Pre-wedding Parties

Showers and Mothers

Is it an etiquette faux-pas for a mother/FMIL to host the shower?  I read recently that it is seen as gift grabby for the moms to host?

Both FMIL and her SIL keep asking me [separately] if I'd like them to host a shower for both families (since my sister is out of town and my mom is handicapped).  I have told them both on a few occasions now that I think that would be nice and that my family would think so as well.  But they have asked numerous times over the past 4 months and I get the feeling they want me to outright ask them to host one, which I won't do.  But obviously if it's in poor taste for FMIL to host I want to be able to address that directly.  Thoughts?
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Re: Showers and Mothers

  • labrolabro Hotlanta
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    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.



  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    labro said:

    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.

    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives.

    That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.
  • @kimmiinthemitten were you reading weddingwire? I was doing a bit of lurking over there this week there was a whole thread on this. Those ladies have had some BSC threads recently, made for some entertaining reading to pass the Christmas travelling!

    I have never attended a bridal shower (they aren't really a 'thing' over here), but from the outside looking in my understanding is that this event is purely based on gift giving? Showering the couple with gifts was how my american friend described it to me. I get it looking gift grabby if the bride threw it for herself, or invited people not on the guest list for the actual wedding, or had more than one with the same guest list etc but I guess I don't really see the difference if its a mum / friend / relative. The whole purpose of the event is to give gifts. Might be wrong but I personally don't see the issue.
                 
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    @kimmiinthemitten were you reading weddingwire? I was doing a bit of lurking over there this week there was a whole thread on this. Those ladies have had some BSC threads recently, made for some entertaining reading to pass the Christmas travelling! I have never attended a bridal shower (they aren't really a 'thing' over here), but from the outside looking in my understanding is that this event is purely based on gift giving? Showering the couple with gifts was how my american friend described it to me. I get it looking gift grabby if the bride threw it for herself, or invited people not on the guest list for the actual wedding, or had more than one with the same guest list etc but I guess I don't really see the difference if its a mum / friend / relative. The whole purpose of the event is to give gifts. Might be wrong but I personally don't see the issue.
    To the bolded, that's what I thought too!

    And yes, I googled it and did see that thread on WW, but I saw that opinion in many other places too.  That was a few days ago though, so I'll have to go back and see what's new haha.
    image
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    Jen4948 said:
    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.
    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives. That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.
    So when I hosted both my sisters bridal and baby showers was that against etiquette too?  We're far closer with each other than our mother.
    image
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    I found this ....http://www.etiquettedaily.com/2012/09/family-faux-pas-throwing-a-bridal-shower-for-an-immediate-family-member/#sthash.1369vjg8.dpbs

    Personally, I find it a bit AW-ish when the MOB / MOG hosts. I can't put my finger on why, though.



    Anniversary
  • To me, I think this is only a problem if the bride is part of her parent's household - if I got married when I was 20, it would seem weird for my parents to host a shower for me. Then, @Jen4948's point that "it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives" makes a lot of sense.

    However, I haven't been part of my mom's household for over a decade, and she's not really involved in planning or paying for my wedding. She's my mom, and of course we're close, but not in any financial or household way. I think it would seem far more gift-grabby of my roommate (who lives with me and FI, and would probably get to use the household gifts) to host a shower than for her.

    Most of my friends are in the same boat, which is likely why I wouldn't think twice about it. 

    (For the record, my OOT best friend has already offered to plan a shower for me, so I don't have any personal skin in this game. ;) )
    SP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    Jen4948 said:
    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.
    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives. That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.
    So when I hosted both my sisters bridal and baby showers was that against etiquette too?  We're far closer with each other than our mother.
    According to traditional etiquette, yes.  But according to many people today, no.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    Jen4948 said:
    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.
    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives. That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.
    So when I hosted both my sisters bridal and baby showers was that against etiquette too?  We're far closer with each other than our mother.
    No. The old rule only applied to mothers. A sister would never have been expected to provide a dowry or to help the young couple with necessities, so it doesn't follow that it's poor form for her to host the shower. 

    I still know some mothers that wouldn't be comfortable hosting a shower, but I don't think many people still side eye it in 2015.  
    ViczaesarSTARMOON44
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    Jen4948 said:

    labro said:

    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.

    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives.

    That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.

    So when I hosted both my sisters bridal and baby showers was that against etiquette too?  We're far closer with each other than our mother.

    No. The old rule only applied to mothers. A sister would never have been expected to provide a dowry or to help the young couple with necessities, so it doesn't follow that it's poor form for her to host the shower. 

    I still know some mothers that wouldn't be comfortable hosting a shower, but I don't think many people still side eye it in 2015.  

    Wrong. The old rule applied to close family members, so that included mothers, sisters, and anyone perceived as a close family member, like an aunt or a grandmother who lived in the same household as the honoree. It had nothing to do with "dowries" or "necessities." The idea behind the rule is that to solicit gifts for oneself or close family members has the appearance of gift-grabbiness.

    But since many people don't follow the rule anymore (with the exception of not hosting showers for themselves), any person other than yourself can host a shower for you.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
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    edited December 2015
    In my circle, it's the norm for the MOB and/or the MOG to host a shower. It's not that we're showing off, it's that we don't expect the bm or friends to take on the expense of hosting our family members. Anyone, except the bride or groom, may host a shower.
                
    SP29
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    Jen4948 said:

    Jen4948 said:
    I've never been to a shower hosted by the bride's mother or FMIL so the idea is definitely uncomfortable to me. With that said, I totally agree that the restriction is old-fashioned for sure. Also, I don't know if it's different but my mom and several other mothers I know have all hosted showers for their daughters who were moms to be. Seems like a double standard that it's ok to host a baby shower for your daughter/daughter in law but not a wedding shower? I don't know.
    It's against traditional etiquette for mothers and MILs to host baby showers for their daughters and daughters-in-law for the same reason it is against traditional etiquette for MOBs and MOGs to host bridal showers: because it is not appropriate to solicit gifts for close relatives. That said, if your FMIL and FSIL really want to host a shower for you, you can agree to it. If you're concerned that someone will see it as gift-grabby, you might ask that the party not be billed as a "shower" but as a party or occasion that doesn't carry a gift-giving expectation.
    So when I hosted both my sisters bridal and baby showers was that against etiquette too?  We're far closer with each other than our mother.
    No. The old rule only applied to mothers. A sister would never have been expected to provide a dowry or to help the young couple with necessities, so it doesn't follow that it's poor form for her to host the shower. 

    I still know some mothers that wouldn't be comfortable hosting a shower, but I don't think many people still side eye it in 2015.  
    Wrong. The old rule applied to close family members, so that included mothers, sisters, and anyone perceived as a close family member, like an aunt or a grandmother who lived in the same household as the honoree. It had nothing to do with "dowries" or "necessities." The idea behind the rule is that to solicit gifts for oneself or close family members has the appearance of gift-grabbiness. But since many people don't follow the rule anymore (with the exception of not hosting showers for themselves), any person other than yourself can host a shower for you.
    Sorry, but no. The custom of the shower was originally created to provide a bride with a dowry when her parents didn't have the means to provide one. The shower allowed the community to provide the dowry so the woman could get married. The faux pas of a mother not throwing the shower is because the dowry was the mother's (and father's) duty to begin with.

    This had nothing to do with siblings, grandmothers, or any other family members. The idea that a close family member should not throw a shower is one of those bastardized etiquette "rules" that got invented somewhere along the line. Much like having a year to send a thank you note or cover your plate, someone made it up and it sounded right to someone else who passed it along. 

    Yes, the whole thing is pretty dated and out of favor in 2015 anyway so it's probably moot, but history is relevant to custom. 
    spockforprez
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