It is believed that the first bridal “shower” took place during the 18th century in the Netherlands, when a bride’s father did not approve of his daughter’s choice for a husband. She was in love with the local miller. Her father refused to give his daughter the traditional dowry, which was ruining her chance to marry the man she loved. The miller shared their plight with the townspeople. And, because the miller had always been generous to hungry families, giving them flour when they could not afford it, the people joined together and shared what they had, ‘showering’ the young lady with enough household goods to make a proper dowry. In the end, the father was so impressed by the generosity that he consented to the marriage.
Showers should be intimate gatherings of close friends and relatives. Some hostesses may want to have a theme shower, Food, beverages, decorations and gifts can all be coordinated to create just the scene you would like. Use your imagination! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Gourmet Cook Shower – gourmet foods, fine wines, cookbooks, gourmet utensils, exotic spices
- Great Outdoors Shower – badminton set, croquet set, picnic basket, flower seeds, gardening tools, Japanese lanterns, gift card to home improvement store
- Happy Holidays Shower – decorations are available for nearly every holiday of the year
- Honeymoon Shower – travel clock, travel book, disposable camera, tote bag
- Kitchen and Bathroom Shower – towels, soaps, robes, utensils, everyday glasses, trivets, tablecloths, placemats
- Labor of Love Shower – Bring promises not gifts! Pledge to help paint or wallpaper a room in the couples’ new home. Offer to cook a meal or bake a favorite dessert.
- Leisure Time Shower – movie tickets, board games, DVDs, CDs, cocktail glasses
- Round-the-Clock Shower – Each guest brings a gift appropriate for a different hour of the day. For example, if the hour is four in the afternoon, the gift might be a teapot with two cups and gourmet tea.
- Recipe Shower – Guests are given recipe cards and asked to make up a menu of their favorite recipes. The cards are collected and put into a recipe box provided by the hostess.
- Spa Shower – gift certificates for massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, aromatherapy oils and candles, personal grooming items
Although the maid-of-honor will be invited to every shower and party for the bride, she is not obligated to take a gift to each gathering. Instead, she could go the practical and personal route and present the bride with a Wedding Day Emergency Kit. Purchase a beautifully decorated box and fill it with hand wipes, super glue, breath mints, scissors, white masking tape, bottled water, tissues, a small sewing kit, safety pins (all sizes), nail file, nail polish, extra pair of panty hose, hair pins, small mirror, hair spray, brush and comb. This may seem a bit mundane, but it will come in very handy.