With all the glitz and glamour involved in planning a wedding (not to mention the female friends and family eager to get a word in), it’s no surprise that the groom usually takes a back seat in the process. The grooms who don’t relish picking through color schemes and designing menus shouldn’t have to miss out on all the festivities. A growing trend is working to change that. Call it the groom shower, the man shower, or even just male bonding, but this long-overdue celebration is just hitting its stride. Here are a few tips to ensure that no doily works its way into your masculine event.
As with any successful event, the first order of business is assigning an appropriate planner. While the groom knows what he likes best, in keeping with the bridal tradition, the party being thrown for him shouldn’t be thrown by him. Since groom showers are often much less low-key than bridal showers, a competent best man or groomsman should have no problem booking a venue, ordering some sandwiches, and picking up the beer. When in doubt, a sister or close friend would surely be happy to plan the event—just as long as it’s clear that, if she’s invited to the actual party, she must be willing to roll up her sleeves and get dirty with the guys.
Even though it looked like a blast (at times), the infamous bachelor fiasco the men in The Hangover experienced caused a lot of damage—and cost a lot of money. A groom shower should be a little more organized and slightly less chaotic than a bachelor party, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Bridal showers generally revolve around gift-giving and party games. If your buddies would rather watch any sports game than play ice-breakers all night, the obvious key to your man shower is to plan it around a big game. Post up in your buddy’s man cave with a keg and some pizzas—and don’t forget the chicken wings!
If the groom would rather be in the thick of the action, consider heading out to the ballpark or football stadium to show your true support. More outdoorsy friends might plan a fishing or overnight camping trip. For those guys who would prefer to stay close to home, rent out the groom’s favorite bar and stock it with only the best whiskey. Ask your guests to put on their finest smoking jackets and throw a cigar party (in a venue that allows smoking, of course). A man shower taking place far outside the more common dwellings should also be accompanied by a pre-party to allow for the exchanging of the gifts.
No matter the venue, the purpose for the shower is not to be forgotten. A bridal or groom shower is thrown to set the individual up for a flawless start to the new marriage. Gifts are expected—and the groom is expected to register for those gifts. Luckily, our evolving culture has made it possible for him to do so from the comfort of his own computer chair. Registering at Lowes and Restoration Hardware is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse. Any groom interested in Home Depot, however, will have to go to the store to pick out his goodies. It beats poring through dish sets, though!
While it may be tempting to pitch in and get the groom those golf clubs he’s been eyeing up, it’s important to remember the groom’s soon-to-be-wife in all this man stuff. Yes, he is receiving the gifts, but the gifts are technically meant for the couple. If she is also an avid golfer and their honeymoon is planned amongst the rolling fairways of Pebble Beach, California, it’s safe to assume the golf clubs will be appreciated by both.
However, gifts of home improvement tools, such as a power drill, a ladder, or even a well-equipped toolbox are more likely to be fully appreciated by both the groom and his bride. Newlyweds across the board will also benefit from cooking ware (anything from a full-blown BBQ grill to a nice set of grilling utensils), and even gardening or yard tools. Shy away from any juvenile joke gifts, too—save those for the bachelor party.
There you have it: a groom shower doesn’t have to be covered in lace or full of petits fours. Kick it old-school and even make a “No Girls Allowed” sign for the occasion. As long as you’ve got the guys, the sentiment, and the gifts, you’ve got yourself a man shower.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.