|Choose a theme
Themed showers are growing in popularity today—everything from lingerie-themed events to Hawaiian luaus. Themed showers are fun and interesting, especially since it'll take a bit of your imagination to plan it all. From the invitations, to the decorations and the food—you decide how much or how little you want to incorporate the theme into the event. Talk with the bride (and the groom if it will be a co-ed shower) about the different theme possibilities. They may like one more than the other, or they may have more use for the gifts that come from a Stock-the-Bar shower than they would from a Linen shower. Ask them about the items they really need and/or want, and then try to base your theme around that.
Below are a few shower theme ideas.
Basket Shower- Pamper the bride with gift baskets. Assign each guest with a different theme and ask them to use their imagination to fill a basket and decorate them according to that theme. Here are a couple examples for gift basket ideas:
- Italian-themed basket-- use a pasta strainer as the basket. Fill the strainer with a couple of kitchen towels, oil and vinegar bottles or flavored olive oils, bags of colorful pasta, Parmesan cheese grater, etc.
- Bathroom basket-- use a bathroom wastebasket and fill with items for the bathroom using the couple's gift registry as a guide—hand towels, soap dispenser, toothbrush caddy, colorful soaps, etc.
Decorate this themed shower by using baskets for everything! Fill baskets with the napkins and utensils; fill several other baskets with pretty flower arrangements; give away small gift baskets as game prizes (fill with any kind of edible goodies, or whatever you wish.)
Linen Shower- Shower the bride with new linens for their home. Gifts can be easily chosen from the couple's registry, or may include any of the following: flannel or cotton bed sheets, comforters, pillow cases, fluffy bath towels, linen spray/freshener, etc. The invitations would fit this theme perfectly if they were drawn and cut out in the shape of a bed or a pillow, using poster board. Decorate the shower location with plenty of floral arrangements and give out scented drawer sachets as favors.
Recipe Shower- Insert a blank recipe card with each invitation (along with instructions on what to do.) Ask guests to fill in the enclosed recipe card with their favorite "tried and true" recipe to hand down to the bride. It's a great idea to have the gifts coincide with the recipe. Here are several recipe and gift examples:
- Lasagna recipe-- lasagna pan and a cheese grater
- Sugar cookie recipe-- cookie sheets, cookie cutters and oven mitts
- Pizza recipe-- pizza pan, pizza cutter and a garlic press
You can reduce the chances of duplicate recipes and gifts by assigning each guest with a different meal category— such as breakfast, lunch, side dish, main course, dessert, appetizer, etc. You can use kitchen gadgets as part of your decorating scheme. Give out kitchen magnets, misc. kitchen gadgets or oven mitts as favors. Add all the recipe cards to a new recipe box for the bride. She will then have a great start to a wonderful recipe collection.
Honeymoon Shower- Base the shower theme around the couple's honeymoon destination. This theme works great for co-ed showers as well. Host a luau for a tropical honeymoon theme. You could give out small baskets of shells or plastic leis for favors. Is the couple going to Paris? Serve up French foods and a variety of wines. Decorate with an Eiffel Tower theme. Wherever the honeymoon may be, decorate according to that destination. Try to mix the theme into the invitations, food, decorations and even the music, if possible.
Kitchen Shower- The name says it all. Gifts can include anything from kitchen towels, unique kitchen gadgets, a toaster, blender, knife set, etc. Let the couple's registry be your guide. If you have a hard time finding invitations to match this theme, you could make them yourself on the computer. Invitations with pictures of kitchen appliances or fruits and vegetables bordered around them would be perfect. Favors and decorations could be the same as those mentioned under the Recipe Shower theme. Take a look at our Shower Game Ideas to find a great game or two to match this theme.
Lingerie Shower- This theme may cause the bride to blush a bit, though the gifts don't have to include only lingerie. Scented bath oils, bubble bath, soaps, lotions, satin sheets and romantic musical CD's can also be an option. Serve up some delectable treats (such as chocolate covered strawberries) along with the usual cake for dessert. Use floral arrangements and candles to create a fitting atmosphere for this shower. Potpourri sachets or tiny mesh bags filled with bath beads or soaps can be given out for favors.
Around-the-Clock Shower- Assign each guest with a different hour of the day and ask them to bring a gift that coordinates with that time. For example, if a guest is assigned 7am, an alarm clock or coffee maker may be a great gift; 12pm a picnic basket; 8pm a pair of movie tickets or a good dessert cookbook. Buy poster board and sketch a few clocks with specific times of the day pointed out, and hang as decorations.
Afternoon Tea Party- Host a traditional afternoon tea (around 2pm) and serve dainty finger sandwiches, scones, biscuits with butter and jam, and assorted teas. Decorate with floral arrangements and candles. Use your good china and linen tablecloths. If the weather will be pleasant, an outdoor garden setting would be perfect. Small topiaries or mini teacups filled with assorted teas would make great favors.
Stock-the-Bar Shower- Great for a co-ed event. If the couple already owns many of the ordinary gifts that are traditionally given at showers, they may appreciate this theme. Everything from an ice bucket and tongs to martini shakers, shot glasses and bar towels would be appropriate gifts for this kind of shower. Bottles of wine and liqueur are also great gifts. This theme is great when hosted in the evening hours with hors d'oeuvres.
Patio Shower- Another great idea for the co-ed wedding shower. Host a barbeque on the back patio and request that the guests bring gifts fitting for the backyard. Barbeque utensils, outdoor dinnerware, serving trays and tiki torches make great gifts. Some good group gifts could include a new grill or a patio set. Invitations could be made using red and white-checkered napkins (use markers or fabric paint). Your menu could include the essential cookout foods: burgers, hotdogs, potato salad, watermelon, etc.