It seems like brides have all the fun: In addition to celebrating with their spouses-to-be, they’re whisked away for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and bridesmaid luncheons—really racking up the party points. If your partner wishes they had more reasons to celebrate in advance of your wedding, we’ve got an idea for them: the man shower. Think of it as a wedding shower for a groom: Guy-friendly activities, groom gifts, and a whole bunch of bros, of course. But how is it different from a bachelor party? First, they’re a lot tamer. Instead of the debauchery that bachelor parties might include, a man shower is a little more family-friendly—meaning your groom can invite his dad, uncles, and even grandfather to attend without worrying. Second? Gifts. Just like a bridal shower, a groom party is a themed opportunity for guests to give gifts that are more specific to the groom.
Convinced? Here are eight groom shower ideas to help your partner get in on the fun.
Build a Bar
No, this isn’t the next hot show on HGTV; a “build a bar” party is, instead, a chance for the groom’s friends to help him stock the bar for your new home (did we mention that some of these will be good for you, too?). There are a few ways to make it work. The first: Ask each guest to bring a specific type of alcohol and accouterments, from a bottle of champagne and an ice bucket to whiskey and whiskey stones. Another option is to set up a bar-specific registry and ask the guests to choose from wine glasses, fancy bottle openers, cocktail shakers, and of course, don’t forget the drinks.
Whether the groom is a craft beer aficionado, can pick a merlot from a cabernet just by looking at the glass, or is all about fine whiskey, there’s a tasting tour for him. Find a local brewery or distiller who offers tours and guided tastings, or plan a weekend trip that revolves around his favorite producers, from Sonoma to Scotland. A chartered van or party bus is a must, as is a serious spread of snacks. Think bread and cheeses for a day of wine tasting, cured meats and pretzels with beer, or a mix of dried fruits, roasted nuts, and dark chocolate with whiskey.
Fill the Shed
If your groom is a handyman, swap a bridal shower’s kitchenware and linens with power tools. Some home improvement stores, like Home Depot, have their own registries, or you can use a universal registry like Zola to gather whatever he’s eyeing in one place. Look for tool lines that have multiuse battery packs or other compatible attachments to really outfit the garage in a useful way. This is also a great opportunity to set up a cash registry for renovations or a down payment.
To remind everyone that he’s getting married, ask each guest to bring their favorite tool for marriage—tried-and-true advice—along with their gift.
Grill the Groom
Does your groom love to cook? If he loves being in the kitchen as much as you do, use his shower as a chance for him to ask for those gadgets and tools he’s always wanted. It could be a new set of grilling tools (or a group gift of a brand new grill), fancy Japanese knives, or the pressure cooker he’s been eying. Other guests might turn to their favorite cookbooks, stocking your shelves with recipes and inspiration he’ll love.
Root for the Home Team
A sports-loving groom will love a shower that’s geared toward his favorite pastime. Instead of gifts, ask guests to chip in for box seats (or better yet, a row on the 50-yard line) for a home game at his favorite stadium. Can’t swing the tickets? Turn your living room into a total man cave for ultimate viewing, with the groom’s favorite drinks and food; and if you have the space, organize a friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. or flag football during halftime.
Everyone has a competitive side, so why not take advantage of it and plan the ultimate groom’s game night? Gather up the groom’s favorite group games (we love Scategories, Pictionary, and Cards Against Humanity) and invite over a crowd. Split into teams for a round of intense trivia, or make it an every-man-for-himself evening. Set up a scoreboard (as well as a bar and lots of finger food) to track points and don’t forget to have a few prizes for the winners.
Can't pull your partner off the green? Then let them enjoy a whole day there to what is easily the male version of a spa day. A golf outing is the perfect shower idea for a bunch of bros looking to drink and indulge in some laid-back competition—or just light-hearted trash talking. Set up a tab for everyone to enjoy themselves on the course followed by a catered lunch at the clubhouse where a shower of golf-related gifts (everyone can even pitch in for a new golf set or club membership if they don't already have one) awaits.
What better way to celebrate the groom than with a party centered around something he loves? Groom shower ideas can come from so many places: Whether it’s his favorite destination, a movie he’s seen 1,000 times, or a book series he can’t put down, turn to one of his passions (or obsessions) for your inspiration. Tie the décor, menu, and activities into the theme. That could be red wine, cheese, and pastries if he always has Paris on the mind, tater tots and friendship bracelets if he can quote every line of Napoleon Dynamite, or all the trappings of a murder mystery party if he’s more of a John Grisham type.