When it comes to weddings, the times they are a-changin’. For some, at least. In recent times, we’ve seen more and more couples start to adopt a significantly less traditional approach to organizing one of the most important days of their lives. From the bride wearing a minimalist wedding dress to the menu being more modern and containing things like ice cream. Even the venue itself can be a lot more exotic than what used to be the norm.
When even weddings, the proverbial bastions of traditionalism, can’t stave off change completely, it is only natural that other events associated with a wedding will follow suit. One such fairly recent development is the introduction of the couple’s shower in lieu of the more established bridal shower.
What Is a Couple’s Shower?
Also known as a Jack & Jill shower/party, a couple’s shower is a modern variant of the bridal shower. The basic premise of the occasion remains intact, but the event is given a twist to also include the groom. This change further extends to the guest list and to several other elements.
Traditionally speaking, a bridal shower is a girls-only party organized by the bride’s closest friend(s), during which the bride-to-be is “showered” with gifts. These gifts are usually items which are useful to have around the house and are there to help the couple establish their own household. The event itself is an evolution of the much older dowry practices. As the dowry became less prominent, the bridal shower took its place in a way.
However, couple’s showers are now starting to encroach upon this territory and are rapidly gaining in popularity. As we already said, the underlying aspect of gift-giving remains the same, but the circumstances are expanded.
To begin with, in addition to the bride, the groom is also present and actively involved in the festivities. Furthermore, the guest list includes people from both sides of the aisle, so to speak. Both male and female friends and relatives of the bride and the groom should attend. Finally, the gifts will be a bit different as they now need to appeal to the whole couple, not just the future bride.
Why Opt for a Couple’s Shower?
Now that we’ve gone over this difference, we’ll give you several reasons why we believe a couple’s shower is the superior choice and you should have it instead of the more traditional alternative.
- An Excuse to Gather All Your Friends
First up, we all know how hectic our modern lifestyles can frequently be. There are many things we’d like to do but simply can’t get around to. Or worse, we skip interesting activities because we feel it would be irresponsible to “waste” so much of our time. Well, that is one of the best things about wedding and pre-wedding festivities. They provide everyone, guests included, with a rock-solid reason to put their obligations on hold and just have some fun, guilt free.
Add to this the fact that modern technologies have made long-distance friendships easier. This means the couple could have friends from another town or even a different country and who knows when they’ll get another excuse to drop everything and come for a visit. Viewed this way, we think it’s a shame not to give everyone such an opportunity to unwind.
- Casual Fun
Couple’s showers are very casual in nature, more so than traditional bridal showers. This makes it easier to plan, plus it gives the guests more opportunities to simply mingle and enjoy themselves. It’s basically a party with a few wrinkles.
- Unifying Friends from Both Sides
A couple’s shower is also an excellent way for the friends of the bride to mix with the groom’s buddies. As mentioned, it’s a casual atmosphere and very conducive to establishing connections. Who knows, the soon-to-be-wed couple might even be trying to play matchmaker.
Some think that traditional bridal showers force the stereotypical role of a wife onto the future bride. By including the groom, the emphasis is on the couple as equal partners in everything.
Planning a Couple’s Shower
Now that you’ve decided to go for a couple’s shower, we’ll give you some tips on how to go about doing it. In its essence, a couple’s shower is rather similar to a regular dinner or cocktail party. This means two things.
For one, you can apply many of the same principles. The occasion is special and there is a bit more emphasis on the gifts, but other than that – if it works for a party, it’ll work for a couple’s shower.
Secondly, because it’s so informal, there are no hard rules you can break. The following list isn’t a set of guidelines you need to follow, it’s just some ideas to help you make sure the event is fun for everyone involved.
- Theme or No Theme
A theme is an excellent way to make a shower unique and memorable. Pool or beach parties are amazing, if those options are available. If the couple enjoys sports, go for that. The same goes for movies. Basically, if the bride and the groom are both passionate about a hobby, it’ll make an excellent theme for the shower.
If your shower has a theme, choose a venue that complements it. But, if at all possible, go for a home setting. We feel this makes the whole event much more relaxed. Just put up some decorations and you’re set. And if you can’t think of a particular theme, a backyard barbecue is a surefire hit.
A shower should have some organized activities for the guests’ entertainment. Again, keep them in line with the theme, if possible. Lawn games, board games, trivia, etc. They also serve as excellent icebreakers since you’ll have guests who may not have met before.
You can send invitations in the mail, but it’s not mandatory. Email or phone will work just as well. Either way, make sure you send them at least a couple of weeks in advance. People need time to choose a present and they also might need to make travel arrangements.
One thing to look out for is to make sure to emphasize that it’s a couple’s shower. It’s still a bit of a novelty so people need to know for sure what’s involved. Consequently, if you think someone might be uncomfortable with the idea or could cause problems, skip them.
- Personalized Keepsakes
At the end of the shower, the guests should receive some sort of a keepsake. It’s best if these little gifts are personalized. Something as simple as a printed t-shirt can serve as a fond reminder of this joyous occasion.
In conclusion, we hope we’ve managed to clear up this whole couple’s shower thing for you. We believe it is a great event and hope it continues to rise in prominence. Finally, if you are hosting one, these tips should set you well on your way.