A few weeks ago this article was posted on the Huffington Post: “Stop Inviting Me to Your Bridal Shower“. I had some initial reactions to the somewhat over-the-top article, and posted it on Twitter and Facebook to get some feedback from my followers.
A few months ago my sister attended her best friend’s bridal shower. It wasn’t your typical shower, and I (naturally) begged the bride to be to let me blog about it here.
After a few days I realized that blogging about Julia’s alternative bridal shower coincided perfectly with my desire to blog a response to the HuffPo article.
So first, the HuffPo article:
While I can somewhat understand the author’s point – I think her words come across extremely angry and somewhat bitter. Sure, I haven’t loved every bridal shower I attended, and I, myself, PLEADED with my mom to let me have a more informal shower (with men allowed, no silly games, and for the love of god, NO gift opening). However, my shower remained female only, games were played, and gifts (all of them) were opened.
And you know what? I didn’t mind it at all – in fact, I’d say I had a damn good time at my ‘traditional’ bridal shower. You know why? Because, at it’s heart, it really wasn’t about the games or the gifts, it was about sharing a day with some truly awesome people in your life.
My bridesmaids and I at my bridal shower
Sure, showers can be over the top, gaudy, and down right expensive (especially if you are in them) – BUT what this author misses is that no one is forcing you to attend! You could easily decline the invite and send a manageable gift, no angry HuffPo post required!
You know how I feel about the traditions of things when it comes to weddings – so I am ALL about couples finding ways to start new traditions, or throwaway traditions and make weddings their own – and that is EXACTLY what my sister’s friend Julia did.
Meet Julia & Matt
Instead of being angry about Bridal traditions, Julia decided to make her shower her own and opted to have her close family and bridesmaids join her and her fiance in a day of service.
How freakin’ awesome is that?
I asked Julia a few questions about her alternative bridal shower idea, and here is what she said:
“Why did you chose to have an ‘alternative’ to a traditional bridal shower”
We chose an alternative to a traditional bridal shower for a couple of reasons. First, asking our loved ones to watch us open gifts that we chose ourselves just wasn’t our style. Also, we already have a lot of the things we need and if we want to “upgrade” we are fortunate enough to be able to do it ourselves so we didn’t want a major component of our of celebration to be about getting kitchen things and linens.
“What made you think to do a ‘day of service’?”
Service has always been important to both of us as individuals even before we met, so it only made sense that we incorporate it somehow into our celebration. Weddings can cost so much money and be epitome of uncontrolled spending. We felt that a time when we are investing so much in one weekend, we had to harness the power of our friends and family to invest in providing for those who aren’t as fortunate as we are.
SEE! Exactly people – this is what I am talking about. Service is something Julia and Matt do all the time, so why WOULDN’T they incorporate it into their wedding somehow!? I love what she said so much!
“Tell us about the charity you chose!”
We brought together our families and bridal party plus their significant others (about 25 people) to spend an afternoon at Philabudance in Philadelphia. They are an awesome organization that focuses on eliminating hunger in the Delaware Valley. Through a variety of programs and agencies, they get healthy food to those people who would otherwise go hungry. Our afternoon was spent sorting through thousands of pounds of produce and boxing it up to be distributed in the community. For more information about what they do, you can visit http://www.philabudance.org.
“What would you say to other couples that might want to do an alternative bridal shower, but are worried what guests might think?”
I was actually very worried that our friends might think a day of service was stupid, but also feel obligated to show up.
I was totally wrong!!
Our group made it into a competition to sort more produce in our shift than had ever been done before. The previous record was 8,800lbs of produce sorted and packed. Our group did 18,500lbs!!! Needless to say, no one thought it was dumb! Ultimately showers are about a celebration of love, so if you choose to celebrate your union in a way that reflects you as a couple, your friends and family will (hopefully) support you.
Julia also added:
After the service part of the day, we went to a near by park and had picnic with everyone. We just hung out and played outdoor games. It was the perfect way for our closest friends and family to get to know each other in a laid back, fun way!
So what do you think guys!? Would you do an “alternative bridal shower” and how’d you feel about that HuffPo article? A very special thanks to Julia & Matt for sharing their shower with us :)
Whoa–this is the coolest idea! Noted :P
Bravo to Julia and Matt for a great alternative. Bravo to Bree for indulging me at her shower a little over 2 years ago. Giving back is always in fashion.