The Real Reason Why Bachelorette Parties Are a Thing
When movie Rough Night opens in theaters Friday, the comedy about college friends who reunite 10 years later at a bachelorette party that goes wrong will be just one of a recent string of entertainments to celebrate that pre-bridal event. But, while bachelor parties tend to get traced back to the Spartan ritual of toasting to a fellow soldier the night before his wedding day, the female version didn’t take hold until the mid-20th century.
Beth Montemurro, a sociologist who wrote Something Old, Something Bold: Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties, says the only all-female party for brides-to-be was a bridal shower until the 1950s and 1960s when some women held a second shower where they could both drink with their girlfriends and open presents that they wouldn’t want to open in front of their families and family friends, such as lingerie. (At the time, unmarried women were “bachelor girls,” not “bachelorettes,” but the term generally referred to those who had no intention of marrying any time soon.)