By Jason the 200 lb. Cowboy

Bridal showers are a great excuse to get all the important women in the bride’s life together for a celebration before the walk down the aisle. But when you’re hosting or just helping to plan the pre wedding party, how much tradition do you need to include? These days, none, actually.

A bridal shower can be whatever the bride and her hosts decide. You can stick with classics, like tea sandwiches on silver trays, or get creative and have the event at a local art studio’s paint night. You can choose a theme for the gifts, like kitchen, or linens and lingerie. The good news is there is no right or wrong way to do it. So here are some traditional guidelines to just forget about when planning a bridal shower.

  1. Opening gifts – People kind of expect the main event at the shower to be the bride opening her gifts, but that doesn’t mean she has to do it. Opening presents takes a long time and if the woman of the hour doesn’t want to do it at her party, let her load up those pretty packages and open them at home with her fiancé later.
  2. Playing games – Not all brides want to have their guests play games where they guess facts about the happy couple, so you can skip those classic shower games entirely or find a fun alternative that the future Mrs. wants to play. Just keep in mind that you need something to entertain the guests, there are only so many finger sandwiches and punch one can enjoy.
  3. Making it girls only – There’s no need to have the shower be “no boys allowed” if the bride wants a co-ed party, make that happen. Invite the groom, male friends and relatives and everyone can enjoy the pre wedding event together.
  4. It’s for wedding guests only – You can forget this rule for lots of reasons. Maybe the wedding is a very small, private event and the bride has lots of near and dear loved ones that won’t be there on the big day but would love to shower her with gifts beforehand. Maybe it’s a destination wedding and no coworkers are making the trip but she wants them there for the pre wedding fun. No matter why, it’s okay to include non-wedding guests at a shower so they can celebrate the happy occasion, too.

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