Pre-wedding Parties

Bridal shower compromise?

So here's my dilemma and I could use advice from other brides because I'm surrounded by non-married friends and married family members who have never been in this situation. :)

My MIL just now told me that she wants to throw me a bridal shower. Lovely and thoughtful, right? And I'm very happy that she wants to do this for me. I love her to pieces and she's so sweet. I really could not have asked for a better MIL. But here are all the problems (are you ready? I'm long-winded so you've been properly warned in advance.):

I wasn't planning on having a bridal shower. We didn't do an engagement party and I've been saying from the get go, "An engagement party? A bridal shower? A bachelorette party? A rehearsal dinner? Then the wedding? How many parties do you get out of one freakin' day?" I think it's all excessive.

Everyone already bitched and moaned about the fact that I didn't want a bridal shower. "What about gifts?!" The thing is, we've lived together since we were in college (seven years). It was hard enough registering for wedding gifts. The only reason we gave in on the wedding gifts is because everyone told me that most guests will bring gifts anyway and then some people won't and they will feel like asses and we might as well get things that we need rather than having people stress about it. And my great-grandmother and my aunt tugged at my heart strings by telling me that my great-grandmother got my aunt china for her wedding and that my aunt plans to pass it down to her daughter and don't I want nice heirlooms to give to my children after my great-grandma, grandparents, and the like are gone? Cue me tearing up and caving.

MIL lives six hours away. She asked for a list of women from her area (Fiance's family) that we are inviting so she can send out invites to the shower she wants to plan. Well... my fiance doesn't have a big family and we're having a small wedding (and we are the ones throwing our wedding). The only women from there that we are inviting to the wedding are MIL, Fiance's sister (a bridesmaid), Fiance's aunt (and her two daughters that we rarely see and they probably won't even be able to attend the wedding). So she'd be sending out invitations to four people... tops.

On top of that, I work weekends. (Any other weekend working brides wanting to rip their hair out too?) MIL and SIL both have weekends off. I'm already taking off work an entire week for the wedding and trying to decide how I can swing our (very low-key) Jack and Jill bachelor/bachelorette party since most of our friends and family also work weekends but Fiance does not.

When MIL told me she wanted me to request a weekend off for the shower, I said, "Oh, that's very nice. But I don't know if I can get the time off to come up there right now." She said, "But you do so much at work. They owe you. You're getting married. They'll understand."

I should have (nicely) put my foot down then. But I bit my tongue because, at that moment, I got a little peeved and what I wanted to say was, "Why am I the one being put out and inconvenienced for a bridal shower that is supposed to be for me that I don't even want?" But that's horribly rude and ungrateful. And I don't want to be THAT bride. *shudder* Quite frankly, I'm feeling guilty that I even thought that.

But to go along with this requires me to take more time off work, travel twelve hours in total, spend money to travel that we shouldn't be spending since we're reserving all our extra cash for the wedding... all just to sit at MIL's house for a bridal shower where the only people there will be MIL, SIL, and Fiance's aunt - and MIL and SIL don't even get along with that aunt. And the time! I'm already stressed and feeling over-whelmed with all I have to do. (Screw Pinterest for making me think I can DIY so much. SMH)

When I lamented to my fiance, he just said, "Well, I'll just tell my mom that you can't and that's ridiculous. End of discussion. It'll be fine." Yeah, and hopefully she'll get us that new knife set so you can have a more humane way of ripping her heart out. I know MIL feels left out of the wedding planning because she lives so far away. I really want to include her, but I'm having trouble including my own family and wedding party because I don't have much for anyone else to do. Fiance and I are just very independent people and don't want to burden others.

So here's what I'm thinking as a compromise and please tell me if this sounds like a bitch move.

My family and another bridesmaid were already going to plan a day to help me with wedding crafts. (I come from a long line of crafty women, thank God.) I'd like to see if there is a Saturday coming up that would work for them since they all already meet for some Craft Days at my grandmother's on weekends (this is actually a family tradition too). I'm pretty sure I can swing a Saturday. Sundays are out of the question though. My grandmother's house is directly in the middle of me and MIL and MIL already offered to drive all the way down to my house to work on wedding stuff if I needed her to. 

What if we planned a big Craft Day on a Saturday at my grandmother's and just make that my "bridal shower?" No gifts. No fuss. Just pizza, chit chat, coffee, and spray painting wine bottles. MIL can bring SIL and they don't have to invite the aunt since she's MIL's exSIL and would throw a fit about not being invited to a formal shower up by her but wouldn't even want to come to a Craft Day three hours away from her. Plus, if that woman comes, she'll be giving me advice on what to do to her nephew's prostate in front of my great-grandmother (not even joking) and MIL knows this. She'd be more than relieved not to have to be around her. MIL loves my family and they love her. I just think it would be a lovely, relaxing day of bringing all the women together doing things that we all already have fun doing. MIL prides herself on throwing parties, so I hate to deprive her of this but thought this would be a nice compromise and a great way to include her so she doesn't feel so left out.

Is this rude? Is it weird? Should we just throw in the towel and elope? (Kidding...kind of.) Thoughts? If you've read all the way to this point then you deserve a metal, btw.

Re: Bridal shower compromise?

  • It's not a shower if there are no gifts.  But, yes, feel free to invite FMIL to craft day at gramma's.  Tell FMIL that due to the size of the wedding, there just aren't enough people in her area invited to justify having a party up there.  Tell her that after the wedding you promise to take a weekend off to attend a party at her place, if it's not wedding-related she can invite more people and do the hosting she really wants to do.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    So here's my dilemma and I could use advice from other brides because I'm surrounded by non-married friends and married family members who have never been in this situation. :)


    My MIL just now told me that she wants to throw me a bridal shower. Lovely and thoughtful, right? And I'm very happy that she wants to do this for me. I love her to pieces and she's so sweet. I really could not have asked for a better MIL. But here are all the problems (are you ready? I'm long-winded so you've been properly warned in advance.):

    I wasn't planning on having a bridal shower. We didn't do an engagement party and I've been saying from the get go, "An engagement party? A bridal shower? A bachelorette party? A rehearsal dinner? Then the wedding? How many parties do you get out of one freakin' day?" I think it's all excessive.

    Everyone already bitched and moaned about the fact that I didn't want a bridal shower. "What about gifts?!" The thing is, we've lived together since we were in college (seven years). It was hard enough registering for wedding gifts. The only reason we gave in on the wedding gifts is because everyone told me that most guests will bring gifts anyway and then some people won't and they will feel like asses and we might as well get things that we need rather than having people stress about it. And my great-grandmother and my aunt tugged at my heart strings by telling me that my great-grandmother got my aunt china for her wedding and that my aunt plans to pass it down to her daughter and don't I want nice heirlooms to give to my children after my great-grandma, grandparents, and the like are gone? Cue me tearing up and caving.

    MIL lives six hours away. She asked for a list of women from her area (Fiance's family) that we are inviting so she can send out invites to the shower she wants to plan. Well... my fiance doesn't have a big family and we're having a small wedding (and we are the ones throwing our wedding). The only women from there that we are inviting to the wedding are MIL, Fiance's sister (a bridesmaid), Fiance's aunt (and her two daughters that we rarely see and they probably won't even be able to attend the wedding). So she'd be sending out invitations to four people... tops.

    On top of that, I work weekends. (Any other weekend working brides wanting to rip their hair out too?) MIL and SIL both have weekends off. I'm already taking off work an entire week for the wedding and trying to decide how I can swing our (very low-key) Jack and Jill bachelor/bachelorette party since most of our friends and family also work weekends but Fiance does not.

    When MIL told me she wanted me to request a weekend off for the shower, I said, "Oh, that's very nice. But I don't know if I can get the time off to come up there right now." She said, "But you do so much at work. They owe you. You're getting married. They'll understand."

    I should have (nicely) put my foot down then. But I bit my tongue because, at that moment, I got a little peeved and what I wanted to say was, "Why am I the one being put out and inconvenienced for a bridal shower that is supposed to be for me that I don't even want?" But that's horribly rude and ungrateful. And I don't want to be THAT bride. *shudder* Quite frankly, I'm feeling guilty that I even thought that.

    But to go along with this requires me to take more time off work, travel twelve hours in total, spend money to travel that we shouldn't be spending since we're reserving all our extra cash for the wedding... all just to sit at MIL's house for a bridal shower where the only people there will be MIL, SIL, and Fiance's aunt - and MIL and SIL don't even get along with that aunt. And the time! I'm already stressed and feeling over-whelmed with all I have to do. (Screw Pinterest for making me think I can DIY so much. SMH)

    When I lamented to my fiance, he just said, "Well, I'll just tell my mom that you can't and that's ridiculous. End of discussion. It'll be fine." Yeah, and hopefully she'll get us that new knife set so you can have a more humane way of ripping her heart out. I know MIL feels left out of the wedding planning because she lives so far away. I really want to include her, but I'm having trouble including my own family and wedding party because I don't have much for anyone else to do. Fiance and I are just very independent people and don't want to burden others.

    So here's what I'm thinking as a compromise and please tell me if this sounds like a bitch move.

    My family and another bridesmaid were already going to plan a day to help me with wedding crafts. (I come from a long line of crafty women, thank God.) I'd like to see if there is a Saturday coming up that would work for them since they all already meet for some Craft Days at my grandmother's on weekends (this is actually a family tradition too). I'm pretty sure I can swing a Saturday. Sundays are out of the question though. My grandmother's house is directly in the middle of me and MIL and MIL already offered to drive all the way down to my house to work on wedding stuff if I needed her to. 

    What if we planned a big Craft Day on a Saturday at my grandmother's and just make that my "bridal shower?" No gifts. No fuss. Just pizza, chit chat, coffee, and spray painting wine bottles. MIL can bring SIL and they don't have to invite the aunt since she's MIL's exSIL and would throw a fit about not being invited to a formal shower up by her but wouldn't even want to come to a Craft Day three hours away from her. Plus, if that woman comes, she'll be giving me advice on what to do to her nephew's prostate in front of my great-grandmother (not even joking) and MIL knows this. She'd be more than relieved not to have to be around her. MIL loves my family and they love her. I just think it would be a lovely, relaxing day of bringing all the women together doing things that we all already have fun doing. MIL prides herself on throwing parties, so I hate to deprive her of this but thought this would be a nice compromise and a great way to include her so she doesn't feel so left out.

    Is this rude? Is it weird? Should we just throw in the towel and elope? (Kidding...kind of.) Thoughts? If you've read all the way to this point then you deserve a metal, btw.
    I wouldn't phrase it like you are expecting her to help, but I would say, "MIL, I am so blessed that you want to throw a shower for us.  Unfortunately it's just not going to work out with my schedule and such a small guest list.  But on X date I am planning on having a craft day with my Mom and Grandma, and we would love it if you would come and spend time with us." 


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    AddieCakeMairePoppy
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