I’ve been accused of presenting an imbalance of information when writing about the FOC. I have written several blogs about the good things Followers do for each other, and today I am presenting another positive aspect of Follower life: bridal showers.
Have you been to a bridal shower? I’ve been to hundreds, and that’s not an exaggeration. The main event, the entertainment, consists of a time of blessing the virginal young bride. The bride and most of her bridesmaids stand on the pulpit in front of a long table overflowing with beautifully wrapped gifts, large and small. A card table stands at the end of the gift table and holds a basket full of cards stuffed with well wishes and money.
A young lady, one of the bridesmaids, sits at the card table. It is her job to record the gifts on each of the cards, so the bride can later send out thank-you cards. On the other side of the scribe, another bridesmaid stands at the microphone and reads out the names on the cards as the gifts are opened. A very sweet tradition is that many ladies will make beautiful gifts for the new bride, and when one of the homemade items is held up, the caller will say, “and she made it” and the five hundred or so ladies of all ages break into an appreciative applause.
Little girls, selected by the bride, serve as package carriers. They wait in line on the steps to the pulpit to receive the gifts and carry them down the benches to the left of the stage (where young boys and bachelor men sit during church services). The gift opening can last well over an hour.
One of the most exciting gifts are the ones the bride and her friends got to shop for themselves. In the weeks before the shower, bridesmaids will take a collection from ladies who want to donate money (en lieu of bringing a gift), and then take the bride out to pick out several nice outfits to start off her married life.
After the gifts are opened, the bride gives a thank you speech and welcomes the guests to enjoy the delicious food set out on the long tables in the back room. The girls and women visit, walk the isles of gifts admiring all the nice things the bride has received (especially the handmade items), and enjoy the wonderful banquet of food. The food provided at Follower events is impressive. Dozens of women volunteer to bring dishes to contribute special recipes, sweets, various snack foods, bowls of punch, cheese balls, and vegetable trays.
It is one of the nice traditions and passages into adulthood to honor a young woman who has saved herself for marriage.