First of all: CONGRATS!
If you're reading, you (or someone you think is pretty awesome) just got engaged. Whether the bride is gluten free, or you have gluten free guests, you are on your way to an awesome and delicious gluten free bridal shower!
1. Set Time & Location
Find a time when the bride, family, and bridal party are all available. Then, decide on whether you're going to host the shower at a restaurant, home, or somewhere else.
I always recommend asking the bride if there's a certain theme or ambiance she really wants, since this may help to decide the location. Let's be honest: most brides have already probably thought about what they want their wedding day and other events to look like.
I was lucky enough to have not one, but two bridal showers! (My family is split across the country, so we had one in NYC and one in AZ.) Both bridal showers were at our families’ homes. Having the event at a home can often provide more flexibility to bring and/or make food and have space for games! We planned the NYC one over a three-day weekend when family from out of town could attend and the AZ one over thanksgiving weekend for the same reason.
2. FOOD (aka the best part…besides mimosas!)
In my case, we were going for a more casual bridal shower. We didn't have a sit-down meal at one big table, since we had too many people to reasonably fit. Instead, we went with a buffet style and open seating, which worked well, and allowed everyone to mingle a bit more.
Depending on the time you host the event, you will want to swap out the food. For a big group, like we had, we wanted something easy, yummy, and gluten free. We designated a big table to be the buffet area and had lots of goodies (and we haven't even gotten to the dessert yet!).
Recommended gluten free foods:
“The Main Course” AKA (bagels, cream cheese & lox) - It’s super easy to serve all gluten free bagels, or just have some on the side. Just make sure that you have separate cream cheese bowls and toasters to avoid cross contamination if you're going to have bagels with and without gluten. If you're somewhere where there isn't a gluten free toaster (most gluten free bagels are frozen, so you will need to toast them) you can always use aluminum foil and put the bagel in an oven to warm it up!
Fruit - Always a great brunch/lunch option. Also blueberries are a great addition in your mimosa!
Quiche - Great option that can check the box for both meatless and gluten free (we had a three vegetarians)! You can make one or buy one. We were lucky to find this yummy one from Noglu, an entirely gluten free bakery in NYC.
Cake!! - check out local bakeries if you have gluten free options. Again, we used Noglu for the NYC shower, Jewel’s Bakery for the AZ one. If you don't or you would rather make something, that's always a fun way to make it personal as well! We also made a few gluten free baked goods from mixes and from scratch.
Gluten Free cakes from NoGlu Gluten Free NYC Bakery
Gluten Free pizza, cake and goodies in Arizona
3. Send out Invites!
More and more people are sending out virtual invitations now. They are less expensive and a super easy way to manage the guest list.
For mine, we used Paperless Post, but there are a lot of great options out there - so definitely check it out and see what matches best with your theme and bride!
4. Choose Fun Games!
Games are always a fun way to encourage people to meet each other and make friends before the actual wedding. At my bridal shower we played two fun games that I would recommend for any bridal shower.
Bride & Groom Themed Scategories
Scategories is one of my favorite games -- so of course we had to play a wedding themed version! To play, put a list of bridal themed items (Wedding Song, Flowers, Honeymoon Destination, etc.) in a list and make enough copies for everyone. Each person has two minutes to come up with something from each category that starts with the first letter of the bride or groom’s name. It’s fast-paced and fun to hear what people come up with. For every unique answer (that another person doesn’t have) you get a point, and whoever has the most points wins!
Dress the Bride Competition
You can play this one with toilet paper or all different types of materials. We broke up into teams and each team had a bag of random tools (tape, cellophane, ribbon, tulle, etc.) and we had 10 minutes to dress someone on the team. After the time was up, we had a fashion show and the most applause wins!
5. Cute Bridal Shower Favors!
It is always fun to send your party people home with something sweet for spending the day with you. I love these cute canvas make-up bags from Quilted Koala that we gave out along with an adorable little bag of personalized M&Ms. Check them out, how could you not love this combo?
After that, you are good to go! Just count your RSVPs and get that champagne bottle popping, you’re ready for an awesome gluten free bridal shower!
Comment below with questions or other ideas on how to make an awesome gluten free bridal shower. Happy party planning!