The tradition of throwing a wedding shower goes back to the 1890s. The original purpose wasn’t to feather the nest for the new couple but to make sure the wedding could take place. It grew out of the practice of the groom’s family requiring a dowry from the bride’s family. If the bride’s father disapproved or couldn’t provide a sufficient dowry, her friends would get together and offer gifts that would resolve the problem.
In the 1920s showers were spontaneous. A few of the bride’s friends would show up unexpectedly at the bride’s house with gifts. By the 1950s showers were more elaborate and involved games. By then the purpose had become to give the bride gifts that would help her in setting up her new home. It’s believed that the term “shower” came from a short-lived tradition of placing small gifts inside a parasol. When the parasol was opened, the gifts would rain down on the bride, showering her with gifts.
Many couples today have lived on their own or even together for a while before getting married. So, is a shower necessary for people who already “have everything”?
The quick answer is yes. Needs and desires change over time. What worked for a single girl who usually grabbed a quick drive-thru dinner won’t work for a couple making nightly dinner together. A bachelor’s single-bed sheets won’t work on a newlywed couple’s new full-size (or queen- or king-sized) bed. The jumbled collection of kitchen tools that two people brought together when moving in could always use an upgrade. New towels are always welcome.
If you are a bridesmaid, close friend, or cousin, you’re a logical person to throw a shower for the bride. Even better, throw a co-ed shower for the happy couple.
Rae Bates has been an Independent Consultant with The Pampered Chef since April 2004. She offers the Easiest Wedding Shower EVER. For more information you can find her listed in the Directory under Showers & Gifts or visit her website http://www.pamperedchef.biz/rae.