Move over ladies, the men are joining in! He's coming
to the wedding shower and bringing his buddies with him.
Everyone has an opinion about this trend, but suffice
it to say, we are fortunate to live in a time when society's
arms embrace all things new and different. Are you out
of sync if you opt for the traditional all-girl bridal
shower? Absolutely not! A female-only shower is as appropriate
today as it was for our grandmothers. It's just that now
we have choices.
The maid of honor traditionally hosts the shower, but that too is changing with the times, especially since today's bride might be feted with multiple showers. If you are close to the bride and want to host a shower, be sure to check with her and the maid of honor to make sure you're not stepping on anyone's toes. Once that is decided, pick a theme that reflects the lifestyles of both bride and groom. The invitations, party decorations, activities, music and menu should coordinate with the shower's theme.
Who gets invited to what? Here lies another nuance that has evolved over the past decade and it may be due to more women in the workplace. We may feel close to coworkers because we spend so much time together at work, but for the most part we don't see these people that much outside of the office setting. For this reason, it has become more acceptable for colleagues to host a lunchtime coed shower at work, even if they won't be attending other showers or the wedding itself.
These flexible themes can be adapted to work for both coed and women-only showers. Each theme comes with a unique set of tips and ideas to help you set the mood, plan a menu and shop for gifts. We've done the prep work for you; now it's your turn to add your personal touch. Choose a coed shower theme that reflects the union of these two special people and make it the best party imaginable.
Wine and Dine Theme
Set the Mood: If the couple has a taste for the finer side of life, treat them to a night out at the best restaurant in town, a dinner theater, a table at the comedy club or a concert. Or bring the high life home: have each guest bring a bottle of wine and stage your own wine tasting, with participants evaluating wines from bottles with their labels masked. Afterwards, see which bottle scored best with the group.
Food & Beverage: Serve caviar, pâté, and imported aged cheese before you head out on the town; if you return home for dessert, serve petits fours, liqueurs and gourmet coffee.
Gifts: Encourage guests to give gifts such as a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, gourmet cooking classes, or membership in a wine club. Also appropriate: items from the couple's gift registry, such as white or red wine glasses, or chef's pans. Want to go all out? Consider asking all guests to contribute to one big, themed present, such as a trip for two to California's famous Napa Valley.
Home and Garden Theme
Set the Mood: Pick a location that combines the indoors and the outdoors -- perhaps your own home, patio and yard. Set up inside and out. If you hold the party during the day, let sunshine light the event; at night, you can light the outside with strands of little white twinkle lights and candles, or garden torches. Decorate tables naturally with glass bowls of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. Food & Beverage: Garden fresh and hearty is the way to go. Grilled chicken, hamburgers, fresh corn, pasta salad, watermelon, homemade pie and ice cream, sun-brewed iced tea, lemonade, and fruity sangria.
Gifts: Have each guest bring a gift for a certain area of the house or garden, like picture frames, vases and ceramic pots, lively shrubs and flowers, home and garden tools and do-it-yourself home improvement manuals.
Love and Lingerie Theme
Set the Mood: This risqué shower is full of humor and grown-up fun. Hire a trunk show and bring in models for a "his and hers" lingerie fashion show.
Food & Beverage: Set out a fresh fruit and vegetable tray, mini quiches, strawberries dipped in chocolate, champagne and chilled mineral water with lemon and lime slices.
Gifts: Encourage each guest brings two gifts -- one naughty and one nice! Nice gifts would be his and hers monogrammed bathrobes, bath towels from their registry, aromatherapy oils, and engraved champagne glasses. Naughty gifts for the honeymoon could be sexy his and her lingerie and romantic books and products.
Celestial Sights Theme
Set the Mood: Make reservations for a private party at a natural hot springs resort or European spa so your coed collection of friends can relax in hot, steamy natural hot springs tubs under the starry night sky.
Food & Beverage: Serve up a table full of gourmet appetizers -- crostini with olive tapenade or foie gras, smoked salmon on lightly buttered black bread with capers, endive and crème fraiche. Offer sparkling drinks, but keep the alcohol under control, as hot water and drinking can be dangerous.
Gifts: Suggest guests give telescopes, astronomy accessories, or Laserium Show tickets. Name a Star will memorialize the couple's wedding day when you buy them their very own star! They get to pick out which star, name it and receive a letter of authenticity.
High Tech Theme
Set the Mood: Create a cyberspace-age atmosphere. Use blue light bulbs to mock the techno blue glow of a half a dozen computer monitors. Use floppy disks as coasters and give custom-made mouse pads personalized with a photo of the couple, their names and wedding date as party favors. High tech couples would never send paper invitations via snail mail; email invitations instead!
Food & Beverage: Serve a high tech buffet of super-synthetic foods. Offer microwave cheese fondue, Jiffy Pop popcorn, and "space food." Serve Tang, 7-Up and champagne poured over gamma green ice cubes made from frozen Gatorade, or lime juice.
Gifts: Have guests give gift certificates for a computer store shopping spree, software or games, and personalized poems and songs electronically created and delivered online.
Health and Fitness Theme
Set the Mood: Reserve the rock-climbing wall at a local sport center or take this coed shower to a park or beach. Organize a 1K run or a golf, tennis, volleyball or racquetball tournament.
Food & Beverage: Serve healthy snacks like crispy vegetable crudités followed by turkey or veggie burgers, a mixed green salad, fruit kabobs and sun-brewed iced tea, or set up a juice bar and let guests design their own healthy drinks.
Gifts: Encourage guests to give tickets to a professional sporting event, fitness equipment for the newlyweds' home, or personalized golf balls. Acupuncture and massage sessions make great gifts too
Budget Weddings   | Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties