Sunday, 21 September 2008

Bridal Shower Etiquette

Tradition holds that the first bridal shower was thrown for a Dutch bride who married below her station. She loved the village miller, but her wealthy father had other ideas about who she should marry. As is often the case in these old tales, she ran away with her beloved miller, causing her father to disown her and withhold her dowry. The bride didn't mind being poor, as long as she had her miller at her side, but life was hard.

Their low fortune didn't last for long, however, because the villagers took pity on the newlyweds because the miller had always been unfailingly kind to them. They "showered" the bride and groom with gifts, thereby starting a tradition that has lasted for centuries!

In the modern day, showers have evolved and become more relaxed, but there are still certain rules of bridal shower etiquette that should be observed. Since there will almost always be a variety of attendees there -- friends, family and coworkers in most cases -- it's important to understand how everyone should interact. Mothers and grandmothers in particular can place a great deal of importance on proper bridal shower etiquette, so make sure you know what the rules are!

Here are a few:

  • The bride should never, ever host her own shower. Additionally, it is considered bad form to have a relative host. Typically, this responsibility falls to the MOH and the bridesmaids.
  • Don't badger potential guests with registry information or tell them exactly what to gift to buy. A bridal shower is a party that is concerned with gifts, but don't turn it into a frantic gift grab!
  • Keep the shower relatively small, and make sure that everyone invited to the shower is invited to the wedding. Excluding shower guests from the main event is just plain mean.

Unfortunately, that's not all there is to know -- who'd have thought that planning a low-key party could be so complicated? Look for more on bridal shower etiquette at the preceding link.

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