Bride’s role in the bridal shower
Originally, the bride’s role in the bridal shower was quite simple: according to legend, a well to do Dutch or Danish girl who fell in love with a poor miller’s apprentice was said to have become engaged to the young men against the wishes of her father.
In an attempt to dissuade the couple from going through with their marriage plans, the father made it known that he would withhold the dowry, which was customarily used to help the young couple to set up their own household.
The legend further states that the townspeople were so upset with the rich father, that they decided to take it upon themselves to equip the young people with the items they needed to begin their lives together, and therefore held a bridal shower, where they showered the bride with gifts of household items, linens and other useful things.
Obviously, times have changed and we no longer have dowries. Nonetheless, the tradition stuck, and we are now hosting bridal showers for any bride to be who is ready to walk down the isle, notwithstanding her or her fiancé’s financial wherewithal.
Interestingly, the bride’s role in the bridal shower has not changed that much.
She is still pretty much the passive participant, while the bride’s maids and other female relatives take it upon themselves to plan and host the bridal shower. All the bride really needs to do is to show up and accept the gifts!
Of course, even being the recipient of the honoring is not without rules and regulations, and here are some tips on how to weather the stress of an upcoming shower with grace and how to make throwing your bridal shower a joy to your brides maids.
Stress free bridal shower tips:
Allow your maid of honor access to your address book. This sounds simple, but how often do we think of letting someone else know whom we would like to see invited to a party?
Since the maid of honor is probably a close friend of yours, she will know most of your friends already, but does she have their telephone numbers?
Additionally, since she probably does not know everyone to whom you sent a wedding invitation, and since etiquette mavens suggest that it is proper to invite all the female guests to the bridal shower, it is important that she has access to the guest list and your address book to make sure nobody feels slighted.
At the same time, since it is your brides’ maids and maid of honor who will be footing the bill for this event, do not insist on inviting everyone and anyone. If they would prefer -and can only afford- to only invite close friends, go along with a smile.
Stay out of the maid of honor’s way as much as possible. Sure, you probably have an opinion on everything from where to hold the bridal shower to what games to play and how to word the invite. In one word: “don’t.”
While your wedding may be the event of your dreams come true, your bridal shower is not, and while the hostess of the event may consult with you on your preferences, it is not mandatory, nor should you tell her how you want it done. This is a party that is thrown in your honor, and you are the guest of honor – not the party planner!
As the day of the bridal shower arrives, please be sure to make your maid of honor’s job easy by taking an active role in mingling with the guests, speaking to each one for a bit, and interacting with all in a gracious manner.
Yes, you will probably be nervous and a bit harried as the big day rapidly approaches, but this is not the time or the place to show it.
The week after the bridal shower, be sure to sit down and write “thank you” notes to the shower guests who came, and also mention a sincere note of gratitude about the gifts they brought for your.
At that time it would also be of great kindness to write some “thank you cards” to your bride’s maids and maid or honor for throwing this party for you.