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Pre-wedding Parties

The problem with surprise showers...

I just discovered some very dear and sweet friends are throwing a surprise bridal shower for me.  No one knows that I know.  I wish I didn't know because I love surprises. Both ladies in my wedding party are out of state, so a few of my local friends are throwing it.

I will never let on that I found out, and I am so grateful they are taking the time, energy, and expense to do this for me.  I am honored.  But since our wedding invitations are not out yet, they really don't know what our guest list is and...

about 1/2 of the ladies invited to the shower are not on the wedding guest list. That is the problem with surprise showers. 

I have no way to fix this.  We are at capacity for our venue.  The invites for the shower are out. 

I am posting for two reasons: 1)if anyone has a solution, I would love to read it. And 2) if you are planning a surprise wedding shower, you really need the wedding list before you invite people.

So how bad is this? The shower is one week after I mail out the local wedding invites.  

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Re: The problem with surprise showers...

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited April 2014
    Eek. The guests must all know that it's a surprise, right? So they couldn't blame you for this? Does this fall into the same "allowable" area like work showers? I don't know that the same rules apply with surprises since clearly you would have no way of confirming that the list didn't overreach. But I've never been to or planned a surprise shower. :-\ 

    I'm sorry for any future awkwardness/hurt feelings they may have created for you, even if you are technically in the clear.

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  • Lolo8383 said:
    Eek. The guests must all know that it's a surprise, right? So they couldn't blame you for this? Does this fall into the same "allowable" area like work showers? I don't know that the same rules apply with surprises since clearly you would have no way of confirming that the list didn't overreach. But I've never been to or planned a surprise shower. :-\ 

    I'm sorry for any future awkwardness/hurt feelings they may have created for you, even if you are technically in the clear.
    I'm not so worried about getting blamed (or the like), just kinda dreading the social awkwardness that will happen.  They all know it is a surprise.  No one knows that I know (it was an open FB message screen by a colleague--oops!).  These women are good friends of good friends, but not really my friends-(if that makes sense).  

    I'm just trying to keep on the positive note of what a sweet thing they are doing.  What will happen will happen.  Just please, please, please let this be a gift-less shower.
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  • Hopefully, being invited to a shower the bride knows nothing about doesn't give anyone any false hope that they'll be invited to the wedding, and they handle it gracefully. But definitely potential for awkwardness. Sucky. I'm already dreading the day some acquaintances of mine find out they're not invited, and there's no shower added to the mix. So I definitely feel for ya!

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  • Lolo8383 said:
    Hopefully, being invited to a shower the bride knows nothing about doesn't give anyone any false hope that they'll be invited to the wedding, and they handle it gracefully. But definitely potential for awkwardness. Sucky. I'm already dreading the day some acquaintances of mine find out they're not invited, and there's no shower added to the mix. So I definitely feel for ya!
    Fingers crossed that they do.  Especially for the time and expense the lovely ladies are going through to host the shower more so than for me.  They are working in the blind (a partial reason/warning for my post).  I believe their mistake to be an honest one.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Lolo8383 said:
    Hopefully, being invited to a shower the bride knows nothing about doesn't give anyone any false hope that they'll be invited to the wedding, and they handle it gracefully. But definitely potential for awkwardness. Sucky. I'm already dreading the day some acquaintances of mine find out they're not invited, and there's no shower added to the mix. So I definitely feel for ya!
    It's definitely a reason why surprise showers are sucky-the bride could still get blamed although she had nothing to do with the plans.

    While I accept that others love surprise parties, I can't stand them myself and would not enjoy being the guest of honor at one.  I hate all the coyness and evasiveness involved in getting the guest of honor to the party/shower venue on time to be followed by a shout of "SURPRISE!" just to see the look on the guest of honor's face.  I've never been the guest of honor at a surprise party, but my family has done "surprises" for me and I found the "surprise" element to be really more annoying than anything else, because I could usually figure out what was going on in advance.  But given that my family has a tendency to ignore me and make me last priority, even on occasions that were ostensibly in my honor and should have taken my feelings and wishes into account, the last thing I would want is all the manipulation, coyness, and evasiveness that goes into planning a surprise that really isn't for me at all but to stroke their own egos.
  • scribe95 said:
    Are the shower invites already out? I honestly would just approach the hosts. Yes, the surprise is not there - then again it isn't there anyway you are faking - and you can handle any etiquette breaches. 
    The shower invites are out.  And yes I'm sort of faking the surprise although I don't know the details of what is planned (I stopped reading the FB messages once it sort of sank in what I was looking at).  So letting the hosts know at this point doesn't help, and just causes more disappointment (on the part of the hosts this time).  
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  •      I am dreading this situation as well. We are having an immediate family only wedding. I went to lunch with my sister and a mutual close friend of both of us. Keep in mind this friend is not invited either, and is fine with it, but she is close enough that she absolutely would be were we having a larger wedding.

       They asked when did I want my shower. I told them I don't want one as we are doing immediate family only and it's a breach of etiquette to invite anyone not coming to the wedding. 

        Their response? 'Oh, no one cares about that!'. I then told them I didn't want one and was going to turn one down even if we were doing a larger wedding. They say they are going to throw one anyway. I told them If they do, I won't be there!! 

       Then they said it would be a surprise and I wouldn't know it was coming. What's really bumming out is that from now until October I can't really go to anything that my sister or this friend is at for fear it's a surprise shower! We go to lunch every couple months so I'm sort of dissapointed I will miss out on that until after the wedding. 
  • ab6704aab6704a member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2014

    I do not like surprise parties, at all.  My friends and family know this and decided to plan a surprise bachelorette and a suprise shower.  Ultimately I found out details about both and I'm glad I did because:

    1. My friend/mom almost invited people to the shower that they should not have;

    2. The reason they were going to give me to get me out of the house and over to the shower would have pretty much guaranteed that I would have been underdressed for the place they chose to hold it.

    3. I had already made tentative plans for the evening of the bachelorette.  Fortunately I was able to cancel them but I'm upset that I had to;

    4. My friends decided to surprise me for the bachelorette by throwing a party AT MY HOUSE.  Which is presently in a state of disaster because of some remodeling we're doing.  At least now that I know I have time to make it look relatively clean;

    They've apparently been coordinating with FI and have basically railroaded him into going along with their plans.  Too bad I found out about all these activities after invites went out or I would have declined them altogether.  I'm disappointed that the choice to not have either was basically taken out of my hands.

     ETA: Better grammar...

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    ab6704a said:

    I do not like surprise parties, at all.  My friends and family know this and decided to plan a surprise bachelorette and a suprise shower.  Ultimately I found out details about both and I'm glad I did because:

    1. My friend/mom almost invited people to the shower that they should not have;

    2. The reason they were going to give me to get me out of the house and over to the shower would have pretty much guaranteed that I would have been underdressed for the place they chose to hold it.

    3. I had already made tentative plans for the evening of the bachelorette.  Fortunately I was able to cancel them but I'm upset that I had to;

    4. My friends decided to surprise me for the bachelorette by throwing a party AT MY HOUSE.  Which is presently in a state of disaster because of some remodeling we're doing.  At least now that I know I have time to make it look relatively clean;

    They've apparently been coordinating with FI and have basically railroaded him into going along with their plans.  Too bad I found out about all these activities after invites went out or I would have declined them altogether.  I'm disappointed that the choice to not have either was basically taken out of my hands.

     ETA: Better grammar...

    Yeah, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth too with regard to surprises.
  • I think that's the most upsetting part to me.  I was always sort of ok with the prospect of having a shower, but I really wasn't interested in having a bachelorette and now I feel like I'm being forced into it.  I could just put my foot down and tell them to cancel it but I know their intentions were good and they've put effort into doing something nice for me so I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited April 2014
    ab6704a said:
    I think that's the most upsetting part to me.  I was always sort of ok with the prospect of having a shower, but I really wasn't interested in having a bachelorette and now I feel like I'm being forced into it.  I could just put my foot down and tell them to cancel it but I know their intentions were good and they've put effort into doing something nice for me so I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings.


    If the bolded were true, they would have respected your stated wishes and feelings and not planned a surprise for you after you made clear that you don't like them. Doing that is not "doing something nice" out of "good intentions."  I don't think you have to go along with this shower if you don't want to.
  • I guess I've always been fortunate regarding surprises. Most of the time the people who have chosen to surprise me know me well enough to get it right - right enough that it's not horrible.

    Regarding the original question on this post, the only experience I have with being invited to a shower and not the wedding is at work. I work at a high school, and there is NO WAY on earth that anyone who gets married at that school could invite even the half of the faculty she knew best. Usually, her close friends or her department get together and throw a shower, and everyone who has known and worked with the bride-to-be is invited. We all know and understand this is just a "work shower" - usually we get each other cards, or if we really like the person or have been close with them something small off of their registry. Mostly, it's a nice excuse to chit chat and have cake! Is your situation anything like this, because if so, the majority of people will understand. I think that's a time when it's acceptable, because if you work with someone closely for years, you want to celebrate their good fortune, and it's sort of an unspoken etiquette all our own we stick to.
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