If you've been to a wedding shower recently, you've probably noticed the time-honored tradition is changing. The typical Sunday afternoon gathering of ladies playing word games and snacking on pastel Jordan almonds has been replaced by sophisticated themed evenings. And sometimes men are invited too!
"We monitor trends in both weddings and showers so we can incorporate the freshest and most modern themes in our cards," explains Gale Thomson, American Greetings trend spotter. "We've found wine, gourmet kitchen and couples themes are the new wave. Changes in dating and relationship etiquette and other social factors, like career women postponing marriage, have directed showers away from providing basic necessities and more toward reflecting the couple's interests."
Thomson offers these tips for planning some of today's top trendy bridal shower themes:
Photo courtesy Family Features
Ordinary household items like ribbon, yarn, buttons and recycled greeting cards can make any gift extraordinary.
Showers may be changing, but they are still an important part of the wedding tradition. If you're planning a shower and want it to be the latest and greatest, try one of these party concepts.
Wrap Like a Pro
When it comes to gifts, presentation is everything. Wrapping that incorporates details and added touches can magnify the perceived value of what's inside, so don't forget to wrap and tie with style.
"For soft goods or items that do not easily fit in a box, use gift bags. They combine convenience and style in all shapes and sizes," says Patty Flauto, American Greetings gift wrap design guru. There are even gift bags designed for specific items. And they keep getting better and better looking, with fashionable details like ribbon handles, scalloped or cuffed "necklines," trendy colors and prints.
New gift wrap designs reflect today's elegant wedding fashions. Wrap featuring photos of trendy wedding flowers, like white roses and hydrangeas, and embellished with clear sparkling crystalline glitter are recommended for the well-dressed gift. Accessorize with ribbon, a bow and fun new package decorations, like a 10-karat "diamond ring" or a feather boa pompom.
Flauto suggests even ordinary household items can make a wrapped gift the star of the gift table. "The key is to pick a few accent colors to complement your wrapping paper. For example, to dress up a gift wrapped in paper with black and white photo images, add a few pink, black and white accent items from sewing supplies. Layer two kinds of ribbons, sheer and satin or thick and thin, or two shades of yarn. Use hot glue to add a flower cut from a greeting card or a key phrase, like 'I do,' and top it with a button or two or three. If you're wrapping a smaller gift box, you could pick up two of the same shower card, using the extra to decorate the entire top of the box."
Every bride treasures her shower and wedding cards. Many lovingly store them in a special box or binder. Some even find crafty and creative ways to display them.
Keepsake cards today shine with satin, lace, ribbons, rhinestones, sequins and even embroidery - three rhinestone "bubbles" hover over a line drawing of two champagne glasses, or the piece may feature fabric miniature attachments (a little ivory pillow carrying two tiny rings or a wedding cake made with layers of ribbon).
Even more treasured are the sender's handwritten wishes, especially when they reflect personal relationships with the bride and groom. These words will be remembered always.