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Bridal Shower

In the Spirit of Tradition

wedding photographyThe wedding shower originated with a Dutch maiden who fell in love with an impoverished miller. Her friends showered her and her groom with so many gifts that they could forego her missing dowry.

A 19th Century reason for wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand was that this finger supposedly had a vein that led directly to the heart.

Lucky is the bride who marries in old shoes.

Why something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue? The old was usually a personal gift from mother to daughter, a symbolic piece of wisdom for married life. Something new symbolized the new family formed by the couple. Borrowing is especially important, since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss to carry into the new union. Blue has two traditions: Pagan Roman maidens wore blue on the borders of their robes to denote love, modesty and fidelity, while Christians associate it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

The custom of carrying the bride over the threshold stems from the same belief that aroused the idea of runway carpet and strewing the aisle with flowers and petals. It was an ancient belief that the newly married couple was very susceptible to evil spirits. By carrying the bride and supplying a protective layer between the floor and bride, she would be protected from the ground monster.

The bridal veil is descendant from two sources. A womans face that was covered by a veil meant that she was spoken for. A veil was used to disguise the bride so that she would not be recognized by the evil spirits wishing to harm the vulnerable bridal couple.

The Jewish Chuppa canopy offered a sanctuary from evil spirits.

The kiss that seals the wedding is much more than a sign of affection. It has long been a token of bondingthe exchange of spirits as each partner sends a part of the self into the new spouses soul, there to abide ever after.

An old Scottish belief for good fortune: A bride should be met at the door after the wedding ceremony by her mother, who must then break a currant bun over her daughters head.

If a cat sneezes on the day before a wedding, the bride will be lucky in her marriage.

A young bride always wore her hair long and loose as a sign of her youth and innocence.


Bridal Showers

wedding giftsA bridal shower is a party to outfit the engaged couples new home, and gives friends and family a chance to spend time with the bride before she starts her married life. Here are the who, whats, and whens . . .

WHO HOSTS? Friends of the bride who are in the wedding party, another couple, or even a male friend. The brides mother, sisters, or close relatives of the grooms usually dont do the hosting, to avoid the appearance of asking for gifts. They may help finance, or help organize however.

WHOS INVITED? Usually, only those who will be invited to the wedding, with the exception of office or club showers. Traditional all-women showers include guests from the brides and grooms families, but coed showers are becoming more popular as well.

WHEN IS IT HELD? At least two weeks before the wedding. Mail invitations or call guests at least two weeks in advance of the shower date. A post-wedding shower may even be more convenient for some, and is also acceptable.

WHAT HAPPENS? Gifts are the primary focus. Be sure to have someone on hand to help record gifts (for thank you notes). Ribbons and bows may be collected for practice bouquets for the rehearsal ceremony. Themes make the party special, and can vary from a honeymoon theme, to gardening, cooking, movies, patio party, picnic, or hobby themes.

Whats New, Whats Fun!

Co-ed showers are growing in popularity, and can ease the tension as the bridal party not only carries out their duties as attendants, but also has to get to know the people they are spending the day with. Break the ice early with a picnic, barbecue, ski weekend, beach party, or even a scavenger hunt. The better your bridal party knows each other, the more fun theyll have on your wedding day.

Whether co-ed or traditional women only, the bridal shower can be more fun with a theme. Make it a casino night, a pool party, or a beauty make-over. Gift themes are also fun and can be personalized for the bride. Have a Gardening Party for the bride with a green thumb, or a Library Luau for the bookworm.

Often the shower is a time when friends from all stages of the brides life meet for the first time. Make it a sharing time when each of her friends can share their fondest memories of the friendship theyve shared. Have each shower guest bring a favorite photo of a time or event they shared with the bride, and compile them in a special scrapbook as a heartfelt gift for her.

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