A Make-Ahead Menu for a Rustic Bridal Shower Lunch

A Make-Ahead Menu for a Rustic Bridal Shower Lunch

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Sheela Prakash
Jun 6, 2017
(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

A bridal shower is mostly about showering the bride-to-be with gifts and love and playing silly games — but that doesn't mean the food should be an afterthought. In fact, I don't think there is a better way to show your affection and support for the bride than to also shower her, and her closest family and friends in attendance, with good food and drink.

This menu will help you do just that, and do it with ease. Planning a shower can be a lot of work, but if you follow this make-ahead menu, it can actually be quite simple. We've even provided a timeline so you can line up everything you need to do in order to throw a shower your favorite bride is sure to love.

The Menu + A Few Tips

This bridal shower menu is designed to be easy and leans on as many make-ahead items as possible. The results are guaranteed to be fun and festive — two important factors for a winning bridal shower.

  • Bridal Shower Sangria
  • DIY Biscuit Bar
  • 3-Cheese Tomato Tart
  • Veggie and Hummus Cups
  • Perfect Deviled Eggs
  • Rustic Honey and Almond Naked Cake
  • Fruit Kebabs
  • Fancy Doughnut Holes and Chocolate-Covered Almonds

(Image credit: Christine Han)

What to Drink

Something bubbly is fitting for such a celebratory occasion. While popping bottles will do just fine, shower the bride and guests with something a little more special, like sparkling sangria. (Don't forget to have water on hand, too!)

  • Bridal Shower Sangria: Sparkling wine, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and a slew of raspberries come together to make one festive and fun cocktail for the party. A pitcher drink like this one is a great choice, as it can be made right before guests arrive and you won't have to keep refilling their glasses — they can just keep ladling out as much as they'd like.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

What to Eat

With everyone standing around mingling, it's nice to keep the food utensil-free. That makes it easy to grab and munch on throughout the party.

  • DIY Biscuit Bar: Bake a batch of homemade biscuits, use dough from the store, or buy them pre-baked from your favorite bakery, then supply all the accompaniments for over-the-top sandwiches that guests can assemble themselves. Think pimento cheese (store-bought or homemade), pepper jelly, sliced ham (country or deli), and pickles and you can't go wrong.
  • 3-Cheese Tomato Tart: Thinly sliced tomatoes and three flavorful cheeses — cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan — top store-bought puff party for an easy yet super satisfying vegetarian tart. Make two if it's going to be a crowd.
  • Veggie and Hummus Cups: If you pick up a crudité platter and a tub of your favorite hummus from the grocery store, these cute cups couldn't be easier to throw together.
  • Perfect Deviled Eggs: It's always nice to bring something classic to the spread and these deviled eggs are just that. They are hearty, two-bite situations that always please the crowd. The components can also be made in advance and then assembled right before the party.

Dessert

A cake is a must for a celebratory occasion — so it's worth grabbing forks for this. Other sweet treats can be one- or two-bite items that can be picked up while the party winds down.

  • Rustic Honey and Almond Naked Cake: This stunner of a cake is definitely a bit of a project, but it's a project that can be worked on in stages. The cake layers can be baked then wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature for one day, or in the freezer for up to one week. Then the buttercream can be made the morning of before the cake is assembled.
  • Fruit Kebabs: Again, just buy a fruit platter from the supermarket and assemble the pieces onto skewers. The fruit will look fancy and it will be easy for guests to eat while standing.
  • Fancy Doughnut Holes and Chocolate-Covered Almonds: Round things out with a couple of store-bought treats that can be spread around the room for guests to grab.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Your Bridal Shower Timeline

Get the cake-baking out of the way a week before the party and the rest of the prep can be done starting the day before.

A Week Before

  • Bake the cake layers. Let them cool completely, them wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and tuck them in the freezer.

A Few Days Before

  • Bake the biscuits, let them cool completely, then store them in an airtight container on the counter.
  • Boil the eggs for the deviled eggs. Peel and halve them, remove the yolks, and make the filling. Store the halved egg white shells in an airtight container. The filling can get sealed in a baggie. Put both in the refrigerator.

One Day Before

  • Assemble and bake the tarts, let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store them in the fridge.
  • Assemble the fruit kebabs and stash them in the fridge in an airtight container (the platter they came on will work too!).
  • Remove the cake layers from the freezer to the counter to defrost.

The Day Of

  • Before everyone arrives: Make the buttercream and assemble the cake. Fill the deviled eggs, and make the veggie and hummus cups — keep everything in the fridge until everyone arrives. Put the biscuits and their accompaniments in cute bowls. Pull out your best pitcher or jar and stir together the sangria.
  • Once guests arrive: Stick the tarts in the oven to warm up slightly. Bring the cake out to the center of the party to show it off. Then pour the bride (and yourself) a glass of sangria and let the shower commence!
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