And Throw Tradition Over Your Shoulder Like It’s Your Bouquet

Imagine: A night huddled over a stove top, pots simmering with pasta sauces and an oven crisping up freshly made bread. Or imagine holding a glass of your favorite wine in one hand and a paintbrush in another. Or even imagine your adrenaline pumping as you hide behind walls and barriers with a paintball gun, waiting for your next target. Then imagine doing all of this with your favorite girls and the members of your bridal party.

Not quite what you pictured for your bridal shower?

Today’s brides are throwing tradition to the wind, not only when it comes to the big day itself but also the events leading up to their vows.

Read on for a few alternative bridal shower ideas that may have you rethinking the punch and presents formula.

Cooking Party
Whether you gather your girls to decorate cupcakes or you attend a class to learn how to make pizza or your favorite dish, cooking parties are an incredible and interactive way to enjoy a day with your closest girlfriends, while avoiding the bridal shower games.

Paint Night
Whether it’s a paint-and-sip or a paint-and-pints night (depending on whether the ladies in your life prefer wine or beer), you and your friends will love learning together, laughing over some artistic mishaps and enjoying a casual night over your favorite drink. You can even bring the party to you! Forest favorite, Sip and Spatter, recently went mobile—allowing them to bring the painting party to brides everywhere. Simply choose a location—whether it be a restaurant, meeting hall or someone’s home—and they’ll bring the goods to you for an even more customized and memorable bridal shower.

Paint Ball
A paint ball day is a different kind of paint night for the more adventurous bride. After all, who said sports days were only reserved for the groom and groomsmen?

Local nonprofit, Masters Inn, offers paintball packages for the day for up to 20 people. Just be sure to include a photographer in your party, because you’ll want to relive your winning shot over and over (and your future husband will probably be pretty impressed, too).

Outdoor Recreation
If you’re looking to keep your bridal shower on the inexpensive side (which your bridal party will appreciate), consider a group hike or outdoor activity. Lynchburg is considered to be a top destination for outdoor recreation in Virginia, and for good reason. Take advantage of the Appalachian Trail, kayak or canoe on the James River, or ski and snowboard just an hour away in Wintergreen. Whatever the skill or fitness level of your bridal party, Lynchburg offers outdoor recreation to match. Plus, it will be nice to unplug in nature for a little while before the flurry of wedding events begin.

Give Instead of Get
Oftentimes showers are so honed in on bridal registries and gifts that the focus can inadvertently shift from the celebration of a marriage to the celebration of the most fabulous bedding you’ve ever seen (we’ve all been there). To keep your mind focused on what’s most important, consider spending a day giving instead of getting for your bridal shower. Organize your group of girls and contact a local nonprofit or association and ask how you can volunteer your time. Organizations like the Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity, Lynchburg Daily Bread or even Lynchburg Parks and Recreation are always looking for volunteers who are ready and willing to pitch in and help.

Tradition Meets Non-Tradition
If you can’t quite come to terms with a completely untraditional bridal shower (or if you can’t quite imagine grandma shooting paint ball), consider mixing tradition with non-tradition by hosting a sprinkle shower or a couple’s shower. A sprinkle shower is a low-key version of a traditional bridal shower. Usually held at a restaurant, tearoom or someone’s home, a sprinkle shower encourages guests to simply sprinkle the bride with gifts versus a large overhaul of the bridal registry. Sprinkle showers give brides the opportunity to spend quality, relaxed time with the women in their life, without adding pressure to them to bring impressive gifts.

On the other hand, couple’s showers are gaining incredible popularity. Often still structured like a traditional bridal shower—with hors d’oeuvres, games and gifts—a couple’s shower invites the groom and all of the significant others to join in on the fun. This allows the groom to be a part of an incredibly special day for the bride and gives him an opportunity to interact with the important women in her life (plus, he’ll love opening all of the gifts!).


By Megan Norcross

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