Ideas for a Non-Traditional Bridal Shower

Creativity can help create a fun and practical event

By Steve Smith

Two women in robes at a day spa
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The bridal shower is starting to evolve into something that is much more than just a sit-down party with finger foods and presents. It may involve non-traditional themes that directly relate to the bride's situation or even trips. If you are looking for an alternative idea for your bridal shower party, stretch your imagination a little and try a new way to honor the bride.

Destination Bridal Showers

A new idea and a creative alternative to a traditional bridal shower is to take a day trip somewhere that is relaxing and fun for everyone. This gives the bride a day to rest, and, depending on the timing, it could also help her prepare for her big day. For instance, a day trip to a spa might allow the bride to have a facial, hand and foot treatments, and even eyebrow tinting before her wedding. It's like a present to the bride from everyone -- a sensory treat that she would normally have to pay for herself.

Themed Showers

A themed shower is one that is designed around a specific topic or concept. Guests are expected to contribute to the theme by bringing gifts, dressing the part of helping with decorations or food. Themes can be fun, like "western" or "romantic," or they can be practical, like "homemaker." For the homemaker theme, the gifts would all be something that a homemaker bride would need, like the traditional cooking items or something more unconventional such as a complete kitchen remodeling consultation and gift certificate. Make the theme cater to the bride's particular circumstances, and it will not only be original but practical as well.

Coed Bridal Showers

Another non-traditional idea is to hold a coed bridal shower, which means both the bride and groom are present. At a coed shower, both male and female friends are invited. In such cases the event should benefit both the bride and the groom, with the guests bringing gifts for both or for the two to share. For instance, for honeymoon gifts, a guest could bring a his-and-hers spa robe set. The same goes for home accoutrements. Instead of just giving the bride a set of glassware or cooking utensils, the guest could bring glassware for the bride and a power saw for the groom.

Choose-a-Room Showers

Another alternative to the traditional shower is the "choose-a-room" event. Each guest buys gifts for one room in the home for this type of bridal shower. The rooms are divided up equally among guests. You can get creative and by also including the garage and deck as rooms in the house. To decorate for this event, the hostess could divide up the living room into four or five separate areas to represent the rooms in the house and decorate each accordingly. For example, you could decorate the garage area of the living room with tools, toy trucks and posters of cars.

About the Author

Steve Smith is a freelance writer on topics including travel and weddings.

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Planning Reminder:

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Plan bridal shower

The maid of honor will likely head this up, though some brides have multiple showers thrown by people from different walks of their life. Your hostess may request a list of invitees from the bride. Be sure to express any preferences you have -- from including the boys to game requests or omissions.

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