How to Host a French Riviera-Themed Bridal Shower (Without Going to France)
Trying to come up with a unique bridal shower theme and coming up short?
I tossed around a few ideas — I used to live in Paris and always love a good French theme but wanted something different than a Parisian-themed bridal shower (think macarons and Eiffel towers). I toyed with the idea of an Amalfi Coast theme/Positano bridal shower or something with an Italian flare…
But then the dress I found at a vintage market sealed the deal.
A 1930s/40s silk orange dress was the perfect thing to wear for something sort of vintage and ritzy — so how about the Côte d’azur/South of France?
So without further ado, here’s how to throw a French Riviera-themed bridal shower (without going to France).
The Cote d’Azur, or French Riviera, is a stunning region in the South of France that is renowned for its pristine beaches, azure waters, and luxurious lifestyle. One of the most famous destinations on the French Riviera is St. Tropez, a glamorous coastal town that has long been a playground for the rich and famous.
Pulling from the hues of the French Riviera buildings (particularly those in Menton), we focused on coral and orange, with accents of yellow, black and white.
Consider hosting the bridal shower at a location with a French-inspired ambiance, such as a garden or courtyard with fountains, or an outdoor patio with an ocean view.
We were looking for a venue in between San Diego and Orange County — ideally something that already fit the aesthetic, so we wouldn’t have to bring in extra furniture or tables.
The answer: The Courtyard at Morning Lavender in Tustin!
Morning Lavender is an adorable coffee shop/boutique in Old Town Tustin, and their garden courtyard was perfect as it already had bistro chairs, black and white stripe umbrellas, and marble tables.
Taking inspiration from vintage travel posters of the French Riviera, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez, we designed an invitation in the style of a postcard and hinted at the orange dress and overall theme with “Côte d’Azur” on the front.
The backside of the invitation with the information and details was inspired by the Par Avion French Airmail style.
Note: We asked all guests to wear black and white to keep with the theme.
When it comes to what kind of food to serve at a South of French-themed bridal shower, there were a couple of options we could roll with: seafood platters, charcuterie boards, quiches, baguette sandwiches with spreads.
We ordered from Moulin in Costa Mesa, and decided to go with a variety of different quiches and salad — this was a delicious and economical option!
For drinks, depending on your venue and what they allow, you could serve classic French cocktails like the French 75 or a Kir Royale, as well as champagne and wine. Non-alcoholic options like sparkling water with fruit or lemonade with fresh herbs are also great options.
We chose to go with Morning Lavender’s frosé (frozen rosé) and it was DIVINE. We also supplied a variety of sparkling waters. Orangina could be a fun addition but isn’t always easy to find.
For dessert, we considered mini Tarte Tropéziennes or a variety of French pastries. As it turns out, Cream Pan Bakery, which is located just a block away from Morning Lavender, has croissants stuffed with cream and strawberries and topped with powdered sugar…which was a winner.
Because the space was already outfitted with marble tables, bistro chairs, and umbrellas, there wasn’t much we needed to get in the way of décor. We kept it pretty simply and used the following to tie everything together:
As for the flower arrangements, in sticking with the color hues of coral, orange, and yellow, we made a Trader Joe’s run and stocked up on dahlias and an assortment of other florals. The bridal shower was in July so dahlias were in their peak season.
Helpful Tip: Create an on-theme playlist to set the mood.
For bridal shower games, to tie in the travel theme, one of my girlfriends put together a “Where in the World” are they game. She printed out photos of us during our travels, and everyone had to write down their guesses as to where the photo was taken.
Another fun one was matching up movie/TV show quotes.
As for French bridal shower game prizes, the winners received cute little prize baskets with an array of goodies:
And there you have it — my tips for how to host a French Riviera-themed bridal shower (without going to France). Have any other ideas? I’d love to hear all about the event you’re planning in the comments below!
Et voilá! Bon voyage!