I've managed to avoid going to bridal showers for many years. I hated the "games" because I am not the most out going person and I can only tolerate people for so long before I like heading out for silence. I wondered about when and where bridal showers came from.
The idea behind a bridal shower is to shower her with small luxuries in preparation for the big day.
There are several stories of where it oriented. The first says it's roots can be found in 16th century Holland as an alternative to the dowry system. The story behind this is that one high society girl fell in love with a miller and refused to marry the rich farmer her father had chosen. Her father objected, telling her if she married him, she would not receive her dowry. She still insisted on marrying him so her family and friends threw a small party to give her provide her with gifts instead of a dowry. The father was so impressed, he gave the couple the dowry after all. The bridal shower allowed family and friends to bestow gifts on the bride so she'd start her new life for brides who lacked a dowry or whose father objected to the match. This gave couples a new start with a few things.
A second story is that in the United States during Victorian times, Women would get together to gossip, eat, party, and exchange gifts for a bride. They would place small gifts inside a parasol before opening it so the gifts literally showered the bride. It is said this established some of the traditions associated with the modern bridal shower.
The third story that the bridal shower originated when a woman could not afford a gift for her friend so she threw a party for the bride-to-be and invited friends to bring a present for the bride. Hosting the bridal shower was her gift to the bride. Of course there is also the thought that the bridal shower began as a way to sell more merchandise but I suspect that is not true.
At one point, it was traditional for the maid of honor to organize and throw the party but over time, things have changed. Now it might be the parents or even the couple themselves who throw the party. Since many women are working and have lived on their own for a long time, they don't always need much for the marriage. Another change is instead of only females, it is now acceptable for bridal showers to be coed. Furthermore, the new parties don't always follow traditional bridal party etiquette.
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.