bridal shower

Non-Traditional Wedding Showers

'Tis the season for bridal showers (or groom showers. I don’t discriminate). Showers are not necessary. Not really anymore. They developed from the ancient dowry practice (oh dear) and from there morphed into a ritual to prepare young couples for their new life and home together - more specifically, prepare the young wife to be homemaker with bed sheets, pots and pans, and other home essentials. Some argue that throwing traditional bridal showers in this day and age establishes women in their “expected” role as family cook, homemaker and sexual partner. I have to disagree. I realize the ritual is steeped in these difficult, very traditional and complicated sexist ideas. But I still had a bridal shower. And here’s why - I don’t think women hang out enough together. And I loved the idea of gathering my favorite women of all ages in one room and actually honoring them (even though technically they were honoring me). So as you may imagine if you know me at all from this blog, I encourage you to embrace the tradition but give it your own spin. Focus on the positive - having another reason to gather and celebrate. And here’s one last tidbit. Don’t focus on the gifts**. I think we need to step beyond the bridal shower tradition of showering the bride or groom with gifts (um, isn’t that what the wedding gifts are all about??), and instead shower them with love. Plus, let’s face it. Many of us are getting married later in life and may even co-habitate with our partners before marriage. So we don’t need all those household goods. Let’s just lurve a little. **oh, and the games. THE GAMES. I am anti-games. But if you love them, do it. This post will not support them though. I don’t like toilet paper dresses. I don’t understand. If you can explain the fun of the games to me, please do. Or, if you know of legitimately FUN games, please share.

So here are some shower-ful ideas I hope you’ll enjoy:

For my shower, I specifically said that I didn’t want any gifts. So my genius sisters asked all of the guests (and even those who couldn’t attend) to give me a written recipe for marriage. Guys. It was incredible. The advice ranged from the extremely hilarious, to the incredibly heartfelt and everything in-between. And what amazed me was that with 25 different pieces of advice, there were very few repeats. My sisters made me a box to keep all of the cards, and it’s one of my most favorite, cherished items. Ever. For reals. If I ever need inspiration, I just open that box and the wisdom and love pour out.

Speaking of recipes, I’ve also heard of great recipe showers for the foodie couple. Have every guest bring their favorite recipe for their favorite dish, and by the end of the party the couple has a ton of new meals to try! If you insist on gifts, have them bring some of the baking essentials to complement their recipe (the necessary pan, the gourmet chocolate chips, or the indulgent truffles).

If they’re a party-couple, why not have a “stock the bar” shower? They may not need pots, pans, or dishes, but who wouldn’t love a fully stocked bar with all the essentials (and non-essentials)? Both partners benefit from this party which I always enjoy - AND it ensures excellent future parties will be on the horizon with delicious cocktails.

I also love this idea of having a flower arranging workshop. It’s a fun, creative experience that’s focused more on beauty and celebration rather than gifts.

Or, embrace the stereotypes and your love of Mad Men and throw a 50’s housewife shower. This one that Off-Beat Bride featured is ridiculously amazing and really makes me want to throw on some rollers and an apron.

Long story short. Ditch the dishes and gifts and the stuff so often associated with showers. Focus on the celebration and love. It’ll probably blow your mind.