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For a bridal shower your guests will love, save the gifts for last

We know that one of the main points of a bridal shower is to get a little help from your friends - after all, we've all been there, and it's not easy starting out when you don't even have a functional toaster oven. But lest you forgot what else they're for, consider what it means to celebrate together as you soak up the good wishes and knowledgeable advice.

That being said, forget about bridal shower themes centered around gift-giving. Most people don't want to sit and watch you unwrap sheets and towels for hours on end, so aim for a theme that's both instructive and pleasurable for everyone involved.

Many women are opting for weekend-long soirees at the beach or a cabin, but even a day at the spa would be an awesome treat for the entire gang. If you're catering to a more mixed crowd, have your favorite gourmand demonstrate how to cook their favorite dishes - and make sure they prepare enough to go around!

We're not saying you shouldn't open presents - we're willing to bet that most of your guests want to see your reaction - just not for longer than, say, a half hour. If you're wondering how to make this a more inclusive part of your soiree, have bridal shower favors prepared for each guest and plan to exchange gifts at the same time.