Friday, July 15, 2011

Ribbons & Babies: Bridal Shower Games

Although I identify myself as a Seattlite, as I have lived in the Northwestern metropolis since I was 18, I was raised in Southwest Virginia outside of the small city of Roanoke. And yes, that means I used to pronounce the words “I” and “like” with almost an “aah” sound. In my first couple of years in Seattle, the southerner in me used to whine about walking everywhere and not being able to find authentic fried chicken. However, once I moved to the heart of Capitol Hill, a liberal artsy community that is always active and welcomes all, I acclimated to the Seattle lifestyle quickly (i.e. began composting). However, a part of my heart still remains in Virginia and longs for sweet iced tea on hot, sunny days.
For the first of my two bridal showers, my aunts threw me an all-ladies shower in Virginia, for which I flew across the U.S. to attend. Of course we had the southeast essentials (fried chicken, sweet tea, and humidity), but my aunts also brought with them two great bridal shower traditions, which I had never been exposed to: ribbons & babies.
The first tradition seems to be more well-known and practiced among western cultures. It involves removing the bows and ribbons from the presents that the bride receives and fashioning them (on a paper plate or other sturdy surface) into a hand-crafted ribbon bouquet. This is what the bride, typically, carries during the wedding rehearsal in lieu of a flower arrangement.
The second tradition is a little less orthodox and little more… umm… well, I’ll just explain. According to this (presumably southern) custom, every ribbon that the bride breaks while opening her gifts at the shower equals one baby that the bride and groom will have during their marriage. With the exception of ribbons tied with extra effort to ensure breaking, this game is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the bride intends on having many kids, she can be as indelicate as she likes, breaking many ribbons. However, if a bride is not interested in having many children, if any, then she can unwrap the gifts like she’s in the Hurt Locker. Of course the game is based on a wives-tale, but the game is fun and entertaining for both the bride and guests.
Bottom Line: These two activities from my own bridal shower are just examples of the many bridal shower games celebrated in western culture. Games can also include trivia, mad libs, raffles, and other fun festivities. Games that are well-planned keep the mood of the shower upbeat, keep guests entertained, and can bring the group of people closer together through discussing and learning about the engaged couple.
And in case you’re wondering: yes, I still whine about not being able to find authentic fried chicken in Seattle. It’s just too good.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! You have done a remarkable job in describing our strange southern traditions. And I realize that you did not break any ribbons in Tavares... Hmmmmm.
    Loved seeing you...and so pleased that you wanted my painting. A little bit of your "fabulous" aunt will grace your room.
    Love you!
    Jane (