You've just found out one of your friends is getting hitched. After the squeals of delight, a close inspection of the engagement ring and some repressed urges to let her know what she's getting herself in for, it might occur to you that you should probably throw your friend a shower. After all, you're hoping she'll do the same for you, aren't you? And, if she already has, you'll really look like a wench if you don't reciprocate. But before we provide the ins and outs of shower-throwing, a little history is in order.

What is a shower?

A daily bathing ritual with the purpose of removing dirt, grime, and other filth off the personal corpus. It scares us that you were not aware of this.

OK, smart-alec, so what is a WEDDING shower?

Oh, that! Well, literally, a "shower" refers to the multitude of good wishes and, more importantly, gifts showered upon the guest of honor. It is said that the first wedding shower can be traced back to the Dutch, where a young girl fell in love with a poor (but generous) miller, who had shared his possessions with some villagers who had fallen on hard times. Her father, furious with his daughter's "poor" choice, refused to bestow a dowry (a sum of money or goods) necessary for the couple to establish a home. When word of this spread through the village, the community came together and "showered" the couple with gifts, so they could begin their life together, and a tradition had begun.


Depending on the kind of shower you want to give, you might (1) pay for the party yourself, or (2) ask some other close friends of the bride to chip in. If you decide to share the cost, you'll need to decide how the cost will be shared. You can suggest that the party be held at your home and the cost of the food will be split. If you're uncomfortable discussing money, suggest alternatives such as everyone bring a food dish (this is known as pot luck), or that people help make decorations and come over early to help decorate. On the other hand, if the shower will be held at a place where admittance is charged (like a strip or comedy club) then it's up to you to let the guests know the price, and be sure they understand they everyone will pay their own way (unless you're treating). Basically, guests will assume that whatever takes place is on the host unless you have an understanding before hand about who's paying for what.

So in a nutshell: decide how much you're willing to spend from your own pocket, how many people you want there, how much you feel comfortable asking from others, and how you want to split the money up (is it more important to have good food or give nice presents?). The second half of Come up with a guest list (how many humans?) will provide a bit more budgetary advice, but before you attack the guest list, you should have a working figure.