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Wedding Wednesday

I Don't: Shake up the Shower with Non-Traditional Bridal Shower Ideas!

We share why the traditional bridal shower is an I DON’T in our series: I Do/ I Don’t, where we split the pros and cons between the hottest wedding trends.

Out of the Box Bridal Shower Ideas

The bridal shower is a centuries old tradition. The shower, for the most part, replaced the notion of the dowry. Another legend has it that in the late 19th century, a rich Dutchman’s daughter married a poor man he didn’t approve of. He refused to give his daughter her dowry, and the townspeople brought her gifts. Over the years, the bridal shower evolved into a nearly mandatory wedding event with its own protocols. Today, we say it’s time to party ways with the norm and break these rules.

1. The Bride’s Immediate Family Members Must Never Host the Bridal Shower

This rule stems from appearances – etiquette doyennes insisted that a shower hosted by Mom or Sis looked like an effort to greedily get gifts. However, the entire point of the bridal shower is to “shower” the bride with gifts. This is a party which quite literally revolves around guests watching the bride open presents – no matter who’s hosting. If your sister is a bridesmaid, the “rule” is a moot point anyways because it’s traditional for them to host, along with the MOH. But no longer is it frowned upon for Mom to open her home to your nearest and dearest ladies – whoever offers to host, or shower you, should be able to do so and expect heartfelt thanks from you, not snide whispers from anyone else.

2. You Must Have a Bridal Luncheon

Or a bridal tea, or a bridal brunch. Do you love brunch? Fine, have a brunch. But if you’re really in love with tapas and sangria, pass that suggestion along to your bridesmaids! If you’d rather have a chocolate tasting party, or a wine and cheese themed bridal shower, that’s game too. Ultimately the hosts are in charge of planning your shower, from theme to invites to decor and food, but they are planning with your tastes in mind, so don’t feel that you need to conform to the traditional bridal shower. If tea parties aren’t your or your bridesmaids’ thing, have a micro-brew themed shower instead.

3. You Must Open Gifts

 Yes, the entire point of the shower is so guests can bring you well wishes and thoughtful gifts – be they handmade or from your carefully cultivated registry. But if the thought of opening every gift with all eyes on you as you make the appropriate facial reactions and squeals of delight gives you a mini panic attack – skip it. Make the shower about time spent with the important people in your life, not the stuff they bring. Go bowling, have a picnic, plan a day full of fun bridal lawn games and take the focus off the gifts. This website has great ideas for something totally non-traditional. You may want to have your bridesmaids spread the word that you’d rather not receive gifts, but don’t be surprised when your well meaning friends and family bring you a little something anyways. All you have to do is graciously accept and write them a heartfelt thank you note.

4. No Boys Allowed

Traditionally, the groom doesn’t attend the shower. Or if he does, he’ll stop by quickly to greet the guests and thank them for showering his bride to be. But why leave the guys out of the fun? Coed wedding showers are one of the hottest wedding trends for a good reason. They allow the couple to spend time with their loved ones together while celebrating this joyous but brief time in their lives. It lets your guests see the excitement on your groom’s face when he opens that high-tech blender he couldn’t wait to scan with the registry gun (again, only if you’re okay with the whole present opening thing). It lets them spend time with you, the couple, and gives your closest friends and family member a great opportunity to meet and mingle before the wedding.

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