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Wedding showers continue to break from tradition

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Wedding showers continue to break from tradition

Rain showers on a wedding day may bring good luck, but they are seldom coveted. However, a different type of shower altogether is often highly anticipated and can help couples feel like they're one in a million.

Wedding showers are gift-giving parties held for couples about to get married. The custom began in the nineteenth century and continues to present day, primarily in North America and Australia. Guests traditionally "shower" the bride-to-be with all the necessities (and some fun extras) that she will need after she ties the knot. These gifts will help the soon-to-be-married couple establish a home together.

Bridal showers are steeped in tradition, but today's bridal showers continue to veer off the beaten path. Nowadays, bridal showers feature fun and games much like a party having nothing to do with a wedding. TheKnot.com, a website that aims to help couples plan their weddings and all the events leading up to the big day, identifies these key trends in modern bridal showers.

• Couples' showers: Modern couples who like to be all-inclusive are now planning bridal showers that cater to mixed audiences. Dubbed a "couple shower," these parties include female and male friends and relatives. Gifts are still the main focus of the event, but they're varied and include guy-friendly items within the mix of household goods.

• Power showers: Many are familiar with the terms "man cave" and "bromance," but few may know that there are now wedding showers geared entirely around the groom. Known as "power showers," these events focus on the groom-to-be, who is showered with a bevy of gadgets and power tools that are certain to stock his future garage. The parties are decidedly more testosterone-friendly and can include golf outings, poker nights or action movie flicks as possible themes.

• Destination/activity showers: Rather than having guests hang around a restaurant watching gift after gift get unwrapped, some bridal parties opt to throw an activity shower. These showers are focused around a particular activity. For example, ladies may be treated to a day at the spa. Other ideas include horseback riding at a stable or a day at the ballpark. Because hosting an activity shower for dozens of people may get expensive, these types of showers may be reserved for only your closest friends and family members.

• Bride-involved showers: The idea of walking into a room and being surprised by friends and family members is appealing to some brides-to-be but not everyone. Some brides prefer not to be surprised by a shower and actually would like to have a role in the planning of the party. However, this is delicate ground on which to tread, considering there may be differences over where the party is held and even the overall experience of the party. These type of showers should be discussed before any plans are made, and tasks should be delegated in accordance with those plans.

It is customary for a bridal shower to take place before a wedding. But new trends have emerged that are shaking up the way showers are planned and held.

— Metro Creative

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Gifts are still important, but new trends in wedding showers have shifted the focus of these events.