Wedding showers for women-only often are considered boring, as well as sexist. Alternatives might be:

Wine Shower -- Guests bring two bottles of wine; one to drink at the party and another to contribute to the couple's wine cellar.

Art Shower -- Guests bring ceramics, posters, lithographs, oil or watercolor paintings, wall hangings, etc., or pool their funds to purchase one large or more expensive piece. Photographers

Ask to see samples of other wedding photos, ask how much elaborate equipment and how many assistants they use and the number of proofs from whch you will be able to choose (70-100 is a good range). n

Give a list of people you want photographed to a family member or friend who can direct the photographer. Reception

Build in extra time before and after for quests who like to linger.

In choosing the site, ask about restrictions on smoking, drinking, music, and about kitchen and restroom facilities.

If you plan an outdoor reception, make an alternate plan in case of rain, and if you're using a tent, check to make sure it has side flaps that roll down easily. Comparisons

Shop for services.

Be specific about what you want and let people know that your are comparing prices and services. Getaways

Perhaps the height of elegance and romance -- if your budget can stand it -- is a horse-drawn carriage to transport bride and groom from the wedding to the reception. The Marriage Carriage Inc., 261-0679, furnishes a landau (open carriage) or brougham (enclosed), complete with coachman and groom dressed in English livery and top hat. Cost: $250 for an average wedding.