Customs and Traditions

Bridal Shower - who to invite

Who do you normally invite to a bridal shower?

The shower is going to be at my matron of honors house and she can only hold about 50 people.

Re: Bridal Shower - who to invite

  • Only invite people that are nearest and dearest, definitely not every female on your list. Honestly, showers bigger than 30 are not so much fun for anyone. You'll be overwhelmed by the gifts and no one wants to watch you open them for three hours. Smaller is definitely better. 

    TeddiD34
  • So just close friends and family, not coworkers and see you every once in a while friends, right?
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    So just close friends and family, not coworkers and see you every once in a while friends, right?
    Are the co-workers are other friends invited to the wedding?

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Yes they are.

    I would try to include them then. Start with your family members and very close friends. Then if there's room, I would include the rest of the friends and then co-workers.  

    melbelleup
  • kk, thank you. I will try that.
  • I'd go with these groups in an order similar to this based on family/friend dynamic, cutting from the bottom first:

    -Mothers and grandmothers of the B&G
    -Bridal Party
    -Sisters, sisters-in-law, and girlfriends of brothers of B&G
    -Aunts, great aunts, female cousins of B&G
    -Very close female friends of B&G (like call in the middle of the night friends)
    -Close female friends of B&G that you see regularly (regular is relative but several times a year outside of parties)
    -Female friends of the B&G that you see occasionally (probably only a few times a year outside of parties), Coworkers you socialize with, the female SO's of friends of B&G (Like, H's Best man's GF).
    -Coworkers

    This is just how I would prioritize my list; this may not work for you, but I think it's a start. I agree, more than 30-40 people gets to be too much. I say make a "reach" list and put them into categories like this and cut from the bottom until you get to your ideal number.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
  • Same as PP suggested, but I wouldn't invite SOs or GFs of Wedding Party either unless I know them well or like them. The point is that the attendees are people who are close to you.  
    melbelleup
  • ashleyepashleyep
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    edited December 2013
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
    An invitation may not be a summons...but a shower is not the same as a wedding.  Also, if you don't really have a relationship (and I'm talking about an ongoing acquaintance, not kinship) with someone, it really doesn't make any sense to invite them to a minor party, especially a gift-giving party, that they aren't likely to attend.  A wedding is major enough that it might make sense to do that, but a shower is not.  I'd think a shower should be more intimate.
  • Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
    An invitation may not be a summons...but a shower is not the same as a wedding.  Also, if you don't really have a relationship (and I'm talking about an ongoing acquaintance, not kinship) with someone, it really doesn't make any sense to invite them to a minor party, especially a gift-giving party, that they aren't likely to attend.  A wedding is major enough that it might make sense to do that, but a shower is not.  I'd think a shower should be more intimate.
    I was specifically referring to out of town guests. Lots of guests will fly in for a shower. Limiting it to local guests only seems silly. 
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    s-aries8990
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited December 2013
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
    An invitation may not be a summons...but a shower is not the same as a wedding.  Also, if you don't really have a relationship (and I'm talking about an ongoing acquaintance, not kinship) with someone, it really doesn't make any sense to invite them to a minor party, especially a gift-giving party, that they aren't likely to attend.  A wedding is major enough that it might make sense to do that, but a shower is not.  I'd think a shower should be more intimate.
    I was specifically referring to out of town guests. Lots of guests will fly in for a shower. Limiting it to local guests only seems silly. 
    I know of nobody who would fly in for a shower.  I definitely would not expect my mother or out-of-town relatives to fly in for a shower. 

    A shower is just not a major enough event for that.  Out-of-towners might attend if they were already planning to be in town when the shower takes place, but most people will not fly in for it.
    CLI242009
  • Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
    An invitation may not be a summons...but a shower is not the same as a wedding.  Also, if you don't really have a relationship (and I'm talking about an ongoing acquaintance, not kinship) with someone, it really doesn't make any sense to invite them to a minor party, especially a gift-giving party, that they aren't likely to attend.  A wedding is major enough that it might make sense to do that, but a shower is not.  I'd think a shower should be more intimate.
    I was specifically referring to out of town guests. Lots of guests will fly in for a shower. Limiting it to local guests only seems silly. 
    I know of nobody who would fly in for a shower.  I definitely would not expect my mother or out-of-town relatives to fly in for a shower. 

    A shower is just not a major enough event for that.  Out-of-towners might attend if they were already planning to be in town when the shower takes place, but most people will not fly in for it.
    Well I, on the other hand, have plenty of family who flies in for showers. If you would like to have them there, invite them. Period. They can decline if they want.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    Why not? They don't have to come, but my aunts would be devastated if I didn't invite them. I appreciated an invite to my cousin's shower, even though she knew I was making the trip cross country for her bachelorette and not the shower. An invitation is not a summons, as we always say.
    An invitation may not be a summons...but a shower is not the same as a wedding.  Also, if you don't really have a relationship (and I'm talking about an ongoing acquaintance, not kinship) with someone, it really doesn't make any sense to invite them to a minor party, especially a gift-giving party, that they aren't likely to attend.  A wedding is major enough that it might make sense to do that, but a shower is not.  I'd think a shower should be more intimate.
    I was specifically referring to out of town guests. Lots of guests will fly in for a shower. Limiting it to local guests only seems silly. 
    I know of nobody who would fly in for a shower.  I definitely would not expect my mother or out-of-town relatives to fly in for a shower. 

    A shower is just not a major enough event for that.  Out-of-towners might attend if they were already planning to be in town when the shower takes place, but most people will not fly in for it.
    Well I, on the other hand, have plenty of family who flies in for showers. If you would like to have them there, invite them. Period. They can decline if they want.
    If you have plenty of family who flies in for showers, great, but I suspect you are in a tiny minority.

    Also, inviting all the out-of-town guests could risk turning the shower into a mini-wedding, with too many people.  The OP thinks 50 guests at a shower is her limit, and I think attending an event where you watch that many gifts being opened is going to take a long time and probably bore the heck out of guests.  Most showers don't have more than 30 people-and even that is probably a high limit.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    I would disagree with this as a blanket statement.  Immediate family members, regardless of geographic location, are always included on our list.  Depending on the time of year, our family will often use the invitation as an excuse to plan a travel adventure.  Others would simply be hurt not to be included on principle.  I have nieces and nephews from Washington State to Florida.  I fully hope and expect to be included on their invitation lists.
    ashleyep
  • Jen4948 said:
    ashleyep said:

    Well I, on the other hand, have plenty of family who flies in for showers. If you would like to have them there, invite them. Period. They can decline if they want.
    If you have plenty of family who flies in for showers, great, but I suspect you are in a tiny minority.

    Also, inviting all the out-of-town guests could risk turning the shower into a mini-wedding, with too many people.  The OP thinks 50 guests at a shower is her limit, and I think attending an event where you watch that many gifts being opened is going to take a long time and probably bore the heck out of guests.  Most showers don't have more than 30 people-and even that is probably a high limit.
    So don't invite all of your out of town guests. I never implied you should. If you have friends or family that live out of town that you'd like to invite, go for it, but you don't have to invite everyone.
    Anniversary
  • My FMIL and FSILs planned a surprise bridal shower for me the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    I am from CA. All my family and friends are in CA. They had the bridal shower and invited only my FI's side. My MoH, they managed to schedule it so she was on SKYPE during the shower. I didn't know most of the guests that well and they made my bridal shower a way for his family to get to know me.

    I would of LOVED to have all my family and friends at my bridal shower but realistically it's not possible. Not with my families financial situations. I LOVED that my FMIL did this for me. I got to know some of his relatives that I never really see. It was wonderful and FI's mom & sisters (3) put so much detail in making this happen for me.

    Bridal showers can be your near and dearest but it can also be a good way to get to know your FI's relatives if you are not close with them.

    Also it was NOT something I was expecting. I had come to terms that my friends wouldn't be able to do anything for me, if they wanted to, because of the long distance. I wasn't expecting anything and I loved my bridal shower!! ^_^
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    DanielleFruge
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    mobkaz said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I mostly agree with s-aires8990's list, but with regard to the relatives, I would not invite out-of-towners or anyone who the bride or groom is not close to.  I'd keep it local and limit the guests to those who are really close to the couple-not all relatives or friends, even if invited to the wedding, fall in that category, and you could end up with a guest list that is too big.

    I don't think SOs or GFs of male wedding party members automatically rate an invitation unless the men are standing up with the bride as opposed to the groom.  Even then, it would make more sense to me to invite the men rather than the women unless the women are really close to the bride as well.

    And of course, make sure all these people are invited to the wedding itself.
    I would disagree with this as a blanket statement.  Immediate family members, regardless of geographic location, are always included on our list.  Depending on the time of year, our family will often use the invitation as an excuse to plan a travel adventure.  Others would simply be hurt not to be included on principle.  I have nieces and nephews from Washington State to Florida.  I fully hope and expect to be included on their invitation lists.
    That's nice.  If they're very close and they're likely to come, by all means invite them, but as a matter of universal etiquette, I don't believe it's necessary to extend an invitation to out-of-towners unless one wants to because they are close emotionally and not just kin.
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