Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties

Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties

Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties

Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties

Synopsis

Weddings in the United States are often extravagant, highly ritualized, and costly affairs. In this book, Beth Montemurro takes a fresh look at the wedding process, offering a perspective not likely to be found in the many planning books and magazines readily available to the modern bride. Montemurro draws upon years of ethnographic research to explore what prenuptial events mean to women participants and what they tell us about the complexity and ambiguity of gender roles. Through the bachelorette party and the bridal shower, the bride-to-be is initiated into the role of wife by her friends and family, who present elaborate scenarios that demonstrate both what she is sacrificing and what she is gaining.

Excerpt

I cannot pinpoint exactly when I learned what a bachelorette party was; however, I do remember quite clearly when I heard about the first one for someone I knew. Years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and thus involved in planning the bridal shower. On the day of the shower, I arrived early at the restaurant where the shower was to be held in order to help decorate and set up for the event. Like every shower to which I had been invited or attended, this one was a surprise. the bride was unaware when it was happening, or even (as future conversations would reveal) if it was happening. As we set up there was a nervous, excited energy in the room, as this group of women, bridesmaids and the bride's mother, talked and laughed, wondering if the bride would be surprised or not. While innocently tying balloons to chairs and hanging up streamers, I heard the maid of honor and a friend of the bride discussing the bachelorette party. One bridesmaid was talking about the types of shots they would make the bride do; the words “sex on the beach” and “orgasm” floating freely out of her mouth with the bride's mother only feet away. “We're going to get her so drunk,” one of them said. “What can we make her do? We have to think of things to make her do,” another insisted. I listened with great interest and, as testament to my naiveté, shock as they talked about making her acquire men's underwear, wear a shirt adorned with lifesavers that men would pay her a dollar to remove with their mouths, and other equally embarrassing things. I was struck by how freely they talked about this, how normal they made it seem, to get their friend—one of their best friends—drunk and embarrass her as much as possible. in retrospect, I realize I was also a little startled that this conversation was occurring in this context. We were all dressed up and at a nice restaurant. the bride's mother, though obviously . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.