We normally leave the menus to The Kitchn, but when you're planning a bridal shower, you're going to have to feed people. And if it's not your forté, we've got you covered with tips for a simple, mostly make-ahead, and budget-friendly brunch menu that anyone pull off, no caterers needed.
Go for finger foods & mini things
Crudité is a party staple for a reason: it's pretty, it's easy, and you can buy a lot of it already cut up (or cut it yourself in advance). People don't need two hands to eat it, so they can chat and also hold a drink. If you want to up the originality, mix in some less conventional vegetables, like asparagus or jicama.
People are also really impressed by miniature food. Try making individual yogurt parfaits and serving them in shot glasses, vintage glassware, or 4-ounce canning jars. All it requires is some morning-of layering of yogurt (PRO TIP: use regular and not Greek for an easier and cleaner pour) with granola and/or berries, and you look fancy.
We also served crustless mini quiches and sweet potato latkes for some savory finger food options. Both can be made ahead and reheated before the shower.
A fruit platter is everyone's friend
Like its more serious sibling, the vegetable platter, a fruit platter is easy to execute, and even more of a crowd pleaser. Everyone eats fruit. It's delicious, refreshing, and beautiful. Especially if you sprinkle it with edible flowers and serve with a side of honey for extra sweetness.
And if you have leftovers:
→ How To Make a Fruit Crumble with Any Kind of Fruit
You can put anything in a muffin
Okay, we kept it simple and made berry muffins, but you can pretty much put anything your little bridal shower planning heart desires into a muffin. Muffins can be fruity, they can be savory, they can be dessert. Again, they're also portable and make-ahead. Another bonus: people can take the extras home with them!
Build a better beverage bar
Don't be a slave to pouring drinks and refilling glasses—let your guests help themselves. We set up a mimosa and beverage bar on a console table right by the door, so people could grab a drink when they first walked in. You don't need to be fully stocked, but you should have a few options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Here's what we had:
- A 12-cup coffee percolator (I found mine at Goodwill for $6!) with a dairy and non-dairy milk
- An electric kettle and a variety of tea
- Lavender lemonade (non-alcoholic) in a beverage dispenser
- Prosecco with orange juice, grapefruit juice, and peach puree in simple carafes
Add an unexpected touch
We're keeping it pretty easy here, so go the extra mile with a lovely surprise. It took nothing but a little pre-planning to make heart-shaped ice cubes with edible flowers inside, but the effect is special.
You have enough to do, and you saved a ton of money making everything else that's edible for the shower. Call in the pros to make the dessert. Whether it's macarons or mini-cupcakes, store-bought treats are already beautiful and delicious. Don't feel like you have to DIY the whole shebang (unless dessert is really your thing—and even still, consider taking a day off).
A bonus tip for an easy menu board
It's nice to let your guests know what they're eating, so whip up a quick and easy menu board. Stick some pretty paper in a frame, and then use a dry erase marker to write your menu on the glass. It's helpful for those of us who make frequent spelling mistakes or last-minute menu changes.