Author Topic: My fellow non-Americans...  (Read 1511 times)

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mechtilde

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2015, 04:20:52 AM »
Oh yes- I forgot about the engagement parties. They really do seem to be dying out in the UK, not least because they can cost a lot to host and most people would rather put the money towards the wedding!

I've been to one, 25 years ago.

My parents did offer to throw an engagement party when DH and I got engaged, but we preferred not to have one.
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Mustard

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2015, 07:04:42 AM »
I didn't think engagement parties were common here either (East Midlands) and even if a couple have one, it's more likely to be a get-together In a pub rather than a hosted affair.  Gifts are not usually given either.  It does seem that Ehellions in the U.S. have more gift buying opportunities with all these showers!

jmarvellous

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2015, 10:52:55 AM »
We didn't have a wedding shower or bachelor/ette parties (US wedding) and in fact I've not been invited to or heard of many wedding showers at all.

I know some women whose churches or older female relatives put on showers for them, but it's not nearly as common as I think it was in my mom's generation (so, weddings 35 to 20 years ago versus this decade) to have friends host a wedding shower.

I do think bachelor/ette parties are common, but they're not usually gift-giving occasions (aside from treating the future bride/groom to a night out). I've seen a few where people buy the bride some lewd gifts or lingerie, but that's the exception. They also vary widely in scale, from a night at the pub or dinner out, to an expensive island vacation or Vegas trip.

Baby showers are reasonably common, but I don't think they're expected. I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to throw me one (no close friends or local family, and no longer in a workplace where they're hosted by the office -- I do see small workday baby showers among some friends and at some former employers).

Christenings or baptisms as in the religious ceremonies are common in some religious circles, but I've only rarely heard of them as big parties (more than just close family or perhaps a few friends); brises may tend to be bigger parties, but it's hardly required. My Jewish family do observe the custom of waiting till after the baby is born to give any gifts or a shower.

katycoo

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2015, 05:58:15 PM »
Another Australian:

Baby Showers are pretty common.

Bridal Showers are not.  We do have Kitchen Teas which are not dissimilar except that the gift value brought tends to be pretty low - $15ish - with a kitchen theme.
I think the last one I attended I gave a set of placemats.

Leafy

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2015, 06:08:44 AM »
Another Australian:

Baby Showers are pretty common.

Bridal Showers are not.  We do have Kitchen Teas which are not dissimilar except that the gift value brought tends to be pretty low - $15ish - with a kitchen theme.
I think the last one I attended I gave a set of placemats.

Yet another Australian and I would pretty much agree with this. Baby showers are becoming more common - at least half my friends have had them. Bridal showers are uncommon but do occur. Kitchen teas (small gifts) are reasonably common but having a high tea (may or may not be gifts) is becoming quite popular and having a hen's party/bachelorette party (no gifts) is very common.

Engagement parties, where generally a gift is the norm, are very common.

Coralreef

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2015, 11:59:18 AM »
Canada (Québec) here. 

Hen / Buck nights are known but not everyone has them.  I think they might even be falling out of favour as far as wild parties go. 

I didn't have a baby shower when my DD was born, but the office gave me a gift and we had a small catered snack in the conference room on my last day. I know there is one going go be done for DD.  Usually the family gets the big ticket items, small doodas from the guests.  There are registries for everything under the sun but I don't think it's a "thing" here.

Or maybe I just have a boring life,  ;) .

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marcel

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2015, 12:59:00 PM »
The Netherlands here.

We have neither, and I have an absolute dislike of them. To me, a party where the main reason for the party just feels wrong, regardless of who organises the party.

Especialy wedding showers seem off to me because they are held to celebrate an occasion on which people are going to be getting gifts anyway, so it is basicaly expecting people to give gifts twice. baby showers do nothave this problem, because people are not expected to give gifts after the birth when there has been a baby shower.
Wherever you go..... There you are.

saki

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2015, 08:34:21 AM »
The Netherlands here.

We have neither, and I have an absolute dislike of them. To me, a party where the main reason for the party just feels wrong, regardless of who organises the party.

Especialy wedding showers seem off to me because they are held to celebrate an occasion on which people are going to be getting gifts anyway, so it is basicaly expecting people to give gifts twice. baby showers do nothave this problem, because people are not expected to give gifts after the birth when there has been a baby shower.

I agree - I've never quite understood the wedding shower thing.

I have never been invited to either (am British) but I have heard of people doing the baby shower thing - though, often this seems to be just a party with the mother-to-be and not focussed on gifts.

Ezeesee

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 02:07:50 PM »
I'm in the UK and I have heard about a couple of people having baby showers. I think they were both work events though, where the normal way would have been to give the pregnant woman a present from the office before she went on maternity leave, they just did a slightly bigger thing about it and called it a baby shower.

But yes, wedding showers confuse me!

Klea

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 07:46:36 PM »
Another Australian here. Baby showers have become more common, I'd say at least half of all first-time Mums have one (and yes, some have baby showers for subsequent children too). Engagement parties have also become fairly common (though they're not always large celebrations), and gifts are generally expected. Bridal showers and kitchen teas are somewhere in the middle - some have one or the other, some do not, I can't say I've been to many. Quite a few brides seem to be incorporating a high tea as a daytime part of the hen's party/event. Hen's/bachelorette events are very common.

kareng57

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2015, 10:23:51 PM »
I'm in Canada and, contrary to what a PP said, before-baby showers are actually fairly common around my area.  Of course there are some circles that consider them to be bad luck but IME I'd say it's about 50/50  re before or after.  Lots of people who gave an inexpensive gift for the shower will give a slightly bigger gift once the baby comes along, but there's no expectation of this.

The original tradition for baby showers was giving baby-care items for the mother rather than cute stuff for the baby.  That way, she'd have all the basics (diapers, receiving blankets, onesies, sleepers etc.) ready for when the baby came home.  That was also the tradition of showers-only-for-baby #1, because presumably once the next baby came along she'd already have these things ready to be reused.

Wedding showers are pretty common, besides a staggette.  Quite often there's one shower for the bride's friends, and another one for relatives of both the bride and groom's families.

Another Sarah

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2015, 10:05:50 AM »
I've been to a baby shower. Only one, but I only have two friends with babies so far. I've heard of a few more though. They seem to be on a smaller scale than my impression of American ones.
Interestingly, I don't know anyone who's had an engagement party at all.

jaxsue

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Re: My fellow non-Americans...
« Reply #27 on: Yesterday at 09:49:40 AM »
I've been to a baby shower. Only one, but I only have two friends with babies so far. I've heard of a few more though. They seem to be on a smaller scale than my impression of American ones.
Interestingly, I don't know anyone who's had an engagement party at all.

I'm in the US, so hopefully I'm not hijacking this thread. Per the bolded: showers in the US have gotten out of hand, in many cases. When I was a kid, you bought inexpensive, small things for the bride/baby. Now it is, all too often, a contest to see who spent the most money on the gifts.  :P