The custom of the bridal shower began when a poor woman’s family would not provide dowry for her, either because they lacked the funds or did not approve of the marriage. Friends of the woman would provide gifts as compensation for the dowry, allowing her to marry the man she loved. The term “shower” actually began in Michigan, to describe the tradition of placing gifts in a parasol that would shower the bride in gifts when opened.
Today’s showers can be a simple, backyard affair or an elaborate party with caterers, entertainment and photography. Many brides and grooms are electing to have a couple’s shower; inviting both sides of family and friends. At a joint shower, it’s common for the groom to receive presents, mostly tools and BBQ items, as well as the bride. Despite these modern twists, it’s still most common to have a bridal shower in honor of the bride, which is usually hosted by the mothers or bridal party.
Regardless of the setting, many bridal showers are now planned around a theme. Some of the most popular are listed below.
How Sweet It Is. This candy themed party is just to sweet. Some of the details include:
- Invitations wrapped around chocolate bars.
- Chocolate martinis
- Ring pop engagement rings at the tables
- Candy bar with cellophane bags for take home treats
Tea Time. Kate Middleton reminded us of the appeal of English charm – and the popularity of tea party themes soared. Some ideas for a tea party:
- Mismatched tea cup centerpieces on multi tiered stands
- Old tea tins filled with roses
- Lace doilies as placemats
- Tea sandwiches
- Encourage guests to wear fascinators and gloves
- Great for a garden party
What’s In A Name. This shower celebrates the soon-to-be bride’s future last name.
- Guests are assigned a letter of the bride’s name in their invitation. They are asked to buy gifts beginning with that letter.
- Presents are wrapped with the assigned letter visible on the outside. The bride will open gifts as she spells her name.
- Monogrammed items are encouraged.
Hey Honey, What’s For Dinner. It can be very costly to set up a kitchen, so this shower focuses on getting the bride started. Many kitchen showers include:
- Recipe card invitations
- Citrus or potted spices as centerpieces
- Guests gift the bride a favorite recipe with well wishes instead of cards
- Gifts are kitchen related items
- A cooking lesson is provided instead of shower games
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