Should We Have a Coed Wedding Shower?

Coed wedding showers are gaining popularity over traditional bridal showers. Here's how to decide if it's right for you—plus ideas for coed wedding shower themes and games.

By Jane Chertoff

coed wedding shower
Photo by Zola

If you’re someone who bucks tradition left and right, you might embrace the idea of a couple’s shower, otherwise known as a coed shower. A coed shower is a contemporary take on the traditional bridal shower and these parties are generally more casual and relaxed. They also involve both sides of the couple in the gifts, games, and everything else.

Of course, the couple’s shower isn’t for everyone. Here’s a look at the benefits, potential drawbacks, who to invite, and more.

Benefits Of A Coed Wedding Shower

Both partners are invited.

Traditional bridal showers exclude a very important person—the groom. With a couple’s shower, you and your partner get to celebrate and be celebrated. At the event, your closest family and friends will surround you for some pre-wedding fun. And if you don’t like being the center of attention, your partner will be next to you for those (occasionally awkward) shower games.

You’ll both also share the gifts (and thank you note responsibilities!) Plus, you’ll both get to know more of the extended family and friends if you haven’t met them already.

INLINE GabbyChapinPhotography 1080x720 Alicia&Mathew Photo Credit // Gabby Chapin Photography

It can be more casual than the traditional bridal shower.

While coed showers may have longer guest lists (which can also be a drawback—see below) they tend to feel more relaxed. Instead of a sit-down brunch, why not throw an afternoon BBQ in one of your family member’s backyards, complete with brats and brews? Or, if that isn’t your style, look for a restaurant or other space that can hold your nearest and dearest for the event.

Downsides Of A Coed Wedding Shower

They can be more expensive.

One challenge to a coed shower is that the guest list is going to be longer. More guests, of course, means additional costs for food, drinks, potentially a larger venue, etc. If the host(s) are on a tight budget, and you have your heart set on an elaborate shower, the couple’s route may not be for you. If you’re up for it, you could host a more casual event at one of the host’s homes, though.

You may not have time to open all the gifts.

With an extended guest list, you’ll likely receive more gifts at a coed shower. You may not have time to open each gift one by one. Don’t feel like you have to work through the mountain—one option is to put up a sign on the gift table letting guests know how much you appreciate the gifts and that you’re so excited to open them later, at home.

Who do we invite?

The guest list for a couple’s shower can be tricky. It can get out of control quickly if you let it. Don’t feel like you have to invite your entire wedding guest list, though.

You can limit it to include your best friends and closest relatives—plus, of course, both sides of the wedding party. Alternatively, if you’re up for a bigger shower, you can include the usual bridal shower list and give everyone a plus-one. For the most casual of backyard showers where guests can drop by as they please, you can include kids, too.

INLINE LeviStolovePhotography 1080x720 Kate&Bryant Photo Credit // Levi Stolove Photography

What should we do differently?

Choose a venue that represents both of you.

Once you’ve decided to have a couple’s shower, it’s time to choose the venue. The options are limitless—but try to keep both of you in mind when you decide on the locale. (For the nature-loving couple, for example, grandmother’s tearoom may be out, but the park with the picnic tables may be in.) Some potential venues include the host’s backyard, a poolside party, a local restaurant the couple loves, a bar with a private party room, or a country club. You may want to look into community centers or local parks, too, if you’re on a budget.

Serve food/drinks everyone will enjoy.

Bridal showers have been traditionally associated with dainty fare like tea sandwiches—we’re talking super traditional showers. With a coed shower, anything goes, though. Depending on the time of the day, you may want to have a brunch buffet with eggs, bacon, and mimosas; or a backyard BBQ with burgers. You could even have an evening cocktail hour or dinner.

Make the favors gender-neutral.

You’ll need to make the favors universally, appealing, too. Some ideas for a coed wedding shower include a sweet treat from the couple’s favorite bakery, a local delicacy that represents the couple’s hometown, personalized bottle openers, or monogrammed glasses/cups with a fun anecdote.

Theme it.

A coed wedding shower is a great opportunity to introduce a fun theme for the event and/or for the gifts guests will bring. Here are some ideas:

  • Stock The Bar: Guests bring a bottle of wine, alcohol, or another bar cart accessory so the couple will be stocked up for the future.
  • Round The Clock: Guests are assigned a time of day to theme their gift around. Some may get the morning hours and bring a breakfast theme gift like a waffle iron. Others may get evening and gift a meal kit delivery service gift card or new bedding accessories.
  • Round The Year: A variation on the Round The Clock theme. This time, guests get assigned a season or month and must gift accordingly.

A coed wedding shower is a fun way to get excited about your wedding together. Plus, it serves as an opportunity to bring your friends and family together before the wedding.

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