowder with cheddar biscuits and a hearty cole slaw. For other beachy-themes, adapt the menu to highlight regional favorites. 

Set the mood with the food

Forget the standards. Make the bridal shower menu say something special about the couple, the wedding or where you live. Go fancy, go simple, but make it special. After all, this is a bride we’re talking about!