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Are Wedding Showers Still a Thing?

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Are wedding showers still a thing?

Wedding showers are still very much a thing. Even if some couples eschew the shower portion of the wedding tradition, wedding showers are still very popular in many parts of the world, especially in the United States.

Typically, the wedding shower is a celebration held in the daytime for the bride by her friends and family. It’s common for people to gather together, eat snacks or finger foods, drink (if applicable), and give small gifts to the bride-to-be.

Table set up with decorations for bridal shower party

The etiquette around wedding showers and whether you should host one at all depends on you, your family, and what you want out of the wedding experience.

There are no rules when it comes to weddings. Some people like to host as many events as possible, while other families want to avoid the limelight until the day of the ceremony.

If you are wondering if you should host or plan a shower or need help getting a shower off the ground, here are some things that can help you along the way!

How Wedding Showers Became a Thing

According to tradition, bridal showers first became a thing in the 16th century when a Dutch woman’s family refused to pay the dowry.

Her father disapproved of the wedding, so the town got together and gave small gifts to get the woman started with the items she would need. The gifts essentially took the place of the dowry.

You may be wondering, why have a shower and a wedding reception then? Well, as with most traditions, anything fun or involving gifts quickly becomes a permanent feature.

These days, we still have wedding showers where smaller groups of friends and family gather together and give gifts designed for the home.

Bridal shower part gifts on the table with bride design headband

Common shower gifts include things like the following:

  • Kitchenware
  • Towels
  • Sheets
  • Decorations
  • Small appliances

A bridal shower is the community’s way of showing support for the new couple.

soon to be bride and bridesmaid popping wine bridal party

Do You Have to Have a Shower?

The short answer is, no, you don’t have to throw a shower for someone or host one yourself.

If a shower stresses you out too much, you can skip it. No one will begrudge you for not having a shower.

For the most part, the bridal shower is the way for mothers or mothers-in-law to rally their friends around the bride who may not otherwise have the chance to meet.

For example, if you live in a different state or country than your parents or in-laws, their friends may not be able to come to your reception.

But they still want a chance to show you off. A shower allows them to cash in on all the wedding presents they’ve given out over the years.

Why Some People Think Showers Are Outdated

There’s a growing number of couples opting to skip the shower altogether. Here are some reasons why.

Traditions Change

bride and friends drinking champagne outdoor for bridal party

Bringing all the families or the women in the community together to ensure the future bride has all of her cookware in place may seem a bit outdated by today’s standards.

Especially in developed countries, the bride is more likely to be a college graduate and well-established when she gets married. It may feel somewhat odd to choose which towels to give her.

No one is forcing you to have a bridal shower. You can even change the party’s name and throw a similar party without all of the tradition tied up in it.

It’s entirely up to you and your family.

Couples Are Already Living Together

Most couples getting married these days are already living together. They purchased a waffle maker years ago, which defeats the purpose of a wedding shower.

It’s true; most people having wedding showers tend to be on the more traditional side of things.

Happy young couple eating pizza and discussing interior ideas after moving in

People Don’t Want All of the Gifts

Can you believe it? Some people want minimalist weddings where gift-giving is not the focus.

If you’re not one for getting as many presents as possible, you may need to change your approach to a wedding shower or forgo it altogether.

These are just some reasons why some question whether bridal showers are still a thing. Still, they aren’t going anywhere fast.

If anything, people are changing the tradition and adding a modern twist to this portion of the wedding experience.

How Can You Make Your Wedding Shower One to Remember?

Your wedding shower doesn’t have to be like your grandma’s shower. New couples are switching up the game and changing expectations.

If you’re not interested in a traditional shower, here are some ways you can bring your shower into the modern era.

Liven Things Up

Pretty DJ having fun playing music at bachelorette party

That’s right; you can have a fun, happening party only with a slightly different demographic.

People who attend wedding showers aren’t expecting to party too hard. Still, no one will object to a more up-tempo shower.

Invite a DJ, hire a caterer, and make your shower more fun than the one your mother went to.

Bringing Friends and Family Together

A bridal shower is a wonderful way to bring people together.

A bridal shower is an especially good idea if you have friends and family strewn across the country or around the world.

If you don’t want them to meet for the first time at your wedding reception, then host a shower that focuses on people getting to know each other.

Ask for Gift Cards or Cash

The whole thing about telling people what to gift you for your wedding can be weird.

Keep in mind, however, that people want to give you gifts. It’s typically their way of showing you how much they love you.

Instead of sheets, tell people to bring cash or gift cards for your favorite stores. That way, you can go shopping for whatever you need to fill the holes in between the stuff you already have.

Your Spouse Can Make an Appearance

Friends Having Fun At Bachelorette Party

Your spouse showing up at your bachelorette party is a big no-no, and you usually won’t get to see them until you’re walking down the aisle.

With a bridal shower, you can show off your partner to friends and family and give them time to interact.

Usually, the husband makes a short and sweet appearance at the bridal shower. However, if they want to stay, it’s up to you.

A Party With a Cause

Three girls volunteering to help charity

Want to have some fun and celebrate your wedding pre-ceremony but want to do something different than a traditional shower?

You can make your shower fun and meaningful by having everyone spend time together working at a meal center for the underprivileged, volunteering at an animal shelter, or engaging in some other worthwhile cause.

Not every shower has to be about finger foods and Bed, Bath & Beyond! You can style your wedding shower the way you see fit.

These days, wedding showers are about more than just giving people silverware. They’re another milestone on the wedding path. It’s a more relaxed setting where you can be around the people you love before the big day.