The tradition of the bridal shower we are told originated in Holland. Very sweet story - a young Dutch girl fell in love with a poor miller, who had spent his life helping those needier than himself. As a result, he had little to offer his prospective bride when they were ready to be married. When the young lady told her father that she intended to marry the miller, he wasn’t exactly impressed and forbade the marriage. In an effort to get his daughter to reconsider the marriage he refused to give her the customary bridal dowry.
Love won the day and despite her father's objections, the young lady decided to marry her true love. Without a dowry, the couple had very little and were nearly penniless. Upon learning of their situation, the community came to the couple's aid to show appreciation for the miller's kindness to others over the years. With the help of the townspeople, the groom's friends joined together and 'showered' the new couple with necessities for the couple's home. Thanks to their generosity, the bride acquired what her father had denied her - everything she needed to set up a new home.
Tradition then grew from the townspeople's thoughtfulness. Over time, the old-fashioned dowry a young woman typically received from her family to set up her home grew into a bridal shower given by her 'family of friends.' Early bridal showers were focused on building the bride's friendship with her elders, offering moral support, and helping her plan for her marriage. These traditions are often forgotten at bridal showers today, where presents tend to take priority. Bridal showers are usually organised by good friends of the Bride or the bridesmaids
In the past, strict rules of etiquette prevented the bride's family members from throwing the bridal shower since gifts are expected. Today, modern bridal showers are much more relaxed ! When planning a bridal shower, it is best to consult with the families involved in order to decide how closely you should follow tradition – better safe than sorry to have ruffled feathers!.
Since the original purpose of a wedding shower was to help a new bride set up home showers were generally not held for the “second-time bride”. Over time, however, this tradition has been abandoned.
Early bridal showers tended to be much more intimate than modern showers. Unlike today's showers, the first bridal showers only included guests who were very close friends or relatives. In addition, it was only women who were invited.
When creating the guest list for a bridal shower, consider the wishes of both the bride and groom. Since it is possible that another family member or friend is planning a bridal shower for the bride or the couple, consider the fact that the same guest(s) may be invited to more than one shower. This can make it an expensive time for friends so please be conscious of it. A good rule of thumb - the same guest should be invited to only one shower with the exception being members of the immediate family.
Bridal showers can be great fun and real ice-breakers for your separate groups of friends i.e. work colleagues to get to know friends from your college years before the big day itself.
Now, all that’s left to do is relax and let the games begin………