“A hygge theme would be nice,” my sister Sophie said when I asked her what kind of bridal shower she’d like. I smiled. “Perfect,” I said. Then I went about my day wondering what the heck that meant.
I knew about hygge because she often lit candles at home “to be hygge,” and she’d told me about a hygge book she was reading. But I had no idea how to turn those things into a hygge party.
Without much else to go on, I turned to my good old friend: Wikipedia. Hygge is the “Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” A mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality. I could work with that.
So here’s what I did…
Party-planning tip: If you’d like to throw your own hygge party, you can find everything you’ll need in the yellow shopping lists below.
Hygge Party Theme
First, I decided on a Nordic Wonderland theme to help me stay focused. The Nordic part focused on the cozy and comfortable elements, while the Wonderland bit ensured everything would be pretty, too.
Flowers play a huge part in making a party feel festive and beautiful. So I enlisted the help of my florist friend Devrie who helped me pick out flowers at the SF Flower Mart (that place is amazing). For a fireplace installation (more on that later), she made a big and wild arrangement with cotton, thistle, hydrangeas, carnations and sprays of white berries.
And I used the leftovers to make three other arrangements for the food table, the cocktail station and the cocoa bar.
One of my favorite parts of the party was the floor lounge where people could hang out in their socks, catching up with Sophie and sipping hot drinks. Sheepskin rugs, knit-textured pillows and Moroccan poufs invited guests to make themselves cozy, and gold lanterns holding flickering candles set the mood.
The fireplace installation (I love that word; calling things installations make them sound so much grander than they are haha!) was made up of the big cascading floral arrangement and a wild bundle of branches. I wanted to give loungers something pretty to look at at eye-level and spark a conversation.
For the signature cocktail, we served this easy sparkling apple cider sangria, which was refreshing and cinnamon-y. The sprigs of rosemary and pomegranate seeds in these champagne flutes made it look much fancier than it was.
My cousins Denise and Mabel set up a hot cocoa bar with homemade whipped cream and mix-ins like Kahlua and Baileys. And these polar bear marshmallows!
We kept the menu simple with a charcuterie board, a winter salad of arugula, persimmons and pomegranate seeds and mini caprese skewers.
My mom made fried rice and a Cambodian salad. It was whatever people felt like bringing and worked out great.
For dessert, we served Sophie’s favorite banana cake. In place of a cake topper, I decorated the cake with a few eucalyptus sprigs around the base.
And to decorate, we hung up a macrame bunting and a “hip, hip, hygge” sign; lit tall, white tapers; and plated the food on cake stands and white serveware.
In the party invite, I told guests to dress “cozy and cute,” which was whatever it meant to them. Lots of people wore jeans, sweaters and fun socks.
Sophie said the hygge party was wintery and cozy and made her feel “transported to Denmark,” so I’d say it was a success. 🙂