As living beings in the year 2015, we should all be acutely aware that humanity has no new ideas left. Sure, we haven’t figured out how to have everything we want delivered to our door, but aside from advancements in automation, medicine, and, like, new places to put screens, we’re pretty much maxed out. For a bleak reminder that we’ve run out of ways to celebrate, just take a look at the Bro-Dal Shower:
The editors at BuzzFeed Life recently threw wedding showers for two of our male co-workers. Because we love them. And because wedding traditions deserve to be fucked with. We called these parties for the grooms-to-be “bro-dal showers.”
Despite being called “The Next Big Thing In Weddings” by BuzzFeed, the Bro-Dal Shower isn’t exactly new. Though Google may understandably suggest you’ve mistyped a word, a quick search will reveal several instances of the theme party on Pinterest and Instagram.
This Instagram user celebrated his bro-dal shower with beer nipples.
At its core, the idea is harmless — women have bridal showers, so why can’t men have a party of their own? Bro-Dal Showers, as a concept, are commendably egalitarian (...I guess?), but despite all that, I will never attend one. Not because I find the word “bro” to be exclusionary and dumb. Not because I’m horrified that people associate Brooklyn residents with “lumbersexuals.” Not even because I find something slightly gross and men’s rights-y about the whole thing! (Though the second bro-dal shower in the Buzzfeed piece is actually a marriage between two grooms, so it gets a pass on that last complaint.)
No. The reason I won’t be attending your Bro-Dal Shower is because everything else about your wedding has already consumed enough of my time.
Carrie Bradshaw once complained about the money she’s spent on friends’ weddings over the years, but she never once broached the subject of time. I’ve been to engagement parties, bridal showers (somehow), pre-wedding parties, rehearsal dinners, and then—of course—the weddings themselves. How much of one’s life is spent celebrating a single wedding? With prep, travel, and the party itself, you’re looking at about six hours per event—and probably more for the actual ceremony/reception. At least 24 hours of a guest’s time for a single wedding? And that’s not even counting the dang bachelor/bachelorette party!
The need to add even more events to the already lengthy itinerary of a modern wedding is a lot like the concept of a “Birthday Week,” a recent phenomenon in which people celebrate their birth repeatedly over a seven-day span. Everyone should expect a single day—maybe two if guest list overlap is an impossibility—and that’s it! You’re finished! People have celebrated you. They have showered you with love, gifts, and free drinks. Treasure it. Then end it.
But when it comes to planning events for a single celebratory cause in 2015, there can never be enough—and the internet is at least partly to blame. Connecting friends, family, and nemeses is easier than it’s ever been, so of course people are making up new reasons to invite their entire contact lists to party. Twenty years ago, you had to buy invitations. Lick stamps. Go to the post office. But now? Pfft. Is it the one-month anniversary of your engagement? Shoot out a Facebook invite. Did the groom find the perfect pocket square? Rent out a bar and text literally everyone. Did you choose mahimahi over sea bass for the fish option? In all my life I’ve never heard a better reason to use Paperless Post.
Weddings can be wonderful, unforgettable experiences for guests, and I’m always honored and delighted to celebrate the “I do.” But when it comes to “I’m gonna,” everyone really needs to chill. Bros included.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images via Instagram/screengrab.