For years, bridal showers were something that was given by the brides side of the party and only for the bride, her close friends, and family, excluding the groom and the groomsmen. However, that has changed over the year where now, the bridal party includes both the bride and groom and the entire wedding party.
If you think about it, this is as it should be. After all, it is not just the bride getting married, this is a joint venture and there is no reason for the groom to be left out. Now that is not to say that you cannot hoose to have a shower just for the bride, and true, most grooms probably do not care about the shower as much as the bride, but it is a nice gathering that is more enjoyable.
Traditionally, the Maid of Honor hosts the bridal party but today, it can be anyone. For example, if you were a close friend, sister, grandmother, and so on, it would be completely appropriate for you to approach the bride and groom, and ask about hosting the bridal shower. Just remember that even though the tradition of the Maid of Honor hosting is not being followed, out of respect to her and the tradition, she should also be consulted.
After the party has been decided on, you can now determine what type of theme to have. If possible, try to choose something that coordinates well with the bride and grooms life. In this case, if the couple is laid back, and enjoys the outdoors, then a luau or barbecue would be ideal. If the couple is young and exciting, then you might consider having the party at a local park with a band, games, swimming, and all types of fun activities. On the other hand, if the couple were more reserved, then a cocktail party or English tea party would be perfect.
After the theme has been determined, then choose invitations, decorations, music, and a menu that match. Now comes the tough part of deciding who all will be invited. Usually, it would be more appropriate for someone at the office to host a separate shower just for work but if you have just a couple of people that you would like to invite from work and a work shower will not be provided, then you could ask them to this shower. Other guests would include the wedding party, the parents, grandparents, cousins, nieces/nephews, uncle/aunts, a few close neighbors, and close friends.
When creating the invitations, you want to mention that gifts are welcomed so guests will know that a gift is appropriate. Additionally, you can add the names of the locations where the bride and groom are registered so guests will know where to go to buy. This also helps ensure duplicate gifts are avoided. Another option is that as the host, if you know a large item that the couples want or needs, you could encourage guests to go in on the one gift.
The key is to make this an enjoyable time for the couple that honors their upcoming marriage. Be respectful of their wishes and create a magical memory for them. You can be sure they will remember the bridal shower just as they will the actual wedding. Therefore, put your heart and soul into the planning and have a great time.