Organize a bridal bash that people will actually want to attend using these innovative ideas.
Step 1: Don't get hung up on rules Throw out any old-fashioned notions of what you "have" to do. Let the bride's personality dictate the theme. Does she have any hobbies? Special interests? A favorite indulgence?
TIP: There's no law that says men can't be included. Ask the bride if she'd like a co-ed shower.
Step 2: Focus on food If she or her future husband loves to cook, consider a recipe shower, where everyone brings a favorite recipe and a kitchen item that's helpful in preparing it. Ask several guests to make their dish and it becomes a potluck supper. Or hire a local chef to give guests a cooking lesson.
Step 3: Lift her spirits If pre-dinner cocktails are more her thing, have a "stock the bar" party, where everyone brings two bottles of liquor – one for the couple's liquor cabinet and one to use as you all learn to make classic cocktails. For the vino-loving bride, throw a wine-tasting party; guests bring one bottle for tasting, and one for the newlyweds' wine collection.
Step 4: Soothe her frazzled nerves Does the bride like to be pampered? Hold the shower at a local salon, where everyone can enjoy spa treatments. Or set up a private yoga class for the gang. Don't forget the champagne!
Step 5: Have a slumber party Consider a throwback slumber party. Make it grown up by holding it at a hotel, where you can all pile into adjoining suites, order room service, and laugh and talk the night away.
Step 6: Sex it up For the frisky bride, throw a lingerie party with a twist: Hire someone to teach pole dancing or striptease skills.
Step 7: Do some good For the community-minded bride, why not turn the shower into an opportunity to help others? Spend a day helping build a house or cleaning up a local park. Reward yourselves with a relaxing dinner afterwards.
FACT: Bridesmaids spend an average of $163 per person hosting the bridal shower, according to a 2007 survey.