News

Parties With Spunk

Ideas for special bridal showers

by

comment
Wedding showers have come a long way since the days when they were first came about in Holland as a way for a bride to gather household necessities when her father disapproved of her fiance and refused to provide a dowry. Well-wishers would "shower" the bride with gifts so she could set up a proper household without the support of her father.

Later, when bridal couples in America tended to be younger than they are now and had not already established a household of their own as singles, wedding showers again provided what couples starting off needed for a well-stocked home. On average, bridal couples today are a bit older when they get married (mid to late twenties) and most already have lived outside their parents' homes and already have accumulated the necessities. The wedding shower now tends to supplement what the couple needs after they combine two households into one and provide some new, matching things such as china and linens and some luxuries they might not buy for themselves.

One place to focus on special interests or needs of a bridal couple and gather in support of their venture together is a themed bridal shower. The ideas here are for informal, fun gatherings, some just for women and others for guests of both genders.

Good Libations
Hold a wine-tasting party with cheese and fruits and have guests bring items to stock the bridal couple's bar. The host might spring for a wine rack and have guests bring their favorite vintages to fill it up, or guests might choose to bring liquor, a fancy wine opener, different shapes of bar glasses, jiggers, a citrus squeezer, fancy olives, swizzle sticks, an ice bucket and even bar decor. If the couple are oenophiles, give them a wine journal as a gift and place labels from the wines served at the party into the book.

Garden Party
Guests have cocktails and refreshments outside like a traditional garden party and bring gifts to fill in a couple's new yard, such as small trees and plants, pretty pots, gardening gloves, a water hose, tools, even a lawnmower or tiller. You also can add birdhouses, a birdbath, garden decor or a gift certificate for a lawn service or landscaper.

What's for Dinner Party
All new couples need a few great recipes to get them started, and tried-and-true dishes are always welcome. At this party, the host buys a nice recipe card holder and guests jot down a favorite recipe on a card and place it in a basket that might contain all the non-perishable ingredients for the dish, any special pots, pans or baking dishes needed, or cooking implements such as wooden spoons, spatulas, a lettuce spinner, spices, potholders, kitchen towels or an apron. Those who don't cook might opt for a nice recipe book, a gift certificate to the couple's favorite restaurant, supermarket gift cards or wines.

Dining Al Fresco Party
If the couple likes to cook on a barbecue grill or hibachi, the host can plan a party in which guests eat outdoors and bring along gifts that reflect the event. Gifts can include a grill, hibachi, fire pit, smoker or chiminea (for roasting marshmallows), grilling fork and other implements, non-breakable plates and glasses, a barbecue apron and special hand mitts, citronella candles in pretty holders, an outdoor table, chairs, umbrella, wooden serving bowls for salads, checkered tablecloth, an ice chest and other accessories.

Get the Picture Party
The host should buy a guest book or scrapbook and when guests arrive take their picture and have them sign the book and, if they wish, write a note to the wedding couple and even decorate the page if they are so inclined. The host later should add each guest's photo to the page they signed and other pictures of the party to the back of the book and give it to the couple as a memento. Guests should bring gifts such as disposable cameras to be used at the wedding reception or on the honeymoon, photo albums, picture frames, a regular snapshot or digital camera, a certificate for having photos framed, photo organizing boxes, a framed piece of artwork, labels and scrapbook supplies (if the couple does that). A fun game to play at this party is to blindfold the bride (if it's an all-woman party) and groom (if it's a mixed group), hand them each a suitcase and tell them they have to put on everything in the suitcase over their clothes while still blindfolded. In the suitcases you can put sunglasses, underwear (men's briefs for the bride, bikinis for the groom), a bra or muscle shirt, funky shorts, silly shoes, a hat, belt, ruffly apron, whatever suits you. When they've finished, take off the blindfolds and take a picture of them. This, of course, should be prominently displayed in the memento album.

Gift Basket Party
Assign each guest a room of the house or a theme, such as "the honeymoon," "the first day back," or "yard work" and have them fill the basket with things that apply. The kitchen basket, for instance, could contain spices, measuring spoons, sponges, an apron, a cookbook, hot pads, etc.; the bathroom basket could contain a shower curtain, luxurious soaps, candles, a trash can, towels and washcloths, a shower organizer, cleaning supplies, toothbrush holder and shaving stand. A honeymoon basket could include champagne, two glasses, chocolates, a CD of romantic or favorite music, snacks, perfume and cologne. The first-day-back basket could include an easy-to-prepare meal or restaurant gift certificate, a bottle of wine or other relaxing libation, stress-relieving bath salts, a good movie, a book about massage, and house slippers. The yard basket could include all kinds of tools, potting soil, plant fertilizer, seeds or bulbs, a decorative pot, art for the outdoors, a book about plants -- just use your imagination.

Newlywed Tea Party
A traditional party that is a sentimental favorite among many brides is the teacup party in which guests each bring a special teacup and saucer and container of tea. Some brides prefer to receive the china they are collecting in their registry, but the traditional party is a collection of guests' choices and can help the bride accumulate a beautiful and eclectic collection of antique, vintage and new cups to capture all her moods and gives her a very personal and visual memory of a friend each time she uses it. It also allows her to collect an assortment of different teas, hot chocolate mixes or other hot libations. It's nice for the host to purchase a traditional wooden or leather tea box to store the teas collected.

Lingerie Party
Perhaps a favorite shower of the groom, but one to which he's seldom invited, is a lingerie shower in which guests bring gifts of various lingerie items for the honeymoon and beyond, including a pretty gown, bra and panty sets, negligee, slippers and a robe.

Special Interest Party
If the bridal couple has a special passion, such as camping, golf, music, etc., you can host a party focusing on that diversion. A camping party, for instance, could include gifts such as a tent, sleeping bags, flashlights, a camping lantern, portable stove, Swiss army knife, outdoor cooking and dining utensils, a U.S. or world atlas, raft, fishing poles, and a first-aid kit. Music aficionados might like CDs of favorite groups, portable CD players, a CD storage rack, a subscription to a music magazine, framed photos or posters of a favorite music personality, a harmonica or recorder or a stereo system.

Personalized Quilt Shower
This party works best with either family members or close friends who are handy with their hands. Each guest is asked to assemble a uniformly sized quilt square either with a photo that's been transferred onto fabric (you should allow several weeks for this) or a square with a design that reflects something about the giver or the bridal couple. A picture of the bridal couple can be transferred onto a square for the middle of the quilt and a blank white square or two (depending on how many guests are invited) can be set aside for everyone to sign in permanent fabric marker when they arrive at the party. The host should assemble the back of the quilt ahead of time and have it displayed hanging on a wall or laying on a large surface. As the guests' gifts are opened, their squares can be arranged on the quilt face. The host can have the squares stitched on and the whole thing quilted after the party. Some people prefer to assemble the quilt ahead of time, which takes a bit more advance notice and organization.

feat-9078.jpeg

Add a comment