Before you read on, be warned: etiquette shifts and changes depending on your social circle, and you don’t want to offend the bride or any of your guests when you’re trying something new. Test the waters thoroughly before asking anyone to fork over cash for something they aren’t 100% on board with. Otherwise, go nuts!
Some brides don’t like parties dedicated to gifts, and some don’t even sport gift registries at all. Bridal showers are fun, and they have potential as a great bonding opportunity for a bride and her closest girl friends, but here are a couple of alternatives that aren’t as traditional as a tea party and bridal bingo and look at gifting in a new way:
Most of us are familiar with retail parties, where a hostess gives a presentation on the benefits of a product and the guests are given a later opportunity to purchase from a catalogue (think Tupperware). While that might not seem like a spectacular bridal shower option, there are specific services that make for an unforgettable evening and a good opportunity for a new kind of gifting, especially if the bride in your life isn’t so hot on just being handed a stack of gifts.
Bridal showers that utilize the services of retail parties like Dove “Chocolate Discoveries” will find that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on registry items to have a really good time together. A chocolate discoveries party offers opportunities for tasting, trying recipes, and eating an astounding amount of chocolate. If you and your guests are comfortable with a different type of gift giving, consider taking note of the bride’s preferences throughout the affair and purchasing some of her favorite products at the end of the evening. The bride has an armload of gifts she actually wants, and everyone eats chocolate. Win-win.
Color me Mine
Color me Mine is a business that specializes in a unique hands-on ceramic crafting experience, where guests paint items of their choice to be retrieved later as glazed and completely usable home décor. It’s hard to totally mess up, too – as long as you follow the directions and layer on paint like nobody’s business. While they might be known more for cute dates and birthday parties, this soirée is a totally viable bridal shower alternative, and is a guaranteed load of fun for all involved.
Instead of giving individual traditional gifts to the bride-to-be, the hostess or guests cover the charge for the bride (and the guests as well) and a household item(s) of her choice – hopefully something bridal and commemorative (his and her items like mugs and salt and pepper shakers are a must), and the girls bond over a couple hours of painting together. You’re able to make something completely unique, get a nice gift for the bride, and leave feeling accomplished. Color me Mine offers party packages where guests can come later to retrieve their glazed item in individual little marked bags.
Color me Mine also offers traveling parties, where the service comes to you at the venue of your choosing! This is a particularly stylish option if you’re more interested in a private and intimate party where you control the décor and the catering.