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Shower Ideas for the Non-Girly Bride

The lovely E. wrote to me with the following question:

Might you have any suggestions for bridal shower ideas/activities for a pair of non-girly brides? I’m co-throwing a shower and having a planning session soon! Thanks! :)

Questions like this are always a little tough for me, because I don’t actually know these particular non-girly brides. Maybe my idea of a great non-girly bridal shower might not be how bride-to-be 1 and bride-to-be 2 would like to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. So my first piece of advice for you, E., is to go with your gut. You know these brides and how they like to party, you understand how they think and you care about them, and most importantly, you probably know what they don’t like. In other words, just because every ‘how to host a bridal shower‘ guide out there is telling you to do X, Y, and Z doesn’t mean you actually should.

Personally, I am a fan of the non-shower shower – the kind of bridal shower that doesn’t try too hard to be pink and frilly and nightmarishly silly with hats and games that make the whole thing feel more like a kid’s party than an event for grownup people. And planning a bridal shower like this means veering away from the generic bridal shower and instead, choosing a location, activities, food, and themes that will actually appeal to the guest of honor. That, of course, is where these non-girly brides’ personalities come in. I am definitely going to offer you some suggestions, but if none of them sound like they would appeal to your friends, then use them as a jumping off point. Think of my suggestions as templates and do with them what you will.

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LOVE/HATE: The ‘Practice Wedding’ Edition

Bridal showers… some people have them, some people don’t. The best thing I can say about my bridal shower is that people I love were there, quite a few of whom I hadn’t seen on a long, long while. The thing about bridal showers is that the bride is supposed to have nothing to do with the planning of it. She’s busy planning a wedding, first of all. And what with showers being a gift-focused event, etiquette says that the guest-of-honor isn’t to be involved in the details.

That means that brides-to-be get what they get when it comes to bridal showers if everyone follows the rules, so there are those who end up with quite restaurant lunches and those who end up with something a little more… like a wedding?

over the top bridal shower bachelorette party

A practice wedding, perhaps? There’s a part of my brain that, when it sees pictures of luxurious and otherwise fabulously-appointed bridal showers or bachelorette parties shouts “Excess, excess, excess!” but it’s a small part, really. And probably a jealous part *wink* since if the hostess of said shower has the fundage to throw a huge do just for the fem folks, then more power to them.

There’s certainly no rule stating that a bridal shower can’t have a giant cake and and favors galore and amazing tablescapes, or even live music and things like that. A shower is, after all, just another kind of party. But there’s still that part of my mind that wonders if all the bridesmaids involved in the planning could really afford to chip in, and if guests possibly might have obligated to spring for a more expensive gift if they heard just how fancy a shower it would be.

I suppose I have to label myself conflicted when it comes to a certain sort of very upscale bridal shower – and, again, it’s probably got a lot to do with that nasty green-eyed monster, since I do love a fab party! What say you?

P.S. – Check out the giveaway I’m running at Manolo for the Home! It’s for a super cute Dabney Lee desk calendar that will really brighten your day!

(Photo via)

In Spirit Showers?

Bridal showers are subject to all sorts of factors, from friends spread out around the country to delays caused by a complicated postal system to bridesmaids’ budget woes. Can your best friend afford to travel across two states twice — once for the shower and once for the wedding? Your favorite cousin didn’t receive her invite until two days before the event, oops. And air travel is just too much of a pain these days. Long story short, it would seem that tricky logistical problems are not at all uncommon, if the existence of Tutto Liccica is any indication.

princess-bride-gift

Tutto Luccica specializes in remote (or, as they call them, “In spirit“) showers meant to transcend geographical differences. It works like this: Tutto Luccica helps the hostess pick a date and provides invitations, shower favors, and an event web site with information about the guest of honor. They then mail said GoH a centerpiece gift package that she is barred from opening until the specified date. I won’t go into that, but I can safely say it’s something you could easily put together yourself.

Finally, the hostess is given instructions that outline how to make it all work…instructions, I might add, that aren’t explained on Tutto Luccica’s web site. I can only assume that invitees are encouraged to send a gift that will arrive on or around a specified date, at which time they can use their powers of imagination to envision the bride-to-be happily unwrapping her bounty alone, in her jim-jams. Maybe it’s like the time I played Hour of Power with The Beard over IRC when I lived in NYC and he lived in Boston…

Does this seem a little weird to anyone else? In essence, you’re getting invited in spirit to a party that is only taking place in spirit, but you’re being asked to send a real gift. I’d be much more apt to send a gift to the bride-to-be if I were to receive an invitation to an actual bridal shower that circumstance kept me from attending. Am I just a stick in the mud who is not hip and with it enough to recognize the future of bridal showers?

Goodness me, I hope not.

Man Showers? I’m Thinking a Lot of Duct Tape!

No, not a lot of duct tape like that, you pervs. I mean there will probably be a lot of duct tape on the man registry* that will precede what some are calling the newest trend in weddings, the man shower. Googling “man showers” — see what I do for you? — brings up plenty of results, which could indeed point to a growing trend. EXCEPT that almost all of the results lead to a single AP article reprinted in papers across the U.S.

The gift-laden dude you see above is Brian Wigand, whose FFIL Jonathan Morris welcomed him into the family by throwing him a man shower as a warm up to, not a substitute for, the traditional bachelor party.

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