Couples showers continue to grow in popularity. On the one hand, that means we’re seeing less of hoary traditions like creating hats and bouquets from gift bows (thank goodness). On the other, shower hosts really have to think outside the mimosa: A lingerie or spa shower is probably not going to fly. Here are some ideas we’ve heard that we like for brides, grooms and guests of both genders.

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Backyard Picnic Shower: Obviously, this is perfect for spring and summer, and you can keep it pretty simple with plenty of beer, sangria (or other favorite wines), lemonade, iced tea and fresh fruit and veggies to nosh on — or get creative with gourmet flatbreads or a build-your-own sandwich/slider station. Play classic lawn games like croquet or badminton. For the gift theme, go green with plantings and tools for the husband-and-wife-to-be’s garden or yard; guest favors can be mini plants or seed packets. Possible variations: a backyard barbecue with grilled surf ’n’ turf, a beach party, a Mexican fiesta.

Stock-the-Bar Shower: Set this at the bride’s and groom’s favorite bar or restaurant, or if you do it at home, be sure to serve the happy couple’s favorite libations. Gifts can include potables of all kinds, glassware, bar foods and bar tools. Possible alternative: an H2O shower, with guests giving the couple everything to do with water — soft drinks, glassware, bath and shower necessities, supplies for the beach, even rain gear.

Honeymoon Shower: If you know the couple’s honeymoon destination, you can plan the cuisine accordingly: for Hawaii, perhaps a backyard luau, with gifts ranging from sunscreen and flip-flops to beach towels and bathing suits. Those headed for Europe might enjoy dinner at a fine French restaurant and gifts such as travel journals, translation dictionaries or even a digital camera. Possible alternative: A couple planning to defer the big trip might appreciate a “Honeymoon at Home” shower — give them candles, bubble bath and scented soaps, wine and chocolates. 

Entertainment Shower: For couples who love nothing more than an evening together of dinner and a concert or movie, arrange a shower that involves just that kind of group outing. Gifts are easy: gift certificates and tickets, tickets, tickets. Possible alternative: Stay-at-home brides and grooms will love a “Room of the House” shower, with each guest assigned to bring a gift for the living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and so on.