Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bridal Showers

Bridal showers have been in existance since the Middle Ages.  In Victorian times, showers were taken literally, meaning to give the bride small gifts and goodies, putting them in a parasol and giveing them to the bride.

If you're a regular reader, you know Travelling Teddy and Cayenne Cutie are engaged.  One learns a lot about weddings, showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners (Whew! Are you tired yet?) on the internet.  The old standby though is Martha Stewart. Her quarterly bridal magazines are so well done and lovely. Here is her take on the bridal shower. (Spring, 2010)
Invitations are still preferred to be via mail.  Evites can be done as a reminder.
The renewed tradition of the groom coming at the end of a shower is a nice touch. This is an opportunity for the shower invitees to meet and greet the groom and become better acquainted.
I thought this was rather humorous...the old tradition of making a bouquet out of the ribbons from the bridal shower and using them for the rehearsal dinner is back in favor.  LOL, I remember this from back in the day!
Anyone can give the shower. It used to be that the immediate family of either the bride or groom did not give a shower.  That honor was limited to friends, family or bridesmaids.  Now anyone can have the party.
Lately showers have been in exotic locations, resorts, event venues, and even amusement parks.  Now the home shower is back in the popularity. This is especially true in the spring, summer, fall season where guests can mingle in the garden or patio.
A new shower idea is for all of the guests to bring a small dish to share, as in bringing the shower into the "potluck" realm.  I winced at this one, but the idea is to also bring the recipe for the bride to add to her collection.  Now it makes a little more sense.  But still.....
Games are back in favor. Ohmygoodness.  Sorry to hear about that one.  How many times can I put my hand in a pillowcase and identify 20 differnet kitchen gadgets in 15 seconds?
The big question is should the bride open the gifts at the shower or not? Some people believe this is a garish display of materialism. Martha's recommendation is to open them. The common answer to the question on theknot.com is to open the gifts at the shower as well.
Some shower ideas are:

Around the clock shower. Each guest is given a time and the gift  should reflect the time that gift would be used. For example, 6 pm; might be an item for the kitchen the bride would use in meal preparation.
Alphabet shower; each guest is given a letter of the alphabet and the gift has to begin with that letter.
Favorite color shower: the guests are given a color they should try to incorporate into the gift.

Event shower; these days when couples are getting married at an older age and may have some of the kitchen gadgets, give the bride and groom an event to share; tickets to a ballgame or a movie theater, giftcard to one of you favorite restaurants, or tennis rackets and balls to take up a new sport.
If you have a couples shower, make it a theme shower and everyone dress up, for example, dress like your favorite married couple or your favorite cartoon character.
It is more common for the shower to have a signature cocktail than an open bar, if liquor is served.
At the end of the shower, it is appropriate for the guest of honor (the bride) to get up and personally thank each guest for coming.
Thank you notes should be written within a week, preferably, and should be sent by mail. At this point, email thank you notes are not considered a valid form of gratitude.
 Time will fly and this time of joy will be upon us. I can't wait!

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