Looking into where bachelor parties originated, it seems they can be traced back to the
5th century B.C. when Spartans celebrated out a groom's last night as a single man. Spartan soldiers held a dinner in their friend's honor and made toasts on his behalf. In 1896 a party thrown by P.T. Barnum’s grandson, Herbert Barnum Seeley for his brother was raided by police after rumors circulated that a famous belly dancer would be performing nude.
The term bachelor first appeared in reference to an unmarried man in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the 14th century. The term bachelor party didn't appear until 1922, however, when it was first used in the Scottish publication Chambers's Journal of Literature, Science and Arts to describe a "jolly old" party.
A bachelor party used to be a black-tie dinner hosted by the groom's father, with toasts to the groom and the bride. The hazing, humiliation and debauchery is a more recent phenomenon which started in the 80’s, probably in response to movies that served as a suggestive training ground. (1984 Bachelor Party movie starring Tom Hanks)
The question becomes; is that really the way to toast a marriage? Here’s a big shout out and salute to Erik Pedley. This 26 year old from Germantown had his story told by John Kelly in a recent Washington Post article.
Lucky girl to marry this guy. I predict some happily ever after with that kind of beginning.
What do you think? Is it time to overhaul bachelor and bachelorette parties?
Did you do something innovative at yours?
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