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Huffington post: Bridal showers, how is this still a thing?

Hey Knotties,

This article came across my facebook newsfeed, and I was wondering what you all think? For the record, I had two showers (one on my side and one on husband side) both of which were very small with just family. While I am grateful to all who coordinated, hosted, and those who attended, it was kind of awkward (not a big fan of the games, and it was a little strange to open gifts in front of everyone). I had never attened a bridal shower before going to my own, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Have bridal showers outlived their utility or is the author of this article wrong?
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Re: Huffington post: Bridal showers, how is this still a thing?

  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I saw this yesterday too.

    Bridal showers are done in my family, and everyone has them. Also birthdays are big in my family, so I'm used to opening presents in front of people, because I do it every year. So it wasn't that awkward for me.

    There are a lot of things related to weddings that I wonder, why is that still a thing. There are a lot of traditions that we do that are head scratchers (and I did them too.) Why have a wedding party, why do people not want to see each other before the wedding, why do we have to invite 100s of people, why does the bride get an engagement ring. A , why do women change their names much much more than they keep them? A lot of these things aren't going to change overnight. 
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    ahyatt87vikinganna87chibiyui
  • Personally, I agree with the article - especially since people are getting married later in life just as a trend.  I don't begrudge people having fun and getting together and those who like to give gifts, but I feel like the intent of the shower was to set a new couple up in their home because they don't have anything - not to subsidize an upgrade of everything they own so they can have a nicer mixer/dishes/towels.  If they are functional - use them.  If you want to upgrade them, then do exactly what I did and save up a portion of your paycheck and buy them.

    If you're 22 and getting married right out of college, I'll be more than happy to buy you a set of dishes so you aren't eating your mac & cheese out of a frisbee.  If you're 32 and have been living with your FI for the last three years and I know you own pretty decent dishes because you've invited me over for dinner, I'm less inclined to upgrade those dishes for you when I'm using a 10 year old set of Corelle myself.

    I don't know if it's a "well, every one deserves one so it's fair" mentality that we started throwing showers for households that are already pretty well established (let alone multiple showers) or how this morphed into what it currently is.  Or that people who have their households established think they still are entitled to the cash equivalent in the form or gift cards, a honeyfund, or outright cash.  Again, I'm not anti-celebrating or even anti-gift, but I'm much more inclined to give you a gift along the lines of an experience if you're already in an established household than I am going to be willing to upgrade and redecorate your house for you via a shower.
    ahyatt87[Deleted User]
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    jacques27 said:
    Personally, I agree with the article - especially since people are getting married later in life just as a trend.  I don't begrudge people having fun and getting together and those who like to give gifts, but I feel like the intent of the shower was to set a new couple up in their home because they don't have anything - not to subsidize an upgrade of everything they own so they can have a nicer mixer/dishes/towels.  If they are functional - use them.  If you want to upgrade them, then do exactly what I did and save up a portion of your paycheck and buy them.

    If you're 22 and getting married right out of college, I'll be more than happy to buy you a set of dishes so you aren't eating your mac & cheese out of a frisbee.  If you're 32 and have been living with your FI for the last three years and I know you own pretty decent dishes because you've invited me over for dinner, I'm less inclined to upgrade those dishes for you when I'm using a 10 year old set of Corelle myself.

    I don't know if it's a "well, every one deserves one so it's fair" mentality that we started throwing showers for households that are already pretty well established (let alone multiple showers) or how this morphed into what it currently is.  Or that people who have their households established think they still are entitled to the cash equivalent in the form or gift cards, a honeyfund, or outright cash.  Again, I'm not anti-celebrating or even anti-gift, but I'm much more inclined to give you a gift along the lines of an experience if you're already in an established household than I am going to be willing to upgrade and redecorate your house for you via a shower.
    So why does a 22 year old who is getting married gets to have a shower but a 32 year old who didn't find the one until later in life not get a shower. That's just adding into the thought that people should get married earlier so you're not a spinster. Age isn't really an indicator, you can have a well to do younger person and a poor older person. Why do you even get household items for a marriage anyway. 

     I was 31 and my husband was 36 when we got married, and I had a full blown shower. I've used many of my items and we bought a house right before our wedding, so we have room for everything. My sister was married at 23 (3years ago) and her wedding presents are still in a closet at my mom's house, because they don't have room for it in their apartment. 

    I agree that the honeyfund/cash showers are a problem, but that's not exclusive to older couples getting married.
    Because I'm using the two most recent examples from my personal life.  My 22 year old cousin getting married going from dorm to first home and my 32 year old friend who has been with her FI 10 years, bought a house 3 years ago, and pretty much has everything they need, but are using the wedding to upgrade everything.  If you're a 32 year old with nothing, I'll probably buy you dishes, too.  If you're a (statistically unlikely) 22 year who developed an app and sold it for a boatload of cash and bought yourself a house and dishes and everything else already, you're probably not getting new towels from me.  If you want to interpret that as my saying people should get married younger so they can reap the financial benefits of buying them stuff, then go ahead.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    jacques27 said:
    jacques27 said:
    Personally, I agree with the article - especially since people are getting married later in life just as a trend.  I don't begrudge people having fun and getting together and those who like to give gifts, but I feel like the intent of the shower was to set a new couple up in their home because they don't have anything - not to subsidize an upgrade of everything they own so they can have a nicer mixer/dishes/towels.  If they are functional - use them.  If you want to upgrade them, then do exactly what I did and save up a portion of your paycheck and buy them.

    If you're 22 and getting married right out of college, I'll be more than happy to buy you a set of dishes so you aren't eating your mac & cheese out of a frisbee.  If you're 32 and have been living with your FI for the last three years and I know you own pretty decent dishes because you've invited me over for dinner, I'm less inclined to upgrade those dishes for you when I'm using a 10 year old set of Corelle myself.

    I don't know if it's a "well, every one deserves one so it's fair" mentality that we started throwing showers for households that are already pretty well established (let alone multiple showers) or how this morphed into what it currently is.  Or that people who have their households established think they still are entitled to the cash equivalent in the form or gift cards, a honeyfund, or outright cash.  Again, I'm not anti-celebrating or even anti-gift, but I'm much more inclined to give you a gift along the lines of an experience if you're already in an established household than I am going to be willing to upgrade and redecorate your house for you via a shower.
    So why does a 22 year old who is getting married gets to have a shower but a 32 year old who didn't find the one until later in life not get a shower. That's just adding into the thought that people should get married earlier so you're not a spinster. Age isn't really an indicator, you can have a well to do younger person and a poor older person. Why do you even get household items for a marriage anyway. 

     I was 31 and my husband was 36 when we got married, and I had a full blown shower. I've used many of my items and we bought a house right before our wedding, so we have room for everything. My sister was married at 23 (3years ago) and her wedding presents are still in a closet at my mom's house, because they don't have room for it in their apartment. 

    I agree that the honeyfund/cash showers are a problem, but that's not exclusive to older couples getting married.
    Because I'm using the two most recent examples from my personal life.  My 22 year old cousin getting married going from dorm to first home and my 32 year old friend who has been with her FI 10 years, bought a house 3 years ago, and pretty much has everything they need, but are using the wedding to upgrade everything.  If you're a 32 year old with nothing, I'll probably buy you dishes, too.  If you're a (statistically unlikely) 22 year who developed an app and sold it for a boatload of cash and bought yourself a house and dishes and everything else already, you're probably not getting new towels from me.  If you want to interpret that as my saying people should get married younger so they can reap the financial benefits of buying them stuff, then go ahead.
    No I don't think that's what YOU were saying. But I think if that became a thing, that can become, well you should have gotten married earlier if you wanted stuff. I agree with you that no one deserves anything from anyone, but it's not really practical to put an age limit or line in the sand, person A doesn't get a shower, but person B does. 

    If you don't want to go to a 32 year old's shower, than don't go, and don't buy a gift. Easy.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    @jacques27 So what ARE you willing to gift older couples less begrudgingly for their weddings, then?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    PrettyGirlLostahyatt87
  • I've talked before about my co-worker who will be in her 40s if/when she gets married and she views her eventual shower as a party for people to buy her shit. She's holding off on upgrading dishes, appliances, etc., specifically for people to buy it for her at her shower. 

    That attitude is what bothers me about showers and that sense of entitlement can come regardless of age. 
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    ahyatt87[Deleted User]
  • redoryx said:
    I've talked before about my co-worker who will be in her 40s if/when she gets married and she views her eventual shower as a party for people to buy her shit. She's holding off on upgrading dishes, appliances, etc., specifically for people to buy it for her at her shower. 

    That attitude is what bothers me about showers and that sense of entitlement can come regardless of age. 


    Obviously I don't know your coworker, but I did specifically put off "upgrading" certain household things myself because I knew I wanted to be able to register for SOMETHING when the time came.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  When FI moved in especially, the desire was there to get all new stuff!  He doesn't have the same attachment to my college plastic dishware that I do...

    I got some pretty random stuff at my showers, instead of what I registered for! I guess we ended up with a medium sized registry, with maybe 50-60 items, several of which still ended being purchased by me or my mom! 

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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I like showers. I don't care if the couple is 50, well established, has lived together for 5 years or  if they're in their 20s, first marriage, live with their parents. I don't judge the registry, simply pick a gift within my budget.  For me, it's about good will. It's a celebration. Showers, around here, are usually get togethers for close freinds and family members and include a meal, cocktails, gift opening and time for socializing, no silly games or door prizes.  

    I've seen some rude ideas on TK - honeyfunds, gift card showers, display showers, virtual showers and -worst ever- fundraising showers (Jack and Jill). I wouldn't participate in any of those.




                       
    STARMOON44ahyatt87mbross3hicoco
  • Full disclosure - I didn't read any responses - but I'll put in my 2c.

    I think there are times its acceptable, and times I seriously eye-roll. 

    Fi and I have already been offered to have one thrown, and we will accept it. We HAVE lived together for 1 year, and have a lot of starter stuff. We are in the process of buying a new home and would like to take the opportunity to 'upgrade' a lot of our stuff, get actual sets, ect. We have a lot of expenses (homeownership, paying for our own wedding, ect.) - and are going to take advantage of the tradition. I have several other friends who are taking advantage because they are in similar situations as Fi and I - do we NEED a shower? No, but we will benefit from it. (I know this sounds selfish- BUT . . . ) 


    I have another friend who is in her late 30s, both her and her Fi have owned their home together for 10 years (and were together for almost 10 years before that), both are architects, have no children and have literally everything the need. They were thrown a shower - but didn't have a registry - because they didn't need anything. They were given a lot of checks, and a few personalized gifts. I got them a basket with some nice cooking oils/spices/gill cookbook - because they both love to cook - especially on their grill. In this case - there was NO need for a shower. And I gave a smaller monitory gift at the wedding because of the gift at the shower.
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  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer

    I don't mind a shower.  I'm an introverted recluse, so spending time with people isn't my favourite thing, but I don't mind a shower.

    We had one for my 21 year old cousin, fresh out of college, and it was delightful.  They registered, so it was easy.

    I threw one for my sister (this was before I knew you weren't supposed to have one if the couple isn't registered), and it was also delightful.  A hell of a lot of work, but it was gorgeous and she was blown away.  We didn't play games (and the ladies cheered when I said we weren't going to), and just spent time visiting and enjoying each other.

    We registered, because I was operating with the hand-me-down kitchen things and Walmart towels from when I was in college, and new pretty things are nice.  We ended up buying a lot of it after the wedding with money we received instead.  The girls in our church group threw me a shower, and it was mostly an opportunity for all the ladies on J's side to get a good look at me since I was new and no one really knew me.  It was lovely, and we got totally spoiled - and it was just a really nice night with my mom on one side of me and J's mom on the other side, telling us who was who.

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    ahyatt87ILoveBeachMusic
  • AddieCake said:
    @jacques27 So what ARE you willing to gift older couples less begrudgingly for their weddings, then?
    Usually things related to their hobbies or an experience that would make a good date night.  Spice boxes if they are into cooking, go in with a few people on season tickets to a team they are really into or theater, gift certificate to an expensive restaurant they've been talking about if they like to check out the local food scene, a wine fridge or just really nice wine if that's something they are interested in or a good beer or wine or bourbon of the month club or similar for a different interest.  I've been known to call and send a gift basket or pay for a meal of room service at their hotel if I know details about their honeymoon.  It really just depends on their interests and my relationship to them.

    When I do buy functional stuff for the home, for someone who has nothing - it's more in the realm of "here are functional dishes", not fine china for them to keep and pass on to their grandchildren eventually.
    ahyatt87
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    jacques27 said:


    AddieCake said:

    @jacques27 So what ARE you willing to gift older couples less begrudgingly for their weddings, then?

    Usually things related to their hobbies or an experience that would make a good date night.  Spice boxes if they are into cooking, go in with a few people on season tickets to a team they are really into or theater, gift certificate to an expensive restaurant they've been talking about if they like to check out the local food scene, a wine fridge or just really nice wine if that's something they are interested in or a good beer or wine or bourbon of the month club or similar for a different interest.  I've been known to call and send a gift basket or pay for a meal of room service at their hotel if I know details about their honeymoon.  It really just depends on their interests and my relationship to them.

    When I do buy functional stuff for the home, for someone who has nothing - it's more in the realm of "here are functional dishes", not fine china for them to keep and pass on to their grandchildren eventually.


    CASH.

    I don't see the point of bridal showers and quite agree with the article. There are too many gifts-expected events to celebrate ONE thing- a couple getting married. I'll give cash in a card at the wedding or have something from the registry shipped to a couple's home. Just because you even have a registry doesn't mean you need a whole event to get the gifts. FedEx and UPS exist for a reason.
    ________________________________


    ahyatt87
  • I wouldn't judge a couple for having a shower whatever their age. I don't care how 'established' they are. Giving gifts is a way of providing well wishes for the couple. I want to provide well wishes and if there is a shower that I have been invited to, I will happily attend no matter what the age of the couple. I really see no problem with that and will not judge it at all.


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  • luckya23 said:
    redoryx said:
    I've talked before about my co-worker who will be in her 40s if/when she gets married and she views her eventual shower as a party for people to buy her shit. She's holding off on upgrading dishes, appliances, etc., specifically for people to buy it for her at her shower. 

    That attitude is what bothers me about showers and that sense of entitlement can come regardless of age. 


    Obviously I don't know your coworker, but I did specifically put off "upgrading" certain household things myself because I knew I wanted to be able to register for SOMETHING when the time came.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  When FI moved in especially, the desire was there to get all new stuff!  He doesn't have the same attachment to my college plastic dishware that I do...

    I got some pretty random stuff at my showers, instead of what I registered for! I guess we ended up with a medium sized registry, with maybe 50-60 items, several of which still ended being purchased by me or my mom! 


    It's not just the not upgrading. It's not upgrading and saying stuff about not buying herself a KitchenAid Mixer because "that's what my mom's friends are for." (That's an exact quote)
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    ahyatt87
  • I am down with ending the bridal shower as a tradition. I have thrown and attended my share, but when I was engaged I declined all showers (except for a lingerie shower that was offered to be thrown in conjunction with my bach party -- I accepted that because you can never have enough lingerie or giggling). H and I bought a house 8 months before our wedding and we are in our early 30's with decent jobs - we were the couple for whom a shower would have seemed pretty silly, at least to me. We registered for what we really could use (which did include things like nice china, because we like having people over and had dishes that did not match) but did not have a shower. Some wedding guests gave us stuff from our registry, some people gave cash, and many many of our very closest friends gave us no wedding gifts at all. We are still friends with them. 

    I agree with the sentiment that showers simply do make more sense for some couples than others -- but I also think they are never really necessary. Like the author, if I am invited to a shower for a good friend I will go and bring a gift, but I would love them to go the way of the Dodo.
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    ahyatt87
  • Bridal showers and baby showers are extremely common in my circle of friends/family.

    One thing I have noticed about my experience with these things, vs at least what I see on these boards is, it seems like the showers held in my circles are all relatively small and consist of very close friends and family, not, for example, every female guest. 

    I think that might have to do with why I don't have a problem with bridal or baby showers. If I am invited to one, it is USUALLY because I am related to or very close with the person, and I would have given the person a gift anyway, and I love sharing that time with them.

    Of the showers I have attended, the only one was I pissy about was for FI's close friend's now-wife. I didn't know her very well, I did not, and do not, like her, BUT her mother invited literally every female on their guest list. I felt like it was very obviously gift-grabby, and because I didn't know her well, nor did I like her, I didn't really love the idea of watching her open gifts and play weird games. That being said, I went because it was held literally less than two minutes from my house and I couldn't think of a good enough excuse not to go that wouldn't upset FI's friend. (Yeah, stupid, but I survived.)

    SO, having experienced showers of close friends and family, vs essentially an acquaintance, I guess I understand where the hatred of showers comes from. But I loved watching my cousins at their showers, because it made me happy to see them happy, and I loved being a part of the celebration of their kids/marriages. I am slightly "ugh no" about the possibility of future showers for me, but if I declined a shower I think my mother and aunts would be really hurt. It's something my family looks forward to.

    Rambling aside, I guess my opinion boils down to: is your shower a celebration of an upcoming big life event and if so, is it something your circle wants to throw for you OR is your shower just a way for you to get gifts?
    ahyatt87
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm down with ending showers as a thing. I see more and more people having these monster showers with 50-75 guests. It seems to be getting really out of hand, and is getting out of touch with the purpose of the shower. 

    Like a lot of people, I spend the same amount of money on two gifts or one gift, so there's no "benefit" from me for having the shower. 
    ahyatt87
  • I've only been invited to one bridal shower in my life: when my cousin got married a few years ago her FMIL insisted on it, and my cousin absolutely hated every minute of it. She says it was basically a house full of gossipy older ladies she didn't know (her FMIL's friends) who all oggled her ring and told stories about her FI when he was in diapers. I didn't go to it because it was on the other side of the country - sounds like I didn't miss anything!

    I guess I agree with @abcdevonn that showers have potential to be nice, intimate gatherings among close people, but sometimes they can get out of hand in certain circles.

    [Deleted User]ahyatt87
  • redoryx said:
    peachy13 said:
    jacques27 said:
    Personally, I agree with the article - especially since people are getting married later in life just as a trend.  I don't begrudge people having fun and getting together and those who like to give gifts, but I feel like the intent of the shower was to set a new couple up in their home because they don't have anything - not to subsidize an upgrade of everything they own so they can have a nicer mixer/dishes/towels.  If they are functional - use them.  If you want to upgrade them, then do exactly what I did and save up a portion of your paycheck and buy them.

    If you're 22 and getting married right out of college, I'll be more than happy to buy you a set of dishes so you aren't eating your mac & cheese out of a frisbee.  If you're 32 and have been living with your FI for the last three years and I know you own pretty decent dishes because you've invited me over for dinner, I'm less inclined to upgrade those dishes for you when I'm using a 10 year old set of Corelle myself.

    I don't know if it's a "well, every one deserves one so it's fair" mentality that we started throwing showers for households that are already pretty well established (let alone multiple showers) or how this morphed into what it currently is.  Or that people who have their households established think they still are entitled to the cash equivalent in the form or gift cards, a honeyfund, or outright cash.  Again, I'm not anti-celebrating or even anti-gift, but I'm much more inclined to give you a gift along the lines of an experience if you're already in an established household than I am going to be willing to upgrade and redecorate your house for you via a shower.

    Well, the pretty decent dishes I own were the ones I bought from Target when I started living on my own at 18 -- which is now over ten years ago. I suppose I'm fortunate that I haven't been "eating out of frisbees" but at the same time, I am almost 30 and it's not like I'm working with fine china and gold flatware. I'm gathering from your post that because I'm -- going with your guidelines -- getting married later in life just as a trend that I am not entitled to having a shower because I'm no longer 22 and fresh out of college. God forbid I went out on my own after college and had meaningful life experiences and travels, learning how to be broke, figuring out how to budget, finding my way, and all around becoming an adult -- when duh, I should have been finding Mr. Right and enjoying awesome gifts at my bridal shower! Finding FI at age 26 and realizing we were the right ones for each other, saving what we could to buy our house, still using the shitty Target plates, and planning our wedding which we alone are paying for. 

    Call me a 30 year old bride who doesn't deserve a shower but I am so fucking excited to finally have pretty decent plates.

    I somehow missed that trend comment. 

    Yup, I'm an unmarried 33 year old because it's what all the cool not-kids-anymore are doing these days. Not because it took me that long to meet someone I actually can see myself marrying. 
    FWIW, I don't think @jacques27 was using "trend" in the same context as either of you were reading it.  Trend has several meanings, the first is "the general direction something is developing or changing;" the second is "a fashion." 

    I believe she was using the term in the context of the first definition, not the second. 


    lachattefatale
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer

    I completely agree with the author of this piece and mainly for selfish reasons:

    1.  "an gift-giving opportunity that requires my butt to be somewhere other than a beach chair on a beautiful Sunday afternoon." 

    2. I'm not opposed to giving gifts at all. This is the part I love - celebrating a couple and giving them something that will make them happy, be useful, act as a token of your love for them or ideally all three.  It's the "let's all sit around and watch someone open presents" part of it that I despise.  In theory it's nice, in practice it's a vulgar, public display of materialism and one-upmanship. 

    3. Most showers are organized by women and attended by women. If you're a man, you generally don't have to attend these events. If you're a woman and a good friend or close family member has a shower, you either have to go or have a damn good reason not to show up.  Or potentially risk the wrath of the organizer or bride.  This is what I hate - the societal pressure on women to show up at these things does not exist for men.   

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