The wedding shower has gotten a bad rap in recent years; women who have had to attend more bridal showers than they can count complain about the games, the food, and, well, the entire concept. But a wedding shower can and should be fun -- after all, it's an excuse to gather with friends and throw a theme party. If you're hosting a wedding shower and need some creative and personalized ideas, read on for our top picks.
1. Patio party. We love this theme for unfussy couples who would rather receive grill accessories than bedding and towels. Host it al fresco, set up classic lawn games, and create a gourmet topping bar for sliders and hot dogs.
2. 50s housewife shower. If showers feel a little too retro for your taste, embrace it! Invite all the guests to wear aprons and bring a vintage or vintage-inspired gift, and create a game where guests have to guess whether crazy advice for new brides from the 50s is real or made up.
3. "Perfect pairs" party. A great way to do a couples shower, this party is all about things that go together! Set out a spread of wine and cheese with suggested pairings, serve other pair-inspired foods (think chips and dip, peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, and bacon and egg sandwiches) and play games centered around famous couples throughout history.
4. "Stock the Bar" party. For the couple who loves to entertain, invite guests to bring barware and booze as gifts, and have a mixologist teach everyone to make specialty drinks.
5. Bookworm shower. For the couple who loves everything literary, host a book-themed shower. Send library invitations, display famous quotes from books on each table, and invite guests to contribute something to the couple's book collection.
6. "Home is where the heart is" shower. Incorporate the couple's home towns into the shower by featuring state-inspired decor and local fare on the menu (think: Kansas City BBQ, Michigan cherry pie, or local honey as favors).
7. Roller Skating party. Blame a certain Beyonce video, but we love the fun retro vibe of a roller rink! If your bride would prefer not to receive gifts, or coworkers who aren't coming to the wedding want to throw a shower, this is a great activity that doesn't have to be gift-centric.
8. Music-themed shower. Attendees will rock out at this shower! Darcy Miller shared her tips for throwing a fabulous music-themed shower, complete with karaoke and playlists on USBs for favors.
9. Cookbook shower. If your couple loves cooking and eating, they'll love to add some new cookbooks to their collection! You could also make it a potluck and ask each guest to bring a family dish along with the recipe on a recipe card.
10. Garden party. Hold the shower in a beautiful garden, decorate with blooms, and invite guests to wear fabulous fascinators. You could also teach a flower arranging lesson and send guests home with their bouquets as favors.
11. Flower power party. A little less traditional than the elegant garden party, this party is all about the couple who loves beautifying their own backyard. Gift the couple outdoor items (think: pretty planters, wind chimes, a birdhouse/bird bath), teach guests to arrange flowers, and send guests home with seeds or a small potted plant as a favor.
12. Around the world shower. If your couple is the jetsetting type, a travel-themed shower is perfect. Choose one destination as your theme (like Italy or Mexico), or make it more general. We love a vintage travel theme for decor and favors.
13. Summer of love shower. For the boho bride, this shower can include a make-your-own-floral-crown station and a vintage soundtrack.
14. Around the clock shower. Assign each guest a specific time slot (i.e. 8 AM, 6 PM, 9 PM, etc.); they will use that time to influence their gift. For example, a guest with the 8 AM slot might bring a breakfast-themed gift basket, while a guest with the 6 PM slot might bring dishes.
15. A philanthropy shower. For the ultra-giving couple (or the couple who is just uncomfortable asking for gifts), each attendee donates money to a charity in the couple's name and shares the info about the charity at the shower. You could also do a charity-focused activity at the shower (think: making tie-together blankets for foster kids or paper flowers for a local nursing home).
16. As Seen on TV shower. If your almost-newlyweds love watching their stories, invite guests to bring TV-themed gifts (think: their favorite shows on DVD, TV trays, a Netflix gift certificate, and cozy blankets to snuggle under). Bonus points if anyone shows up with actual As Seen on TV products as gifts.
17. Make your own fragrance shower. This theme is perfect for the bride who loves beauty and makeup; companies like Vetiver Aromatics offer perfume bar kits, so guests can easily create their own custom fragrance.
18. Farm-to-table party. If your bride-to-be spends every weekend at the farmers market, she'll love a shower that's based around local, organic fare. Start with a trip to a local pick-your-own farm (berries or flowers are great options), and then host lunch at a local farm-to-table restaurant. (Get more farm-to-table entertaining ideas!)
19. Throwback Thursday shower. Embrace days gone by with a shower that incorporates all of the couple's favorite things from the 90s. Decorate the tables with the couple's best (and by "best" we mean "most awkward") grade school photos and grab some hideous old bridesmaids dresses for a round of selfie hot potato.
20. Wine cellar shower. Serving wine and cheese is a given; you can also send each guest a wine tag with a specific occasion (like "first anniversary" or "first dinner party") and ask them to gift the couple a bottle of wine for that occasion.
--By Rachel W. Miller
See inspiration for all of these shower themes and more on Lover.ly!