Ideas for inventive showers

According to "The New Emily Post's Etiquette," written by Elizabeth Post, wedding showers should be given by friends or relatives. The immedite family does not usually give the shower.

Parties can be held just about any time of day, including a midmorning coffee , luncheon, tea, or buffet dinner. Showers should be two months to two weeks before the wedding.

Invitations should give clues as to what gifts will be appropriate, and should include colors (for decor) and sizes (for lingerie) when appropriate.

Gifts should not be elaborate, but useful, original, and appropriate, according to Elizabeth Post. Traditionally shower gifts were homemade, but few people have the time to make gifts today. Still, some couple's favorite gifts include a needlepoint version of their wedding certificate, a pillowcase with tatting around the edges, or a quilt.

Imagination makes for clever shower themes. At a "round the clock" shower, guests are given a time of day on their invitation and urged to get a gift appropriate to that time. A guest receiving a 7 a.m. time slot might give an alarm clock to the bridal couple. After much consideration, a woman who was responsible for a 4 p.m. gift bought the bride a cookie jar.

At a recipe shower, according to Elizabeth Post, no gifts are involved. Each guest brings a favorite recipe, and all are put in a notebook.

At a college dorm shower, the women pitched in to buy a spice rack, and each woman brought a different spice and a recipe t hat used that spice.

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