While traditional bridal showers are still common, Jack and Jill parties are quickly gaining popularity. A wedding shower for both the bride and groom, Jack and Jill parties can also double as engagement parties or bachelor/bachelorette parties. Because they're nontraditional, Jack and Jill parties can take nearly any form -- just make sure you keep both the bride and groom in mind when planning the shower. A couple's shower can be in lieu of or in addition to a traditional bridal shower -- no one can have too many presents.
Choose a venue. The first step to planning a Jack and Jill party is deciding where it will be held. The venue will help set the tone of the entire shower. For instance, for a more upscale party, make brunch reservations at a nice restaurant or hotel. For something more low-key, reserve a pub or grill that both men and women will enjoy. Alternately, homes act as perfect venues for Jack and Jill parties, although this means you'll have to do more planning for the food.
Create a guest list. For Jack and Jill showers, you will ideally invite couples only. While you can invite single men and women, most Jack and Jill parties are thrown by couples celebrating a new couple. Your guest list might include siblings and other family members or close friends of the bride and groom and their spouses.
Send invitations. Send out invitations at least two weeks in advance to get the best turnout. Ask each guest to RSVP so you can get an accurate count, especially if you're holding the party at a restaurant.
Plan the food. If you're throwing the Jack and Jill party at a restaurant, you won't have to worry much about the food; however, you should make arrangements for paying the bill. Whether you assign each couple a dollar amount or foot the bill yourself, make sure everyone knows ahead of time. If you're planning the party at your home, think about foods that appeal to both men and women. This may be chips, crackers and dips, cheese, wine or baked goods. If your party is in the evening, you may want to consider an entire meal or making assignments for a potluck. Most traditional showers also include a cake or dessert.
Plan shower games. Games are a fun part of Jack and Jill showers, but be careful when choosing them; traditional bridal shower games may not be appropriate or may not include the men. One fun game is to blindfold the bride and place her in front of three men. Then make her choose which man is her groom by feeling their chests. You could also ask relationship questions and have the bride and groom write their answers down independent of each other. It's fun to reveal their responses.
Bring presents. As with a traditional shower, presents are a fun part of a Jack and Jill party. When inviting friends, let them know where the couple is registered. While household items may be fitting for both of them, you may want to encourage guests to bring items tailored more toward both sexes, like tickets to an event or a certificate for a couple's massage.
Kristen Radford Price began writing in 2005 for her campus newspaper. She has served as a feature writer for the life-and-style section of the "Daily Herald," a contributor to "Utah Valley Weekly," an editor for a small publishing house and now as director of communications for an Internet company. Radford has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.