Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal Shower Etiquette

Hey all!

I have a HUGE family! So my fiancée and I are kind of splitting our wedding up.  We are having a small 100 person wedding in March 2018 where I am just inviting my aunts & uncles.  Then plan on having an "I Do BBQ" in the summer of 2018 for my cousins.  Question is: would it be rude of me to invite my cousins to my bridal shower, even though they will not be getting invitations to the formal wedding?  Any and all advice is welcome, especially if you have experienced something similar. Thank you!

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Re: Bridal Shower Etiquette

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It would be rude.  Only people invited to the wedding itself should be invited to pre-wedding events.  


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    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    What's an "I Do BBQ"?

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    lizybeffInLoveInQueens
  • Yes it would be rude. If this I Do BBQ is just a party to hang with your cousins fine. But then it's not a wedding and only people invited to the wedding can be invited to the shower. 
    OurWildKingdomPrettyGirlLost
  • Etiquette is that only actual wedding guests should receive invitations to pre-wedding parties (showers, engagement, bachelorette, etc.). 

    Your cousins should not be invited to the shower because they are not invited to the actual wedding.
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    OurWildKingdomsparklepants41
  • ei34ei34 member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Yes it'd be rude.  Only guests invited to your actual wedding should be invited to pre-wedding parties.
    OurWildKingdom
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2017
    It is very rude to invite anyone to a pre-wedding event (shower) who is not also invited to the wedding.

    After your wedding, you may have as many parties as you wish.  They are not a part of your wedding.  Your barbecue will be a barbecue - nothing else.  It is NOT a wedding party.
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    OurWildKingdom
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers












    What's an "I Do BBQ"?






    It's a consolation prize party for people who weren't good enough to make the cut. It's for couple who want to try to get more gifts or who think that they are so important that people are falling all over themselves to attend some kind of wedding event. 





    I think this is a little harsh. I know there's a variety of opinions on celebration of marriage parties/meet the newlyweds parties but there's nothing wrong etiquette-wise with having a party, right? As long as people are hosted well, who cares? It's a little much to ascribe gift-grabbiness/self-importance to anyone who throws a post-wedding party. I think that pretty unnecessary but that doesn't make them wrong or against etiquette. 


    I think the title and the OP's context puts it into the realm of throwing a party in honor of yourselves, which is against etiquette. If a parent offered and was going to host it, or if it were just a normal BBQ the couple was throwing with the people they couldn't invite to the wedding, then I'm in the realm of unnecessary but fine.
    charlotte989875HeffalumpPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2017










    What's an "I Do BBQ"?






    It's a consolation prize party for people who weren't good enough to make the cut. It's for couple who want to try to get more gifts or who think that they are so important that people are falling all over themselves to attend some kind of wedding event. 





    It is a barbecue.  Gifts are not expected at barbecues.  If the OP wants to throw a barbecue party without trying to make it a part of her wedding, there is no problem.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg


  • IMO, it's fine to invite the cousins to celebrate your marriage at a later date, as long as everyone knows that you are married and the guests are properly hosted. The invitees are free to accept or decline the invitation. 

    And damn, what's wrong with cake? Even a fancy multi-tiered cake, at any party. We 'cut the cake' at birthday parties - the guest of honor blows out the candles, cuts the first few pieces and helps serve the guests. Is that only a thing with my family? 

    Your cousins shouldn't be invited to your shower if they aren't invited to your actual wedding ceremony. 



    To quote one of the film versions of Persuasion:
    "Mama doesn't care about the etiquette; it's the cake she cares about." 
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
    MairePoppySP29
  • Thank you all for your helpful information and some for your not so helpful and frankly RUDE comments.  My dad is one of 13 and my mom is one of 9 with all of my aunts and uncles having at least 2 kids.  The purpose of the "I Do BBQ" is to celebrate with my family (which if you have a close family you will know that they WILL care to celebrate with you) without having to pay an arm and a leg to do so, seeing as my fiancée and I are paying for everything ourselves.  The question was not to see how many gifts I can get but trying not to offend my girl cousins when I invite their mothers to the shower and not them.  But thank you to those who legit answered my question without imparting your own judgements to a stranger with a question. Geeze.
    JediElizabethKnottief82f9eec4f6705da
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer




    banana468 said:








    Thank you all for your helpful information and some for your not so helpful and frankly RUDE comments.  My dad is one of 13 and my mom is one of 9 with all of my aunts and uncles having at least 2 kids.  The purpose of the "I Do BBQ" is to celebrate with my family (which if you have a close family you will know that they WILL care to celebrate with you) without having to pay an arm and a leg to do so, seeing as my fiancée and I are paying for everything ourselves.  The question was not to see how many gifts I can get but trying not to offend my girl cousins when I invite their mothers to the shower and not them.  But thank you to those who legit answered my question without imparting your own judgements to a stranger with a question. Geeze.






    Honestly, the people I know in close families celebrate with them AT the wedding.

    My husband has 21 first cousins on one side of the family (from a family of 12 children and a family of 9 children) and two other cousins on his other side.  Many are now married and have kids of their own.   

    Because of how close we all are, the guests dictate the type of wedding and we don't let the type of wedding we want limit the guest list.

    As a result, there are plenty of weddings that take place int he backyard, under a tent, and aunts and cousins can help along with some easy catering.   A friend tends bar and the event works.

    If an after I-do event is common in your family then go for it.   But if you are creating this and it deviates from a family norm, I think you can also expect that it's just not going to feel the same for your extended cousins and may not go over as well / attendance may be limited. 






    Yes. My family is very close, and their solution was to make their wedding reception the lower cost-per-person event - i.e., if they couldn't afford to invite everyone to a fancier wedding, they just invited everyone to a BBQ reception after their wedding ceremony. That's how you include everyone.

    I agree with Scribe and Heffa that the title means that people will feel like they need to bring gifts, and they shouldn't have to feel that way, because they're not actually being included in your wedding.


    I ditto banana and flan's posts. I also have a large family. Having the people I want there is more important than having a fancier wedding. So we had a cake and punch afternoon wedding. In my family, the solution would be not to have what may quite likely feel like a "consolation prize" barbecue, but instead have the wedding ceremony right before the barbecue and have the barbecue be the reception. 
    short+sassyMandyMostPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • I just wanted to reiterate what some of the PPs have said.  If you all WANT to have a family get together/meet the new spouse BBQ, that's great.  But it truly isn't necessary.  It's okay to not invite your all's cousins to your wedding.  Especially since it sounds like it's an all or none situation anyway.  You're inviting in circles.  And the "cousin circle" is not being invited.  That's fine.  I don't know your family.  Maybe some of the cousins will have their nose bent out shape, but they shouldn't and most/all won't.

    I was one of the last of my cousins to get married.  Some of them invited me to their weddings, some of them didn't.  I invited most of them to my wedding, but not all.  And none of those decisions had to do with if I was/wasn't invited to theirs.  It was NBD to me if I didn't get an invite and I'm assuming the same was true for them.

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    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2017




    Thank you all for your helpful information and some for your not so helpful and frankly RUDE comments.  My dad is one of 13 and my mom is one of 9 with all of my aunts and uncles having at least 2 kids.  The purpose of the "I Do BBQ" is to celebrate with my family (which if you have a close family you will know that they WILL care to celebrate with you) without having to pay an arm and a leg to do so, seeing as my fiancée and I are paying for everything ourselves.  The question was not to see how many gifts I can get but trying not to offend my girl cousins when I invite their mothers to the shower and not them.  But thank you to those who legit answered my question without imparting your own judgements to a stranger with a question. Geeze.




    Everyone makes choices when they plan a budget wedding.  You have decided to cut your guest list.  That is your choice, so own it.

    My daughter chose to cut other things in her wedding so that she could invite everyone she wanted to come to her wedding.  No open bar, lunch reception instead of dinner, budget invitations from Vistaprint, very simple DIY centerpieces, no limo.

    As others have said, you can have your BBQ anytime, just don't try to make it a part of your wedding.  I think the name "I Do BBQ" is cheesy, anyway.  JMHO.


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    OurWildKingdomDrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueens
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