It has been traditional for many brides to undergo a counselling session prior to their wedding day to, among other things, be drilled in the dos and don’ts in a marriage. This session usually takes place a week before the big day under the name bridal shower. Of course, the day is usually accompanied with the showering of wedding gifts from friends, family and well-wishers.
But with time, the ceremony’s objectives have seemingly revolved and changes have included borrowing foreign ideas and fund raising schemes.
The new ideas have distorted the meaning of bridal showers. While the elderly still impart martial knowledge to young brides, the event has turned more into an auction evidenced by the many items sold, mostly to cater for shortfalls in wedding budgets.
The big question is, are bridal showers still relevant in preparing would be brides for marriage? Some women through a social networking women’s forum responded to the question as follows:
Bridal showers are really important but people should avoid making it more like a business. Auctioning of items must be minimised to give chance to marriage counselors to do their job while gifts should be given for free. —Lusu wa Jack.
Bridal showers no longer serve their intended purpose. They have gone commercial. —Sangalalani Ngwenya.
It is no longer useful for people to hold just events because the primary reason for doing so has changed to fundraising. How can one chipande be sold at Five thousand kwacha? —Doris Chanache.
I have been to several bridal showers and keep hearing the same things time and again. Chances are, the bride to be has already heard the messages a million times, so, she benefits only in material and monitory gains and not character building. —Carol-Ann Banda.
I dont think bridal showers serve their intended purpose, and why are young ones included if I may ask? Ideally, they were meant to be patronised by older and mature people while discouraging auctioning of things at exorbitant prices. —Chimwemwe Kabowa
I recommend send offs as compared to bridal showers and the best way to go about it is to invite older couples whose families are of good reputation to counsel the young couple. There should not be any money given or guests invited just counseling sessions from older folks to the young ones about to wed. —Taona Chirambo.
Bridal showers are now a fundraising activity and as a result speakers at such an event don’t take their tasks seriously. Most of the times the director of ceremonies rushes the speakers into concluding barely two minutes into their presentations while auctioning of items takes forever.—Yamiko Kawale.
It depends on how the event is planned, but it is meant to be useful. I had one private bridal shower a night before the public bridal shower for a simple reason, during the public event the bride is usually excited and overwhelmed and so does not listen to the speakers, let alone remember them afterwards. It worked wonders because the private one achieved its purpose. —Nessie Bingala.
I hated my bridal shower. I was bullied and felt forced to go through with it because someone was very kind and wanted to do something good for me. I had gone through six weeks of counselling at my church before the wedding which was exceptional. I remember everything I was told there and it proved to be very helpful in my life. So, basically the bridal shower was a waste of time and resources. —Alinafe Kabango.
Bridal showers are a total chaos. Speakers don’t really know what they are supposed to talk about, director of ceremonies focuses on making money and will use every opportunity to maximise revenue while giving a few minutes to the speakers. Seriously, what tangible thing can be communicated in such a few minutes? People attending the bridal showers no longer buy gifts for the bride to be unlike in the past when gifts were given in abundance. Unless we go back to the old ways, then bridal showers will never regain the lost glory. —Tuntufye Miamba-Mumba.