Photo: Willhouse Photography
Times are a changing and so are bridal showers, apparently! So if you're not the type of bride who wants to sit and play cheesy (albeit sometimes fun) games all day or open up wedding gifts in front of a big audience, rest assured you've got options, girl. From full-bar parties with the boys to calligraphy classes to dance parties, here are six modern bridal shower ideas both you and your guests are sure to get a kick out of.
1. Just dance.
If you have a destination wedding planned or a special tradition you'd like to share, invite a choreographer to come and teach guests the signature dance, offers Chancey Charm Denver wedding planner Lauren Groeper. "For example, hula lessons are perfect for a Hawaiian wedding and guests can always learn the 'Orea Pou Ine Nifi Mas' dance for a Greek wedding."
2. DIY your favorite girly favors.
You don't want no scrubs when it comes to men, of course, but making your own sugar scrub? Well, that's a different story! Everyone wants to feel good and look good so why not incorporate that into your bridal shower, suggests Raquel Bickford of ROQUE Events. "Creating sugar scrubs with your gals will be fun, plus they'll get to take them home and use them to get that sought after glowy skin before the big day." You could also have someone come in to teach the group to make flower crowns or roll-on essential oil perfume, add wedding planners Jennifer Arreguin and Natasha Burton, co-founders of Swoon California.
3. Cook your own meal.
Cooking classes are all the rage for corporate team building, and the same group effort and fun interactive concepts make these parties ideal for bridal showers as well, notes NYC-based celebrity wedding planner Andrea Freeman. Unlike the corporate version though, which is usually a very classroom style, for bridal showers she likes to do more of a chef's cooking demo where guests can prepare one item. For example, at one cooking class party the ladies made mozzarella and then all enjoyed wonderful caprese salads." This activity created conversation for the rest of the night, and suddenly a group of people who didn't know each other already had a shared experience and were bonded for months of planning ahead."
4. Turn it into a wine tasting or create your own cocktails.
What's a bridal shower without some booze? Instead of the standard mimosas though, consider mixing things up by getting a sommelier or wine specialist on board. "Have a wine tasting theme, set up long Tuscan style tables and serve an Italian menu family style right down the center while sampling wines with each course," recommends celebrity caterer Andrea Correale, Founder & President of Elegant Affairs in New York City. Another fun idea that's sure to be a hit with guests is to have a "build your own" signature drink station, tells Chancey Charm Atlanta wedding planner Brie Owens. "For example, champagne with all sorts of accompanying fruit, edible flowers and even rock candy!"
5. School your girls in calligraphy.
Beautiful script is all the rage right now and it's something most bridal shower guests would love to learn, especially if your girlfriends are going to be soon-to-be brides themselves, says Owens. "After all, you can never have too much practice for those invitations and thank you notes." True, true!
6. Throw an evening bash with all your friends and family (not just the gals!).
After sitting through hours of gift opening and tea and sandwiches for friends' showers, nowadays many brides are choosing to do something completely different when their turn rolls around, notes Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. And for good reason too! "We're seeing less daytime female only events and more events in the evening to honor the couple with their friends and family of both sexes, often with a full bar, catering and entertainment," she says. "In many cases, the couple doesn't even open the gifts to keep the energy of the party going all night." As a guest, we can say this is one type of shower we'd totally be down to attend!