12 Feb

Where to Host a Bridal Shower in Indianapolis?

Trying to find the best place to have a bridal shower in Indianapolis shouldn’t be a daunting task. As a host, I know I don’t want to spend a small fortune, but I also want to be sure I throw an amazing party for the bride I love. Maybe you’re the bride hoping to give a friend or family member a bit of direction when it comes to deciding where to have a bridal shower in Indianapolis. One of these may seem familiar to you. Even though popular Midwest tradition is to host bridal shower parties at home, trends are changing from home parties to private spaces. One of our favorite bridal shower venues in Indianapolis is the L.S. Ayres Tea Room at the Indiana State Museum.

This hidden gem is available for 2-hour daytime rental throughout the year between January and November. The L.S. Ayres Tea Room is closed to the private dining during the holiday season as it transforms in to the historic tea room offering the restaurant of the ‘good old days’. However, the 2-hour daytime rental is the perfect amount of time to enjoy an afternoon luncheon and celebrate the bride!

As a host, planning a bridal shower in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room is simple, easy to accomplish, and friendly to most budgets. Due to the smaller nature of these events, in place of a catering minimum there is a 15 guest minimum instead. These 2-hour rentals are called ‘small groups’ and have a special catering program of their own designed for smaller guest counts and can be produced entirely in the café of the Indiana State Museum.

Guests will enjoy the tea room’s built-in décor and architecture modeled after the original location at the Ayres Department Store. Along with the classic white house linens, china, glassware, silverware and the great food and great service provided by Kahn’s Catering with every tea room event. Simple planning means all the host needs to do is choose their date and menu then send their invitations.


  These special 2-hour rentals includes the use house linens and napkins, china, glassware and silverware at no additional charge. A service charge is assessed on all food and beverage, however it covers the cost of all the setup, labor (service and culinary), and cleanup for your event.  All food and beverage served in the tea room is made fresh onsite in the kitchens of the Famers’ Market Café, and service for daytime tea room events is provided by the café manager or supervisor. Even though these are ‘small groups’, they are planned and prepared for in the same way we would for a large event of 200.  

A special menu is available only to these unique daytime rentals of the L.S. Ayres Tea Room and includes classic favorites like chicken velvet soup, as well as traditional tea options like the L.S. Ayres Tea Tower complete with scones and tea sandwiches. Hosts are asked to select one meal choice for all of their guests to enjoy. Much like a larger event, if a guest has a food allergy or special diet, our chef is happy to provide accommodations so that all guests can enjoy the same high-quality dining experience.


If you’re the host hoping to add some extra flair to your event design, feel welcomed to provide centerpieces, favors or other small décor elements that bring your theme to life. Unlike a larger event, access to the tea room is limited to the host to 30 minutes prior to the event for setup. Specialty linen can be ordered through your catering event specialist and is set by the Kahn’s Catering team prior to guest arrival. The same linens available to larger private events are also available to small groups hosted in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Also, custom celebration cakes can also be arranged through your catering event specialist. Below are examples of centerpieces provided by the client and cupcakes ordered in addition to their tea room selection. Basic pricing includes butter cream icing detail of your choice. Additional elements such as fondant and sugar flowers are in addition to cake costs.

To give the best example of cost, we have included example totals for our two options. Both provide for an elegant luncheon service with all of the above included amenities. When a host is faced with the many aspects of hosting a home party and the costs associated with it, in addition to the time needed to prepare, clean, setup, host and then clean up again- hosting at the L.S. Ayres Tea Room certainly provides added convenience too.

The L.S. Ayres Tea Room has a maximum seating of 64 guests. Bridal shower tend to make better use of the space and time when the host sticks closer to 30 guests. This recommendation is based on the typical timeline we see at most bridal showers which includes time for the bride to unwrap gifts. We have learned it takes about 2 minutes per guest gift. The more guests invited, the longer gifting can take. To make the most of the 2-hour rental, 30 guests tends to be an ideal maximum count if time is being spent opening gifts. However, this is not a requirement. You’re welcome to create your own timeline and event based on your own wants and needs. Some brides choose not to open gifts at their bridal showers too.

If you’re interested in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room for a longer duration or different menu options, standard event rentals are also available. Both small group 2-hour rentals and regular event rentals can be arranged the Indiana State Museum Facility Rentals Department. We truly believe the L.S. Ayres Tea Room is a lovely foundation for any social event, and quite ideal for bridal showers in Indianapolis.

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