Bridal parties are more traditional in America than they are in this country. In America the bride usually has a party for everyone who will be part of the wedding party on the day provided they are female, that is. This will mainly be for the benefit of the bridesmaids, but the mothers of bride and groom are often invited as well. This is a transatlantic custom that could well be transplanted here: it is an ideal way for the bridesmaids to meet each other and for the mothers to relax before the pressures of the big day, and gives the bride an opportunity to stop organising things and enjoy herself with her friends.
Bridal showers are traditional in America, too: these are parties given by close friends of the bride where each guest brings some small item to help the bride set up home. These are often practical, prosaic things that might not feature on a conventional wedding list things such as an eggtimer, pair of tights, a cookery book, tins or packets for the store cupboard, a bulletin board, etc. The shower may be held on one theme, for instance a kitchen shower or a garden shower.
In Germany an ‘eve of the wedding’ party can be held one or a few nights before the marriage ?’he guests are supposed to make as much noise as possible – accomplished by the clanging of saucepans, breaking of crockery, blowing of car horns, etc.!