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Plan a shower that is sweet like candy -- just like Darcy Miller did for bride-to-be Dylan Lauren, owner of Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City. "This theme is so much fun and perfect for Dylan," Darcy says. "But, really, who doesn't like candy?"
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Choose the bride's favorite color (in this case, pink) and build your shower theme around it.
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A theme shower is especially suitable for brides who have already accumulated many of the housewares that tend to be given as gifts at traditional showers. Themes are also good for less traditional coed gatherings. The following ideas are especially festive when the theme is carried out in all aspects of the event, including invitations, menu, decorations, favors, and the gifts the guests bring.
Arrange an assortment of tea sandwiches and sweets on cake stands and pretty platters, and serve with pots of different kinds of tea. For place cards at the table, remove the tags from tea bags, replace them with small handwritten name tags, and put a tea bag in an empty cup at each guest's place. Ask each guest to bring a vintage tea cup and saucer.
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Gather your ladies for a mid-day soiree full of mimosas and all your favorite morning treats. For a special touch, go ahead and invest in a heart-shaped waffle iron to whip up these gingerbread waffles. Serve these plates full of love, and send each lady home with a waffle mix of their own.
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Assign each guest a holiday, and the resulting gifts will become family heirlooms for the couple: a platter for the Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ornaments or Hanukkah decorations, Champagne glasses for New Year's Eve, a picnic basket for the Fourth of July.
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The bride and her bridesmaids escape to a day spa and indulge in facials, manicures, and massages: This is a wonderful way to pamper the bride as her wedding approaches (but don't schedule it the week before, as facials can cause unexpected reactions). Create invitations out of cards attached to linen hand towels or bottles of bath oil.
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Create a bridal shower inspired by the letters of the bride-to-be's name.
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For the bride-to-be who loves to cook, here are ideas to help you throw a kitchen- or cooking-themed bridal shower.
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Each guest brings a beautifully bound book, engraved bookplates, or a gift certificate to a bookstore. Send out bookmarks as invitations, and give blank bookplates out to guests as favors.
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Add luxury to the couple's private realm with gifts such as monogrammed pillowcases, fluffy down pillows, and the finest cotton or linen sheets. Or, expand the theme to encompass both bed and bath, and include gifts like his-and-her bathrobes, fine soaps, and towels. Since taste in these items is individual, encourage the couple to register at a department store beforehand.
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The shower itself can be the gift: In this case, the bride and her bridesmaids can spend a weekend together in a beach house, a downtown hotel, or a cabin by a lake.
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For a fitness-oriented couple, guests can bring climbing gear, ski equipment, tennis racquets, golf clubs, or whatever suits the couple's interests. Include guests in the action by making the shower itself be eight holes of golf, a day at a local ski area, or a rousing game of beach volleyball.
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Have every guest bring a bottle or two of wine to help build the couple's wine cellar. Assign each guest a different grape or region to ensure variety. You can even turn the shower into a wine tasting; consider hiring an expert to conduct it.
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This is an excellent theme for avid travelers or any couple embarking on an exotic honeymoon. Gifts can include luggage, camera equipment, certificates for language lessons, guidebooks, and journals. Design the menu according to their next destination -- tapas for Spain, jerk chicken for Jamaica, a plate of fine cheeses for France.
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For a couple who own a house, organize a garden-themed shower. The couple may be able to register at a garden center, and guests can bring books, tools, seeds, flowerpots, plants, and journals. Send out hand-decorated seed packets as invitations, or give them out as favors.
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With basket-weave-decorated desserts and simple basket centerpieces, there are numerous ways to play upon this bridal shower theme.
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Perfect for a space that is modern, airy, and white like Jennifer Miller Symonds apartment where she threw this all-white shower for her sister, our own, Darcy Miller. The decorations, food, and favors were all inspired by the color palette -- the windows were framed for the occasion with fragile white sweet peas lined up on the sills.
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