The tradition of wedding showers began centuries ago in the Netherlands. The story tells of a Dutch girl who desired to be married, but she had no dowry that would enable her to be wed. Her family was poor and nothing had been put aside for her dowry. At that time, the European cultures perceived that women were of a lesser value than men, so it was a requirement for a girl’s family to provide money or other material things to equalize the support a husband would provide for his new wife. Frequently men would refuse to marry a girl if she failed to provide a dowry. The girl’s friends seeing her distress, pitched in and “showered” her with the many items needed to establish a household. Preserved foods, quilts, linens, cooking utensils and furniture were contributed so that her dowry was in order.
Although society no longer requires dowry’s from women, it’s still quite expensive to establish a new household, especially if the bride and groom haven’t been living on their own. The tradition continues through all cultures and for brides of all financial means. Wedding shower gifts continue to be primarily household items and linens. Brides also frequently receive beautiful lingerie intended to spice up many an evening with her new husband.
Wedding shower favors provide a means to say thank you to the guest for the gift given and for participating in the bride’s happiness. Like the favors given at the reception, the options for expressing gratitude remain endless. Tokens can be utilitarian or strictly whimsical. Wedding shower favors can reflect the theme of the gathering or be tailored to the individual guests. Wedding showers are typically celebrations with a smaller number of guests, so it can be affordable to provide more elaborate gifts like tea for one sets or spa gift certificates. Wedding shower favors can be common items that have been personalized or uniquely designed. Tokens of appreciation don’t have to be expensive, while the most cost effective gifts can also be the most creative.