Wedding planning is no longer the solitary venture of the bride-to-be and her family. Today, more couples are sharing the planning as well as different celebratory events leading up to the momentous day for both the bride and groom. That celebrating can start with the fun of a Jack and Jill wedding shower.
What Is a Jack and Jill Shower?
Also called a stag and doe, buck and doe, couples shower or co-ed shower, a Jack and Jill wedding shower is a party that celebrates both the bride and groom. These events are more contemporary than traditional bridal showers, but still include some time-honored traditions. Congratulations to the couple, fun ice-breaker games and "showering" the couple with gifts to build their life together are all just as much a part of Jack and Jill showers as they are part of bridal showers, but with twists that include the groom and bride equally. Whatever they are called and whomever they include, these parties are fine opportunities for family members and friends of both the bride and groom to get acquainted before the big day, and a few hours of fun and relaxation can help relieve stress as the wedding day approaches.
Tips for Planning a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower
Planning a Jack and Jill shower is not much different from planning a typical bridal shower, but there are some considerations that need to be made to be sure both the bride and groom are part of the festivities equally.
Ideally, the shower should be scheduled 4-6 weeks before the wedding date, well after any engagement party but also well before any bachelor or bachelorette parties. Because these parties usually include both friends and family members of the happy couple, choose a date and time that works well around work schedules and other commitments.
Bridal party members should be invited to any showers that are part of the wedding festivities, and a Jack and Jill shower is a great time to invite other close friends and family members as well. While traditional showers usually include female guests of all ages, a couple's shower is primarily focused on guests closest to the bride's and groom's own ages. No guests should be included who aren't also invited to the wedding, however, unless it is already understood that the wedding itself will be a very small, intimate affair.
Be clear on invitations that the shower is co-ed, or there may be more women attending and the groom may feel very much like the odd man out. Addressing invitations to couples, noting the shower's co-ed nature in the wording and including the names of both the bride and groom as the reason for the celebration will spread the word to be sure no one is surprised at the event.
Any location can be suitable for a Jack and Jill shower, and favorite options include restaurants, nightclubs, at home or in a local park. For more unique and exciting locations, couples might opt for an amusement park, brewery, university hall or sporting event, especially if the location can highlight something fun the couple shares.
It isn't necessary to theme a Jack and Jill shower, but it can be a fun way to tie the event together. Popular options include costume parties, hobbies the couple shares, favorite sports or teams, hints at the upcoming honeymoon or even relating to the couple's first date or marriage proposal. Gift-related themes are also popular, such as a "stock the bar" party where guests are encouraged to bring bar-related items, or a "movie night" theme to help the couple outfit a home theater they will enjoy for years.
Decorations are typically minimal for a wedding shower, but a banner with the couple's names or some accents that highlight the shower theme are always fun. Decorations that can be reused for the wedding can also be good options that won't put a dent in the wedding planning budget, or opt for decorations that can be added to the couple's home.
Food is a tasty part of any party, and the menu for a Jack and Jill wedding shower can be anything the couple desires. Most showers have casual menus, and pizza, sandwiches and barbecue are all top choices. Kebobs, pasta bars or simple buffets are other delicious options, and many couples also opt for a fun cocktail menu.
Ice breakers and quirky games are a traditional part of any bridal shower, and there are great activities that can be part of a Jack and Jill shower. Couple's trivia or a not-so-newlywed game to quiz the couple about each other can be a lot of laughs, or trivia can be used to help guests get to know the couple better before they are officially family. Tournaments, such as ping pong, bowling or pool are also fun, or the shower might be part of a 5K event. Boy-versus-girl games are also great options, but avoid couple-versus-couple games where guests might feel obligated to let the bride and groom win.
The purpose of a bridal shower is to "shower" the bride with gifts for her new married life, and gifts are also a key part of a Jack and Jill shower. The couple should have gift registries prepared before the party to make shopping easier, or the party's theme and invitations could indicate a gift preference, such as helping the couple build a movie library, outfit a new kitchen or prepare for honeymoon travel. A cash shower is also possible, where guests are asked to make donations (and no other gifts) so the couple can more easily start their married life without debt. The party might even include a raffle for guests to win prizes with tickets they purchase.
A Jack and Jill wedding shower can be fun not only for the happy couple, but for their family members and friends as well. By planning the event with both the bride and groom in mind, both families and groups of friends can come together in celebration to help the couple start their life together surrounded by everyone who cares about them.