As you get closer to the date calligraphed on your save-the-dates, you'll probably start thinking about ways to include the season's up-and-coming trends in your wedding events. Even if you have a strong opinion on the colors you'll use and the type of wedding dress you're leaning toward, you might be at a loss when your family inquires about your hopes for your bridal shower. Though the history of this pre-wedding celebration dates back centuries, wedding planner Gina Wade says bridal showers, like most events, change and get reinvented over time. "All kinds of things can influence such a change, from industry shifts and the economic state of the nation to the time of the year," she explains.
What should you expect in the next 12 months? Here, planners share their predictions:
Relaxed, Co-Ed Showers
Before you have a heart-to-heart with your grandma about her own shower, wedding planner Tonia Adelta says to consider how much customs have transformed in the past 40, 50, or even 60 years. "When a young couple was marrying straight out of high school, leaving their parents' home to start their new lives together, it made sense that the vast majority of a bridal shower was, in essence, designed to help furnish the couple's new home together," she explains. But now that most men and women are marrying at a later age, most couples have lived together before their big day. That's why it's okay to take a nontraditional approach to the shower, Adleta says. "The trend now is for bridal showers to be hosted around a theme that may include both partners, help support the couple, and highlight a favorite pastime while organizing gifts that may not be the traditional housewares," she adds.
Smaller Guests Lists
If you would like to have a ladies-only type of shower though, Adelta says more often than not, brides are taking the opportunity to make it a sophisticated affair. Instead of inviting the cousin of your aunt and that friend-of-a-friend from college, more brides are celebrating with a much smaller guest list. "We're seeing the 'bridal-shower-meets-bridal-luncheon' hybrid becoming popular for 2018. This could include tea parties, brunches, or events hosted with a classy backdrop such as a garden. These are equally elegant and romantic, which can fit the personalities and preferences of a variety of brides," she explains.
Volunteer or Charity-Focused Showers
Adleta has noticed more couples are struggling with this perplexing question: We have everything we need, so what do we ask for? That's why more and more twosomes are using their own nuptials (and pre-wedding events) as an opportunity to give back. "There are a few easy ways to do this, including asking shower guests to bring donations to a local food bank, homeless shelter, or charity of choice," she explains. "One of our favorite vendors repurposes centerpieces and wedding flowers into smaller, personal arrangements and delivers them to nursing homes and hospitals with a note from the couple. When any love story can touch more hearts and lives, that's a win in my book."
Your shared interests and investment in activities that enrich your lives is something that's drawn you and your partner together. That's why Wade says more couples are leaning toward interactive showers as a way to connect with their circle of friends and family. "Many involve an activity such as a cooking class, wine tasting, flower arranging, or other fun ideas," she says.
Not intrigued by the idea of playing traditional shower games? Wedding planner Leah Weinberg says you're not alone. More women are keeping their showers casual, taking the emphasis off playing those classic (and kind of awkward) party games. "A shower is a perfect opportunity to gather your nearest and dearest together, so why not put the attention on having amazing food and cocktails rather than focusing on activities to keep everyone busy?" she adds.