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

Just like most wedding traditions, there is a fascinating history behind bridal showers. In this case, there are two stories that contribute to the beginning of bridal showers as they are celebrated today as well as the traditions that follow them.

16th Century Holland

Giving gifts to the bride to prepare her for her new life dates back to 16th Century Holland. In those 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 story reveals how a father wanted his daughter to marry a wealthy pig farmer. However, she insisted on marrying a miller. Since the miller was from 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.

Bride Sitting in Chair at Bridal Shower

The Victorian Era

The second story is most commonly associated with the tradition of gift giving. According to the history behind bridal showers, ladies in the Victorian days would gather to wish the bride well. They would then present her with a plethora of gifts such as small offerings, notes, and home goods. These gifts were put in an open parasol and they would then “shower” them over her.

Woman with Parasol


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 that the bride-to-be enjoys, 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.

Place Setting