Yeah, getting lingerie from my future MIL wasn't awkward AT ALL.
Yeah, getting lingerie from my future MIL wasn't awkward AT ALL.

Ah, the “wedding shower” — A wonderful tradition rife with feminist solidarity and celebrations of love, marriage and family bonding?

Or, for some of us, torture in the form of humiliating games and awkward, voyeuristic present-opening rituals? If I were to answer this from my own experience (see the picture of me to the left, taken during my nightmare wedding shower), I'd have to say a little of the former and whole lot of the latter.

But fear not this same cruel fate! It doesn't have to go down like that! Unless, of course, you're INTO the traditional games and present-fare. If that's the case — more power to you, I wish you crates of toilet paper and all the “oohs and ahhs” of present openings a-plenty.

But for future brides, family members, bestest friends and future-in-laws, that are dreading the wedding shower and all it usually entails… put down those rolls of toilet paper and read this

Themed Wedding Showers:

(FYI, these could work for both “girls only” and “co-ed” wedding showers.)

The Red Queen's Crouquet
Wonderland themed bridal shower. Photo uploaded by Offbeat Bride reader Niamh.

“Garden Party”

“Let's all plant little things together and let them grow like Jane and Kimmy's lerv!” This theme can also work for “green” brides. You could help the bride and groom start a garden in their new home or go somewhere and all plant trees as gifts to the Earth conscious couple.

“Alice in Wonderland Shower”

This idea came from Offbeat Bride reader Aimee. Host an offbeat tea party complete with croquet game, funky tea pots and tea related gifts. Rabbit ears and funky hats are encouraged.

“Stock the Bar” party

For the the couple who lives to entertain. Guests bring bottles of alcohol, martini shakers, stirrers, shot glasses, fun cocktail napkins, wine & champagne, etc.

“The Recipe Shower”

For the bride or the couple that loves to cook. Have all the guests bring their favorite recipes on a pre-determined size of paper. At the end put all the recipes in a cool recipe book that the couple will have forever.

Hand painted jars
Hannah uploaded this to our Flickr pool and said, “These were painted at my craft party bridal shower and then used as cups so we didn't have to waster plastic and paper.”

Crafty Showers:

“Wedding Crafts Party”

Is the bride into DIY projects? Maybe you can have the guests help out on any of the projects that need to be completed for the wedding — Oragami flowers? Place-cards for the reception? It could be a way to get the projects done and make people feel like they participated somehow in the wedding.

“Pottery Party”

Several Offbeat Bride readers have hosted a party at a paint-your-own pottery shop. The guests could all paint bowls/dishes/mugs/whatever the newlyweds need for their home, and then give them as gifts at the end of the party! (Click on the photo to the left for more photos and descriptions of one such party.)

Group Outings:

“Adventure Shower”

Just because it's a bridal shower, it doesn't need to be about sitting in a circle and chatting and eating. If you're an adventurer, have it outdoors and around an organized physical activity. What about rock climbing or hiking and then celebrating with champagne at the top of the cliff?

“Wine Tasting Shower”

Get a group of friends, rent a limo and then spend the day traveling to different wineries. As the wine flows everyone will get more comfortable and get to know each other very well by the end of the trip. Plus for shower gifts, everyone could take turns buying the bride's favorite wines from each stop.

Tribe member Emily in the height of toilet paper wedding fashions.
Offbeat Bride reader Emily in the height of toilet paper wedding fashions.

Ironic Wedding Showers

“Embrace the Cheese” wedding shower

Just have fun playing as many cheesy games as possible — the toilet paper wedding dress, the clothespin game, wedding word scrambles, bingo, the purse game, and yes I am writing these all from memory… (horrible horrible memories). And there needs to be an abundance of “cheese platter” appetizers and other “cheesy” foods.

Ridiculous “Baby Shower” wedding shower

The absurdity of this idea is what appeals to me. Play all the horrible baby shower games instead of wedding shower games. This idea came from when Ariel, during a brain storming session, brought up the baby shower game where people smash chocolate candy into a diaper and then people have to smell the diaper and guess which candy bar it was.

So horribly disgustingly wrong at a wedding shower, which makes it so horribly disgustingly RIGHT in my world. Or what about a “baby bottle drink off” with bottles filled with liquor? Then after that play the “change the baby's diaper with one hand” game. Ah, drunken fun with poop jokes and fake babies. That spells fun to me!

So there ya go. We hope this helped to save some future brides-to-be from less-than-stellar bridal shower fate. Use any of of these ideas and we promise the bride will be more than just thanking you for the lovely toaster, she'll actually be having a good time!

And of course we'd love to hear more ideas from you if you've got 'em.

Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

Trending with our readers

Comments on Torture-free wedding showers

  1. For my first wedding, I had a kitchen tea, and the guests brought recipes and kitchen gadgets, which was all fun and everything…and I also had a MIL who sews, and who sewed me not only a set of placemats and napkins but also lingerie! So I had the “best” of both worlds, and I was laughing when I saw this post, because the gal in the picture with the white teddy could have been me! 🙂

    For my second wedding, I plan to have my scrapbooking friends help me make invitations (as though I could stop them!), which I guess could count as a mini-shower if I added margaritas, hey? Otherwise, I have no expectations that anyone will want to throw me a party. (Although if they do, I’m thinking lingerie for reals 🙂 )

  2. My sister in law wants to throw one for me and I don’t think there’s any way to not make it mortifying even with croquet. Sitting in a room full of girls (I virtually never hang out with only girls, let alone by choice) getting sexy gifts and tips from an almost exclusively LDS group. (God knows I’ve done more “interesting” things than the lot of ’em combined.) I’m pretty sure the Geneva Conventions have it listed under torture. Oh yeah, and no alcohol to give me quarter and comfort.
    I love my sister in law, but she didn’t know what lube was for until my FH and I told her. There’s no way she can orchestrate this in a not entirely mortifying way so I’m hoping like hell she’ll just forget the idea.

  3. I can’t read any of the stories because I didn’t join OBB until after the switch from Ning.

  4. I am offbeat and a feminist, and I cannot wait to do what you call ‘torturous’ and ‘lame’ games and rituals at my wedding shower! I always enjoy them at others’ parties. Feminism is about each of us getting to choose what we like and want…so why all the put downs?

    • You’re totally right! This is an old post (4 years is ancient in internet times), before we got our offbeat-lite-friendly tone in full effect. I’ve updated the post to include the caveat that “while *I* might have felt tortured at my bridal shower, not everyone hates these things.”

      Go on and get yer traditional bridal shower on, if that’s your jam! 🙂

  5. I knew there was no getting around the shower games with my aunts throwing the party. So I was super relieved when they asked my help! They’re doing one which is a sort of “how well do you know the bride/groom” (I’m a teacher, so we’re making it into a test!). The other was my idea: you have “I love you” written in many different languages, and people have to match which language it goes with. I’m a Spanish teacher, and this greatly appealed to me. I think they are just going to have them as pencil/paper, but I could see someone doing this with posters around the room, or little signs posted and people have to find the different languages….

    Basically, what I’m saying is that shower games CAN be fun, as long as they are ones you can get behind.

  6. My sister and I made a promise as children that we will be each other’s maid/matrons of honor, one we still intend to keep. Now we are both huge D&D nerds to the point that we’ve picked out what races/classes we would be, so if my sister ever gets married, I intend to run for her and the wedding party a D&D oneshot as ourselves, probably involving her partner being captured by monsters at the wedding. There will, of course, be snacks, and maybe gifts.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.