Wedding Showers and Bachelor/ette Parties Explained


This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. So Hank, I heard you threw a party video without
me? I did not throw a party video without you,
I hosted a party video. Come to think of it, why were you not at my
party video? Don’t worry about it. Not everybody can make it to all the things. No, not everybody can make it to all of the
things. And that is a good point to keep in mind this
time of year when it seems like the parties are endless. Ah, wedding season. It’s upon us. It’s a happy time. And stressful time. Congratulations to everybody getting married soon or recently, but the traditions and the etiquette that
go along with weddings can get confusing. Like, what’s the difference between a bachelor
and a bachelorette party, vs. a shower? Yeah, that’s actually what I want to talk
about today is the expectations about parties before a wedding. So I was actually reading about the history
of bridal showers and they’re thought to have started in Holland or Brussels and they’re
pretty romantic actually. The story goes that they were started in the
time of dowries, when brides relied on the dowry their fathers would give to them to
start their life with their new husband. But one woman fell in love with someone her
father didn’t approve of and he refused to give her her dowry unless she married someone
he approved of. Her friends wanted her to be able to marry
the person she loved, so they got together and ‘showered’ her with gifts. Well, luckily we don’t have dowries anymore. Yeah it would feel very strange if I got paid
to marry my wife by my father-in-law. Also, especially if I was paid in, like, sheep. You’re totally right about the idea behind
why a shower is called a shower. It’s a gift-giving party. It’s usually a daytime celebration with
food and sometimes games with the main event being the opening of the gifts. And there are bridal showers, and couple showers,
and even groom showers and they take place usually a couple of months before the wedding. But not every wedding has all of these parties
or even any of these parties. That’s right, the two people getting married
have a wedding, but it’s usually their friends or family who plan and hosts showers for the
honoree. And because of that, sometimes there can be
several showers leading up to one wedding because different groups of friends or sides
of the family will host showers. So let’s break it down: who goes to the
showers, what’s expected of them, what kind of gift do you bring and how do you afford
to go to all these parties for your friends before they get married? So all pre-wedding parties are invite-only,
just like a wedding. Except you don’t bring a plus-one to a shower
or bachelorette or bachelor party. So, if you’re invited, you can go. And only people invited to the wedding are
invited to the pre-parties, right? Yes! Keep in mind if you’re hosting a parting
for your friend, be sure to check with them on the guest list and only invite people who
are also invited to the wedding. That would be weird. Yeah. It’s like… ‘hey, I want a gift from
me.’ Awkward. I don’t want you to actually come to the
party. Another traditional etiquette thing about
showers is that the host of the party pays for the party. So if you’re invited to a shower, you shouldn’t
expect to pitch in for food or activities. That’s right, which is different from a
bachelor or bachelorette party, but we’ll get to that in a minute. So for weddings there’s usually a registry,
but is that true for showers? What kind of gifts do you bring to a shower? It totally depends. Registries aren’t on invitations, so if
you want to find out if there’s a registry, ask the host. They’ll be able to point you in the right
direction. But a registry is just a guide and even for
weddings you’re not required to choose something off the registry as your gift. As a general guide, traditional shower gifts
are things for the home like kitchen tools or linens, but you know your friend best and
can get them whatever you think they’ll appreciate. Another “rule” you’ll sometimes read
is about how much to spend on a gift, and the easiest rule to remember about that is
to spend whatever fits into your budget and feels appropriate to you. You’re going to have so many friends get
married. So many… So it’s that simple. Weddings and all the fanfare around them are
meant to be happy and celebratory, not a time to put a stress on your finances. And along with that, what if you get invited
to multiple showers for the same person? Well that happens, especially if you’re
friends with someone through multiple people. And you can definitely go to all the showers,
but you’re only expected to bring one gift to the first shower you go to. Otherwise… ugh. And if it feels weird to show up to the second
or third shower without a gift, you can always bring a card or flowers or a consumable like
a baked good or a bottle of wine. Yeah, like chips and salsa. If you, like, want to come to my shower, you
can bring any of those any time, I don’t need a gift… just chips. Thank you. That’ll be great. Okay, so moving on to the other pre-wedding
party that might be coming up for a lot of people right now: bachelor or bachelorette
parties. Unlike showers, there’s almost always only
one bachelorette or bachelor party per honoree and these parties usually take place at least
partly at night anywhere between a couple months to a couple days before the wedding. And while they tend to be more wild than a
shower, the guest list is usually smaller, limiting to just members of the bridal party
or very close friends. And with these parties, each guest is expected
to cover their own costs and will probably be asked by the host to help cover the cost
of the honoree. And while this party isn’t all about gift-giving
like the shower, check with the host about expectations here. If you want to bring a gift, this is good
time for a more bawdy or funny gift than you’d give in front of someone’s grandparent at
a shower. Yeah, don’t do that… And every bachelorette or bachelor party is
different, and it can always be fun to try and make them more different, have fun cool
ideas for physical activities, and they usually involve some drinking, so remember to plan
a safe ride home for yourself and your friends and especially the honoree. Everybody’s happy and safe and healthy. So, we hope any and all wedding-related festivities
you’re going to are fun and safe and memorable. Take lots of pictures! But not of the super drunk honoree. And keep it off Facebook… Yeah. Let us know down in the comments what you
did, or are planning to do for any pre-wedding parties. And if watching a video about gift-giving
has put you in a charitable mood, consider checking us out on Patreon, where you can
get access to a livestream that the How to Adult team puts on every month. Special shoutout to Alex Nickel for being
one of those supporters! Thank you, Alex! And thank you all for watching! This episode is brought to you by Squarespace,
which lets users create custom websites or online stores with its all-in-one platform. If you’re looking to make your next move
on a business idea or want to launch a creative project, check out Squarespace. With award-winning templates and 24/7 customer
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the code “ADULT” for 10% off your first order. This is a good time for a more bawdy or funny gift that you would not give to grandparents at a shower Nope. Are the grandparents getting married? Don’t give it to grandparents! That would be terrible! That’s—I mean—that’s what I’m— That’s a pro-tip. Go to a wedding shower, get a gift for the grandmother. Because she’ll be like, “What?” and you’ll be like, “I just think you’re great!” “What about the bride?” “She’s got enough! This is for you!” Here’s a small owl I purchased at the antique shop. It’s a toy owl, not an actual live owl. I was thinking an owl owl! Here’s a small owl, nanny! I know you’ve always wanted one ever since you went to Harry Potter

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Comments

  1. My bachelorette party was pretty great. My bridesmaids/BFFs told me to dress up and be ready to go by a certain time. Then they blindfolded me and drove me to an undisclosed location to meet some more friends. They all got really dressed up and took me to a really fancy Italian restaurant with live music, roses, and all kinds of fancy stuff! It was so fun and unexpected!!

    Also, one shower that my parents hosted was really great, called a "Spice and Advice" shower. They invited older married couples that they/we admired and invited them to dinner. They were asked to bring their favorite recipe, a key ingredient for that recipe, and their best piece of marriage advice. It was really different from any other shower I've been to, and it was wonderful!

  2. My fiancรฉ and I are getting married next month and he just had his bachelor party last weekend. They went to Kings Island and just rode stuff all day :] I'm not a party person, I don't drink, and we're pretty much set on living essentials so I'm not wanting to have a bachelorette or shower. But my future mother-in-law is taking myself, my mom, and some of my aunts to a restaurant that serves almost nothing but desserts.

  3. One wedding shower where you invite people who are not invited to the wedding is an office wedding shower. You may have cake and a card in the break room to congratulate the person(s) involved, but there's no expectation that coworkers will actually show up at the wedding (unless they're specifically invited, of course).

  4. In Germany we have a "Polterabend" which is more like a BBQ where the guests break porcelain to bring luck to the couple's marriage. A lot of work for the engaged couple to clean up, but more fun to break some china

  5. i love how the gift for the grandma is an ornamental owl, which is exactly what everyone gets my granny (aside from frogs) and even though she likes them she is now so sick of them hahaha

  6. If there is alcohol involved, maybe don't have the bachelor or bachelorette party the night before the wedding. The sight of the principles saying their vows while hung over is not inspiring or very flattering to the prospective spouse.

    Also, guard your friend's back from passive-aggressive "friends" or relatives who's idea of fun is to get the groom/bride drunk and then put them on a train out of town. That happened to a guy I know. It was his older brother's idea of a joke. He called his fiancee collect from NYC the next morning without a wallet. After much difficulty and cost, she got him home. Then she took all the receipts for the train fare, etc and put them in a card which she then gave to her new brother-in-law when he graduated from graduate school that June and was expecting some sort of gift from the couple. She was not thrilled with the brother's cavalier attitude towards her groom's safety and the couple's budget.

  7. Interesting! In the UK we seem to have taken traditions from both types of celebration and make it a one-off event. I just helped organise a Bollywood-themed hen day for my friend. It was lovely! Dairy-free afternoon tea, his & hers quiz, gift giving (exclusively lingerie), writing parodies about the couple, trying to dress is saris, then we did a Bollywood dance class and went out for a curry in the evening. Lots of bits to the day that people could dip in and out of and didn't work out too expensive compared to other hens I've been on. She loved it! Oh that too, in the UK the bachelorette party is a "hen day/party/do/weekend" and for bachelors it's a "stag do".

  8. I was a bridesmaid a couple of years ago, and we held a bridal shower in the bride's parents' backyard. I made floating candle decorations for the pool and made about three different games (one passive game involving birthdays, 2 active ones involving purses and getting to know the bridal party). I also had to convince the older bridesmaids that red solo cups were NOT a good choice, even though the wedding theme was black and red. I don't remember there being a bachelorette party, but that may have been because I was the youngest and they didn't invite me.

    My cousin just got married, and his fiancee (now wife) had a bridal shower at a tapas restaurant. The bachelorette party involved renting an Airbnb and going out clubbing. I was invited, but I had another event to go to the next morning (and clubbing isn't necessarily my favourite thing).

  9. when are you making a video for global use instead of just the U.S. i thought that the new series would be a bit more practical

  10. My bridal shower and bachelorette party was at the haunted hotel the Ghost Hunters own. My family and friends know me so well.. tho I was forced to try on the underthings my mother in law got me over my clothes in front of the group, with a hat made of all the ribbons from the gifts. That pic just makes me cringe lol.

  11. THIS CAME JUST IN TIME my sister is going to get married in a few months, and made me the maid of honor. This is my first time in a wedding party & the bachelorette party was one of the things stressing me out most about my responsibilities, so thanks!!!

  12. My friend got married last weekend and I was MOH. This was the very first one of my friends (not cousin or family friend) to get married, so I asked both my mom and the bride's mom how things were done. I kept the theme of the shower (1950s party) a secret from the bride and ran details by her mom since they are super close. If you don't want to get too wild with food for the shower, a dessert shower works great! Hosting it at 2pm was perfect because no one expected a meal. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. in Germany we have a kind of party before the wedding that is explicitly without personal invitations and is especially for people you might not have been invited to the wedding. the couple informs about the "Polterabend" on social media sometimes lokal newspapers as well as friends and family who pass on the information.
    This is where for example all your colleagues can come and your whole sports team, because you might not want to invite all of them to your expensive wedding dinner, the Polterabend is usually rather cheap with lots of beer and a BBQ or buffet where everybody brings something to eat.
    Polterabend translates into clatter evening everyone has to bring some old dishes or porcelain and smash it…
    we have a saying in Germany about shards bringing good fortune.
    Bride and groom later have to clean everything up under the eyes and amusement of their drunk friends and family.

  14. Just booked my flights for bachelorette party and wedding… so yeah, feeling the costs right now. More than a month's rent down just for the flights.

  15. regarding gifts: as a newlywed I LOVED when people just wrote us a check. We could pool our $ and buy groceries, go toward the honeymoon, or buy something we really wanted from our registry but no one got it for us. BUT make the check out to the man….I had a lot of issues when people wrote my new married last name on the checks but, because of honeymoon-passport reasons, I had not changed my name yet. just a little tip. ๐Ÿ˜Š the bank was not pleased.

  16. My sister and her fiance are doing a Jack & Jill in lieu of showers. They probably won't do the fundraising part. It sounds like a good way to do a co-ed shower.

  17. what does it mean to be an adult, by how to adult:

    – get married
    – meditate
    – plan your meals
    – improve your body image

    that's radically different from the struggles that I (m32) and the people I know get to go through…

  18. You can get married without needing the whole ceremony of a wedding.
    All that is legally required for 2 people to get wed is that both people are willing and have (at least) 1 witness (parent, friend, co-worker, etc).

  19. I'm getting married to my Nerdfighter fiance (we've been together for almost 5 1/2 years!) on October 14th. I'm having a bachelorette party in July at a drag show (and probably a restaurant somewhere else. The drag show is the thing to end the evening. I've been told I'm allowed to suggest things, but not to plan any of it.) It's extra exciting because one of my bridesmaids (the Mario in our Luigi & Daisy inspired wedding) is also going to officiate! It's gonna help me feel even closer to one of my close friends. <3

    When I mentioned the bridal shower also maybe being a thing, my bridesmaids were quick to be like, "YOU CAN'T PLAN THAT!!"… so I don't know about that, but it seems that maybe I'll be having at least one? ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Registry info shouldn't be put on the wedding invite but it is totally ok to put it on the shower invite since that is the function of the shower anyhow. It actually can be kind of a pain if it's not on the shower invite as then you have to try to find out where the registry is and if you don't know the shower host well you may not want to ask them, etc, etc.

  21. I'm getting married next May and this was definitely helpful to know. I'm not a huge party person and I've been asked by people if I'm having this party or that party and I didn't even really know what a shower was!! I'm definitely excited though ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. I got married in march, and intentionaly skipped the festivities. I know how money can get, both for me, as well as my family and friends, and did not feel right putting anybody at financial risk. No shower, and on the day before the weding, i spent the day cooking for it, and my now housband went to help out my bridesmaid train rescue dogs. The "big day" was planed as a mid-week 5pm thing at the town hall so people could come after work, suits and fancy dresses were strictly prohibited by me. Every item of clothing i wore apart from underwear was second hand, by choice, and every food item we ate at the reception was cooked by me. I made sure everybody knew gifts were by no means mandatory, but people still pitched in together for 2wonderful comunal gifts -one a bit of cash so we could go to a spa for a daytrip, one a boardgame. And it was perfect. Amazing. All i wanted it to be. Friends, pets, food, laughter and joy. I love the way it was done, and wouldn't have done it any other way. Remember – it should be about love, not money

  23. My maid-of-honor threw my bachelorette party. Everyone got together and rented a giant house out in the country (I live in the Midwest) and we had a slumber party! I am not a big bar hopper, so this was perfect. We played drinking games in our sweats and blasted Beyoncรฉ, and everyone could go to their own bed in the house when they got sleepy. Best of all, nobody had to worry about getting a safe ride home. I am a firm believer that the party should fit the bachelorette. Not everyone wants to do a big flashy weekend in Vegas.

  24. Do you guys think you can do a huge special episode on how not to fail as an adult: a guide to being self sufficient in a single video?

  25. I feel like bachelor/ette parties are less common for older honorees in Australia, and I'd never even heard of a bridal shower. I guess because we're a less religious country so most people live together before they get married so buying people homeware would be weird.

  26. I mentioned to my Grandma that she shouldnt invite people to my shower who were not invited to the wedding. she did anyway and Im a smidgen embarrassed. Will they ever forgive me?!?! It was a very small wedding. ๐Ÿ™

  27. When I got married, my side of the family threw us a shower and then his side threw us a shower a week later. I didn't have a Bachelorette Party because all of my bridesmaids were underage, so we couldn't go out to a bar or anything and clubs just aren't my scene. My husband had a bachelor party with his groomsmen, but it was like any other time they get together– they played video games and had dinner and the groomsmen were so kind and got my husband a gift. So what I've learned from this experience is that it's really what you're comfortable doing. If you do one thing but not the other, it's okay. You're not getting married the wrong way or anything like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. A pair of friends of mine are getting married next month, and we have all collectively decided to do a joint bachelor/bachelorette party. Since the entire wedding party (including the bride and groom) is a coed group of close friends who all know each other, our collective idea of a fun time is everyone getting to hang out with each other, rather than dividing things up based on gender. So my advice if you're throwing one of these parties is to think outside the box and buck tradition if that's what's best for your situation.

  29. My best friend had a murder mystery for her bachelorette party. We used to host our own in high school, but for this, we bought a scenario online. It was tons of fun!

  30. GUYS!: Beer and board games is a perfectly acceptable bachelor party. Save your money for more important things. My friend's bachelor party was crazy. We went to breweries, bars, restaurants, strip clubs and a long taxi ride home. It cost all of us a combined total of about $5,000+ for a night that most people couldn't remember. Meanwhile, my bachelor party cost $150 for the pizza and beer. We had a great time playing video/board games. I guess I'm realizing that everyone is different and each party should reflect the honored person. (But everyone should be smart about their money)

  31. Lol!!! Funny!! Today makes it 4 years since my husband proposed to me. We got married the same year. We didn't have all of those parties. All we did was invite a couple of friends to BBQs, we ate, laughed and talked. it was a wrap! Then the wedding happened 4 months later! Simple. ๐Ÿ’“ To each his own. The goal is to stay married. ๐Ÿ™ So focus more on life after marriage.

  32. Where was this four years ago when I graduated college?! You all should make a video on gift giving in general and one for brides and grooms on what to expect from their bridal party.

  33. Oh God, I hope nobody gets it in their mind to throw me any pre-wedding party. I don't want gifts that I don't need (if I want a toaster, I'll buy myself a toaster), and I don't want a wild drunk party (or any sort of a party in my honor tbh, too uncomfortable).

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