Stories of chivarees being violent and destructive were not the celebrations I knew. The friendly gathering and the noisy commotion was a community’s way of recognizing and welcoming the newly married couple into their circle. It was a “pretend” surprise. The newlyweds always knew when the well wishers would come. They needed to know so they would be at home and have treats waiting for their guests. Beating on pots and pans and a few whistles announced the arrival of the celebrants. The couple inside let them make noise for a bit before they stepped out and accepted the greetings and good wishes of their guests.
The honored couple had coffee and cake or cookies and cokes in plentiful supply. Pots and pans and noise makers got left outside. Then the party began.