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 | By Patricia Majher | Photography by Philip Shippert

Couples Wedding Shower

Where did the first bridal shower take place?

The first bridal shower is said to have taken place in the Netherlands. Legend has it that a young woman had her heart set on marrying a poor miller. Her father disapproved and was determined to sabotage the marriage by refusing to hand over his daughter’s dowry.

Fortunately, for the bride-to-be, some friends took pity on her and came to the rescue by ‘showering’ her with gifts.

This tradition of honoring only the bride-to-be lasted until very recently, when forward thinking party planners decided to invite the groom-to-be and his friends, too. After all, it takes two to make the commitment to wed; why not honor both people? And that’s how the idea of a couples wedding shower was born.

Let the guys in: ideas for a couples wedding shower

Couples wedding shower can be thrown just about anywhere you like: a favorite restaurant, outdoors (in good weather) at a park, or in the host or hostess’ home. You’ll need to come up with a menu that appeals to both men and women. Chili, cornbread, and a salad are a safe bet. Many wedding showers revolve around a theme. So we’ve paired our three recipes with some fun theme ideas:

Bon voyage shower

At a ‘bon voyage’ shower, for instance, guests bring gifts that cover all the essentials for enjoying a honeymoon trip: travel books and maps, disposable cameras, even pieces of luggage. 
If the trip’s location has been determined, you can also buy restaurant gift certificates.

Colorful Corn Muffins

2 81/2 oz. packages of corn muffin mix

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

Prepare corn muffin mixes according to package directions. Stir in frozen corn kernels and chopped peppers. Fill greased or papered muffin cups half full with batter. Bake according to package directions. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Makes 9 muffins.

Garage and garden shower

A ‘garage and garden’ shower ensures the couple is well-equipped with all the implements they need to enhance the exterior of their home. One garage and garden wedding shower we heard of turned into a work party to help the bride- and groom-to-be landscape their yard!

Beef and Turkey Sausage Chili

11/2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, diced

1/2 lb. turkey sausage

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 6 oz. can of tomato paste

1 12 oz. can of beer

1 Tsp instant beef bouillon granules

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

2 Tsp chili powder

1 Tsp ground cumin

1/4 Tsp salt

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients; cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until beef is tender. Spoon into individual bowls. Top with a dollop of low-fat yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Makes 5 or 6 servings.

Sporty couple shower

For an athletic couple, a sports-themed wedding shower can be fun. Camping equipment, tennis racquets and balls, golf accessories, and fishing gear are just some of the gift ideas that would be appropriate.

Crunchy Cole Slaw

1 cabbage (2 lbs.), cored and shredded

1 large carrot, grated

1 medium green pepper, cored, seeded, and grated

1 rib of celery, grated

Slaw Dressing

11/2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1 cup sugar

11/2 Tsp salt

In large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and vinegar until smooth. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk again until blended. Then add the shredded vegetables. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 8 servings. (You can save time with this recipe by buying pre-shredded slaw mix.)

I’m game if you are

What’s a wedding shower without a few games to play? To make it more fun for the men, set aside the bridal bingo cards and instead test the guests’ knowledge with a quiz about the bride- and groom-to-be. How did they meet? Where did they go on their first date? Who’s the better cook? These are some of the questions you could ask. Or play a board game like Pictionary,® with the men on one side and the women on the other. Or develop a list of words associated with weddings – husband, wife, cummerbund, limousine, deejay, bouquet, etc. – and scramble them. Then give your guests two or three minutes to figure them out. The person with the most correct answers wins!