Pre-wedding Parties

Weird family dynamics and a bridal shower guest list

MCmeowMCmeow member
500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
edited January 2017 in Pre-wedding Parties
So my best friend/bridesmaid asked me to send her a guest list for the bridal shower, this is harder than I thought! Although I'm certainly grateful she's planning it!

First, this made me realize I don't have many female friends, oops. With all of my closest female friends and family there I listed a total of 18 people including myself. I've heard small showers are better, but man is that too small?

Second, I have a LARGE family but I'm not very close to many of them. My mom is a drama queen and has issues with my dad's side of the family (they're divorced and I'm not as close to his side but we're friendly), I wouldn't mind inviting a few of them but when mentioning this to my mom she grumbled and made some reaction as if I was joking with her or doing this to spite her. They've never done anything wrong to her, it's more of a guilty by association thing, she thinks they're a horrible family that doesn't care about me or my brother, but we've just never been close, nothing wrong with that. I'm not sure how many of them to invite anyway, only the cousins? My grandma? Aunts too? I don't know if the aunts would get insulted if I only invite the cousins or grandma or whatever. I find it annoying that I always have to ask my mother how she feels about a person or decision, because she's not adult enough to deal with it, but I don't want drama out of this. So I risk either making my mother uncomfortable or alienating my dad's family that is already kinda alienated.
 
Third my older brother recently got engaged (Yay!) his fiance is really nice but we've never hung out or talked much. I wonder whether to invite her since we'll be SIL's soon, she won't know anyone at the party so eh...
Then there's the thought that this is a gift giving party, so it's difficult to evaluate my relationship with which people and whether I feel comfortable asking them to gift me things. How did you guys decide your list? Was it every female guest? Was it hierarchical? Should I just keep it as the small list without my dad's family?

Thanks!

Edit: FI's family is not in the country so they're sadly not in the picture.
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Re: Weird family dynamics and a bridal shower guest list

  • Invite who you want, and try and leave your mother out of it. If there are family members you'd like there, put them on the list. But a small shower is perfectly great too. If you aren't close to a lot of people that's okay, you'll be able to spend more time with them at the shower. 

    As for your brother's FI, I'd probably add her if it were me. She's going to be part of your family soon and it would be a nice gesture including. You definitely do t have to, but it would probably be nice if you did. 

    I had had a big shower because I only had one and that's what's done in my circle. It was hosted by all my BMs and my MIL so we invited people from both "sides", but definitely not all female guests. I had my cousins; my aunts; H's aunts and cousins; close friends of mine; and close friends of my mother and MIL. Big showers are a thing in my family, but it was hard to talk and really hang out with that many people. 
    MCmeow
  • MCmeowMCmeow member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2017
    Yeah I think the best idea would be to leave my dad's family out, I'm not close to them, maybe my grandma? And maybe the only two cousins I'm kinda close to? Otherwise I don't see myself talking to or entertaining my aunts much. And I'll definitely invite my future SIL. 

    And yes everyone invited is absolutely invited to the wedding. My mother tried to invite an extra friend and I explained this to her lol.
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  • Ditto PP.  If you'd like your father's side there, include them on the guest list. It really helps that your mother isn't hosting.  I don't know your family's dynamics, but just thinking of my own, I don't think I'd invite my grandmother but not aunts, or aunts but not cousins. (Unless there's like an aunt and cousin you're close to and they live nearby, whereas the rest you never see...maybe then I'd just invite the two).  But sometimes "all or none" is easier, if they're all within your BM's budget.
    I'd invite your brother's FI.  If the person in question was a woman he'd just started dating I may worry she'd think the invite was gift grabby, but this is your future SIL.
    MCmeow
  • eileenrob said:
    Ditto PP.  If you'd like your father's side there, include them on the guest list. It really helps that your mother isn't hosting.  I don't know your family's dynamics, but just thinking of my own, I don't think I'd invite my grandmother but not aunts, or aunts but not cousins. (Unless there's like an aunt and cousin you're close to and they live nearby, whereas the rest you never see...maybe then I'd just invite the two).  But sometimes "all or none" is easier, if they're all within your BM's budget.
    I'd invite your brother's FI.  If the person in question was a woman he'd just started dating I may worry she'd think the invite was gift grabby, but this is your future SIL.
    True! I'll have to think about all of that... 

    If your friend didn't give you any numbers, you may consider asking her for an estimated number of people she expects to host.
    Oh man, I should definitely do that, having a number would make the decision MUCH easier.
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you are close to your grandmother, I would definitely invite her. The same would go for any other relatives. Also, I don't think 18 is small at all. DD had around that number at her shower and it seemed pretty big!
  • First thing's first, get a number from your BM. She should have a general number for 1) how big her space is and 2) how many she can afford to host. 
    Once you have the number from your BM, fill it with whoever you're closest to. 

    I don't think 18 is too small. Keep in mind that, to be polite, you need to socialize with each guest. And you need to open each person's gift, take time to oogle it/comment how much you value it, and thank them verbally before moving on to the next gift. That takes time - you don't want too many people/too much stuff.

    If your mom's a drama queen, don't include her in any conversations about the shower. All she needs to know is when/where to show up. 
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    MCmeow
  • 18 is not too small. I think mine was around 15.

    Invite who you want there. I don't think you should feel bad about wanting to invite your dad's side of the family, or not invite them just because of your Mom, but you also aren't required to invite them, and if you aren't that close, it's fine not to invite them.

    I would invite your SIL.
    MCmeow
  • I've asked them. My best friend is new to this stuff too so she's having this conversation with the other bridesmaids. They want me to give them the list first lol. I'm guessing they're going to start planning from the list.
    An older bridesmaid (cousin) recommended that I can invite close male relatives and friends if I want because that's what she has seen in most bridal showers. But that sounds weird to me. I wouldn't mind inviting my brothers and then my future SIL won't be alone. But I think keeping it as women-only wouldn't confuse people into thinking it's a couples shower (my FH wouldn't be interested in a couples shower, just a bachelor party :p). Is this actually common? Maybe just in her circle?
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    ei34
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Twenty guests were invited to my daughter's shower, eighteen showed up. It was perfect. I prefer small showers to large showers where the majority of time is spent watching the bride open gifts. 

                       
    Heffalump
  • My shower was around 30-35 people I believe, and honestly it felt like too many (they were all people I am close to and absolutely had to invite, so nothing I could have done about it). I think a shower of 15-20 would be nice. 

    I also think it would be a little weird to invite males unless you are having a couples shower/your fiancé will be there. And at this point, it because a social gathering where you need to invite all SOs. So personally I wouldn't do that.
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueens
  • MCmeow said:
    I've asked them. My best friend is new to this stuff too so she's having this conversation with the other bridesmaids. They want me to give them the list first lol. I'm guessing they're going to start planning from the list.
    An older bridesmaid (cousin) recommended that I can invite close male relatives and friends if I want because that's what she has seen in most bridal showers. But that sounds weird to me. I wouldn't mind inviting my brothers and then my future SIL won't be alone. But I think keeping it as women-only wouldn't confuse people into thinking it's a couples shower (my FH wouldn't be interested in a couples shower, just a bachelor party :p). Is this actually common? Maybe just in her circle?
    I wouldn't invite males unless you are having a couples shower (which is fine if you'd like to!).
    MCmeow
  • SP29 said:
    MCmeow said:
    I've asked them. My best friend is new to this stuff too so she's having this conversation with the other bridesmaids. They want me to give them the list first lol. I'm guessing they're going to start planning from the list.
    An older bridesmaid (cousin) recommended that I can invite close male relatives and friends if I want because that's what she has seen in most bridal showers. But that sounds weird to me. I wouldn't mind inviting my brothers and then my future SIL won't be alone. But I think keeping it as women-only wouldn't confuse people into thinking it's a couples shower (my FH wouldn't be interested in a couples shower, just a bachelor party :p). Is this actually common? Maybe just in her circle?
    I wouldn't invite males unless you are having a couples shower (which is fine if you'd like to!).

    Yeah I even asked my younger brother (Not the engaged one) how he would feel if he were invited to a bridal shower and he said "Eh I wouldn't feel comfortable going to one". So that made the decision easier lol. Sent them the list. Just my closest female family and friends not including my dad's family (Will see them at the wedding anyway!), and my future SIL is on the list as well, and it'll be up to her if she feels comfortable enough to come :D. Thanks for the advice! Just have to say, I've been slowly asking questions here since I first got engaged in 2015 which feels so long ago and now it's at the final months and it feels crazy!
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