We planned to elope out of state, but felt guilty and told our parents and grandparents. Needless to say, we're not eloping anymore, but having an intimate destination wedding. The whole group of us is 13.
Our wedding is December 1st, just a very short time away. Our engagement time in total will be 120 days. The thing is on December 1st we will have been together 12 years. We own our house, and have everything we need. So we've decided not to register anywhere.
With my Fiance's family, there is no such thing as keeping a secret, so we shared our news either over the phone or over Facebook with our friends. We also decided not to do the reception thing once we get back as it will be right in the timeframe for everyone's holiday planning. So we decided to invite all our friends to the Bridal Shower.
Apparently, from reading the boards I've got 2 big No-No's right off the bat - inviting people to the shower not going to the wedding, and having a bridal shower without any gifts.
Really what I want is to celebrate the excitement with all our close friends and celebrate this milestone in our journey of love. Both mine and her's (originally the elopement witnesses) Maid of Honor will be hosting our Bridal Shower at our house. We'll be having a bonfire complete with S'mores. And that is the end of my assisting in planning the thing with the exception of the guest list and invites (I do a bit of graphic design, so I asked the MoH if I could handle this part.)
I don't think we will offend any of our friends with the ettticate "No-No's" we'll be doing. My question is how do I word the no gifts request to a shower, and how do I make it known that this invite and celebration is in lieu of coming to the wedding? I don't want to cause any scenes on the day of, so should this go directly on the invitation? Should I offer the guests that feel obliged to bring a gift an option? And what should that option be since we are well established in our household?
I am less worried about what is ettticate, and more worried about not hurting the feelings of our friends - if you can share advice I'd appreciate it!