Dutch Wedding Tradition: Bridal Showers
Where does the bridal shower tradition come from? A Dutch wedding tradition, of course, is where the idea of a bridal shower started!
In Holland, if the bride's father disapproved of her choice of husband he would not give a dowry. The bride's friends, knowing how much she loved her intended, would shower her with gifts. In turn, the gifts would then be used as her dowry. Often after seeing how her friends believed in the couple, the bride's father would relent and add to the "dowry".
Another version to the bridal shower story goes like this — A young girl wished to marry but her father disapproved. Her friends gave her gifts, so that she would not need her fathers dowry.
Dutch Wedding Tradition: Wish Trees
Another, Dutch tradition is a wish tree. In Western cultures, this would be similar to a guest book. At the reception, a decorative tree branch is placed on a table and paper with ribbon is placed along with it. Each guest can write a note to the bride and groom wishing them well. During the reception the couple reads each message aloud. As the bride and groom read the notes, they place them on the tree branch.
Dutch Wedding Tradition: Evergreen Reception
Evergreens have significant meaning in the Dutch culture. Evergreens signify "everlasting love". To symbolize this "everlasting love", the bride and groom sit under a canopy made with evergreens during the reception.
Dutch Wedding Tradition: Lily-of-the-Valley
One of the sweetest Dutch traditions is the planting of Lilies-of-the-Valley around the couples house symbolizing a return to happiness. This custom is supposed to ensure that the couple's love is renewed every year as the lilies bloom.
Of all the dutch wedding traditions, I like the last one the best. I think I will use the lilies-of-the-valley tradition as a housewarming gift for a newlywed couple I know.