Throwing a wedding shower for a previously married couple can seem complicated. After all, they've probably already set up homes and stuff, and the party ideas that work for young brides and grooms seem a little silly the second or even the third time around. But if you're worried about etiquette, relax, there's good news.
"The rules have changed," says wedding expert Sharon Naylor, author of The Ultimate Book of Bachelorette Party Ideas. . “Just because a couple has been married to other people before or they're older, why shouldn't they have a fun day out with family and friends? Don't punish them for what happened in the past. "It's not like we're still in the days where the bride comes straight from her parents' house and needs household items supplied."
The key is to truly celebrate the couple, instead of getting caught up in traditional shower traditions and unspoken rules about gifts. Here are Naylor's tips for throwing a memorable party:
Even if that's what the couple says they want, encourage them to specify some type of gift on the invitation or on the wedding website. Some people show up to the party with a gift, regardless of the couple's intentions, leading to those not feeling uncomfortable. "That's how you end up with some really ugly vases," says Naylor. "Just tell the couple, 'I don't want you to be embarrassed if people are uncomfortable with your request, so let's offer some options that work for everyone.'"
If the couple doesn't want to request traditional housewares, go with something out of the ordinary:a charity registry (be sure to research which ones are reputable); registrations at local art galleries allowing the couple to start an art collection for the first time; or gift cards from the big box store that can be used as the bride and groom see fit.
Another popular option is the honeymoon registry. Some sites, such as Honeyfund.com, allow the couple to break up their honeymoon into discrete chunks (for example, airfare chunks) that can be purchased as gifts. Also, if the couple is honeymooning at a tourist destination that offers gift cards online, you can link them directly to the cards on the couple's wedding website and let guests enjoy a romantic dinner together. two, a golf outing or an event. massage package for her.
Just don't order directly in cash. "Stay away from that," says Naylor. "Some etiquette experts say that's fine, but that's still a developing trend, and you're likely to offend someone."
Just because the couple has an established home (or two), that doesn't mean they have everything they want. Try to choose a gift category where the couple will settle for older products. "I'm seeing a big trend in upgrading," says Naylor. "For example, for a couple who like to cook, going with new cookware is a great idea. If they cook with old aluminum or nonstick pans, the newer stuff is definitely safer and more energy efficient." the energy.” Technology is also another good upgrade option—Best Buy has a program called Pitch In, for example, where guests can buy shares of items on a couple's wish list.
You can also have guests contribute to a home improvement project close to the couple's heart. If you know the bride and groom would love to have a new room in the garden, plant a beautiful set of containers in the backyard and host your party there. "Everyone can give gift cards to Home Depot or Lowe's or a garden supply catalog," says Naylor. “For garden parties, it's easy to create shower decorations:edible flowers on cupcakes, peat pots, and herbs to take home and plant. It's so much fun."
In the days of rigid etiquette, it was considered indifferent for close relatives to plan showers because it might seem greedy. But those days are gone. "Mothers, in particular, are a great source of information on likes and dislikes, addresses of family members, etc," says Naylor. "If it makes them happy to participate, do it."
Feel free to include the couple's children from previous relationships, if they have any, but with one caveat:take each child's personality into account. “If the kids can create place cards or signs, or the wedding website, in this case, they feel a sense of pride and ownership in the celebration,” says Naylor. "But don't blurt out anything about them, especially at the party. If a child is very shy, they could easily be embarrassed and it could create an awkward scene." That's especially true for tweens and teens, so if they don't seem enthusiastic, offer them a chance to help, and then give them some distance so they can decide on their own.
Older couples have earned the right to hang out and relax without having to make wedding dresses out of toilet paper. "Forced fun is something most people groan about," says Naylor. "No one will be disappointed if you skip it."
Instead, focus your creativity on the menu, which will be appreciated by all the guests. “Forget food trends and the chocolate fountain, it's so finished. Personalize your menu and focus on the couple," Naylor says. "That's something young people don't do." Prepare dishes the couple enjoyed since childhood, had on their first date, or represent the different countries they've been to. they have traveled..
Finally, encourage your friends to toast from the heart. "With older couples, there's a lot more sentimentality about the relationship and about their future together," says Naylor. “Everything that happens at the wedding shower will be remembered. Words really last forever."