Author Topic: Bridal Showers? (UK)  (Read 6442 times)

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Hollanda

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Bridal Showers? (UK)
« on: March 20, 2012, 05:33:07 AM »
I find it interesting that in the US, you have bridal showers and baby showers...we just don't do that in the UK. Well, not generally anyway.

We have hen parties (bachelorette parties), but people don't bring gifts to them at all. But the other "hens" divide up and pay the final bill so the B2B pays for nothing.

I don't know whether showers would actually take off over here. What does anyone else think? xxx
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squashedfrog

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 06:22:23 AM »
I really hope not!

Its just a culture difference.

We tend not to do Bride/birthday girl/boy as the "centre of attention" very well.  I feel in the UK, birthdays, hen dos etc are a get together and a general celebration for everyone, ie an excuse for a get together, and not really one person focussed. 

Thats why its OK for parties in the UK to be thrown by the birthday girl/boy etc, because its not about the one person, its more a general affair, and gifts are not expected.

Edited as I have just noticed I added a line in that was meant for another post!!!!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 06:24:11 AM by squashedfrog »

squashedfrog

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 06:51:51 AM »
Sorry just want to clarify as I donít want any of you good people to think I believe the Bridal shower in other countries to be a bad thing.

I think the point Iím trying to get across is that with the culture of generally able and accepted practice to throw your own party here in the UK, it would be a difficult barrier to cross that in itself would cause a breach of etiquette.   

ie

1. Expecting someone else to organise an event based around you, which is generally not widely done here (unless itís a special surprise party). Usually its ďits my birthday/leaving/hen/bit of a do!  Come along, we will meet here and do this etc!Ē  The MOH helps generally, but doesn't do all of it.

2. Adding an expectation of everyone providing extra gifts or playing games where there hasnít been the tradition/norm here before may result in people feeling uncomfortable.  We usually bring wine and company.

3. Skipping the ďsomeone elseĒ throwing a party for the bride, and the bride misunderstanding and blurring the etiquette  between the two traditions and trying  to throw one herself, which essentially looks like a gift grab.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 06:58:09 AM »
I agree with squashedfrog. I think showers belong in the culture they are the norm of and do not have a place in the UK showers.

I know some people have them, but it just comes across incredibly greedy. I would not attend one.
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Anniissa

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2012, 07:16:05 AM »
There's definitely been a bit of a creep on the baby shower front though. I have been invited to several over the last few years. Generally though they have not made a big thing about being a gift giving occasion - more a chance to get together with the mum-to-be and have a girly chat but still seems a bit odd.

I haven't seen anyone have bridal showers - I think the reason for the baby showers taking off and not the bridal showers is that there has been more exposure to baby showers via television/film so people are more aware of them.

Re the OP - I don't think I've ever been to a hen do where the other hens have covered all the BTB's expenses. Perhaps it's something to do with the hen do's getting more elaborate recently but usually dinner/drinks is covered but anything else not so much. As I can't off the top of my head recall one which just involved dinner and a few drinks, I think all the one's I've been to have involved at least some input by the BTB. I guess if people are expected to fork out for more elaborate things then it is only to be expected that the BTB pays at least some of her share.

Hollanda

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 07:37:27 AM »
I was only going on what I've been told re Hen Nights (my mother, also my Chief Bridesmaid and 2 now married friends).

I've been on one hen night. We went for a lovely meal (which we all chipped in for) and then went out for some drinks at local bars. We all took turns buying B2B a drink. Not sure whether that is kind of eHell approved, but it was the way we did it.

My "hen do" will possibly be just a meal and then a couple of drinks.  The idea of staying out for hours on end or doing something heinously expensive for everyone else just does not appeal to me.  To me, it really is just a get together, a good laugh and a bit of fun before the ceremony. I didn't ask to have one, my Chief Bridesmaid wanted to organise it.
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squashedfrog

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 07:38:39 AM »
yup, as an add-on to the above post, re: baby showers, the baby shower thing is not well received over here as we generally don't make presents to the baby until its safely born.  Its again a difference in culture. 

I think the US is a little more outgoing/flamboyant than us Brits, We are a little more cautious, reserved and introverted in our general outlook on life.  (generally speaking, though the way some of us act abroad when they think they are out of this social norm is appalling!)

Stephen Fry summed it up for me.  He said in the US, people say the Phrase "Only in America!!" to mean a statement of praise for the country, that opportunities abound.  In the UK, people say, "Only in the UK!" to mean a roll of the eyes statement that the system has let us down again, and that something stupid has happened.


iridaceae

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 07:50:39 AM »
Stephen Fry summed it up for me.  He said in the US, people say the Phrase "Only in America!!" to mean a statement of praise for the country, that opportunities abound.  In the UK, people say, "Only in the UK!" to mean a roll of the eyes statement that the system has let us down again, and that something stupid has happened.

Well, he's wrong about "Only In America" being only for positive things; I hear it for negative things about 40-50% of the time.   Great, your electric company says you owe 2.4 billion? Only in America. Your neighbor just got mugged by armed mimes? Only in America.  Your brand new car already got keyed twice? Only in America.

squashedfrog

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 08:06:58 AM »
Stephen Fry summed it up for me.  He said in the US, people say the Phrase "Only in America!!" to mean a statement of praise for the country, that opportunities abound.  In the UK, people say, "Only in the UK!" to mean a roll of the eyes statement that the system has let us down again, and that something stupid has happened.

Well, he's wrong about "Only In America" being only for positive things; I hear it for negative things about 40-50% of the time.   Great, your electric company says you owe 2.4 billion? Only in America. Your neighbor just got mugged by armed mimes? Only in America.  Your brand new car already got keyed twice? Only in America.

ahh.. the slippery slope :)

Hollanda

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 08:46:40 AM »
I think you have pros and cons for every culture and country.

Most of the time, something that begins in the US makes its way over to the UK. This is by no means all the time, just sometimes.

I also don't see baby showers taking off in the UK. Housewarming parties are common now, but more as a get together rather than a gift-giving occasion. We have christening parties, but again, these are to get together to celebrate the baby being welcomed into the Church. I think I am right in saying people don't usually bring gifts. If they want to, of course, that is different but it is not expected for them to do so. 

What are Jack and Jill parties?? I have really never heard of these lol!
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squashedfrog

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 09:23:05 AM »
I think Hollanda you just hit it on the head.  Its all about the gift giving.  We just don't do that here at parties.  The only occasions I can think of that everyone brings a gift are weddings and small childrens birthday parties, which stop after 10 or 11 years old.  Even 16th, 18th and 21st B'days are not really present occasions in my experience.

Hollanda

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 09:28:50 AM »
I think Hollanda you just hit it on the head.  Its all about the gift giving.  We just don't do that here at parties.  The only occasions I can think of that everyone brings a gift are weddings and small childrens birthday parties, which stop after 10 or 11 years old.  Even 16th, 18th and 21st B'days are not really present occasions in my experience.

Family and very close friends even for "big birthdays" IME. I got gifts on my 30th but only from family, DF and a few friends. And I wouldn't expect them!! 

I was brought up to never expect a present. If I get one, brilliant (and I was brought up to write proper thank you cards, too).

There are gimmee pigs out there who just take...well fine. Just as long as they don't expect me to give them gifts constantly...!!
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Anniissa

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 01:36:29 PM »

My "hen do" will possibly be just a meal and then a couple of drinks.  The idea of staying out for hours on end or doing something heinously expensive for everyone else just does not appeal to me.  To me, it really is just a get together, a good laugh and a bit of fun before the ceremony. I didn't ask to have one, my Chief Bridesmaid wanted to organise it.

Sounds like fun - always nice to have a good laugh with friends to celebrate an occasion. Most of the ones I've been invited to seem to have got more elaborate over the years - spa days/salsa lessons/theatre trips/weekends away. It can certainly rack up the costs (particularly as attending weddings can be costly in the first place!). Fortunately, most of them have been very much do as much or as little of the things as you want so there was no expectation that you had to do anything you couldn't afford. Most had a smaller night out for a few drinks etc if you just wanted to go to that. It can get silly though - I know friends who have been lent on quite heavily to attend full weekends of stuff "for the bride"  ::) but most of the ones I've been invited to haven't been like that fortunately!

Hollanda

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 01:43:29 PM »
Chief bridesmaid has offered me a weekend at Alton Towers (theme park in the UK). I have declined as I don't want to be away from DS, even for just one night. In any case, it works out hideously expensive and I would feel like a gimme pig if I accepted. I politely declined for the reason stated above.

My mum wants to take me and the bridesmaids out for a spa treatment in the daytime...the idea is to pamper us, make us feel the best we can feel, and then we go home to get ready. My Dad will come over to come pick anyone up who needs a lift, and then we go for a meal. Thinking Chinese...who doesn't like Chinese?! Lol! My Mum will come, but she will come with a friend of hers (a family friend). They will leave after a cocktail, I reckon. My cousin (12) won't be attending the drinks (obviously) but will come for the meal. That way, everyone is happy. Nobody is spending a horrid amount of money on me (I really feel strange about that!) and it is just a get together between a lot of girls, some of us have not seen each other for 5 years or more (I am friends with all of them, close friends, but some of them used to work with each other but have since lost contact).

I was actually asked by my Chief Bridesmaid if this will be a Bridal Shower as well and should she ask people to bring gifts? I said politely, "No, no, no! Your presence is all I want, really!" I think she got the message that I don't want a bridal shower. Neither do I want a stripper (this is common for Hen Nights in the UK apparently). Just a nice meal and a couple of drinks, a bit of a laugh and really just a chance to chill out for the evening.

I don't ask for much!  :D
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mechtilde

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Re: Bridal Showers? (UK)
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 01:47:27 PM »
Well on my hen night we went out for drinks and a nice meal- oh and we really did chill- literally- half of my friends couldn't come because of the snow!
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