Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bridal showers not just "girls only"

silhouettes of women and one man
By Victoria DeCarmine

Girly gossip, party games involving lingerie, a menu of tea sandwiches and pink, fruity drinks often come to mind when thinking of a bridal shower. But nowadays, many couples are looking to be more inclusive, opting for coed wedding showers.

“I wouldn’t enjoy my wedding shower if some of my best male friends were not present for the festivities,” said New York University senior Samantha Reiss.

Colloquially referred to as a “Jack and Jill” shower, a coed wedding shower is more like a party and can be a fun way to introduce members of the wedding party before the wedding or rehearsal dinner.

Stock the Bar shower invitation

 "Stock the Bar" coed wedding shower
from InvitationBox.com
If you’re inviting the guys, get ready to say goodbye to girly bridal shower games like “Guess the Lingerie” and “Toilet Paper Wedding Dress, and hours upon hours of opening presents.

“Guys don't appreciate opening presents and seeing presents like a blender or sheets like girls do,” said bride-to-be Samantha Chase, 20, from Holbrook, NY.

Similarly, event planner Jennifer Borgh from Jennifer Borgh Events said: “No guy wants to play games and drink punch."

For coed showers, say hello to the “How Well Do You Know your Fiance” game, a “Stock the Bar” party, a “Home Improvement” theme -- where guests bring gifts that can be used for remodeling or repairing things in the home -- and physical activities.

A casual Saturday afternoon barbecue or cookout can be a fun option for a couples shower, or, according to AOL wedding planning website Aisle Dash, a His-Hers Spa Day where men and women can enjoy a few hours of pampering by professional manicurists and masseuses. Or, the wedding advice website suggests, there is a Cocktail Caravan party, where the bride and groom take guests on a tour of their favorite bars around town, having one or two drinks at each bar.

But some people don't get why brides would want to have men on the guest list.

"I have never been to one and never thought about one for my own," said Alyson Rosenberg, who wed in 2003.

Candice Coppola from event planning company Event Jubillee said she thinks showers are not for men.

“No man wants to be invited to one,” she said.

Backyard barbecue wedding shower invitation
Backyard coed wedding shower invite from Wedding Paper Divas
NYU senior Ana Raisch, 20, said that attending a shower on a Saturday afternoon "is the last thing many of my guy friends want to do so it would be silly to force them to come."

But, the shower really is for the couple getting married, and a carefully executed coed wedding shower can go far in curbing some of the bachelor and bachelorette party hype.

“Having a Jack and Jill shower might take pressure off of couples who feel like they have to have crazy individual bachelor/bachelorette parties where mistakes can be made,” Reiss said. “Maybe if they have a really fun party together, they won’t have to out-do each other when it comes time for the bachelor and bachelorette parties.”

There are also financial benefits to having a coed shower.

“With coed showers you have more assistance with the bill from the entire wedding party, not just the bridal party,” said Michelle Flores, a wedding specialist at Flore' Events who has planned a coed shower and said that secretly (not any longer), they are her favorite kind.

Still, some guys just are not interested in having a joint party.

Guys would rather have a separate “man shower," TheManRegistry.com told Wedding-Scoops.com. The guys behind the website targeting grooms recommend having themes like a mafia party or an Ultimate Fighting Championship watching party for a guys-only shower.

But Candice Benson, founder of the Finishing Touch, a wedding and event planning company, told Wedding-Scoops.com that men should embrace -- not reject -- the new coed shower trend.

"Men should embrace the opportunity to participate in a pre-celebration of their impending nuptials and add their two cents so their personality is captured in the theme and plans,” she said.

With additional reporting provided by Lauren Elkies.


Kendall said...

We didn't have a coed bridal shower, but it sounds like a very good idea!I wish we would have have a coed bridal shower after reading your article.


Lauren said...


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