Not your Mother’s shower

Creative bridal shower gift ideas include a “bouquet” of cooking utensils and silk flowers banded with ribbon and accented with bows. Just add a card and it’s ready to go!

Trend spotter offers tips for a Hip Bridal Shower

If you’ve been to a wedding shower recently, you’ve probably noticed the time-honored tradition is changing. The typical Sunday afternoon gathering of ladies playing word games and snacking on pastel Jordan almonds has been replaced by sophisticated themed evenings. And sometimes men are invited too!

“We monitor trends in both weddings and showers so we can incorporate the freshest and most modern themes in our cards,” explains Gale Thomson, American Greetings trend spotter. “We’ve found wine, gourmet kitchen and couples themes are the new wave. Changes in dating and relationship etiquette and other social factors, like career women postponing marriage, have directed showers away from providing basic necessities and more toward reflecting the couple’s interests.”

Thomson offers these tips for planning some of today’s top trendy bridal shower themes:

Wine tastings reflect a popular interest. The wine theme can influence the menu, party activities and gifts. Invite guests to bring two bottles of wine: one to serve at the party and a second to give the couple. Search online for menu items to complement each wine, and display wine-pairing notes at each food and wine station.

Couples showers are a great way to include both the bride’s and the groom’s friends, and they tend to be cocktail, dinner or summer barbeque parties. Couples showers are a good option for smaller guest lists or as one of multiple showers.A note on the invitation could suggest gifts for future entertaining. American Greetings has taken note of this hot trend by introducing special couples shower cards to its Target line, like one with tiny pink and blue “His” and “Hers” cloth towel icons attached to the front.

Kitchen showers have moved away from providing basic necessities and become more sophisticated, reflecting already-established brides and gourmet cooking trends. High-end stainless steel fondue pots, blenders and food processors are topping gift registries and wedding Website wish lists. Invite guests to bring their favorite recipe to share with the bride.

Personal gifts, indulgences the bride would never buy for herself or honeymoon trip items are also a fashionable
shower theme option for second marriages or brides who are already established in their households. Spas are a great personal shower venue, and a gift certificate for spa services presented in a pretty card makes a wonderful gift.

Showers may be changing, but they are still an important part of the wedding tradition. If you’re planning a shower and want it to be the latest and greatest, try one of these party concepts.