The origin of the bridal shower can be traced as far back as the 16th century in Holland.
The Dutch tell the story of a young, high society girl who fell in love with a miller’s son. Despite her family’s disapproval of the boy due to his low class, she insisted on marrying him. Her father threatened to withhold her dowry if she disobeyed him and did not marry his choice; a wealthy pig farmer.
When the girl’s friends learned of this, they brought her gifts in lieu of the dowry.
The bridal shower has since been a custom in many countries, and it entails the bride’s family and friends ‘showering’ the bride with gifts before her wedding.
Bridal shower is also celebrated in Nigeria, though slightly different, it is fast becoming a norm in the country. The shower is usually a surprise organized by the bride’s friends, and sometimes the bride may choose to organize it all by herself.
There is no specific rule for bridal showers in Nigeria, as it varies according to personal preferences and other factors. Gathered from surveys across the country’s Centre of Excellence (Lagos), below are must-haves for hosting a bridal shower the Nigerian way.
1. Venue: The scene for the bridal shower must be lovely; you wouldn’t want nepa pole showing in your picture now, would you? Some brides go indoor or outdoor, but the important thing is; the place should be decent and neat. Some ladies even go all out by hiring a decorator to beautify the venue.
2. Outfit & Make-up: The outfits could range from matching polos, nightie, or custom made apparels, but with the bride’s distinctly different. The outfit could also be tailored from the bridal shower theme (when there is one). The bride could also have a tiara and a sash with the inscription ‘bride to be’ on it. Based on her preference, she would either don heavy, light, or very minimal make-up. This is capped with a beautiful hairstyle and accessories.
3. Cake: Cake has become a symbol of celebration, so a cake is usually baked for the ceremony.
4. Drinks: Juice, soda or wine, depending on the bride’s preference. Several glasses are raised and toasted in her honor.
5. Games: The bride and her friends amuse themselves with different kinds of entertaining games.
6. Gifts: The bride’s friends present her with gifts. It could be lingerie, or some other items.
7. Gist: When you have an upcoming ceremony and a number of girls in the same room, the result is an outpour of chatter and laughs. The ladies gists about her transition into married life, recount how they met the bride, and ask the bride how she met her husband-to-be, they offer words of advice, and generally have a good conversation.
8. Music: Any music emitting device is needed for dancing and grooving and merriment.
9. Prayers: The friends pray for the bride, showering her with good wishes in her marriage.
10. Pictures: Some ladies have a professional photographer on ground to capture the amazing moments, and some use a phone camera. Whichever device being used, the aim is to get lovely pictures, because majority of the pictures will end up on social media, and you know those streets are full of trolls.
Racheal Niza-Val is a Nigerian writer and author. She seeks to use her pen to do only three things. Entertain, Educate, and Enthrall.