You’ve played the games, ate the food, and even read the cards passed around and exclaimed over the unwrapped gifts

Bridal showers are fun ways to celebrate a couple and their love for each other. It’s also a great opportunity to spoil the bride-to-be and help her out as she starts a new phase of life.

Just like most wedding traditions, there is an intriguing history behind bridal showers. In this case, there are two stories that contribute to the inception and tradition of bridal showers as we know them.

Story Number One

Old Dutch tile from the 16th to the 18th century

Giving gifts to the bride to prepare her for her new life date back to 16th Century Holland. In these days, gifts were given to brides who were too poor and dowry-less, or to brides whose fathers didn’t approve of the marriage. One particular story tells of a father who wanted his daughter to marry a wealthy pig farmer. She insisted on marrying a miller instead. Since the miller was fromĀ a lower class and the father didn’t give his blessing, the girl’s friends then brought her gifts to substitute a dowry and help her start her new home.

Story Number Two

Bridal Shower History

The second story is where we get the more associated tradition of gift-giving. According to this history behind bridal showers, ladies in the Victorian days would gather to wish the bride well. They would then spoil her by bringing small gifts, notes, and home goods. These gifts were put in an open parasol and they would then “shower” them over her.

Today, the bridal shower tradition continues as friends throw brides-to-be showers to help prepare them for their new home. Wedding showers now can take many forms and some are even themed. No matter what kind of party, though, it’s part of a long tradition intended to wish the new bride well, celebrate her upcoming marriage, and help her prepare her new home.