The steady march towards full rights for women has certainly reached the domain of marriage ritual. Bachelor parties - a long-time staple for the groom and his cohorts - have given rise to the bachelorette parties (originally dubbed "hen" parties), where the bride gets to, well, go nuts and embarrass herself as much as her future husband.
I'm not sure how this ritual plays out in other parts of the country, but, here in the Queen City, it has become de rigueur for the bride and her pals to eventually wind up downtown carousing the bars and clubs.
These bachelorette posses are immediately identifiable amid the hubbub of a weekend night crowd: they are the ones whooping it up on the street, arms in the air, dancing and yelling like maniacs. The matron-of-honor is generally the organizer and instigator-in-chief, leading the pack from club to club. But the women of the evening is, of course, the bride-to-be, and she is identifiable by the tiara and veil. (The demure and oh-so-dainty accoutrement of a giant inflatable penis has also become a popular carry-along.)
A beautiful and giddy bride graciously agreed to a photo by an anonymous cabbie this past weekend. Please rise in your seats - here comes the bride: