Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Traditions & Superstitions-Pre-Wedding Parties

Photo courtesy of The Hostess with the Mostess.

This month's edition is about all the Pre-Wedding Parties.

Engagement Party

  • Traditionally it is hosted by the Bride's parents about a month or two after the announcement.
  • Any one can host it now.
  • It can be as formal or informal as you want.
  • Sometimes guests will bring gifts but not everybody will.

Bridal Shower

  • To shower the Bride with love and good wishes.
  • Traditionally they were hosted by the Maid of Honor.
  • It is an alternative to the dowry/trousseau (the money, goods, or estate that the woman brings to her marriage).
  • There is the Dutch story of a young maiden who loved a young miller. The miller was so generous to others that he didn't save up money for himself. Since the miller was not rich, the maiden's father disapproved and refused to give her a dowry. The whole town loved the couple so they decided to give the girl a dowry by giving her something of theirs. With these items they 'showered' the maiden.
  • During the Victorian Era family and friends would put small gifts into a parasol and then pore them over the brides' head.
  • They started here in the US in the late 1800's, with the upper middle class.
  • By the 1930's people were giving bridal showers all across the US.
  • One of the earliest reports of the new tradition is in the Grand Rapids Michigan Evening Press 22 on June 4, 1904: "The ‘shower parties’ that through mistaken hospitality the wedded couple are forced to attend..."
  • A shower emphasizes traditional gender roles.
  • In an etiquette guide from the 1920's it said that showers should be "purely spontaneous and informal", with guests arriving unannounced at the bride-to-be's home.
  • During the 1950's they started to be more complex with themes and games.
  • Friendship and support is at the center of the bridal shower tradition.
  • Showers are meant to be an outpouring from the community.
  • They are not usually arranged or hosted by the brides immediate relatives.
  • Sunday afternoon is the traditional time for a bridal shower.
  • Registry information wasn't usually included in the invitation. Although, we usually put it into a shower invitation now.
  • Nowadays it is common to have couples shower's so everybody can participate.
  • Was the only pre-wedding party for a woman.

The Bachelor Party { Stag, Bull's or Buck's}

  • It is thought that the Bachelor Party originated in Sparta around 5 BC. Soldiers would toast and pay homage to the groom on his last night of being a single man.
  • It is usually thrown by the Best Man or the groom's brothers.
  • The party usually involves drinking, going to strip club or hiring a stripper and gambling.
  • Sometimes they involved hazing and pranks towards the groom.
  • It is a rite of passage for a man from being an bachelor (adolescent lifestyle) to a more responsible married adult.
  • Historically, it was held the night before the wedding. Although, in recent times it is held well in advance of the wedding day.

Bachelorette Party{Hen Party or Stagette}

  • The bachelorette party is modeled after the centuries-old bachelor's party.
  • In its modern form, it is thought that the bachelorette party may have begun during the sexual revolution of the 1960's.
  • From the 60's to the 80's women just went out for drinks after the shower.
  • It wasn't that common till the mid-1980's.
  • The first book on planning bachelorette parties wasn't published until 1998.
  • Its cultural significance is largely tied to concepts of gender equality.
  • A bachelorette party is an expression of social and sexual freedom.
  • Initially, woman would attend male revues, asking strangers intimate questions, or just got drunk.
  • Destination weekends are becoming more popular for both the men and the women to celebrate the end of their singlehood.

Bridesmaids Luncheon or Tea

  • The bride hosts this.
  • It is to thank the bridesmaids for all their help during the wedding planning process.
  • Usually held a few days before the wedding.
  • A girls only affair.
  • A classy event.

Rehearsal Dinner

  • Tradtionally hosted by the groom's parents.
  • It should be after the ceremony rehearsal.
  • Normally, it is held the night before the wedding. Sometimes 2 days before.
  • It can be as formal or as casual as you want.
  • All parents and the bridal party attend with their significant others.
  • You can include your out-of-town guests.
Happy Planning,

1 comment:

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