Lights, camera, party! What a thrill to host a bridal shower with the glamour of old Hollywood as its theme. For your design inspiration, think modern decor infused with subtle vintage touches full of scintillating charm. The result? A party scene that has definite star quality, yet a fun, casual atmosphere.
Beyond decor, plan your party fare and beverages, invitations, entertainment, and games to get in on the act, too. No matter the size of this party, be sure to make it special. Take some great ideas from our Hollywood “art direction” tips below!
“And the Oscar for Best Wedding Shower goes to…!”
Decorating With the Stars
Allusions to classic Hollywood are the key to this party’s charm. Create the table décor for this theme, then, with elements inspired by the silver screen—but in a way that pays subtle homage to the “reel world” of glitz and glamour.
A party palette of white and metallics sets the stage for this intimate yet clearly “star studded” bridal shower. Gold and glitter are everywhere—from the place settings to the sparkly star-shaped accents.
Center Stage - With so much going on at the party table, we opted for a simple centerpiece of gerberas in hues of pink, red, and yellow housed in a rectangular glass vase. But easy-to-make glittery star wands encrusted with multi-colored sequins bring in a hint of dazzle. Hint: Carnations are also a great alternative. They’re budget-friendly, yet elegant enough to use even in a special party setting.
Celebrity-style Place Settings - Craft a place setting that makes each guest feel like a star, in the nostalgic tradition of old Hollywood! As in our example above, consider silvery plate chargers paired with white-feathered table napkins. Scatter little sequins or stars around the place settings. Then, as a finishing touch, top each plate with a pretty Limoges-style box painted with a vintage rose design.
Seeing Stars - Make a fun reference to the Hollywood Walk of Fame with star cutouts covered with glitter and sequins. Then, scatter more loose sequins all over the table. For good measure, hang an oversize star lantern to grace this scene fit for celebrities. Hint: You may also place the name of a guest on each star cutout, so that they mimic the actual Hollywood Stars! To do this, create name plates out of plain paper cutouts, cut them into strips, and then cover with colored cellophane paper (see example below). Or you could find photos of your favorite film celebrities, print them out, and make little poster boards to display on the tables. Then, you could even name each table after a popular actor or actress.
Go with the glow! Up the appeal of your party table even more with floating candles. Just see how the glittery stars and sequins catch the light and set the scene all a-sparkle.
Candle Magic - Bathe the table display in candlelight with charming ball-shaped candles floating in sorbet goblets. The glow will be reflected over and over in the water, the sequins, and the surrounding glassware for a stunning effect indeed. In the background, you may hang glass sconces with tea lights on wooden branches to add to the romantic ambiance.
Clearly, you don’t have to use a lot of different and complicated elements to create an impact. Even the tiniest decor elements—when used artfully and tastefully—can create a party table that just seems to sparkle and gleam.
A black-and-white cardboard clapper makes a great table number display for this Hollywood theme. It’s easy, it’s fun, and best of all, you can craft it yourself!
Color It Classy – Keep it simple. A pristine white base highlights all the metallic elements just marvelously. The glint of gold, silver, and crystal, accented with touches of red, fuchsia, and pink say instant glam, while a shot of black provides a stylish touch.
A Grand Entrance – For a star-filled “Awards Night” effect, install plain Christmas lights at the entry way or foyer of your party venue. Or line the approach to the entrance with glowing lanterns or pillar candles placed in hurricane glasses.
Special tip: To give guests a taste of the celebrity experience, lay out an actual red carpet along the walkway. Then, as they step into the party venue, surprise them with attendants outfitted as “paparazzi”—blinding flashbulbs and all! Take some wacky snapshots with each guest, and have these printed out during the bridal shower fun. Then, come time to leave, give these as delightful party mementos tucked into chic silver frames.
Party Favors with Star Quality
For guest favors that evoke the splendor of Hollywood, consider these elegant options:
- vintage-inspired keepsake boxes filled with dinner mints
- bridal gown place card holders reminiscent of Hollywood haute couture
- gold keepsake frames with gilded decoration
- star-shaped sugar cookies depicting the Hollywood stars
- Oscar-shaped chocolates in gold-foil wrapping
These make wonderful wedding shower keepsakes that are as practical as they are pretty.
Thinking of edible favor fillings, instead? Why not choose from all-time favorite movie candies such as Milk Duds, Whoppers, and Junior Mints. You can create a fun candy combo by premixing these and other sweets, and then placing them in clear cellophane bags. Complete the gift look by presenting these candy bundles in colorful fabric wraps.
Keep ‘Em Entertained and Offer Prizes
Movie Marathon - This is movie night, right? So what could be easier than popping DVDs into your home player (presuming, of course, that you’re hosting this bridal shower at home), and watching movies all night! Take your pick: recent releases, great cinema classics, films with a wedding theme, or a mix of all these.
Celebrity Gaming - There’s nothing like a fun game to get a party going. Choose from themed board games such as Hollywood’s Reel Schpeel: The Movie Trivia and Celebrity Game, Movie Time!, Cineplexity, or Scene It? Deluxe Movie Edition. There are even board games based on popular movies such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon - The Movie Board Game.
If you prefer, classic games like charades can also be loads of fun for everyone. Simply focus the questions on Hollywood actors and actresses, movie titles, maybe even famous celebrity weddings!
Special tip: If your bridal shower party just so happens to fall on Oscar’s night, why not play a game of guessing the winner of each Academy Award category?
As special prizes, give chic wristlets filled with cosmetic essentials that follow the theme of being a glamorous “celebrity.”
The Prize is Right! - After all that friendly competition, reward “winners” and “losers” alike with prizes that suit the theme:
- retro containers filled with movie treats such as a box of candies and gourmet chips
- movie gift cards
- gift subscriptions to DVD rental places
- facial or spa gift certificates
- aromatherapy kits.
Fashionable gifts that make guests feel like celebrities are also great. Prepare stylish purses each holding a set of beauty essentials such as lip gloss and pressed powder. Then, tie on a tag that says “A star is born!”
Music From the Movies - Who doesn’t have a favorite movie theme song? Set the nostalgic mood with well-loved standards from classic films, or get the party jumping with Big Band-style music playing in the background. Whether you get guests to swoon or swing, music is a must at this Hollywood theme bridal shower!
Party Fare With a Hollywood Flair
Food - When in doubt, order take-out! It’s all a matter of checking the menu of your favorite restaurant ahead of time and selecting their specialties. Tasty yet light take-out is best for this type of bridal shower party. And since this is “Hollywood,” you may want to consider California cuisine that is a fusion of cultures ranging from Asian to Mexican. A scrumptious selection with that California vibe could include Oriental chicken salad, Baja style steak tacos with avocado and lime, California club sandwiches, Teriyaki chicken skewers, and Thai shrimp and linguini. Print the menu out and display it on each table in a pearl-trimmed picture frame for that upscale look.
Beverages - Bring out the bubbly, too! Serve refreshing cocktails made with sparkling champagne, prosecco, or carbonated water—for a fun fizz that will make everyone feel like a star. See our favorite recipe: the Golden Star Fizz from Bon Appétit.
In the wine department, try a rosé wine, with its appealing pink hue. Or treat guests to a choice vintage like Château D’Aqueria, Tavel (France) Dry Rosé 2006, Domaine Chandon Etoile Brut Rose NV, or Schramsberg “Mirabelle” North Coast Rosé. Don’t forget the teetotalers, though! Have ice cold bottles of soda on hand in special flavors such as cream soda, orange, and bubblegum. Or serve up mocktails (i.e., non-alcoholic mixed drinks) such as Long Island iced tea, Shirley Temple, and Roy Rogers.
For even more food and beverage ideas in keeping with your Hollywood theme, we recommend the book The Cuisine of California for some great recipes.
Make “Celebrities Only” Bridal Shower Invites
Roll out the red carpet early with blockbuster party invitations you can make yourself. Explore the printable blank invitations, post cards, or note cards from Avery® that are available at Office Depot or Staples. Have the cards printed with a motif such as Hollywood Stars, or street signage of Hollywood Blvd., Rodeo Drive, Sunset Blvd., and Vine Street.
You can even scan old movie tickets and use them as artsy graphics for your invites. Don’t forget to keep to your chosen party palette, too, when planning your invitation design.
On the cover of each invite, print a fun one-liner like:
- - “You’re invited to a reel star-studded event!”
- - “VIP – One Night Only!”
- - “A Red Carpet Event in Honor of __________________”
- - “Roll Out the Red Carpet - it’s a Hollywood Theme Wedding Shower!”
Then include the party details with a celebrity slant:
- - “Showtime starts at ____________”
- - “On location at ___________”
- - “RSVP to my rep by __________ (date).”
As the cover for the invite, cut vellum paper to size and punch two tiny holes at the top edge of both the cover and the invite card. Then string black or red velvet ribbon through the holes and finish with a pretty bow. Or you can simply loop the ribbon around both the vellum cover and the card and tie it like a gift!
Featured Finds from the Web
Don’t Forget the Popcorn! - What would a Hollywood theme party be without good old-fashioned popcorn? You can serve guests a variety of flavored popcorn from rich butter, to tangy cheese, all the way to spicy Cajun. Here are some links we’ve found to great sites to help you do just that:
- - Try Paula Deen’s recipe for caramel popcorn, which is a simple yet delicious take on a classic treat.
- - Or consider Sur La Table’s instant caramel popcorn seasoning!
- - You can also serve up a trio of different flavors with popcorn seasonings from Kernel Season’s.
Whatever your flavor choice, keep up the glam Hollywood vibe by serving these in fancy silver bowls at the party. Then, have some extra for guests to take home in heart-shaped favor boxes.