Wedding Showers

Christine Schultz

Here is some history on the tradition of the pre-wedding parties, the wedding “shower” and “stag” party.


Wedding showers started in the 1890s, when a hostess filled a paper parasol with small presents from the guests and turned it over the head of the bride-to-be.

This idea hit the fashion pages and everyone wanted to have a “shower” of their own. Of course, gifts have become too big to drop on the heads of even the bravest recipients!

According to etiquette experts such as Miss Manners, one rule still stands: The mother or relative of the bride-to-be should not host the shower.


The stag party, initiated by the soldiers of ancient Sparta as a bonding feast among the groom's male friends, was called “the men's mess.” In 1904, the term stag, referring to a male deer, was used to describe a bachelor's party at which a female stripper was hired to entertain. Such rowdy gatherings have now evolved into more civilized golf outings or cigar dinners.


These days, coed wedding showers are more popular than ever. The ideas on how to celebrate keep evolving, even “his and hers” fashion shows are common!

wedding shower history umbrella parasol


The 2002 Old Farmer's Almanac


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If the couple has been

If the couple has been married before (to other people), isn't a Jack-n-Jill customary? Is that a New England term?