Etiquette

Did I do the right thing by turning down a shower that was already being planned for me?

This has probably been discussed a bunch of times, but I'm feeling super guilty and just need some people to hear me out. Bear with me.

I am getting married in less than three months. I've only been engaged for a little over a month, and we are doing this on a tight budget... We just can't wait to be married! We are planning a very small wedding out of state, where my family lives. Both our families live out of state-- a plane ride away for us, and about a 9-hour drive apart from each other. Because of this, we decided it is easiest NOT to invite our entire families because we know that one family would be able to make it, while the other mostly would not. I originally wanted to just go get married at the courthouse or elope somewhere romantic in-state, but my fiancé's one request is that his mom be in attendance. So, we are making it happen and only having our parents at the ceremony.

A few weeks ago my sister told me she wants to host a bridal shower for me. A gift card shower, actually, since I live out of state. Especially after reading so much on this forum, I decided to tell her that I just don't feel comfortable having a shower (let alone a gift card shower) since none of the shower guests (besides our mothers) would actually be at the wedding. However, without this shower, I would not be seeing my family at all in the short time that I am in town. My family is quite close and gets together often. It does, in all honesty, seem a little strange to NOT do anything special with them to celebrate my marriage, since we celebrate everything else together. So my sister, my mother, and I together decided that the best alternative to a shower would be a dinner/party at my mom's house with just my siblings and their kids. (If it makes any difference, we will actually be visiting his family a couple days after the wedding.) This wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary for her, as she is often the host of big family get-togethers. I like this idea better because they are not calling it a shower, and my male relatives will still be able to come.

I talked to my mother today, and she informed me that she informed the rest of my sisters of the change. (Invites to the shower had never been sent, but my sisters knew about it.) According to her, my other sisters were shocked and frankly, kind of disappointed that I didn't want a shower. Apparently they had even reserved a location to hold the shower already, and had to call to cancel it. However, both she and my sister with whom she had been planning told me it was no big deal and not to worry about it.

Now, I'm feeling really guilty. To be honest, a shower does sound like a lot of fun, especially since it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and since I'm not doing a lot of the other traditional wedding things. I was quite looking forward to it before I realized it was against etiquette to have one with guests who aren't invited to the wedding. But I did not want it to seem like a gift-grab, or a money-grab, and this feeling was stronger than wanting to please my sisters and let them throw me a really fun party.

Did I do the right thing, or did I just turn down something really special? Really, there's no un-doing my decision, but I'm hoping someone will ease the guilt a little.

Re: Did I do the right thing by turning down a shower that was already being planned for me?

  • You definitely did the right thing with the shower, as PPs said you shouldn't invite people to a pre-wedding party when they're not invited to the wedding. 

    Im not so sure you did the right thing with the guests though. You didn't invite the families because you're assuming one side wouldn't come, and aren't inviting the other since it's not "fair"? I guess, but you're making the decision for your guests about whether or not they could, or would, travel to your wedding. Many, many people prioritize weddings over other things, but you took that choice away and decided for them. If you want a small wedding that's absolutely fine and you don't need any justification. 
    SP29ahoyweddingPrettyGirlLost
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    You definitely did the right thing. Sometimes people just can't wrap their head around the whole family not being able to get together to celebrate a wedding.

    Your sisters may also be upset about being excluded from your wedding, and letting out those emotions over this. I agree with PP that if you wanted a very small wedding, that's totally fine, but if you told them the "fairness" argument, they may well be thinking their exclusion is arbitrary, which it really would be. You could have invited everyone and let them make their own choices. That said, you're hearing this secondhand, so I don't think you need to address anything unless you hear more from the sisters directly.

    Anniversary

  • Like the other PPs said, you did the right thing.  I think the dinner sounds like a great option to still get to see more people.

    If it helps you with some perspective, I had a small wedding/reception at my mom's house, which was OOT for me and my H.  I also didn't have a shower or a lot of the "typical" wedding/reception things.  It was the best choices at the time, but I thought I would have some regrets.  I really didn't.  When I married my H, what I did or didn't do just completely paled in comparison.  We got married.  My guests were well hosted and had a great time.  Those were the only things that were important, even looking back.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • Carry on guilt-free. You were right to decline the shower since the guests would not be invited to the wedding. 

    A non-wedding-related family dinner party sounds really fun! It'll be great for everyone to get together without the pressure of a wedding-related event or gifts.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    SP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    You 100% did the right thing. 

    SP29
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member

    OP, you're refreshing. . . . change your name and stick around!


    holyguacamole79knottie551895dae414b072SP29
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Thank you, all! I feel a lot better now after hearing it from people other than those close to me.

    In response to some comments about not inviting anyone due to lack of fairness... I do still kind of feel guilty about that. It was mostly meant to be out of fairness to my fiancé, rather than his family. I actually considered just getting married AT the dinner at my mom's in the living room (either have the pastor come to the house, which would be simple because my mom is quite involved at church and knows the pastor quite well, or having someone in the family get ordained, which is also simple to do online). But I would feel like that is unfair to my fiancé since I'd be making it SUPER convenient for my family, but very inconvenient for his. I also don't think my mother's house could accommodate all of his family, so although we could invite them, if they DID choose to attend, they would likely be uncomfortable with not enough places to sit. It just doesn't seem right to have the wedding there and ask his whole family, many of whom have young kids, to drive 9 hours away for an uncomfortable dinner and very short ceremony, plus have to pay for lodging, when my family would just have to drive down the street and sleep at their own homes.

    The thing is that we just do not have the money to rent a venue and then also pay to feed all those people. This was the main reason I wanted to just go to the courthouse in the first place-- super cheap and hassle free.

    I don't know if this is the right way to think of things, but it's how we've gone about it. I always wanted to elope, considering how crazy and stressful wedding planning can be. So this is the best we have come up with to combine both worlds.
    You know, though, them's the breaks. People understand that it makes sense for you to have a wedding where you live, even if it means only one side of the family will have to travel. Things can't always be fair. But I understand why you did what you did, especially if you don't think you could host enough to make the drive "worth it."

    A great reason for having a small wedding is not having the money to host a big wedding. Another great reason to have a small wedding is wanting a small wedding. That's all you really need. Own it - and you seem to be doing so. Just don't feel like you need to make excuses to other people.

    Anniversary

    SP29charlotte989875
  • kaos16 said:

    OP, you're refreshing. . . . change your name and stick around!


    Haha, thank you!
    You know, though, them's the breaks. People understand that it makes sense for you to have a wedding where you live, even if it means only one side of the family will have to travel. Things can't always be fair. But I understand why you did what you did, especially if you don't think you could host enough to make the drive "worth it."

    A great reason for having a small wedding is not having the money to host a big wedding. Another great reason to have a small wedding is wanting a small wedding. That's all you really need. Own it - and you seem to be doing so. Just don't feel like you need to make excuses to other people.
    Funny you should say that, because before we "officially" got engaged, I was the one telling him (and his family) that I don't care if people don't like us eloping, that's our choice and what we (I) want, and we shouldn't have to make excuses to anyone. And now here I am, feeling like I need an excuse... But that's only because we actually are having SOME people at the ceremony. I almost feel worse having JUST our parents than I would have if we had had nobody at all.
    But whatever, I'm happy with the way it will be, and y'all have convinced me I'm doing nothing wrong. :smiley: Thank you!
    short+sassyflantasticSP29ahoywedding
  • Your sister and family could have hosted an engagement party - which introduces your FI to your extended family without a gift demand, but not a weird CARD SHOWER which would imply that all those people invited would also be getting a wedding invitation.  You don't have to have any showers.  We were in a similar situation, and only had 25 people at the wedding - including the officiant and photographer, etc.  We had no attendants, no showers, and our moms signed the wedding certificate.  Best wishes to you.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards