Tips for Planning an Extra-Special Couples Wedding Shower

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Modern couples often choose to have a couples shower before their wedding, rather than a traditional bridal shower. Also known as a Jack and Jill party, a couples shower allows friends of the bride and groom to socialize, get to know each other better, and celebrate the event in a casual and relaxed setting. Planning a wedding shower can be a fun and exciting way to celebrate the upcoming nuptials with friends and family. Here are some tips to help you plan a memorable couples wedding shower:

Create a Registry

Long before the shower, the bride and groom should create their registry. They should both work together to choose gifts that are suitable for both the bride and groom. This way, guests can choose bridal shower gifts that they know the couple will love and each participant can choose gifts that are meaningful to them. 

The wedding shower used to be a chance for the couple to receive items to help them set up their future home together, but today many couples already live together or at least have set up a home already. Now, wedding shower gifts are more likely to be things that the couple enjoys, cash donations to a chosen charity, or donations to put toward a honeymoon. 

Create a Guest List

While traditional bridal shower guest lists include women from the bride and groom’s family and friends, such as mothers, grandmothers, and friends of all ages and relationships, couples showers are a little different. These celebrations are usually comprised of couples that are friends of the bride and groom, along with the members of the wedding party and their significant others. The guest list is usually small and the attendants are often of a similar age and social group. 

Because the couples often know each other well and the list is usually small, it’s easier to choose a date and time that works for the couple and their guests. Since Jack and Jill parties are less traditional, it’s important to consider the availability of both male and female guests. Planning the shower well in advance increases the chances that everyone will be able to attend.

Send invitations at least 4-6 weeks before the event. Make sure to include all the necessary information, including the date, time, location, and theme of the party.

Choose a Fun Theme

If you choose to have a themed party, make sure that the focus is on the interests or the personality of the marrying couple, and that it’s something that both men and women can enjoy. The theme of the party will set the tone for the entire event, so you don’t want anyone to feel left out or uncomfortable. Choose a theme that is fun and inclusive for both genders. Some popular themes include “I Do BBQ,” “Couples Olympics,” and “Around the Clock.” You can do a quick internet search for inclusive, fun theme ideas.

Themed snacks and decorations are fun at wedding showers, but make sure that the snacks still have a grown-up feel and that they don’t feel overdone or like they were created for a children’s party. It’s okay to skip the themed menu and party themes in general if it feels overcomplicated. The focus should be on the couple and their friends, and overdone themes can feel cheesy and self-indulgent.

Plan the Menu

Plan a menu that includes both traditional and non-traditional foods. Serve food and drinks that everyone can appreciate: Make sure that there are plenty of food and drink options that both men and women will enjoy. Finger foods and appetizers are great for couple’s parties, as the guests can snack during the whole shower. Formal meals are less successful as they take away from the party atmosphere. 

Most couple groups enjoy having cocktails or other alcoholic drinks available, but it’s also important to provide coffee, tea, water, and other non-alcoholic drinks. This allows those who can’t drink or who are abstaining to also enjoy the event.

Plan Activities

Choose activities and games for the shower so that everyone will have fun and the party won’t stall. Plan games and activities that both genders can participate in, and make sure that no one will feel left out or put on the spot. If you are having a themed party, try to find at least a few activities that fit in with the theme, as long as the connection isn’t cheesy, forced, or overdone. Remember, it’s more important for everyone to have fun and feel relaxed than for everything to fit in with the theme. 

Ideas for activities include a photo booth, lawn games, a trivia game, or a group activity like karaoke or a DIY project. Having the group work together on a project that can become a gift or special memento for the couple is a fun idea. Also, make sure that you plan the music for the event, and consider using a playlist compiled with suggestions from the bride and groom or their closest friends so you have music that they will enjoy. 

Keep it Casual

Don’t make the event too formal or stuffy. Keep things relaxed and fun, so everyone feels comfortable and can enjoy themselves. Remember, couples showers are more intimate and relaxed than traditional showers, and often consist of groups of friends that are already well acquainted with each other and the marrying couple. This means you need to leave plenty of time for people to simply enjoy each other, socialize, and chat with friends old and new. Don’t overschedule, plan out every minute, or expect everyone to follow your lead with the timing of various events and activities. While it’s okay to have an idea of how the event will proceed, it’s important to remain open to change and follow the lead of the couple and their guests. If everyone ends up spending the whole evening sitting and talking, and your activities go unattended, that’s okay. Keep the focus where it belongs: on the party attendees.

Final Tips

When you are planning a Jack and Jill wedding shower, remember that the most important part is to focus on the marrying couple. Their personalities, desires, interests, friends, and preferences should guide you every step of the way. If you aren’t sure what they prefer, go ahead and ask. Unless they are overwhelmed with wedding plans and ask you to simply handle the shower without their input, it’s a good idea to check in with them regularly. In addition, make sure that the guests and their specific needs are considered, whether that means religious needs, dietary needs, or accessibility needs. Finally, remember that couples parties are fun, relaxed, intimate affairs, and try not to over plan or stress about the specifics. Focus on having fun and making the event relaxing and enjoyable for everyone. By following these tips, you can plan a co-ed wedding shower that will be enjoyable and memorable for everyone.

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