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 on their wedding date.
When it comes to throwing a same sex wedding shower, there are some other things you want to keep in mind that may not come up when planning a heterosexual wedding or bridal 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. With that in mind, here are eight tips to help you plan a gay 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 couple’s shower they would like to have. The party planning 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 an LGBT wedding, there may or may not be a designated wedding party. If there is, the terms bridesmaid, groomsmen, best man, etc. may not apply (as there may be two brides or two grooms), 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 is one. Then see if the individuals who will be at the wedding want to be involved in the wedding shower planning.
If there isn’t a 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 shower 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 wedding shower for a gay couple (or any wedding shower, for that matter), 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.
As the wedding shower draws near, you'll want to be sure the couple has created a wedding shower gift registry. 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, they can also be something smaller and not from the registry. In any case, having a registry prepared will aid guests in coming up with gift ideas the wedding couple will appreciate.
Just like wedding planning, planning a wedding shower can involve as little or as much decoration as you or the couple desires. That being said, even a little decor can go a long way. We highly recommend adding a little something (or a lot) in order to create a unique wedding shower celebration. Personalized wedding shower decorations don’t need to be super extravagant, either. They can be printable, as well as purchased off of websites like Etsy. The following are a few of our favorite decor ideas to pull off.
Personalized signage. What better way to welcome the happy couple and their guests than with beautifully customized signage? If you’re particularly artistic or have a visual eye, you can DIY one yourself with some poster board and paint or even a chalkboard and chalk. Include a welcome message or celebratory message for the couple, including both of their names. Prop it up on top of a table, on an easel, or—if it’s big enough—lean it against a wall.
Photo backdrop. A themed backdrop for photos is tons of fun and fairly easy to put-together. Take the shower’s theme, colors, and/or formality into account when compiling backdrop materials. Some staples include streamers, balloons and balloon arches, banners, and hanging lights.
Lighting. Speaking of lights, some interesting lighting can take a wedding shower to a whole new level. Consider candles, fairy lights, Edison bulbs, neon lit signs, and similar that can spice up your space.
Florals. There’s no need to save florals for the wedding. Order or pick up a few bouquets of gorgeous blooms and put them in vases that can be placed around the shower. You can also continue the deor theme with garlands and drink garnishes.
Food and drink displays. No decor is quite as enticing as a food or drink display. Think donut walls and champagne displays that are eye-catching and easy to grab from.
Throwing a wedding shower is all about having a good time and keeping the happy couple in mind, while also trying to get to know their friends and family better. Regardless of people's gender identities, everyone at the shower is there to celebrate the soon-to-be newlyweds. It’s all about them moving forward into a new life together and having a party that honors and celebrates that leading up to the wedding day.