Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal shower for intimate destination wedding

We have decided that having a traditional family wedding is way out of reach for us since we have so much family drama. With this in mind, we have decided to have an intimate wedding with just us, our dog, officiant, and photographer next May in Charleston. Our parents and grandparents know our plans and they agree that this is probably best for our situation. We still plan to celebrate somehow with our families when we get back (we`ll probably end up having a reception for each side of our families since both of our parents have been divorced).  My grandmother has said she would like to throw us a couples shower before the wedding and that we should still to register for gifts. I know that many people see this as rude to ask for gifts if you are not inviting people to your wedding, but since this is something she really wants to do I was just wanting to see if anyone had any input or had any ideas to make it seem less gift grabby and more celebratory of our future wedding. 

Re: Bridal shower for intimate destination wedding

  • We have decided that having a traditional family wedding is way out of reach for us since we have so much family drama. With this in mind, we have decided to have an intimate wedding with just us, our dog, officiant, and photographer next May in Charleston. Our parents and grandparents know our plans and they agree that this is probably best for our situation. We still plan to celebrate somehow with our families when we get back (we`ll probably end up having a reception for each side of our families since both of our parents have been divorced).  My grandmother has said she would like to throw us a couples shower before the wedding and that we should still to register for gifts. I know that many people see this as rude to ask for gifts if you are not inviting people to your wedding, but since this is something she really wants to do I was just wanting to see if anyone had any input or had any ideas to make it seem less gift grabby and more celebratory of our future wedding. 

    It's fine to register. That's simply your wish list.

    BUT you gave up the right to a shower when you crossed wedding guests off your list.

    As a compromise, Grandma may throw a bridal tea as a non gift giving event. This can still be risky but that's really the only thing she can do.
    SP29
  • I would say you have to decline any showers.

    Your grandma could throw you a party otherwise.  Depending on how long you've been engaged, maybe an engagement party.  Or throw you a party to celebrate your marriage when you get home.  DON'T register, and there'd be no expectation of gifts like with a shower.  But people are always welcome to bring gifts to parties if they really want to.

    That's just how it is when you have a private wedding.  No guests = no shower.

    SaveSave
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I agree with you-it would appear grabby to invite anyone to a shower or other wedding-related side event who isn't invited to your wedding. It would be acceptable to throw a "celebration" party sometime after the wedding, as long as it's not billed as a "reception" and that there is hospitality provided to those persons who actually do attend the wedding ceremony. I personally wouldn't register for gifts under the circumstances, but that's me-I don't think etiquette prohibits it, but it may come across to others as grabby if you do.
  • Don't have any pre-wedding parties if you have no guests at your wedding. Ask your grandmother to change the shower idea to a post-wedding celebration with no gifts after the wedding if she really wants to host something.
    LondonLisa
  • Any bridal shower guests MUST be invited to the wedding ceremony and reception.  If you don't have any guests at your wedding, then you don't get to have a bridal shower. 
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    SP29
  • In addition to bridal showers, you should not have any pre-wedding parties (Bridal Teas, engagement parties etc) as they are strictly only for guests invited to the wedding. Your gran may host an open house after the wedding, but it is rude to have any wedding related event before the ceremony as it rubs in the face of the guests that they are not invited to the event. 
    ShesSoColdSP29
  • You cannot invite people to a shower that are not invited to the wedding. This is tacky and rude, and yes, comes off as very gift-grabby. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • Since the only people who are going to be at your wedding are the officiant, photographer and your pup (and only 1 out of the 3 are not a paid vendor) then you don't get a any pre-wedding parties.

    If your Grandma really wants to throw you a party then she can throw you a "Congrats on your marriage" party AFTER your wedding.

  • Please dont do this. I was put in the position of hosting a shower for a relative before I knew they were doing a private ceremony. It was so awkward. People were asking ME questions as to why they weren't invited to the ceremony. Even trying to refer them back to the bride most wanted an answer that very minute. Decline the shower.  Also the receptions you are planning are parties. no dress, etc. etc.
    [Deleted User]
  • In addition to bridal showers, you should not have any pre-wedding parties (Bridal Teas, engagement parties etc) as they are strictly only for guests invited to the wedding. Your gran may host an open house after the wedding, but it is rude to have any wedding related event before the ceremony as it rubs in the face of the guests that they are not invited to the event. 
    Good point.  I wasn't thinking about the fact that engagement party guests should be invited to the wedding.  Really, only a congratulatory party for their wedding could be held, but without a wedding dress or wedding related things of course.

    SaveSave
  • Any guests invited to any sort of pre-wedding event must be invited to the wedding itself. Thus, no wedding guests, no parties.

    You *could* register. You wouldn't tell anyone you are registered, but if someone wanted to get you a gift because they want to, they can google you, or you can tell them IF they ask you, "I wanted to get you a wedding gift- is there anything you'd like for your home?". 

    Anyone can host a party for any reason, so as long as you aren't trying to re-create your wedding reception afterwards, party on! 
    [Deleted User]
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