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Pre-wedding Parties

Bridal Shower 3 days before wedding

Hi all! I want to start by saying that I know this is still several months away (10ish?) but my mom and bridesmaids have started working on my bridal shower. They think that it is best for my bridal shower to be on the Wednesday or Thursday before my wedding, which will be that Saturday. I would say 80% of our guest list is out of town, and at least 50% is out of state, and across the country. For example, we live in Montana, and all of my Fiancés' family as well as my extended family live on the East Coast. 

Anyways, I get a call from my grandmother about this shower a few days ago, complaining about it being right before the wedding. And that a Bridal shower on Thursday, Rehearsal Dinner on Friday and Wedding on Saturday sounds "exhausting". Her words, not mine. 

I am trying to "keep my hand out of the cookie jar" so to speak, and not be involved whatsoever, but I am just wondering if this is a normal reaction that most of the people invited will have as well. I would also love to know what people did in this situation, whose family was so far away, and would be unable to attend if it wasn't a few days before the wedding. 

My mom keeps turning to me about this, as she eloped and didn't have any "wedding festivities" and I keep referring her to my bridesmaids but none of them have been in this situation either. 

I really want to do what is convenient for everyone, but I would also like my FMIL to be able to attend, as well as other family and friends. 

Would really love to hear thoughts on a bridal shower a few days before and if it seems/feels "gift grabby" (as my grandmother so lovingly put it)!! thx 

Re: Bridal Shower 3 days before wedding

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all! I want to start by saying that I know this is still several months away (10ish?) but my mom and bridesmaids have started working on my bridal shower. They think that it is best for my bridal shower to be on the Wednesday or Thursday before my wedding, which will be that Saturday. I would say 80% of our guest list is out of town, and at least 50% is out of state, and across the country. For example, we live in Montana, and all of my Fiancés' family as well as my extended family live on the East Coast. 

    Anyways, I get a call from my grandmother about this shower a few days ago, complaining about it being right before the wedding. And that a Bridal shower on Thursday, Rehearsal Dinner on Friday and Wedding on Saturday sounds "exhausting". Her words, not mine. 

    I am trying to "keep my hand out of the cookie jar" so to speak, and not be involved whatsoever, but I am just wondering if this is a normal reaction that most of the people invited will have as well. I would also love to know what people did in this situation, whose family was so far away, and would be unable to attend if it wasn't a few days before the wedding. 

    My mom keeps turning to me about this, as she eloped and didn't have any "wedding festivities" and I keep referring her to my bridesmaids but none of them have been in this situation either. 

    I really want to do what is convenient for everyone, but I would also like my FMIL to be able to attend, as well as other family and friends. 

    Would really love to hear thoughts on a bridal shower a few days before and if it seems/feels "gift grabby" (as my grandmother so lovingly put it)!! thx 
    Were you planning on your guests making a vacation out of your wedding?  Typically if I have to travel for a wedding, I may make a long weekend of it at most.  I would not typically spend 5+ days on a wedding.  I only get two personal days a year.
    Unfortunately, showers are not always possible because of the distance among families.  I would suggest a shower based on the typical timeline.  Even if out of town, invite close family and friends.  They may not be able to come but they will want to be included in the thought.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think your grandmother is right - that's too many wedding events crammed into too few days. Also, are you expecting all the out of town guests to arrive on Wednesday to be able to attend the shower? That's a very long trip for a wedding. Wednesday until Sunday? 

    Which family members live close to you? Just your immediate family? 

    Sometimes in a situation like this. it's just not possible to have a shower with everyone in attendance that you want. Unless you travel to the east coast a few months before the wedding and have one there. 

    short+sassycharlotte989875downtondiva
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think your grandmother is right - that's too many wedding events crammed into too few days. Also, are you expecting all the out of town guests to arrive on Wednesday to be able to attend the shower? That's a very long trip for a wedding. Wednesday until Sunday? 

    Which family members live close to you? Just your immediate family? 

    Sometimes in a situation like this. it's just not possible to have a shower with everyone in attendance that you want. Unless you travel to the east coast a few months before the wedding and have one there. 
    I agree with all of this. 


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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 21
    Yeah, unless it's my sister, I'm probably not coming into town for an OOT wedding any earlier than Friday. I'm not taking the majority of my week for this event. I'd decline the shower even if I were attending the wedding.

    We are going to make a vacation trip out of my brother's OOT wedding next year, but I'd be annoyed by the expectation that we'll be tethered to the wedding city. We'll probably be exploring the surrounding area and I don't need to dedicate one of my vacation days to making sure I get back to the wedding location for a shower.

    Agree with others that you can plan a shower for a different time, but you may still get a lot of declines because of the distance. That's just how life is.
    charlotte989875
  • MRDCleMRDCle member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I've traveled to an OOT wedding on a Thursday before. The bride wanted us to attend a shower, a rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and a post wedding get together.  It was definitely A LOT, especially since we were using our limited PTO to make it a mini-vacation. I think that it's fine to have a shower, around the wedding time but I would expect a lot of declines. Scheduling a small shower at an earlier date or in a location closer to family may be easier.
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree, I think it's too much wedding stuff.  I attend DW's based more on their location than my closeness to the couple- is this somewhere I want to travel?  Under that guise, it's my vacation, with 4-6 hours one of the days at a wedding. 
    That said, guests (including your grandmother) are free to attend and not attend whatever they want- my parents and one of my siblings are actually attending my cousin's DW in Jamaica over Labor Day weekend.  The invitation included a full line up- welcome beach bonfire Friday, reheardsal dinner Sat, wedding Sunday, brunch on Monday...they're all just going to the wedding only.  If a shower works the host(s) should go ahead and the people who don't want to go should just pass.  That said, I'd personally follow a more typical timeline (shower 1-3 months out, or whatever it is) and whoever can attend can attend.
    charlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I wouldn't travel for a shower, even if I was already going to travel for the wedding a few days later. Being at a Wednesday shower means people now have to take time off W-F, some on Tuesday too. That's just too much to ask.

    Choose a different weekend a month or two before the wedding and invite who you want, but don't be disappointed if people don't make it. Or if you're located somewhere that you don't have anyone local, it may be best to just decline the shower. 
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • I agree with the other PPs.  It's too many wedding festivities in too short a time.  Plus, by having a shower on a weekday night, you might even have local guests that can't come because of work and other commitments.  And the very OOT guests you are thinking of, might not come into town that early anyway.

    While you are correct to stay largely stay out of the planning, I do think the scheduling of it is fine to mention to your mom and BMs.  And that you prefer a weekend day that is the more typical 1-2 months or so out from your wedding.  And if OOT guests can't make it or chose not to travel for it... even VIPs like your FMIL...that's okay.  It's impossible to have the "perfect" date for everyone.

    I was a BM in a friend's wedding, but live far away from her.  Same thing with my sister.  I didn't make an extra trip for either of their showers.  I also wouldn't have expected or wanted them to make special arrangements to pack the shower into an otherwise hectic week, just so I could have gone.  
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree that is too many activities surrounding the wedding weekend. I'd have one a couple of months before on a weekend for the same reasons stated by PPs.  A shower doesn't have to include all OOT family and friends. Have the hostess send invitations to the ones you want to be there but be gracious if they can't make it. When I was married (many years ago), I had 2 showers. Neither my MIL or my two SILs attended either of them (they were sent invitations). No big deal.  
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In my experience, it's extremely common to have the shower within a few days of wedding. My shower was like that, a friend's, my sister's, my cousin's now wife's, my now sister-in-law's. Sure, maybe everyone can't come, but that could happen with a shower at any time.

    I disagree with your grandma. 

  • It's not so much gift-grabby as time-grabby. If your guests are coming from far away, they will most likely want to fly in on Friday and stay until Sunday. If they're also invited to the shower, this would mean taking an extra day or two off work and booking more nights in a hotel or Airbnb. 
  • And I totally understand that! I believe that the majority of our VIP guests who would be the ones invited to the shower are planning on flying in on Monday or Tuesday before our wedding, and then leaving Sunday or Monday after. Most of them plan on spending an entire week here and making it a family vacation/reunion almost. However, I certainly don't want to be "time grabby" of their vacation. Since they will be coming for an entire week, 5 days minimum, that is why my mom was thinking it wouldn't be too crammed into their schedule, but it honestly might be too much, and I totally get that. 
  • With something like this, I'd honestly leave it up to your mom or the potential shower hostess to converse with the potential guests.   She can ask, "Hey, while you're in town are you open to a shower for @summer2020?"  They may say that they're going to be busy or they may want to use that time for an intimate family gathering.

    Grandma's not out of line and her opinion should certainly be taken into consideration.   And if there are other guests involved here if the hostess can talk to them individually and ask how they honestly feel that may help figure out if this is a decent idea or if it would go over like a lead balloon.  

    If you have guests who are traveling as families/couples then one word of caution is that I'd consider a coed shower or an event that's open to all who traveled from out of town if the concept of a shower means that you have out of town guests sitting around with nothing to do.  
    ILoveBeachMusicshort+sassycharlotte989875
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