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Popular Bridal Shower Themes

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

Are you searching for a unique shower idea for a friend or relative? There are many creative possibilities.

For starters, it's a good idea to match the shower to the bride. In other words, is she conservative and traditional, or more unconventional? Would she be happier with a small, intimate group of five, or thrilled with a room full of thirty? Either way, theme showers are popular and make planning the event much easier. With some imagination, you can throw a shower which will be remembered long after the wedding.

Ordinarily, showers are given a month or two prior to the wedding, but they can be up to six months before. Traditionally, the maid of honor has been financially responsible, but today there's room for flexibility on that issue. In order to keep the financial burden to a minimum, two or three people may host a shower together.

During the shower, one bridesmaid should keep track of which guest gave what present, and another should make sure cards stay with the right boxes. Thank-you notes will be simpler for the bride, if this is handled that day.

Here's a few ideas to consider:

Happy Memories Shower: This is a great event for close friends and family of the bride. It works best with a smaller group of 8-10 people. All guests are asked to bring old photos of the bride from her childhood or teen years. They should also bring a short anecdote or funny story in writing, recalling the happy times they've spent together. As each person shares their special memory, the photos and written material are placed in a decorated scrapbook for the bride as a keepsake.

International Flair: This shower has themes within a theme, as each guest is assigned a country and asked to bring gift items pertaining to their country. England could be a tea set, or selection of fine teas, for instance. Italy could be a pasta maker or an Italian cookbook. Refreshments can mirror the international flavor of the day with egg rolls, Scottish shortbread, pita bread, etc. The hostess can "assign" herself a country and decorate accordingly. Guests can make a game of guessing what country the gifts represent.

Stock the Bar: This works well for a "couples" shower and if arranged in the evening, becomes more of a social event. The invitation list can be unlimited in length. Besides alcohol, guests could bring bar accessories such as an ice bucket with tongs, drink recipes, wine racks, or martini glasses, for example. Each guest might also be asked to bring a unique shot glass, so the couple has a starter collection to remind them of their closest friends.

Basket Shower: This is another theme within a theme shower. Depending upon the bride and her hobbies, guests could bring a gardening basket, dog-lovers basket, gourmet basket, romance basket, handy-gadgets basket, etc. Each one might contain a half dozen or so small items related to the theme. The hostess could decorate with baskets and serve some of the refreshments in baskets, as well.

Pick-a-Season Shower: This shower is especially amusing if you pick the opposite season, such as a winter shower during the summer or vice versa. All the gifts should reflect the season, such as beach towels in the middle of January, or Christmas decorations in the heat of July. Refreshments and decor can also reflect the opposite season, as could the music. Have the guests relate some of their best "seasonal" memories of the bride.

Relaxation Shower: For this shower, all the gifts pamper the bride and help her relax. Refreshments could include herbal tea, and finger foods. A massage therapists could be on hand to give massages (in the chair) and the music should be soothing. Gifts might include, aromatherapy candles, bath beads, gift certificates for a day spa, CD's of ocean sounds, etc.

Finally, don't feel limited. This special event is meant to be shared among close friends. If you feel an afternoon canoeing, followed by a picnic in the woods best suits the bride and her friends, rather than a more traditional shower, go for it!


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