The truth is that if you're a woman, there's a good chance that at one point or another you have been invited to a bridal shower that left you scratching your head or ready to gnaw off your arm just to get out of the room. Remember the dreaded bridal shower game of dressing up one or more of the ladies in the room with a mock wedding dress made from toilet paper?

Or perhaps you are more familiar with the embarrassing questionnaire that the guests were to fill out, only then to have to stand up and read answers to questions you wouldn't even spell out in the Sunday confessional. Perhaps it is for this reason that bridal showers have become a bit of a bad reputation, and why so many invitees are sending their regrets and a gift certificate. Fortunately there is a movement underfoot to breathe some new life into the borderline dead radition of the bridal shower that has so many women roll their eyes at the thought of actually attending.

The times of embarrassing games and activities are coming to an end and instead new and improved activities ensure that the bride still receives her shower, guests still bring lots of presents to help the new couple start out their life together in style, and games are still being played - but with new twists! Follow these easy tips and you too will be able to throw a bridal shower for a young or more seasoned bride with easy boredom-free ideas!

Decide on a theme and run with it. Just because presents are involved, this should not make everything else about the occasion melt into the background. Instead, you may wish to contact your local jewelry sales lady, candle gal, or make up aficionado and see if their companies offer some kind of party package. Most of them do, and this will go a long way to allow the girls to sample some make up, try on some jewelry, and sniff the soothing smells of sweet candle wax.

You may want to serve some finger foods so that nobody will be stuck in the kitchen, and everyone will be able to participate. Maybe a student masseuse could be hired for a couple of hours to give foot massages or a student cosmetologist for manicures and pedicures. Food should be kept simple if at all possible. Nobody should be in the kitchen cooking, heating up, or assembling, while at the same time a mess for the hostess should be avoided altogether. A good idea is the potluck, or if you have the funds, have some finger foods catered.

Gourmet cheeses and crackers, some wine, canapes, petit fours, crab cakes and grilled vegetable foccacias make for a wonderful spread that is easily put together and does not require much in terms of reheating. Advice is a big part of the party. Especially if the bride is walking down the isle for the first time, many well-meaning ladies have oodles of ideas and tips on how to keep the marriage blissful. Usually a book is sent around to capture those pearls of wisdom, but how about trying a new twist? Instead of putting together a book, why not all each guest to write out their advice on a piece of parchment paper and then affix it to a bottle of wine. Both the wine and the advice can then be enjoyed together by the married couple and make for great conversation starters.

If the bride or groom happens to be teetotalers, the paper can easily be affixed to chocolate bars or any other food or drink item the couple will be able to enjoy together. So go ahead and allow yourself to enjoy the celebration of the bridal shower again. Revel in the changes, and allow your ideas to roam free, and no longer feel the obligation to follow in the footsteps of boring old games that are long past their prime. Have fun with the shower and during the shower! The bride will thank you for years to come for the thoughtful afternoon or evening you put together for her.