Planning A Same-sex Wedding Shower
The Wedding Shower(s)
In the world of Lesbian and Gay weddings, the traditional "wedding showers" are commonly referred to as "couples showers". Designed to get family and friends to mingle (like the engagement party) and celebrate the joining of two peoples' lives.
- Are Gifts Required
It seems that the shower has grown into a gift-giving get-together. In actuality, gifts are not even required. Should the shower couple or party host be asked, "should we bring a gift?" the only proper response is in saying, "Your presence will be their presents."
- Who Should Host
Generally, the host of a couple's shower should be handled by those filling the role of best man, maid or matron of honor, or a very close friend(s). Less traditional, but quite popular these days, is to have a family member host. In recent tradition—and quite trendy—is to host the event yourself, demanding that no gifts be brought whatsoever.
The Shower Gift Exception
If the wedding couple is registered at a particular store(s), it is fine to let the guests know about it in the invitation, on their website, or simply by telling people. Just make someone attending the couple's shower is designated to jot-down who brought what gifts. This makes sending thank you cards later a more personal encounter.
- When To Schedule
It is most acceptable to hold any showers as close to the wedding as two weeks, and as far away as two months. Anything more or less, is just bad form.
- Shower Invitations
As with the engagement party, formality is your guide. But, a more casual feel generally keeps these parties uplifting and fun for guests, as well as the happy couple. Sending either printed or electronic invitations works just fine with the shower setting. (Remember to request an RSVP from those you invite on paper, and in an email.)
LGBT Wedding Showers
- Who Pays For the Shower
The host should not be required to foot the entire bill for the shower. Asking attendees to bring supporting elements—cake, wine, flowers, etc.—is in no way a party foul. Asking people to "pitch in" a little cash before the party is acceptable as well. Just be sure to leave them an "out" in case they can't manage to contribute any actual money. It is very easy to embarrass people over finances in these situations. Remember it's about celebrating the couple, and not how much stuff you get. Invitees may not attend if they feel uncomfortable about gifting or contributing cash. Your mantra should be, "the more the merrier" (as long as it is around 20, and no more than 30, guests).
POINT OF INTEREST: If holding the party at a restaurant or spa-like environment, make certain to include within the invitation any economic requirements on your guests. Asking others to contribute in writing leaves no room for embarrassment during the event. It is also important to have any size requirements available in writing for those who wish to bring a spicy outfit for the couple when gifts are welcome.
Wounded Rainbow Heart
Things To Include In The Shower Invitation
- Who it is for
- When and where
- SIMPLE directions to the party location
- Shower Theme, if any
- "you are invited to join us for a dutch luncheon (entrées range from $17 to $28)..."
- "Be sure to reserve your own spa session, and please bring $40 to cover the cost of the brides' facials."
- "If you choose to gift items of apparel, the grooms' sizes are: tops size Large for Westley and size Medium for Lance, pants size..."
NOTE: Hosted events are a far better experience for the guests, so be certain to keep any contributions you do solicit, as little as possible.
Can We Have A Bachelor Or Bachelorette Party
Bachelor And Bachelorette Parties
More often today, younger LGBT couples are choosing to have bachelor or bachelorett parties similar to more traditional pre-wedding celebrations. This party is—like the couple's shower— still hosted by the best man, maid/matron of honor, or a really good friend. In the majority of cases, every one contributes in paying for the party, and to cover the honored guest's expenses for the night. More often than not, both grooms or both brides attend the same party. This kind of event is less a "shower" and more like a rough-and-tumble good time. Whereas a shower is more refined, and less rowdy.
More often then not, the Bachelor Or Bachelorette Party is held at:
- a dance club
- local bar
- beach or lakeside
- over-nighter camping event (my favorite)
- someone's home
A responsible participant should be assigned "honored guest duty". This is the person who makes certain the grooms or brides encounter no real harm—or God forbid, find unacceptable party pictures tweeted and shared on social media pages! (or in HubPages Articles)
How To Choose Your Shower Theme
The first thing to ask yourself is, "what is this couple all about?" Did they meet in college? What are their hobbies? What do they do when they get together with friends? The point is to keep your shower theme something that relates to the couple. This makes it personal, something they are sure to be interested in, and shows that you put some thought into your task. Below is a chart that can help you put some theme ideas together with a few gift ideas (when gifts are allowed).
Wedding Shower Themes And Corresponding Gift Ideas
kitchen linens, knife set, special spices, serving vessels, unique gadgets, glassware, gift certificate to kitchen specialty shop
Fill The Bar Shower
bottle of your favorite alcohol, pre-made drink mixers, martini shakers, glassware, carafes, wine openers, bar dice
massage oils, scented candles, mellow music CDs, slippers, gift certificate for body work, towels, robes, lotion
Alphabet Letter Shower
bring a gift that corresponds to your assigned letter, as well as an attrubution for the couple that also matches that letter (i.e., letter "T" gift = Toaster / Attribution = Timeless love)
intimate toys, leather gear, intimate under garments, intimate DVDs, romantic partner games, flavored body oils, body paints, Kama Sutra kit and books
Human Rights For All
- Human Rights Campaign
Learn more about HRC’s work to advance LGBT equality and educate the public about LGBT issues.
Is There A Shower Toast Protocol
4 Pointers For Making The Toast
Make It Personal: Keeping things fun and memorable is great, but avoid going too far. You don't want to cause either of the couple any embarrassment with wildly inappropriate stories. Speak about their relationship, how they found one another, any romantic moments they shared, or difficulties they have overcome. Some suggest making a point about how this couple's wedding is helping other LGBT couples to begin advocating for full equal marriage rights.
An Emotionally Raw And Truthful Lesbian Love Story
Grief Woman To Woman was written as a way of venting about the loss of my wife of fourteen years to ovarian cancer. (Scr*w cancer!) It depicts the manner in which lesbians grieve, why the majority of us feel like we grieve alone, and how finding the right path to healing is important for our community. It can be difficult to read at times, as it is from a time of raw and broken emotions.
Practice: Write down anything you feel might get forgotten. Practice your toast a few times to get the feel for it. 3X5 cards are fine to use as backup, but try to only use them if you get stuck. The goal is to sound as smooth, prepared, and classy as is possible.
Timing: Keep your toast no shorter than two minutes, and no longer than four minutes. And this is NO TIME to harass or tease either of them about past relationships! Remember this is meant to be a personal, yet classy moment.
When To Toast: It is usually best to make your toasts after all of the guests have arrived and have had something to eat or nibble on, and before any games. This guarantees most all of the guests will be in attendance.
Spicy Rum Cocktail
Hosting A Same-sex Couple's Shower
No matter what you do to celebrate the wedding grooms or brides, they are sure to appreciate your efforts. If you decide to take control of hosting your own shower, it is a pretty good bet that you are going to get exactly what you want! Just remember, this entire event is to lift you and your partner up and encourage you to live a long and happy life together. With all of the socializing, party games, and drinking, make sure you stay connected to your future spouse. Having a blast together in this type of environment works to bring you together. Neglecting your partner now would just be in poor taste! Enjoy yourself and make great memories, but most importantly, make sure to schedule all parties several days ahead of the actual wedding date; no one wants to say their vows behind a blindingly-painful Red Rum and cigar induced headache!
Comments for "Planning LGBT Wedding Showers"
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 06, 2013:
Cool stuff, K9. I had to giggle at the "toast" part only because I was at a wedding recently and the best man said, "we all know the groom's head was stuck in his a** but he's finally come around and sees the gem in his life." Everyone's jaw dropped...it was a "churchy" crowd. LOL. Lots of great information here.