Gifts Galore

Exploring The Recent Trend Of Multiple Bridal Showers

By: Keely Coxon

Back in the day, wedding showers were meant to provide a young bride-to-be with the necessities of everyday married life, and to “shower” her in wisdom from those who’ve been married, and have made it work. Then, at some point during the eighteenth or nineteenth century, these once-informal get-togethers became full-scale girlie soirees, complete with decorations, catering and matrimonial festivities. But what we’re here to examine today is the rising popularity of a certain bridal shower technique, the “multiple shower.”

Now, everyone knows that getting  married is expensive. We won’t deny that. Therefore, of course it’s nice to have friends and family who are willing to provide you with most everything that you  and your fiancé/fiancée will need to get your life together started. As anyone who has moved out on their own for college can tell you, there are bound to be a hundred bazillion things that you’d never have thought to buy for your own house, until the very second that you critically need whatever it is. So, for their part, bridal showers are definitely helpful in setting up one’s first household.

That said, I have recently heard of girls throwing veritable “cycles” of bridal showers, from “home and garden” themed shindigs to “bed and bath” blowouts. Is this really a better way to do things, or simply a greedy way to suck every last pink-and-white-ribboned box possible out of their social circle? Let’s examine.

In the past, bridal showers have nearly always been thrown for the bride, often by the Maid or Matron of Honor. These new showers? Usually thrown by the bride herself. While in today’s society this may seem perfectly fine (hey, it’s just like throwing a Christmas party, except with all the gifts going to one person!), as some of the shower guests may hail from different eras, this must be taken into account. I, for one, know that both of my grandmothers would have probably fainted cold at the prospect of throwing themselves even a birthday party, much less a bridal shower… whereas most of my younger friends think it’s perfectly acceptable to send a mass text-message inviting everyone to their birthday extravaganzas! So  yes, the invite lists must be carefully tailored in this respect.

And then there is the cost issue. It typically isn’t cheap to throw a nice bridal shower, and expecting your guests to bury you in gifts when you scrimp on the party isn’t going to win you any respect, either… which brings up the point: if you have enough money to throw multiple showers for yourself, why are you asking your friends and family for so many gifts? You better have a darn good reason, at the risk of looking very, very gauche otherwise. And even if you manage to throw the showers at a reasonable cost, how much will guests be expected to spend on each gift? Sure, most girls would put forth any expense to buy their friend that silly shirt or prank her with some risky lingerie in addition to whatever gift they are already giving her, but how many times will they be expected to cough up the cash for another gift?

So, I guess that when it really boils down to it, the matter depends on how comfortable one is with asking his or her friends and family for a multitude of gifts. Play in a wealthy social circle that is always looking for party opportunities? Then throwing multiple showers may be an option. Otherwise, my best advice is to tread very carefully around the financial and egotistical aspects of having more than one bridal shower, especially if you’re throwing them for yourself.