When it comes to throwing a wedding shower nowadays, there isn't a specific protocol people follow. At the end of the day, it’s about celebrating the engaged couple and the next step they are taking in life.
When it comes to throwing a queer shower, there are some other things you want to keep in mind that don't typically come up when planning a heterosexual shower. There aren't specific rules that need to be followed, but the most important thing to keep in mind what the engaged couple wants. It’s also important to make your guests feel comfortable. Here are six tips to help you plan a queer wedding shower.
Before you go all out planning a big event, it’s always a good idea to check in with the engaged couple to get an idea of what they would like. Have a conversation and see what, if any, kind of wedding shower they would like to have. The party can include the couple or just one of them, but keep in mind what they want is what's key.
While the party planning details traditionally fall on the wedding party, in the case of a queer wedding, there may or may not be a designated wedding party. If there is, the terms bridesmaid and groomsmen may not apply, and there may be a different way the couple has chosen to organize it. If that’s the case, check-in and see if there’s one. Then see if the individuals who will be at the wedding want to be involved in the wedding shower planning.
If there is no wedding party, then the responsibility goes to whoever wants to take the planning on––usually friends, family, or a combination of the two. Planning the shower with multiple people also means you get more help and that you can even potentially go in on the overall costs of the party.
Once the couple is on board, be sure to pick a date. Nail down a time that’s good for everyone involved and decide on the time of day. From there, other factors to keep track of are the time of year and the location. For example, if it’s in the fall and you’re planting outside, think about the details that will make people comfortable. You may want to consider a “Plan B” in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Bottom line: It’s good to be prepared for all situations.
Once you've got the data out of the way the next thing to tackle is the food menu and entertainment. You also want to think about what kind of party you’re hosting for the happy couple. Is it a brunch, an afternoon tea, a cocktail party, or a sit-down dinner? Or something more low key like a barbecue at a friend's house? Whatever way you decide to go, try to pick some of the couple’s favorite food items. Also, don't forget to think about the beverages and what's appropriate for the kind of party you're throwing.
It's also a good idea to think about some games or activities that you can do with guests. Think about fun games that highlight the couple and also help people get to know one another. Depending on your budget, you may even want to consider having some live music.
When it comes to throwing an LGBTQ+ shower, inclusivity is key—and this means not limiting the guest list and only inviting friends, family, and acquaintances from one half of the couple and not the other. Make the party as inclusive as you can, and invite the people who are closest to the people getting married.
Once you've finalized the guest list, be sure to send out the invitations. Whether you choose to send them out in the regular mail or electronically, be sure to plan accordingly and give guests at least six weeks to respond—especially if you have people coming from out of state.
Increasingly, more people are asking what people's preferred gender pronouns are. This has become so commonplace that you may have even noticed this on people's email signatures. When you’re throwing a queer bridal shower, this is something you want to keep in mind both when you are preparing the guest list and when you see them in person.
Remember to ask what people's preferred pronouns are and not assume someone's identity based on their gender presentation. Be respectful of people's situations. If you don’t know, asking shows you are trying to be aware and sensitive.
When it comes to the shower, you'll want to be sure to get the couple to complete a gift registry at a store of their choice. Gifts are usually brought to the shower as a way to both celebrate the couple's new life together and to get them something they can use. However, the gifts can also be something smaller and not from the registry.
Throwing a bridal shower is all about having a good time, keeping the happy couple in mind, and also trying to get to know people's friends and family better. Regardless of people's gender identities, everyone at the shower is there to celebrate the couple getting married. It’s about them making a new life together and having a party honor them.