Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bridal Shower Etiquette Advice, 20th C.

Suggested seating arrangement for an intimate shower of 8 people.
“Allied to the afternoon tea are various phases of informal daytime entertaining. For example, there is the "shower" for a bride-elect ("linen," "culinary," or what you will). A friend of the bride-to-be invites a coterie of girl friends to meet the guest of honor, giving each girl time to provide some beautiful or useful gift, the presentations to be made with amusing ceremonies.
The "thimble bee," a favorite diversion of the quiet matronly set, each one bringing her own bit of needlework to while away an hour or so in pleasant conversation. One of the number may read aloud, with pauses for comment at will. The thimble bee is a modern version of the good old-fashioned "spend the afternoon and take tea." Both the shower and the thimble bee may be given in the forenoon, if preferred." From 1919, Agnes H. Morton's “Etiquette”                               
Varieties of stuffed tomatoes and macaroni salads were popular fare in the 1950's. Especially at showers.
"A good many years ago a friend of a young woman who was about to be married decided that the only gift she could afford was too slight an offering to express the love and good wishes that she felt. Knowing that there were other friends who felt the same way she called them together and suggested that they present their gifts at the same time. Then and there the idea of the 'shower' was born. 
The custom has prevailed and in most instances to-day the shower has a special purpose, such as the linen shower or the kitchen shower or the book shower. It is a very charming way of presenting gifts that would seem too trifling if they were presented alone. Intimate friends of the bride are the guests at a shower. It is usually a very informal affair and nearly always a surprise to the bride. The gifts may be hidden in a Jack Horner pie, they may be wrapped in all sorts of odd packages, or they may be presented in any of a hundred and one attractive ways. Originality in this, as in all entertainments, is greatly to be desired. 
The young lady who is honored with a shower thanks the guests verbally, and afterwards she may write each of them a little note expressing her gratitude. It is necessary to do so if the affair was an elaborate one and the gifts were expensive.” From 1924 Lillian Eichler's “Book of Etiquette / Volume I”                                 
Etiquette advice for setting a correct and helpful buffet table.

“It is not uncommon for a bride-elect to receive a few engagement presents. (These are entirely apart from wedding presents which come later.) A small afternoon teacup and saucer used to be the typical engagement gift, but it has gone rather out of vogue, along with harlequin china in general. Engagement presents are usually personal trifles sent either by her own very intimate friends or by members of her fiancé's family as especial messages of welcome to hers—and as such are very charming. But any general fashion that necessitates giving engagement as well as wedding presents may well be looked upon with alarm by those who have only moderately filled pocketbooks!” From Emily Post's 1922, “Etiquette”
Buffet Setting and Seating Etiquette

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia