The bridal shower has its roots in the dowry system of yore and many brides-to-be look forward to the opportunity to gather with close family and friends prior to the big day. Traditionally, the bridal shower is a very feminine affair, hosted by the bride’s mother, aunt, sister, grandmother, or bridesmaids. However, this is not the only option for the modern bride! One really neat twist on the bridal shower is to have a couple’s shower instead. This allows the groom to participate in the ‘showering’ as well.
So what are the pros and cons? Let’s start with the positive aspects. This is a great opportunity to involve male friends and relatives in the gift-giving festivities, especially if the couple has a group of close-knit friends of both sexes. Additionally, including men will bring down the girly factor of the party, which can be relief for those brides-to-be who don’t especially yearn for bouquets made out of gift ribbons. A couple’s shower also provides the host or hostess with the chance to pick a fun gender-neutral theme (time of day, stocking the bar, gardening, etc) that will nudge guests in the direction of gifts that both the bride and groom will appreciate. It also broadens the acceptable locations and activities for the shower. Have a picnic or a barbecue, serve a wider range of alcoholic beverages, or offer gender neutral games that will appeal to all the guests. Having a couple’s shower really gives the couple a great opportunity to spend time together celebrating their engagement with close friends, instead of just the bride receiving most of the attention.
On the flip-side, a couple’s shower does represent a departure from tradition, which may cause some concern among older relatives. Additionally, risqué gifts for the bride-to-be are out, which may leave you a little short on honeymoon lingerie. While you can host a shower along more traditional lines and simply invite the groom to make it a couple’s shower, this can turn out to be awkward, boring, or otherwise uninteresting for the groom.
If you’re hosting a couple’s shower, here’s some tips to make it work for everyone!
- Be sure to solicit opinions from both the bride AND groom on activities and guest list.
- Invest in invitations that make it clear that it is a couple’s shower – I like the ones available at Wedding Paper Divas, like those pictured in this post. (You can find many more couple’s and bridal shower invitations at Wedding Paper Divas.) Confirm that all those invited to the shower are also invited to the wedding before sending out invitations.
- Consider a theme to make it easier for guests to find appropriate gifts. Also, decide whether the shower will be casual or more formal. This will guide you on venue, activities, and time of day.
- Decide on games –
you’ll have to think outside of the bridal shower box to keep the men involved.
- Think about whether or not you’d like to have the traditional gift opening segment of the shower. Check with the couple on their preference.
- Make sure that the shower still has an air of specific celebration to it. If the bride and groom-to-be want
- a couple’s shower simply to party with their friends and receive gifts, find a way to indicate respectfully that, really, they already have an opportunity for that – their wedding. Put some thought into how to retain the ceremony and formality of a typical bridal shower while making it fun and inclusive for guests of both genders.
This is a great opportunity to add a modern twist to a wedding tradition and have fun with it. Feel free to experiment and find the shower format that fits your needs!