Spring brings many things. Longer days, Little League Baseball, budding blossoms and showers. And no, I don’t mean rain showers. Spring ushers in Wedding Season and with it an array of wedding showers.
Whether you are hosting a wedding shower or simply attending one, these gatherings are a special opportunity to celebrate loved ones and wish them well as they begin a new chapter.
In the past, wedding showers were relatively straight-forward. The church parlor was booked, cake and cookies were made (perhaps a dish of salted nuts if you went all out), and corsages were purchased for the grandmothers, mothers and bride. The most difficult decision was which punch to make. Almond tea anyone?
Today, hosts and hostesses have gotten creative. Wedding showers are no longer expected to follow the expected pattern. Or is it, perhaps, the pressure of social media where a slew of new ideas can be found with a single search on Pinterest?
Speaking with the bride and groom is the best place to begin when planning a wedding shower. Ask what they are comfortable with and let that conversation be your guide as you plan.
• Who will be invited to the shower? Women only? Men and women?
• Does the bride or couple feel comfortable opening gifts in front of the crowd gathered?
• Would the bride or couple rather mingle with guests rather than open gifts during the shower?
• How dressy or casual do the couple want to be?
• Are there any guests who need special considerations? A comfortable seat or wheelchair access? Food allergies or preferences?
• Accommodate schedules as best you can especially when there are those coming out of town.
There are many options, both traditional and updated, that will be a perfect fit for the couple. After all, you want the bride and groom to be comfortable with the shower that is being given for them. The more at ease they are, the more enjoyable the day will be for them.
The Traditional Approach
THE INVITATION LIST
Generally speaking, a traditional wedding shower is a women-only affair. Female relatives, close friends and those taking part in the wedding should be invited. Don’t make the fatal faux pas of inviting someone to the shower who is not invited to the wedding.
Unless the invitation indicates something different, bring or send a wrapped gift to the shower. Select a gift from the couple’s wedding registry to ensure you give them something they personally picked out. This helps prevent duplicates too! Oftentimes, the bride will open each gift for those in attendance to see and pass them off to a hostess to be collected and displayed for others to see.
WHEN AND WHERE AND WHAT TO WEAR
A traditional wedding shower is typically hosted in the morning or afternoon. Oftentimes the shower will take place in a hostess’s home or the ever-popular church
parlor or another gathering space. Take a look at the invitation when deciding what to wear to the shower. If you wear a casual day dress or trousers with a blouse, you should feel comfortable at most any wedding shower. My sisters and I call these types of outfits “church clothes”. If you are still uncertain about what to wear, contact one of the hostesses and they’ll be happy to help you out.
Couples Shower and Other Non-Traditional Showers
THE INVITATION LIST
After meeting with the bride and groom, you might decide to throw a couples wedding shower, which includes both men and women. These have become popular in recent years. If either the bride or groom is from out of town, this is the perfect opportunity for friends and family to meet them.
In the past, gifts have been opened during the wedding shower, but today there are other options available to couples.
Bring your gift with only a bow and enclosure card attached. This way the gift can be taken at the door by a host or hostess and immediately displayed at the shower. Those in attendance can see what the happy couple received without having to watch as each gift is unwrapped.
GIFT CARD SHOWER
Some couples prefer to be given gift cards rather than select items for a wedding registry. The couple might have a fully stocked home and aren’t in need of more household items. Perhaps they live a long distance from the shower and don’t want to ship all their gifts home. Showering the couple with gift cards might be the perfect solution in this case.
GIFT NOW, OPEN LATER
Some couples would rather spend time with guests at their wedding shower rather than spend the majority of the party opening gifts. Hosts and hostesses can receive wrapped gifts from those attending the shower and collect them for the couple to open after the party has ended. This option also works for the bride and/or groom who would rather not have dozens of eyes focused on them as they open gifts for all to see. That can be a lot of pressure!
WHEN AND WHERE AND WHAT TO WEAR
Couples showers can take place at any time. The evening seems to be the most common time of day when a big meal can be arranged with plenty of time for conversation and enjoyment.
Where can you host a couples shower? Homes, backyards or event spaces, the possibilities are endless. Abilene and our surrounding community has seen an increase in beautiful event spaces that can be rented for events like showers. As guest lists grow, a larger space comes in handy. Couples showers tend to be less dressy. These showers are more about the time spent celebrating the bride and groom.
For the Bride and Groom: Some Things Never Go Out of Style
Make sure to greet and thank your guests. They are there to celebrate you so let them know how much you appreciate them.
Bring a gift for each host or hostess. The effort and expense they contributed needs to be recognized.
Make sure to keep an accurate list of all gifts you received and who gave it to you. Thank you notes are a MUST. In the digital age we live in, the gesture of a hand written note is unsurpassed.
By Callie Harris
Photos By Shaylie Anne Photography