What is a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower? Pros & Cons - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2024)

Jack and Jill wedding showers are gaining popularity over traditional bridal showers. Here's how to decide if it's right for you—plus ideas for coed wedding shower themes and games.

If you and your soon-to-be spouse have a knack for doing things your own way, you might love the idea of a couple’s shower—otherwise known as a coed wedding shower or a Jack and Jill shower.

Jack and Jill showers are more laid-back and casual than traditional bridal showers. They can be a great way to celebrate with close friends, family members, and loved ones—regardless of whether they know you or your partner better.

Of course, they aren’t for everyone. Here’s a look at the benefits, potential drawbacks, who to invite, and other details.

What is a Jack and Jill party?

A Jack and Jill shower is a contemporary take on the traditional bridal shower that involves everyone in the gifts, games, and everything else. (Keep in mind that a Jack and Jill shower differs from a coed bridal shower, which is still focused solely on the bride but has a coed guest list.)

FAQ about coed wedding showers

Are both partners invited to a Jack and Jill party?

With a Jack and Jill shower, you and your partner get to celebrate and be celebrated at the same time. Your closest family and friends will surround you for some pre-wedding fun, and if you don’t like being the center of attention, your partner will be next to you for those (occasionally awkward) shower games. You’ll both share the gifts (and thank you note responsibilities!) and spend time with extended family and friends.

Are Jack and Jill showers more casual?

While coed showers may have longer guest lists (which can also be a drawback—see below), they tend to feel more relaxed. Instead of a sit-down brunch, why not throw an afternoon BBQ in one of your family member’s backyards, complete with brats and brews? Or, if that isn’t your style, look for a restaurant or other space that can hold your nearest and dearest for the event.

What is a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower? Pros & Cons - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (1)

Photo Credit // Levi Stolove Photography

What do coed wedding showers cost?

One challenge to a Jack and Jill shower is that the guest list will be longer, so it’ll cost more. If the host(s) are on a tight budget and your heart is set on an elaborate shower, the couple’s route may not be for you. Or, you may need to adjust your expectations (for example, by hosting the event in your backyard instead of renting a venue).

Do you still open gifts at a joint wedding shower?

With an extended guest list, you’ll likely receive more gifts at a Jack and Jill shower. You may not have time to open each gift one by one. That being said, you don't have to open all your gifts at your shower. Instead, you might consider putting up a sign on the gift table letting guests know how much you appreciate the gifts and that you’re so excited to open them—later, at home.

Who is invited to a Jack and Jill shower?

Regarding who to invite, you can limit the list to include your best friends and closest relatives—plus, of course, both sides of the wedding party. If you’re up for a bigger shower, you can include the usual bridal shower list and give everyone a plus-one. You can also open up the event to more of your wedding guests. For the most casual backyard showers where guests can drop by as they please, you can also include kids!

Who throws a couple’s shower?

Just like a bridal shower is thrown by one of the bride's close friends, family members, or bridesmaids, a coed wedding shower is hosted by someone (or multiple people) close to the couple. That can be the maid of honor and best man or the siblings of the soon-to-be-married couple.

When should you host your Jack and Jill party?

Wedding showers—including Jack and Jill showers—generally take place one to three months before the wedding day (although if a good portion of guests will need to travel to attend, you may want to have it earlier to avoid back-to-back travel for the shower and the wedding).

How long do coed wedding showers last?

Jack and Jill wedding showers typically last between two and four hours. If you're doing a more casual event (like a backyard BBQ), you can extend those hours to have more time to enjoy with your friends and family.

Do you bring your significant other to a Jack and Jill party?

This depends on how the invitation is worded. The general rule of thumb is whoever the envelope is addressed to gets to go. If it says “and guest” or addresses you and a partner or date by name, then yes you can bring them! If it’s addressed to you alone, you’re flying solo.

Tips for throwing a coed wedding shower

Here are a few tips to ensure planning your Jack and Jill party is a breeze.

Choose a venue that represents both of you.

Once you’ve decided to have a couple’s shower, it’s time to choose the venue. The options are limitless but try to keep both of you in mind when you decide on the locale. (For the nature-loving couple, for example, grandmother’s tearoom may be out, but the park with the picnic tables may be in.)

Some potential venues include the host’s backyard, a poolside party, a local restaurant the couple loves, a bar with a private party room, or a country club. If you're on a budget, you may want to look into community centers or local parks, too.

Serve food/drinks everyone will enjoy.

Bridal showers have traditionally been associated with dainty fare like tea sandwiches (we’re talking super traditional showers). With a Jack and Jill shower, anything goes, though. Depending on the time of day, you may want to have a brunch buffet with eggs, bacon, and mimosas, a more casual backyard "I do BBQ" with burgers, or an all-you-can-eat taco bar (complete with plenty of margaritas!).

Or, if you wanted to do something more elegant, you could even have an evening co*cktail party or an intimate dinner party.

Make the favors gender-neutral.

You’ll need to make the party favors universally appealing. Some ideas for a coed wedding shower include a sweet treat from the couple’s favorite bakery, a local delicacy that represents the couple’s hometown, personalized bottle openers, or monogrammed glasses or cups with a fun anecdote.

In the same spirit, you'll also want to let your guests know that if they're bringing shower gifts, they should be appropriate for a Jack and Jill wedding shower. (For example, while you might want your bridesmaids to give you lingerie for your bridal shower or bachelorette party, opening those kinds of gifts at a coed couples wedding shower could feel pretty uncomfortable—both for you and your guests.)

What is a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower? Pros & Cons - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2)

Photo Credit // Gabby Chapin Photography

Choose the right games for your coed wedding shower.

The right bridal shower games won't necessarily work for a coed wedding shower; if you want your wedding shower games to be a hit, you need to pick party games that work for all the coeds in attendance.

Not to worry! There are plenty of game-centric couples shower ideas that will please the whole crowd, including:

  • Outdoor games. Easy outdoor games like cornhole, bocce, or badminton are a perfect way to insert some Jack and Jill-friendly fun into your couple's shower. Weather permitting, set up a few games outside for guests to play at their leisure.
  • Who knows the couple best? Another fun game to play at a couple’s wedding shower is "Who knows the couple best?" Put together a series of questions about you and your partner—like how you met, the details of your first date, and the story of your proposal. Whoever answers the most questions right knows the couple best—and wins the game!
  • Karaoke. If you want to infuse some fun into your Jack and Jill wedding shower, why not have a good old-fashioned sing-along? Karaoke is a great way to let loose with your shower guests. You can turn it into a game by challenging guests to choose and sing a song they feel best captures the spirit of you, your partner, and your upcoming nuptials. Then, at the end of the sing-along, you can choose the song you felt was the best fit—and whoever sang that song is the winner!

Theme it.

A coed shower is a great opportunity to introduce a fun theme for the event and/or for the gifts guests will bring. Here are some ideas for shower themes:

  • Stock the bar: Guests bring a bottle of wine, alcohol, or another bar cart accessory so the couple will be stocked up for the future.
  • Round the clock: Guests are assigned a time of day to theme their gift around. Some may get the morning hours and bring a breakfast-themed gift like a waffle iron. Others may get the evening hours and gift a meal kit delivery service gift card or new bedding accessories.
  • Round the year: This is a variation on the round the clock theme. This time, guests are assigned a season or month and must give a gift accordingly.

Whatever theme you choose, make sure to tie it into all the details of your Jack and Jill party—like themed couple's shower invitations and shower decorations. The bottom line? A Jack and Jill (or coed or couple’s— call it what you choose!) wedding shower is a fun way to get excited about your wedding together. It also serves as an opportunity to bring your friends and family together before the wedding.

What is a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower? Pros & Cons - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2024)

FAQs

What is a Jack and Jill Wedding Shower? Pros & Cons - Zola Expert Wedding Advice? ›

Jack and Jill showers are more laid-back and casual than traditional bridal showers. They can be a great way to celebrate with close friends, family members, and loved ones—regardless of whether they know you or your partner better. Of course, they aren't for everyone.

What is a Jack and Jill wedding shower? ›

A Jack and Jill party is a co-ed shower for celebrating with close friends and families before the wedding. The traditional purpose was a fundraising event for the wedding and honeymoon. Modern Jack and Jill parties are relaxed gatherings with food, games, and gifts.

What is the primary purpose of the wedding shower? ›

The purpose of a wedding shower is to "shower" the couple with love, well-wishes and wedding gifts before their special day. Guests who are invited to the shower usually buy a gift from the couple's wedding registry and bring it to the party for the to-be-weds to open.

Can you use Zola for a bridal shower? ›

But it can, at times, seem overwhelming. Luckily, Zola offers a variety of tools to help make it easier for you and your guests. We offer one of the most comprehensive wedding and bridal shower registry amenities online, and the best part is that it's free!

Who do you invite to a Jack and Jill bridal shower? ›

Generally, you'll invite family members on both sides, the wedding party, and any other close friends. Ask the duo to make a list of loved ones who they want to attend.

What is the point of a Jack and Jill bathroom? ›

If you've always wanted a second bathroom, but you're concerned about having space or money to do it, then an existing bathroom can be turned into a Jack and Jill bathroom. That one bathroom will then serve two bedrooms, allowing people to come and go as they please.

Do you have to bring a gift to a Jack and Jill? ›

A few things to remember: If you're having the Jack and Jill in place of an engagement party, make sure to be clear that gifts are not expected, as the cash/ticket price is their gift.

Who pays for a wedding shower? ›

According to standard etiquette practice, a bridal shower is paid for by the person hosting the event, who, in most cases, is the maid of honor.

What is the role of the mother of the bride at the bridal shower? ›

Whether she's handling your bridal shower or greeting out-of-town guests once they arrive in town for your nuptials, the mother of the bride is the official hostess and should focus on helping each attendee feel welcome.

What's the difference between a bridal shower and a wedding shower? ›

The bridal shower is designed for just you and the girls while the wedding shower is a co-ed party where the bride and groom both get showered with gifts and love.

Who should not host a bridal shower? ›

Traditional etiquette dictates that the maid of honor—not the mother of the bride—should host the shower. Nancy is a freelance writer for MarthaStewart.com. Some etiquette rules were meant to fade away into oblivion, like the one about family members of the bride not hosting her bridal shower.

What is the bride supposed to wear to the bridal shower? ›

As for color and pattern, wear any hue or print you love. Many brides choose to wear white to all of their pre-wedding events. That includes their bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner. You can't go wrong with a pretty white dress — no matter the fabric or silhouette!

Who pays for Jack and Jill's party? ›

Historically, a Jack and Jill was a celebration before the wedding in order to raise money for the couple. An example of this would be holding a party and charging invited guests an admissions fee of ~$5, which would go toward the engaged couple.

What is another name for a Jack and Jill shower? ›

Also called a stag and doe, buck and doe, couples shower or co-ed shower, a Jack and Jill wedding shower is a party that celebrates both the bride and groom. These events are more contemporary than traditional bridal showers, but still include some time-honored traditions.

What is the dress code for Jack and Jill? ›

Shoulders should be covered; strapless or sleeveless dresses or tops should not be worn. White or flesh colored stockings are required. Shoes must be white and should be either peeptoe or slingback, not both. Sandals or mules are not acceptable.

How do you get invited to Jack and Jill? ›

Membership via invitation

Prospective members must be sponsored by a current member in good standing of the chapter in which they are seeking membership. We encourage interested mothers to make contact with Jack and Jill members in their local communities to learn about specific membership guidelines and procedures.

Is the Jack and Jill party the same as the engagement party? ›

The engagement party is usually a bit relaxed without gifts, while the bridal shower or “Jack and Jill” event is usually more of an intimate celebration of the couple starting a life together and may involve a registry.

What is the difference between a wedding shower and a bridal shower? ›

The difference between bridal and wedding showers is pretty simple. The bridal shower is designed for just you and the girls while the wedding shower is a co-ed party where the bride and groom both get showered with gifts and love.

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