Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Co-ed showers

"Ah come on. it'll be fun," the bride-to-be tells the unsuspecting heartthrob.

He's a '90s fellow. Sensitive. Open to new ideas. Supportive. And he slowly grasps that a "Jack and Jill" bridal shower is still basically pre-wedding goodies grab.

About these ads

Bride's magazine reports male involvement in the wedding gift selection has jumped from 43 percent in 1993 to 76 percent today. Stores report that couples - not just brides - now visit the bridal registry together.

So with visions of riding-mowers, DVD players, and table saws dancing in his head, he agrees.


"Men have absolutely no purpose at a shower," states Brian Frost, a Stoneham, Mass., newlywed who has recently attended four Jack and Jill showers, including his own. "The guys sit in the back of the room wondering where they took a wrong turn."

It sounds sexist, but this is fundamentally a female thing. Guys have no historical place at a shower. They're adornments. An afterthought. "My wife had her special decorated chair. I sat on a metal folding chair for 2 hours and 17 minutes holding a bag of gifts I had no interest in."

There are attempts to integrate men into this tradition. At, a wedding Web site offers gender-neutral themes: Try the Home Improvement, Literature, or Aquarium Shower.

I wonder if they're promoting these showers to high school boys in marriage-education classes (see story at right). Do the Japanese have Mickey Mouse showers (see page 21)?

About these ads

Perhaps. But I suspect it's going to take the arrival of the Large Screen TV or BMW Z3 Roadster shower before men truly become more than interlopers at showers.

*Write the Homefront, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail us at