Bridal Shower Thoughts
[Note: I know this may be a touchy subject, and I apologize if I offend anyone who may read this post. My object is not to bash the idea of bridal showers, but to express my thoughts on the topic and ask questions. As usual, please be constructive and polite when leaving a comment 🙂 Thanks in advance. –AM]
As a woman in my mid twenties, I have friends and colleagues around me who are getting married. Recently, I got an invitation to a bridal shower for a colleague.
Although, I am very happy for the newly engaged couple, I do not like bridal showers. (Or any kind of shower, really, but that’s another story.) I know, I am a grinch /scrooge. I will go as far to say that I find them generally distasteful.
The general etiquette for a bridal shower is that you invite your friends, family and/or colleagues for a get together where they are expected to bring gifts. You play some games and eat pink cupcakes (hopefully!), and generally just sit around. Is it just me, or is that idea not really rude?
I can understand a wedding gift as a gesture of happiness and celebration, as well as helping the couple get started on their live, but why is there a need for a bridal shower for more gifts? To me, it’s just a commercialized money grabbing scheme.
I understand that there is a lot of money that goes into planning a wedding. And there is a lot of money that goes into furnishing the house that the new couple will move into. But isn’t that their responsibility as a newly wed couple to take care of? If they can’t afford whatever it is, shouldn’t they save until they can?
Back in the day where dowry practices were of the norm, bridal showers were held by family and friends for a poor bride whose family may not have the money for dowry, or if her father refuses to provide a dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the earliest recorded occurrence was in the 1860’s in Brussels, Belgium, but could also be traced back to the 16th or 17th century in the Netherlands.
The history of the practice was not to provide stuff for the new household, but to provide goods and money so that the wedding may take place. The practice has since evolved and spread to American in the 1890’s, and is today most common in the United States, Canada and Australia – starting in the urban areas and spreading to rural areas, as well.
However, we don’t live in an era where we need dowries anymore, so why do we still have bridal showers? Why are brides still asking friends, family to use their hard earned money to buy them things that they should be saving for and buying as a couple?
This concept doesn’t make any sense to me.
Maybe I am being a scrooge, but I would never hold a shower and ask people to give me their hard earned money for things that myself and (future) hubby should be buying on our own.
At work, the women usually get together for a little party/shower before a wedding or a baby arrives. It’s a nice time for a bunch of us to together and share stories of our experiences and eat yummy cake. We all chip in a little (usually about $10 to cover food costs and a small gift), and I think this is great.
That, to me, is a group of women supporting each other on the path to the next step in our lives. However, I don’t think this is the atmosphere or gift value expected at most showers.
What are your thoughts on bridals showers? What do you think might be a another way to bond and share in the wonderful moment?