"Build Our Wine Cellar" Celebration. Hold your shower in a specialty wine store and pair appetizers with your favorite wines, suggests NYC planner Kimberlee Bendeck. Guests can bring a wine-related gift (glasses, decanter, hemstitched cocktail napkins) or purchase a bottle that evening from your wine-registry list.
"What's Cooking?" Shindig. Invite guests to partake in a cooking class with a hired chef, then enjoy dining on the cuisine you've created, says NYC planner JoAnn Gregoli. Ask everyone to share a favorite recipe and later have them all compiled into a keepsake cookbook. Be sure to register in advance for cookware, serving pieces and kitchen tools, since these will be the gifts your guests will want to give.
His-and-Hers Spa Day. You can hold this shower at an actual spa or in your home: Simply book a few masseuses and manicurists, and guests can mingle between treatments. Set up a spa-style beverage bar of naturally flavored waters and fresh-fruit smoothies. (Include pomegranate martinis and blueberry mojitos if your shower is taking place in the evening!)
Rustic Retreat. If the two of you love outdoor adventures, plan your shower at a local lodge or decorate your space with river rocks, potted ferns and other woodsy elements. Attach a mini flashlight to the invitations to set the mood and serve gourmet versions of campfire favorites, such as sliders, steak skewers and s'mores made with homemade marshmallows and artisanal chocolate. Guests can gift you with sleeping bags, camping tools and other items from your REI registry.
Al Fresco Fete. Soak up the sun at an outdoor barbecue featuring grilled shrimp, skirt steak, chicken, corn on the cob and other warm-weather fare; for beverages, serve spiked lemonade, watermelon margaritas or white sangria. Play steel-drum music or hire bluegrass musicians to give the party a laid-back vibe. Guests can gift you with grilling tools, barbecue serving pieces and other summer-themed presents.
Casino Night. Set up a gaming room at home by renting blackjack and roulette tables or hiring a full-service firm to pull off your party. Have the food served Vegas style (buffet) and give luck-themed lollipops as favors.
Cocktail Caravan. Take guests on a tour of a few of your favorite local bars and open some shower gifts at each one (after a round of drinks, of course). Guests can gift you with items to stock your bar -- think cocktail shakers, double old-fashioned glasses and martini pitchers. Snap photos of your group in front of each hot spot and frame them chronologically as a collage.
Brunch Bash. If the two of you love spending lazy Sunday mornings together, gather your group for a festive brunch. Have mini waffles, French toast sticks and scrambled eggs in bite-sized pastry cups passed on trays, like hors d'oeuvres, and top tables with pitchers of mimosas and Bloody Marys. Play jazzy tunes on an iPod and designate one corner of the room a "reading nook," with newspaper sections placed alongside a few comfy chairs. Oversized mugs filled with flavored coffee beans make perfect favors.
"High School Heyday" Soiree. If you started dating when you were students, hold a shower that heralds the beginning of your romance. Incorporate your yearbook photos into the invites and serve modern twists on dining-hall fare -- like truffled mac and cheese and fig-and-prosciutto pizza -- on cafeteria-style trays. Decorate in your school colors and play Top 40 tunes from the year of your first date.
Cinematic Celebration. Give a nod to your love of movies with a Hollywood-style shower. Send movie-ticket-inspired invites and roll out a red carpet for guests to make a VIP entrance. Rent an old-fashioned popcorn cart and show (silent) movies on a blank-wall as your crowd mingles and munches on hors d'oeuvres. To open your gifts, sit on director's chairs embroidered with "Bride" and "Groom," and send guests home with candy-filled megaphone favors.