A Little Bridal Shower History

Today, bridal showers are just another one of those common pre-wedding celebrations we’ve come to expect. Maids or matrons of honor have the role of planning the event and putting everything together, including sending out the bridal shower invitations. Although bridal showers are pretty much standard procedure in the U. S. and Canada, this part of the wedding celebration didn’t start in North America.

During the 1500’s or 1600’s, a Dutch girl fell in love with a boy who didn’t have much money. She didn’t care that he had no money and wouldn’t be able to provide her with a life of ease, but her father did. He had hoped she would marry some with better means for supporting her. As a result, the father disapproved of the marriage.

While that might not matter much today, because the couple could still run and get married, couples received a dowry from the bride’s father to help them get started in their lives. The Dutch girl’s father adamantly refused to give the dowry if she married this boy. No dowry meant no way to set up a home and, therefore, no marriage.

People who knew the couple wanted to help because it was clear they were truly in love. They worked together and bought them gifts that would help them establish their new home. The father was so overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness from the other people that he finally consented to the marriage.

Whether the love story is true or not, couples of all economic backgrounds began being “showered” with gifts by friends and family so they could establish a new home for themselves. Near the end of the 19th century, the custom reached the United States, probably thanks to the increased immigration from Europe.

Although bridal showers began as simple affairs, today they can be as casual or as lavish as you want. Some brides even have multiple bridal showers to accommodate all of her friends, family members, and co-workers. Some wedding planners even assist in putting together the entire bridal shower with the hold of the maid/matron of honor.

Despite these changes, the basic idea of the bridal shower has never really changed. The celebration is a sign that your friends and family approve of the partnership and gives them a way to help you get your household started. Whether you have a simple shower or a huge event, it’s definitely an important part of the modern wedding tradition.

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