The Bridal Shower

Welcome to ModmixStudio.com, a sister site to our classic furniture and design site. ModmixStudio.com is a site focused on new style and traditional Bridal and Wedding Showers.

A traditional bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. The custom of the bridal shower is said to have grown in the United States, when the friends of the bride to be, provide gifts to her compensate for a lack of a dowery due to poverty, or a family refusing to give a daughter a dowery in an attempt to prevent a marriage going ahead. This really was the start of Sister Power.

Thankfully we have moved on from those days and today the bridal shower is the coming together of a bride to be and her close (female friends), to celebrate the forthcoming marriage.

At Modmix Studio we prefer the term Wedding Shower rather than bridal shower because for us it encompasses a more diverse range of genders, and relationships and is more representative of today’s society.

My first introduction to a Wedding Shower was in Tanzania, East Africa. Tanzania, a former European colony had inherited the concept of a ‘wedding’ through the work of missionaries and its colonial masters, but deep down, the celebration is not the wedding, but the bridal Send Off party before, where the bride to be is presented to the groom’s family and leaves her family to become part of his.

The night is full of communal food (including a goat cake) and speeches, and lots of people dancing and ululating, as they line up to present their of money and gifts to the couple. As she ends the night, the bride becomes a member of her husband’s family.

And where does the phrase ‘shower’ come from? In the 19th Century, small presents would be hidden inside a parasol, which when was opened at the end of the party, would be opened and shower the new bride to be with gifts.

As you can see, there is a lot of tradition and etiquette to Bridal and Wedding Showers and most of it is geared towards classic gender roles and the concept of ‘giving’  to a couple as they start a new chapter in their life together.

I for one, find the whole idea of asking for anything, rather embarrassing. When my wife and I got married a few years ago, we really could not face owning yet another slow cooker, and instead, found a charity we really believed in and asked our guests to make a donation direct to this charity.

We did not ask what people gave or if they gave. For us the donation was between our guests and this charity. We wanted someone else to benefit from the occasion rather than us, and that is how it ended up.

One nice follow up to this though, was as a thank you, we were invited to a Christmas celebration by the charity at Westminster Abbey in London. This completed the circle and a Christmas day out in London was much better than a set of pans gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere.

The Wedding Shower Today

So why don’t we keep what is good about the bridal shower; the coming together of the bride to be, and her friends for a small celebration, and party to represent their closeness and friendship, before the life changing and public event of the wedding or ceremony itself.

But lets, get rid of the stereotypes and roles, the gender norms, the clunking traditions and etiquette; and make the wedding shower a friendship party for all, for modern times.

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