Of bridal showers, themed weddings, birthday ‘command gifts’

26 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Of bridal showers, themed weddings, birthday ‘command gifts’ The dressing and general decorum of the bridal team has to fit the aspirations of the bride and the groom

The Herald

Tafadzwa Zimoyo Acting Entertainment Editor

“Please wear white and on gifts, kindly tick the box on the product which you desire to buy. Kindly purchase the item on the selected shops below the invite. Bring a champagne or wine bottle of your choice and do not be late for the photo shoot,” reads the bridal shower invite and requirements of 33-year-old stock broker only identified as Monalisa from Helensvale, Harare.

Monalisa’s sisters and close friends are throwing for her a bridal party today at a location disclosed only to invited guests.

Gone are the days when bridal presents where at the discretion of the invited guests, but the bride-to be now decides which gifts she would want.

The same requirement is now being extended to bridesmaids and other bridal team members whose dressing and general decorum has to fit the aspirations of the bride and the groom.

In this instance, Monalisa also instructed her bridesmaids to pay US$300 for dresses and $120 for hairstyles while her husband- to- be Fungai’s groomsmen suits were to be imported from Italy for $800.

Some have since described these demands as ridiculous. However others feel the expectations are modern and in line with international trends.

Like weddings, modern bridal showers are all about experiences, and such memories can only be curated with a lot aesthetics, with gifts and dressing being some of them.

 Although most of the activities and traditions have barely changed over the years, dressing, decorum and photo-shoots are among a few fresh ideas added to this customary event.

 The history of the custom is rooted not necessarily in the provision of goods for the upcoming matrimonial home, but to provide goods and financial assistance to assist the bride and groom in successfully hosting the wedding.

Be it as it may, bridal parties have since divided the nation, creating debate on whether “command gifting” is necessary or it is a borrowed trendy giving pressure to women.

The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle conducted a survey where different women including gents shared their opinion about these command gifts.

Another question on everyone’s lips is after buying those expensive “kitchen utensils”, will you still buy another present again for the wedding and what will her parents buy?

Priscilla Mpofu from Highlands said people should move with the times.

“I have been invited to a bridal party and I have seen some people complaining that it is too much to demand those gifts because some people cannot afford,” she said.

“There is nothing wrong in allowing her to decide what her home should look like. If you cannot afford it, just stay in your lane.” 

Mpofu urged people to respect the invitation and theme requirements.

“If she said she wants a microwave from the Phillip’s store that is what she wants. Do not disappoint her.”

Others however vehemently disagree, saying the practice is a Eurocentric one, which puts people under pressure to buy gifts they cannot afford.

 “How can I buy a refrigerator, specific to be precise yet alone I do not have one at my house?

“A gift is something from the heart and sometimes we would have sacrificed and budgeted for that. With our culture, you are also expected to bring a gift at the wedding. No one will remember that you presented something at the bridal shower weeks before,” said a hair stylist from a local salon.

What many need to know is that traditional etiquette states that if you receive an invitation to a wedding, even if you are unable to attend, you are still expected to send the couple a gift.

Some said that bridal shower gifts should be smaller and are more modest than wedding gifts.

“My wife got an invite to attend a bridal shower in Chisipite and I was shocked with the demands and command on the gift list. We have actually not talked for the past three days because she wants money to buy a heater and iron. The problem is that we do not own the said items and they are expensive, but she just wants to impress her friends,” said 45-year-old bus driver, Patrick Makonjera.

He added that things are changing and women should not just follow what they are watching on television.

“Some things we idolise would have been scripted.

“How on earth will we continue chasing the winds? Back then, bridal parties were ceremonies for grooming and deportment, teaching the women how to be good mothers and wives but it is now a thing of the past,” he said.

For 27-year-old Pamela Nkomo who next week is a maid of honour she feels that one needs to make a sacrifice.

“We have been friends for 18 years with my best friend who is getting married next week and this is a way of honouring her. 

‘‘I have sacrificed to make her wedding dream come true, vowing to pay for the requirements she wants. We were tasked to pay US$400 for dress and hairstyle. I know some are saying it is too much and what will I do with the dress. We are not hiring, but this is what she wants,” she explained.

However, it is recommended to purchase a gift for both the wedding and the wedding shower.

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