Wedding Shower

Lingerie, kitchen, and linen showers for the bride are giving way to travel, hardware, and electronics showers for the bride and the groom. The next time you're invited to a wedding shower, it just might be a shower for two. The savvy hostess (or host) plans the party according to the couple's lifestyle, possessions, and needs. To aid guests in choosing appropriate gifts, a theme might be chosen to suggest the type of gifts to be given. So instead of working yourself into a lather the next time you host a shower for two, consider these fun themes and gift ideas.

Book Bash. Start a home library for the couple by hosting a "Book Bash." Give a dictionary, a medical handbook, coffee-table books, cookbooks, home repair manuals, audio books, a reading lamp, bookends, and bookplates. (See Gifts for Bookworms.)

Grill Lover’s Gala. Gift possibilities for a “Grill Lover’s Gala” include a favorite outdoor recipe with all the ingredients and equipment needed to prepare it, a barbecue cookbook, grilling accessories (grids and baskets, steak and poultry buttons, kabob skewers, gas match), a portable grill, a hibachi, and a camp stove. (See Gifts for Outdoor Cooks.)

Home Improvement. Host a "Home Improvement Happening," with gifts of painting supplies, hand tools, power tools, ladders, a wheelbarrow, a shop vac, and a wallpaper stripper. (See Gifts for Homeowners.)

Bon Voyage. Bid farewell to the traveling duo with a "Bon Voyage Send Off." Pool your resources for a contribution to the travel fund, or give luggage, a voltage converter, travel guides, luggage tags, a travel iron, a money belt, an electronic word translator, a travel journal, an opisometer (map meter, distance wheel), or a portable water filter.

Home Office. Throw a "Home Office Party," with gifts of file folders, organizers, desk lamps, and desk accessories. (See Gifts for Home Office Dwellers.)

Fitness Fest. Focus on fitness with a "Fitness Fest." Gift ideas include a pedometer, a personal stereo, exercise equipment, a club/pool/spa membership, exercise DVDs, and motivational CDs. (See Gifts for Fitness Buffs and Gifts for Runners & Walkers.)

Happy Campers. Have a "Happy Camper" shower featuring such gifts as a two-person tent, a sleeping bag for two, a camp stove, a portable shower, a folding table and chairs, a hammock, back packs, and bug repellent. (See Gifts for Campers.)

Green Thumb. Give a "Green Thumbs Up" shower with gifts of house plants, plant containers, a watering can, outdoor shrubs and trees, seeds, bulbs, gardening equipment, landscaping and gardening books, a garden bench, patio furniture, a hose reel, and gardening hats and gloves. (See Gifts for Gardeners.)

Sights and Sounds. Schedule a "Sights and Sounds" shower with gifts that include MP3s and players, DVDs and players, and gift certificates from an audio/video store or to a movie, concert, or the theater.

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