Unique alternatives for a less traditional bride.
by Maria McGeary
Bridal showers have come a long way since their origins—village women scrounging up a dowry for a bride whose father refused to give his blessing. They’ve evolved into lavish luncheons where gifts are showered on the bride-to-be. Modern parties don’t have to include party games and petit fours, though.
“The all-day Sunday shower as we used to know it is kind of going away,” says Karen Pecora of Main Line Event Planners. “It’s more of an experience, a statement about the two of them. Fun is the key word.”
With that in mind, get creative when celebrating ahead of the big day. Some bridal shower goers are now taking classes as a unique way to bond. It’s perfect for learning a new skill or being adventurous. Brides and their friends can try a new type of dancing, learn about floral arrangements or attend cooking demonstrations. Tea parties also make for an elegant alternative. Intimate classes are the perfect backdrop for connecting and appreciating the group as it moves toward the wedding.
The women at the bridal shower are, after all, those the bride will look to for support as she preps and plans. Bonding between unfamiliar bridesmaids can make the transition to the wedding smoother.
If planning is getting stressful, wine tastings or a bridal happy hour can be the perfect way to celebrate and unwind.
The hills of a Pennsylvania vineyard also make for the perfect backdrop to unwind. Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford (124 Beaver Valley Road, 610-549-0808) caters to private parties, offering tastings and artisanal pairings. It also offers private yoga classes in the vineyard, specifically for bridal showers.
Grace Winery in Glen Mills (50 Sweetwater Road, 610-459-4711), offers intimate gatherings in the cellar of its beautiful manor, perfect for hosting up to 10 guests. For a larger party, up to 30 guests can be hosted among the wine barrels in the circa 1750s barn.