Everything You Need to Host a Backyard Shower

When it comes to showers (bridal, baby, whatever), we’re extremely partial to a low-key backyard celebration. Why? Because they’ve got intimacy and personality in spades—and honestly, who doesn’t love a cocktail alfresco? If a loved one of yours has a shower-able milestone comin’ up, here’s all the inspiration you’ll need to host a casually chic—and totally fabulous—little shindig.

floral envelope invitation

The Invites

Leave the group texts and email chains to discussing The Bachelorette. Send a pretty, legit invitation (whether digital or via snail mail) as the first order of business.

bridal shower outfits

The Dress Code

Setting a dress code (e.g., “garden party”) adds another layer of festiveness to the day. Guests will appreciate some dressing directive—and the guest of honor will appreciate the cute, coordinated group pics.

baby shower chair decor

The Decor

Think like an event planner and pick a theme and color palette for your party—then hit up your local craft store for an assortment of borderline #extra décor. For an outdoor setting, we love seat swags, paper lanterns hung from tree branches and our perennial party favorite: twinkly lights.

dole white sangria
Photo: Emily Morgan/Styling: Caroline Lange

The Refreshments

Our favorite fix on the drinks front? A signature event cocktail in an easy, self-serve format. For a daytime affair, consider offering something light and fresh (and way more fun than your standard bubbly), like this big-batch white sangria recipe with a delicious DOLE® 100% Canned Pineapple Juice base.

cake bars sprinkles

The Food

Want to shell out on a fancy caterer? Do you, girl. But honestly, we’re huge proponents of a potluck format for informal affairs. As the guests RSVP, use a spreadsheet to keep track of the yummy dishes they are bringing.

diy flower arrangements

The Florals

Hot tip: Skip the florist tab and put your cohosts to work. All you need are a few bunches of grocery store blooms and some salvaged mason jars or glass bottles to whip up lovely, appropriate centerpieces.

baby onesie painting

The Games

If ever there were a time for adults to indulge in an afternoon of games, it’s at a shower. Etsy has a huge selection of low-lift printables if coming up with games isn’t really your thing—but you can also scour Pinterest for an interactive activity, like this adorable onesie painting station.

woman opening shower gifts

The R.o.s.

No need to get granular, but mapping out a general run-of-show for the day will help things flow and feel organized. (P.S. If unwrapping gifts on-site, make sure to designate someone to keep a diligent list of who gave what.)

party favor mini honey
Alyssa Katharine Faoro/Getty Images

The Favors

Lastly, don’t forget to send guests home with something special to remember the day. You don’t have to break the bank: A favorite snack or trinket of the mother-to-be/bride/whatever makes a classy farewell.


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.