Bartending School Bridal Shower Theme

by Kathleen Murray

What it is: A more relaxed, nontraditional shower in the evening that's set up more like a classy cocktail party. Hire a local bartender -- whether from your favorite bar or from a bartending school -- to come and show you guys how to make some fun cocktails. You can even try out some signature concoctions to serve at the wedding.

Best For: An untraditional bride-to-be that loves a good party! A gift-opening session can definitely occur during the course of the evening, but consider asking guests to bring gifts focused around a theme (like the honeymoon, lingerie, or kitchen gear).

Planning Tip: Have an emergency plan B, just in case you're inviting a diverse crowd and the socializing doesn't pick up right away. Try this simple icebreaker: place boxes of Trivial Pursuit cards around the room and encourage guests to ask each other questions.

Potential Pitfall: An old-fashioned mother of the bride may not feel comfortable in this swanky setting. Figure out a way to involve her -- perhaps she could choose the menu.

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