Take Back Your Bridal Shower
6 Ideas for More Meaningful Shower Celebrations
Where did we get the idea that sitting in a circle and opening hand towels or scandalous underthings was the best way for a woman to spend some quality time with her female friends before the wedding? Somehow a bridal shower focused on kitchenware and awkward games seems to fall short of adequately preparing a bride-to-be for the significant transition involved in getting married.
Looking for a more meaningful way to usher yourself – or your friend – into marriage? Here are some ideas and rituals that will help the bride come away from her shower feeling nourished and connected with herself and her friends.
Showers for a Cause
The bride doesn’t necessarily have to be the one getting showered with gifts. Instead, shower for a greater cause, and give something back with a day dedicated to a charitable contribution that holds special meaning to the bride.
Here are a few ideas:
Pink Envelope Bridal Shower -
Help the fight against breast cancer. Have a Pink Envelope Bridal shower through the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation. They’ll send special pink donation envelopes for inclusion in the shower invites, and guests can make a donation to Making Memories on behalf of your bridal shower. Be sure to take plenty of pictures, as they’ll feature your bridal shower on their website.
Green Bridal Shower –
For the conservation conscious, host a bridal shower that’s good for soul and the earth. Make the event focused on green causes instead of perfunctory shower games. Plant a tree instead of playing pin the tail on the groom. Serve locally grown vegetarian cuisine, register for eco-friendly items and housewares, and of course, make sure invitations and paper products are recycled.
Have a shower focused not on the exchange of tangible gifts, but rather on the exchange of heartfelt gifts like advice, emotions and feelings. Using the bridal shower to involve sharing and listening will help the bride connect with her friends and her own feelings about the wedding and marriage.
Have attendees “shower” the bride with advice on being a good partner. Each guest can come with their thought to read aloud, or the maid-of-honor can gather submissions from everyone ahead of time to compile into a scrap book that’s presented to the bride at the shower. Another idea is a traditional recipe exchange with a twist. Each guest brings a recipe card, one side featuring the recipe for a great dish, and on the other side, the recipe for a good marriage.
Memory Lane Shower
Have a shower focused on reminiscing shared memories and friendships. This pseudo-separation ritual will help the bride reconnect with her old self as she prepares to take on a new identity.
Create a memory book – asking every attendee to write a page or two detailing their fondest memory with the bride. Gather these stories along with photos into a memory scrapbook. Or have each attendee bring a gift that represents a memory – a cd of favorite songs from high school, a photo album, that old cheerleading uniform once worn every Friday. Create a slide show of photos set to music, and have everyone contribute some of their favorites. While you’re there, play memory games, each guest describes a memorable past event – and the bride must guess the year, location, and people who were there. The evening is sure to provoke a lot of heartfelt reminiscing.
Break out the PJs, sleeping bags, and tubs of ice cream – it’s time for some serious female bonding. A slumber party is another great way for the bride to revel in that special connection she has with the women in her life, and it affords her an encouraging setting to share openly any feelings she has about her upcoming marriage. Consider incorporating some of the above ideas into the slumber party – such as exchanging advice or creating a scrapbook.
John Donne, T.S. Eliot, Constantine Cavafy, Robert Frost, Robert Herrick... treat a bride with a passion for the literary arts with a feast of beautiful poetry. Have all attendees bring a poem containing wisdom or sentiment about love or marriage, and take turns reading. The evening will be intellectually enriching and inspiring.
Some brides-to-be may cringe at the thought of an emotionally vulnerable shower of intimate bonding. Instead, taking to the outdoors can be a powerful alternative for an emotional and physical release. Enjoy a day of hiking, white water rafting, rock climbing, biking, ropes course – you name it. Successfully accomplishing these challenging outdoor activities can act as a symbolic metaphor for entering into marriage – which also requires strength to overcome its own set of challenges.