Wise Wedding Showers
Got friends getting married? Looking for a unisex shower idea that both sexes can enjoy? Following are ten different theme party ideas for grown up wedding showers that men and women can enjoy in mixed company.
- Wine Shower: This one is nice for a more established couple who already own most of the traditional wedding gift items. One friend can host, or you can throw it at the home where the couple will be residing after their marriage. The idea for this shower is simple. Every guest or guest couple brings two bottles of the wine they want to give as a gift. One bottle goes into the couple’s wine rack, cellar or collection. The other is set out for the main activity of this shower, wine tasting. If possible, bring a menu pairing suggestion and perhaps an appetizer or food item to share. Someone should also be in charge of the cake or dessert item, and a few related items such as corkscrew(s), glasses, receptacles, pallet clearing crackers, wine glasses, storage items such as racks and coolers, or perhaps a resource book or two. Additionally, consider having each guest bring a recipe for their wine’s recommended menu item or the appetizer they brought.
- Financial Library / Investing Shower: A great idea for the younger couple just starting out. Gift suggestions would include book titles from respected authors on subjects from thrift to investing, from DIY to personal finance. There are also several DVD’s on the market relating to the credit card industry and other financial topics. While sales people wouldn’t be appropriate, an activity might include area experts coming to speak on such subjects as insurance needs and when to review, wills, trusts, taxes, various investment strategies and programs, etc. Spice things up afterwards with a fun food buffet, cocktails or perhaps heading out for an evening of dinner and dancing.
- Bar Shower: Similar to the wine tasting shower, this theme is also great for an older couple, and could also work for one of those small, intimate weddings hosted inside the couple’s home. Sleek, modern decorations, a cake, appetizers and guests requested to come in cocktail attire should keep things in focus. Also as with the wine shower, bring two bottles of the item(s). One will go towards stocking the couple’s entertainment bar; one will go towards entertainment for the group at the shower. Put on some jazz, make sure some people are in charge of support gifts such as a bar set, champagne bucket, leather copy of Mr. Boston’s, margarita salt, cocktail onions, bar cherries, mixers such as tonic and seltzer, various cocktail glasses for different drinks, ice crushing blender, etc. Since cocktail menu pairings are becoming just as popular in certain restaurants as wine pairings, consider highlighting a particular cocktail and serving it with a recommended menu item. Another fun thing to do might be to hire a popular performing bar tender to show everyone how to make certain difficult drinks, and to provide an extra “wow” factor throughout the evening. Some of these people really put forth some serious showmanship with the tossing of the martini shakers, and the dance moves put into each cocktail preparation.
- Spa Shower: With both men and women enjoying the spa experience these days, the time for the unisex spa shower has definitely arrived. Have a list of suggested gifts that people can give independently and a few that people can chip in on. Some suggestions? Hot stone therapy set and heater, massage table, matching robes and slippers, DVD’s and books with instructions on specific massage techniques. Relaxation CD’s and candles might also be appropriate to a certain degree, as would supplies to create their own spa bathroom. For activities, have supplies available for everyone to make their own spa products such as salt scrubs and shower sprays. As a group, you could also book a massage therapist to provide chair massage, or have a nail technician come to give everyone a pedicure and manicure. Cocktails and manicures? Sounds good to me.
- Health and Fitness Shower: Plan a hike or other physical activity for the guests at a particular location and select food and drinks appropriate for that choice. Gift suggestions should fit the health and fitness theme, for example yoga mats, free weights, snow shoes, etc.
- Romance Shower: The theme here can be traditional romantic foods and their accompanying recipes such as chocolate covered strawberries with champagne, lobster dishes, etc. Gift suggestions could include a picnic basket and supplies, romantic CD’s, breakfast in bed trays, etc. Couples communications and relationship book titles for their reference library might also work, depending on the couple and your relationship with them.
- The Entertainment Shower: This theme can actually go in a few different directions. BBQ supplies, DVD collections, or dishes and serving accessories for throwing large parties would all be appropriate gift categories. Make the activity for the shower match the type of suggested gift theme.
- Honeymoon Shower: Choose decorations, food and beverages that celebrate the couple’s honeymoon destination. Suggest theme gifts that the couple can use or enjoy on their wedding trip. Guide books, underwater disposable cameras, prepay for a wine selection of their choice upon checking in to their room, gear and clothing they might need while there, etc.
- Heritage Shower: Friends and family share heirloom recipes, advice, items and traditions with the bride and groom to be. Record the suggestions and recipes in an album, video diary or blog. Any family heirlooms handed down at the shower could have the documented story available for this next generation to hand down when their turn comes.
- Gift Certificate Bash: This could be adapted for either young or more established couples. For the couple that has everything, set them up with date nights for some time to come by giving theater tickets, restaurant gift certificates, spa treatments, etc. That way, they’ll have the ability to go out and enjoy each other’s company while they are still focusing on their financial goals. Younger pairs might benefit from a year’s worth of automobile oil changes, gift certificates for pantry stocking, or other maintenance items.
That's ten separate theme showers for mixed company. If you have others, please share. Many couples these days have overlapping friend circles, and it's not as much fun when both sets of friends can't come. That's not to say that traditionally separate showers aren't still fun, but let's face it. Grooms quite often get the short end of the stick when it comes to wedding festivities and planning. They're getting married too, right? Let's remember to include them in ways they'll actually enjoy.