Crazy for Color: Choose one or more colors (either the bride’s favorite, her wedding palette or one of the hues she’s decorating her house in—her gift registry should provide color clues) and infuse the party with it. From tablecloths and napkins to flowers, cupcake frosting, even a cocktail you create especially for the event, a uniform color scheme is a simple way to make the venue festive and put everyone in a party mood. If blue is the bride’s favorite, include a blueberry dessert. Or if green is one of her wedding colors, serve an asparagus tart for lunch or brunch. Is her wedding in the fall? A color scheme of orange, gold and brown is gorgeous—serve pumpkin soup or greet guests as they arrive with a steaming cup of spiced apple cider.
Kitchen Shower: This shower is a great way for friends and family to help outfit a couple’s new kitchen. Encourage guests to purchase gifts on the bride’s registry that pertain to the kitchen (don’t forget to include registry information in the invitations). Or ask guests to give the kitchen tool or gadget that they couldn’t live without in their own kitchens. Narrow the kitchen shower down even further by making the theme more specific, say, a Baking Shower (gifts could include baking sheets, cake pans, rolling pin, etc.) or, if she’s got equipment already, a Pantry and Spice Drawer Shower featuring gifts like olive oil or quality balsamic vinegar and a pretty pouring bottle or a peppermill and supply of peppercorns. You could also ask guests to attach their favorite recipe to their gift to begin a cookbook for the bride; don’t forget to include recipes for the shower menu items too! For a unique and special wedding present, create a personalized cookbook with the recipes using an online site.
“Jack & Jill” Theme: This type of shower, where guys and gals are invited, is a great way for family and friends to celebrate with both the bride and groom. Gifts could focus on shared interests of the couple (sports, music, cooking, etc.) or simply be taken from their registry. For a casual party, reserve space in a park or plan a backyard barbecue (put the guys in charge of grilling to take some pressure off the hostess!). Or throw a wine and cheese party—gifts could include glasses, bottles of wine, corkscrews and other bar or cocktail equipment. For the menu, serve an assortment of cheeses, finger foods, dips, Pepperidge Farm® crackers and fruit.