Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wedding Traditions: Bridal Shower

As we speak I am heading home to the States for my bridal shower, a weekend of fun with all of the women in my life and I can not believe it and can not wait! Often when I tell friends here in the UK that I'm flying to America for my bridal shower they ask, what exactly do you do at a shower? Bridal showers are a huge tradition in the States for the bride to be, but not very common here in England. Following up on my other wedding tradition posts, I wanted to share a little bit about them today. 

The history of bridal showers is said to have started back in Holland in the 17th century, who knew! I'm marrying a Dutch guy and here I thought bridal showers were so American;) The story is that a young Dutch girl fell in love with a miller's son and was head over heels in love and wanted to marry him. Her family did not approve of his poor standings as her father wanted her to marry a wealthy man {a pig farmer!} and threatened to keep her dowry if she didn't listen. When everyone in the village learned of the story, they brought the bride gifts to help her with her married life and to take place of her father's dowry if she truly wanted to marry this man. The story is that her father was so touched by the town that he agreed to the marriage and gave the couple a large dowry in replace. Since this story, the idea of showering the bride with gifts to get ready for her marriage from friends, family and her family to be has become a big tradition in parties leading up to the wedding day.

This story is very similar to how it began in the US with the dowry being a hope chest full of special items for the bride to be's life ahead. 
She-n-Him Photography on The EveryGirl

In early days the tradition grew from poor women's family who may have not been able to provide her with a dowry or when the father refused to give it up so she could marry the man she loved. The townspeople and women would get together and bring gifts, compensating for the dowry and allowing her to marry the man of her choice. 
Liz Banfield  featured on Style Me Pretty 
The actual term "shower" is believed to possibly have come from Victorian ages when presents were placed in a parasol and they would be open and "shower" down upon the bride! I love this story!
Bridal Fete on Celebrate Mag
Bridal showers have changed so much over the years. They use to be an afternoon tea where the bride would sit down and open gifts and everyone would watch and oooooo and aaaawww. Well, yes, that sometimes still happens, however incorporating cooking classes, winery tours, spa days, all different occasions that are special towards the bride have often been finding a place in newer bridal showers. 
Martha Stewart Weddings
A bridal shower is often a time to bring together your mom's friends and your mother in law to be friends and family along with your friends all for a day. For me, living so far away and having my friends all over the country, a bridal shower is an amazing day to have everyone together with me in one room and celebrate our upcoming marriage! 
The idea of showering the bride still exists, however it may no longer be full of awkward ice breakers between relatives and afternoon teas only, it has become more personal and a fun afternoon together for everyone attending! Why would someone not like the idea of a bridal shower! I think the UK needs to incorporate them back into their traditions, what do you think?

xoxo - Becca

*If you enjoyed this post you would like the other Wedding Tradition posts: The Grooms Cake & Something Old, Something New

1 comment:

  1. I pretty much liked the idea of bridal shower! It is a different idea. My sister's marriage is on next week. The venue is a wedding banquet hall in Toronto. And I have been searching for these kind of ideas to make the function more fun. Thanks for sharing this. We will definitely consider your idea of bridal shower!


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