A Bridal Shower Menu Collection and the Privilege of Friendship

When close friend’s kids are old enough to get married, it feels a lot like when your own kid’s birthday candles exceed two hands and then both hands and feet, you wonder where the years went. It is the milestones of life—showers, weddings, births, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, and many others, which remind us of the importance of friends who have been there, helping us get to the milestones we celebrate. It is a priceless privilege to be called, friend.

In recent years, the bridal showers in particular have been something special, personal, and unique among our group of friends. There are no silly games or embarrassing antics, simply an expression of love for a family, their history, and their future. We have watched these kiddos grow up, prayed through their illnesses, heartbreaks, and dreams—many times praying for their future spouse as well. We rejoice over life lived, answered prayer, and the new life that is beginning.

Our most recent shower was for a dear friend’s daughter whose fiancé is from overseas. As emotional as it was for the mother of the bride to watch her baby become a bride, when the groom’s mother shared a few words through her interpreter (her son), every heart in the room understood. She bypassed any language barrier with her tearful embrace of a new daughter and the release of her son to be a husband.

It was something truly extraordinary to behold, the tenderest moment, and not a dry eye in the room. We felt like we were witnessing a flower open or a wild animal being born, something you can’t plan or rehearse. It must come from a yielded heart, ready to let their baby go and willing to love the spouse their son or daughter has chosen like a natural born child. What a precious gift to each of them! (I admit there are tears on my keyboard even as I type this.) This is the privilege of friendship, sharing such intimate treasured occasions.

Once the gifts are opened, rehearsal bouquet fluffed, and the tissues put away, of course, we get around to the food. It is a celebration, so there must be food! This is by no means an exhaustive list, simply a collection of recipes we have found to be ideal for showers or celebrations of any sort. Informal fare, intended to balance well on a lap and nosh while mingling. These menu ideas work any time of day, and there are lots of gluten-free [GF] options too.

Goat Cheese with Honey, Balsamic & Blueberries [GF]

Goat Cheese with Honey, Balsamic & Blueberries

Hot Artichoke Dip

Hot Artichoke Dip

Bacon, Leek, & Cheddar Mini Quiches

Ham, Spinach & Gruyere Quiche
by A Cozy Kitchen

Ham, Spinach & Gruyere Quiche by A Cozy Kitchen

Prosciutto-Wrapped Caprese Salad

Prosciutto-Wrapped Caprese Salad

Curry Chicken Salad Boats
[GF] (make into sandwiches too)

Curry Chicken Salad Boats

Shrimp Cocktail with Thai Chili Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail Shrimp with Thai Chili Cocktail Sauce

Strawberry Bruschetta
by Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide

Classic Vegetable Tray with Blue Cheese & Ranch Dip:

Almond Lemon Honey Cake
by The Urban Baker [GF]

Almond Lemon Honey Cake by The Urban Baker

Orange Ginger Tea Cake

Orange Ginger Tea Cake [Gluten/Grain-Free]

Orange Ginger Tea Cake [Gluten/Grain-Free]

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Butterscotch Walnut Scones with Blackberry Preserves

Butterscotch Walnut Scones with Blackberry Preserves

Triple Ginger & Coconut Scones [GF] (includes link to International Scone Week 2013)

Triple Ginger & Coconut Scones [GF]

Triple Ginger & Coconut Scones [GF]

Cheesecake Filled Strawberries with Chocolate Accents
[GF Options]

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries with Chocolate Accents

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust [GF]

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust [GF]

Banana Nut Bread Supreme [Whole Wheat]

Banana Nut Bread Supreme

Banana Nut Bread Supreme [Whole Wheat]

Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart [Gluten-Free]

Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart - a slice (1 of 1)

Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart

Chocolate Love Surprise Cookies
by Savoring Every Bite

Chocolate Love ~ Surprise Cookies by Savoring Every Bite

M&Ms & Mints in the colors of the wedding:

And even more ideas:

Caramelized Apple & Toasted Walnut Brie [GF]
Choice sliced meats & cheese tray
Tea Sandwiches (Classic)
Tea Sandwiches (Creative)


Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth & Soul Hop
Mom Trends Friday Foods
Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites

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43 Responses to A Bridal Shower Menu Collection and the Privilege of Friendship

  1. Greg March 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Holy cow, what a list to be on. That goat cheese looks amazing. So does everything else!

    • Judy March 22, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks for helping me out with your post on strawberries. 😉

  2. Linda March 22, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    You brought tears to my eyes too Judy! I agree with you on the meaning of these celebrations; the people not the games are what I like to focus on also. Watching those close to us journey on in their lives and being able to share their special moments. This collection is absolutely fabulous for any occassion and I’m pinning it so I don’t forget any of these! I agree with Greg too, that goat cheese is the first one I’m going to make!! Thanks for including my cookies!!

    • Judy March 22, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      Thanks Linda, appreciate your comment and your cookies! The goat cheese is a staple in our house for snacks and you can’t go wrong with aged balsamic on anything.

  3. ChgoJohn March 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Wow, Judy! These look fantastic!

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:14 am #

      Thanks, John, I was so pleased to see my blogging man-friends stop by for this post … I wondered if it wouldn’t be a “pass” since it was about bridal showers. 😉

  4. Caroline March 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Such a fabulous list of food…everything looks amazing. And I desperately want those prosciutto-wrapped caprese salads. What a creative idea…and so easy!!

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks Caroline, the caprese salads are definitely a favorite of mine.

  5. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    A fantastic list…oh to be able to attend a gathering where they were all on the same table. How could anyone choose what to try first.

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks, Karen, It certainly is hard to choose.

  6. mjskit March 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    What a feast! I never saw such great food at any bridal shower I attended! I’m quite envious of all of the guest who got to enjoy this delicious spread and experience the love of mothers. Thank you so much for sharing the story of the shower.

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      MJ, it is the love of mothers that makes these occasions so special, but the food helps. 😉

  7. Mary March 23, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    I love your menu suggestions.They all sound delicious. I really loved your post today. You had me dabbing at my eyes with tissue. I hope you have a wonderful day.Blessings…Mary

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks Mary, for stopping by and for your kind words.

  8. sportsglutton March 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Great line up Judy. I especially like the addition of the blueberries to the goat cheese. brilliant. Have a great weekend!

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Thanks Jed, like I told John, I’m delighted my blogging man-friends still came by since it was a bridal shower menu. Of course, we are talkin’ food here. 😉

  9. Raymund March 25, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Amazing! I feel that I drooled a lot while scrolling down on that list

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Thanks, Raymund, this post definitely made me hungry putting it together.

  10. thedrivencook March 26, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Wow Judy, what a great list! All of those things look fantastic. I just hosted a bridal shower and wish I would have seen this first! :)

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Thanks so much for saying so. The baby shower you put together was lovely too — just love the variety of food that can be served at showers.

  11. Granny's Parlour March 27, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    What a timely thing to discover this at the beginning of Spring, when we dream of friendly gatherings under sunny skies and the celebration of renewed life. Thank you for visiting our Blog. Your kind words were like a touch of warmth and sweetness and there is much warmth and sweetness to be found here indeed.

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Thank you, Granny, for including this post in your Weekend Highlights, that was a sweet surprise. :)

  12. Sammie March 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    What a fantastic menu! Everything looks great but that quiche really made my mouth water!!

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      Yes! I agree, the quiche is lovely, planning to make it this weekend. :)

  13. Sawsan@chef in disguise March 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    That is one amazing list Judy but as much as I love it and can’t wait to try that goat cheese it is your post and memories that I loved the most. It is true, milestones make us feel how much time has passed and reminds us of the journey we made to get here

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Thank you for saying so. I love the way food makes a celebration special, but it is the people we share memories with that really makes a difference in our lives.

  14. Geni March 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    What a beautiful spread Judy! You are quite a generous hostess and your words hit me since I am going through those, “I can’t believe they are almost grown!” thoughts myself. I can’t imagine what it’s like when friends’ kids start getting married. I guess that’s a new chapter I just haven’t gotten to yet.

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Geni, it does hit us all at once and it is hard to prepare for the emotional swell that comes with it. I am grateful to experience it with some great friends who can relate. The seasons change so quickly and it all seems to happen so fast.

  15. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 29, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Judy, what a great post and truly extraordinary collection of menu items… wow, where to begin… everything is just so beautiful including your dining room table! (lovely setting and sense of warmth). I must make the Goat Cheese with Honey, Balsamic & Blueberries… I am completely smitten… ;-).

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      Kelly, thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement. The goat cheese and balsamic is hard to stop eating, love that flavor combination.

  16. Justine March 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Stopping by from the Hearth & Soul Tuesday Blog Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

  17. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 30, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Whoa, what a spread!!

  18. Barb Bamber March 31, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    How have I not found your blog before? This is so pretty and I loved the list of recipes to try.. the sun is shining here and it’s a perfect day to bake something new and springy like the ones shown here:) xo Smidge

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Hi Barb, I know exactly what you mean, I was happy to find your blog too! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, look forward to getting to know you better.

  19. Pure Complex April 1, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    All of your mini foods look so darn good. I mean WOW… I wish that was my bridal shower :). Everything is just beautiful. I loved this post

    • Judy April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      Aw, thanks for saying so! It was a pleasure to share, I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

  20. Alea Milham April 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I am at an age where my friend’s children are getting married, so I can relate to the sentiments expressed in this post! Lovely and loving post and a wonderful round up of recipes!

  21. Swathi April 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm #


    They looks fantastic. Love to have a friend like you. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  22. April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 3, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    What a lovely, lovely post! I felt quite emotional reading about your friend’s daughter’s shower. It sounds like the shower was such a lovely occasion, and what a beautiful moment when the groom’s mother spoke!

    Sadly we don’t have bridal or baby showers in England, and I really miss them! (I grew up in Canada.) I have been able to attend a few back in Canada over the years, but I am hoping to introduce the tradition over here if my son gets married when he is older!

    I have so enjoyed visiting the recipe links you provided, and what a lovely menu they would make. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at The Gallery of Favorites.


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