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Bridal Shower or Kitchen Tea?


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Confused about the difference between a bridal shower and a kitchen tea?  Unsure of whether you want a bachelorette party or a hens’ night?  Here’s some useful definitions to help…

Bridal showers

A bridal shower is a gift giving party that is held for a bride before her wedding. Showers are usually co-ordinated by the maid of honour and bridesmaids, who invite female guests to bring gifts for the new home of the bride and groom.

The custom is said to have sprung from earlier dowry practices when a poor woman's family might not have the money to provide a dowry for her, or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. In such situations, friends of the woman would gather together and bring gifts that would compensate for the dowry and allow her to marry the man of her choice.

Kitchen tea

A kitchen tea is an exclusively Australian and New Zealand term for a party held for a bride before her wedding, during which female guests bring items of kitchen equipment as wedding presents.  These days, guests don’t just bring kitchen items, and many people interchange the terms kitchen tea and bridal shower.

Hens’ or bachelorette party

A bachelorette party, hens’ party or hens’ night is a party held a week or so before the bride’s big day. The term hens' party or hens' night is more common in Australia (as well as the UK), while the term bachelorette party is popular in the United States.

This party is typically hosted and organised by one or more members of the wedding party, and participants are usually the bride's close women friends. Generally, people who are not invited to the wedding are not included on the hens’ night guest list. 

The hens’ party takes its cues from the centuries-old bachelor's or bucks’ party, but was uncommon until the mid-1980s and the first book on planning bachelorette parties was only published in 1998.  It’s popularity is firmly tied to the idea of gender equality.  It’s a chance for the bride and her friends to let their hair down, so perhaps is not the night to invite Grandma and Great Auntie Ethel along for the ride!

Bridesmaids' luncheon

The bridesmaids' luncheon is hosted by the bride and/or her mother during the day, usually several days or a week before the wedding.  At a bridesmaids' luncheon, the bride often presents a small gift to each bridesmaid.  This is usually a small, intimate lunch that serves both as a thank you to the bridesmaids and a last chance to discuss wedding preparations.



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