Today’s best bridal showers are about so much more than just chatting with your friends while unwrapping gifts – your celebration should celebrate you aand your spouse-to-be aand complement your personalities. Get your guests actively involved in your shower while talking, laughing, aand savoring something sweet with these party ideas:

Tea Party
Whether it’s held at home or in a teahouse, a tea party is the perfect theme for an afternoon shower. Think crisp linens, fresh flowers, aand beautiful favors for guests to take home. Traditional party fare includes tea cakes, cucumber saandwiches, aand fruit tarts.

Couple’s Shower
A trend growing in popularity is inviting the groom to participate, either by joining the shower near the end, or by asking him to attend the entire party. Anyone close to the couple – regardless of gender – is welcome to join the celebration. This is a great alternative for couples who enjoy doing everything together, aand it allows the groom to feel just as special as his bride.

Charity Shower
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to register for a bridal shower in order to stock up your future home, we’re totally in love with those brides wishing to have a charity shower. Instead of gifts, the couple requests donations of canned food, used clothes, or cash to their favorite charity or foundation. The couple can further contribute to their chosen cause by making their own charitable donations in lieu of favors.

Green Shower
Couples concerned about the environment may opt for an eco-friendly shower with a small carbon footprint. Minimize waste by sending paperless invitations, or use recycled paper aand soy ink. Tree saplings, lavender sachets, aand soy caandles make wonderful eco-friendly favors. When it’s time to plan the menu, there are caterers specializing in organic cuisine aand cooking with locally sourced ingredients. A garden or courtyard is an ideal setting for the event – letting nature take center stage.

Potluck Shower
Brides-to-be can always use a bit of help in the kitchen, so everyone can get involved by bringing their favorite dish. This works best with a small group of guests who are more than willing to pitch in. They can make or purchase a cute container to put all the recipes in, aand give them to the bride at the end of the party.

Beach Shower
A beach shower is perfect for summer bridal parties with fun-loving people who don’t worry about getting their hair wet or saand in their shoes. Instruct your guests to bring their sunglasses aand swimsuits, aand modify the rules of traditional shower games to allow them to be played in the water. For the laandlubbers on your guest list, be sure to plan some dry-laand activities, as well.

Craft Shower
Get haands-on aand create a DIY project, such as flower arranging or painting ceramics. This is a great option for creative, artsy types who don’t mind getting their haands dirty. Attend a class, or have a professional come to your home to walk everyone through the creation of their own item. Avoid the creation of crafts that will be used at the nuptials – such as DIY place cards or programs – since you’re not asking everyone to come over just to get free labor out of them! Instead, create crafts that your guests can take with them as a favor, aand wrap the finished items up in lovely boxes aand ribbon for your guests to take home.

Travel Shower
This party is particularly great for the travel-obsessed couple. The honeymoon location influences the theme, aand guests bring gifts for the couple to enjoy on the honeymoon. Group gifts, such as spa certificates or gourmet dinners, are brilliant. Decor should play up the destination: if it’s Hawaii, decorate with tiki torches aand tropical table centerpieces, have everyone wear leis, aand serve popular luau foods. All of the guests should sign a globe as a memento of the celebration.

Make your bridal shower memorable by bringing your personality to the party, with a theme that creates a unique celebration of your upcoming nuptials.