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Bridal showers have a rich history dating back to the sixteenth century when a dowry had to be provided for the future bride; in the cases where a father refused to provide the dowry because he did not approve of the marriage, friends would gather to bring gifts to compensate for the lack of a dowry. The word shower can be traced back to a time when gifts were placed in a parasol, that when opened, "showered" the recipient with gifts. The traditional shower did not become commonplace until the 1 920s, when friends would spontaneously drop by the bride-to-be’s home to give her presents that would benefit her as a housewife. This informality has prevented the bridal shower from the prescribed etiquette that surrounds the wedding. Still, bridal shower invitations are indicative of the bride’s personality and set the tone for the event you are planning.

Customarily, the maid or matron of honor hosts the bridal shower. However, it is not uncommon for a bride-to-be to have multiple showers hosted by different people. Because showers are gift giving parties, it was once taboo for the bride’s family to host, but this is no longer the case. Some conventional hosts to consider: any of the bridesmaids, family member of the bride, family member of the groom, co-workers, church members, or other friends and acquaintances.

Most bridal showers take place approximately four to six weeks prior to the wedding, but this is not a steadfast rule. Gifts are generally given for the home, such as kitchenware, bedding, bath accessories, or other home accents. Gaining popularity are the lingerie shower and the tool shower (at which the groom-to-be receives home improvement gifts from his friends), as well as the couple shower. There is no set rule for the type of shower you must throw. Keep in mind the guest of honor’s personality and know that the day should revolve around spoiling them with gifts that they will need for their new life as husband and wife.

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