For the Boys: The Rise of Men's Wedding Showers

Once upon a time, wedding showers were for girls only. Now men's wedding showers have started to take hold

As a party planner, I often get shocked looks when I mention the possibility of throwing men's wedding showers. Many people don't see the point. But I ask you: why should we girls have all the fun?

Now, sometimes people point out -- reasonably enough -- that male wedding showers have kind of existed for centuries, in the form of bachelor parties. And they're right. But not all men enjoy raucous nights of drunken debauchery.

Believe it or not.

Modern Sensibilities

The trend toward "man showers" began gathering momentum in the early- to mid-2000s, the decade I like to call "the naughties" (naught-one, naught-two, naught -three -- get it?). And they didn't just appear out of thin air. There are good reasons for throwing a wedding shower for the groom.

While the occasional coed shower tends to be a quiet affair, the purpose of girls-only wedding showers (beside the obvious afternoon of drunken debauchery) is to celebrate the bride's impending couplehood, have a little fun, and give her some much needed gifts and advice.

Doesn't the groom need a little something to launch his great adventure, too? Aside from strippers? (And I'm not talking about the kind you use to remove paint... although I suppose they could do that.)

Gifts Galore

Like all good parties, man showers are about boon companionship and free stuff. Plus, they represent the sort of rite of passage that a bride can approve of.

As with any shower, theme is important; it adds structure and helps the guests choose the right gifts. Home improvement is a standard manly theme. What future husband doesn't need picture hangers and shelf spacers so he can tackle the tasks on his honey-do list? And rest assured, he will have one.

Special Activities

Groom showers also give guys an excuse to get together and do manly things, like watch "The Hangover" and sear meat over an open flame. Maybe play a little poker. This is a good time for the hubby-to-be to receive special items he'll treasure forever, too, like that monogrammed beer mug.

Of course, there will be cake. But ideally not cheesecake. Storytelling and warnings from the already (or previously) married are, of course, de rigueur.

Where to Go

Does the groom have a favorite sports hangout? How about heading for the links, going to the lake, touring the local brewery, or attending a hockey game? Heck, why not the backyard? An informal daytime setting is best. Make the bachelor party a separate event!

The male alternative to the bridal shower hasn't really been codified yet, but these events are becoming increasingly popular, for obvious reasons. At the moment, the options for men's wedding showers are still wide open!

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