Pre-wedding Parties

Wedding Shower?

I'm getting married this October, and my fiance and I were discussing having an engagement party/wedding shower in July. We weren't planning to invite all of the wedding guests, mainly just immediate family, the bridal party, and a few closer friends. His sister had said it's common to have a wedding shower for gifts and then guests give cash for a gift at the actual wedding. I have never heard of this. Has anyone else done this? I kind of feel like it would be tacky to expect people to give a physical gift AND cash. We did agree it would be nice to get people together before the wedding to celebrate, though.

EDIT: Clarification: our mothers want to throw the party and we were discussing if we actually want it to be a "shower" or not as well as who would be invited, since I had never heard of a "wedding shower". We're not trying to throw a wedding party for ourselves.

Re: Wedding Shower?

  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Showers and engagement parties are thrown for you, not by you. You should not throw them yourself nor tell anyone that they have to. It's tacky to throw a party honoring yourself.

    If someone offers then showers are gift giving occasions. Wedding presents depend on your social circle: some are almost all cash, some all gifts from a registry, some a mix of both. Most (not all) of your guests will bring a gift to the wedding whether or not they brought a shower gift already.

    That being said you can certainly throw a party or get together for your families and friends, just take the wedding part out of it.
    InLoveInQueens
  • edited April 20
    Clarification added.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Ditto the PPs. A shower (or an engagement party) is a party thrown for you by someone else. It's tacky to throw a party like this for yourself. 

    It seems a little odd to have an engagement party 3 months before your wedding. But if you want to get everyone together, just invite them over for a regular party. 

    If someone offers to throw you a shower, great. Register for some gifts. Typically what's done in my circle is we bring a gift to the shower and a cash gift to the wedding. 
    image
    InLoveInQueens
  • edited April 20
    Thanks for the input. As I clarified, our mothers want to throw the party. Maybe it's a bit unconventional, but even with the party being thrown for us, we would like to have input in some of the planning (i.e. food, who's invited), but I apologize for my original wording confusing anyone. Even I know enough to not throw a wedding party for ourselves!  :D 
    But anyway. We'll probably just let them go for it, since we didn't do an actual engagement party and I have zero interest in the bridal shower my MOH and mom were talking about (don't attack me). But from your comments it seems to be normal to have a registry for any type of shower occurring before the wedding, which was really what my main concern was.
  • OP, PPs have it covered. I just want to add that anyone invited to the shower must also be invited to the wedding. 
    InLoveInQueensILoveBeachMusic
  • SP29SP29 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No one here would attack you for not wanting a shower- it is perfectly OK to decline one if you don't want one.

    But you DO seem to be OK with your families throwing you a "pre-wedding" party, of which engagement and shower are really your only options. You can have a couples shower. Of course you can have a party at any time for any reason, so it doesn't need to have a wedding-related title attached to it.

    If you do have a shower- you should have a registry. Showers are gift giving events. You don't get to say when people can or cannot give you gifts, and it is common that guests will give a shower gift and wedding gift (usually physical and then cash gift- but this varies based on your circle), so if you don't want a party that is for gift giving, don't have a shower. You could also have a tea or luncheon, which doesn't directly ask for gifts, though you may still receive some.




  • Thanks for the input. As I clarified, our mothers want to throw the party. Maybe it's a bit unconventional, but even with the party being thrown for us, we would like to have input in some of the planning (i.e. food, who's invited), but I apologize for my original wording confusing anyone. Even I know enough to not throw a wedding party for ourselves!  :D 
    But anyway. We'll probably just let them go for it, since we didn't do an actual engagement party and I have zero interest in the bridal shower my MOH and mom were talking about (don't attack me). But from your comments it seems to be normal to have a registry for any type of shower occurring before the wedding, which was really what my main concern was.


    Yeah what most guests invited will think when they attend is "this is a couples shower". If there was absolutely no mention of your wedding, it'd just be a party.  Showers definitely have registries.  Like some PP, in my circle it's physical gifts at showers and cash/checks at the wedding itself.  There were 175 guests at my wedding, and we received two physical gifts.
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