Everything you need to know about throwing a bridal shower
The tradition of having a bridal shower is believed to have started over a century ago when family member and friends of the bride would gather around and “shower” her with gifts. Though the practice remains the same, the party was originally given only to women whose family did not have the money for her dowry or if she did not receive her father’s blessing. Today in Singapore, the bridal shower is given to every incoming bride as a way of celebrating her transition into being a wife.
Normally, the bride’s closest friend (who is often also her maid of honor) organizes and hosts the party. Part of the duties of the organizer is sending out the invitations, setting up the party’s venue and program, gathering the gifts, and handling the cost of the party. If the host plans to throw in an elaborate party, she may ask the other bridesmaids to share the cost. It is atypical for a bridal shower to be hosted by a family member of the bride as some may find it uncouth for a person to ask for gifts for their own kin. In Singapore, where families are more closely knit, this rule is more relaxed as the duties of the host are often handled best by the bride’s sister or an elder relative.
The bridal shower, as well as the stag party, has become customary in most societies, although it is more prevalent in western countries. However, some brides-to-be may prefer not to have a bridal shower because they don’t want to ask for any more gifts (note that the gifts for the bridal shower is different from the wedding gift) or because they are uncomfortable with the attention. In such cases, her friends and relatives may still organize a party for her, such as the bridesmaids’ luncheon or engagement announcement party, which are usually not gift oriented and may be organized by anyone.
While the bride should be at the center of the celebration, the party will also be for the people who get invited. If the host plans to have a little mischief during the party, she might want to leave out the elder relatives. But if the party will have a general wholesome atmosphere then anyone can be invited. However, the host shouldn’t invite anyone who is not invited to the wedding. (She may ask the fiancé for the wedding guest list.) Some women prefer to have the party just among close friends while others want to include every friend and relative, so the host should also take that into consideration.
Most bridal parties take place in the host’s home, but there is really no set rule where to have the party. It can also be held at a restaurant, a club, a hotel or a country club in Singapore or overseas. The important factors to consider when deciding on a venue are the number of attending guests and the level of privacy the host wants. Regarding the date, the bridal shower can happen anytime between six months to a week before the wedding. Two months before the wedding may be ideal, but it can take place closer to the wedding day if some of the guests are coming from outside of Singapore. Most bridal showers are held during the afternoon or in the evening.
The bridal shower is mostly an informal occasion and the program doesn’t have to be set up strictly. Most of the time will be spent eating and drinking, sharing stories, and opening presents. The host should be ready with a few games – in case there’s a lull in the program – and some bottles of champagne or wine to get the girls in a good mood. The host is expected to make a toast to the bride and wish her well. She should also arrange the serving of the food, which may be include a full meal or just finger foods, depending on the time of the party.
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