Pre-wedding Parties

Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?

 My FH and I have been together for 9 years and finally decided to make it official. We don’t want a wedding, just a court house thing.  My friends have told me that they are planning a bridal shower and a bachelorette party for me I have told them that I didn’t think it would be appropriate but they seem to have ignored me. And his friends have made it clear that there will be a bachelor party. Is it ok to have a shower? Even though we won’t be having a traditional reception, can we still have a brunch type party to celebrate? I have no desire to get presents, and honestly I didn’t except to have any kind of party thrown for me but now I am getting worried that I might have to have a big party if we have a bridal shower so that I can give back to the people who attended the bridal shower. I am not against having some type of celebration and my FH and I have been entertaining the idea of having a big party for close friends and family, but if we don’t does that make us look rude? I’d love to get some opinions. I am terrible with wedding etiquette and at this point I’m wishing we would have just eloped :)

Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?

  • Yes, you can certainly have a shower and bachelorette party, if someone wants to throw it and people want to come!  People often throw these parties for you to celebrate this milestone and to give you presents, and many want to do that no matter how you're doing the wedding.  And you don't need to throw them a party in return -- you throw a reception to thank people for coming to your (non-private) wedding ceremony (which you're not doing here), not for throwing you a pre-wedding party. 

    The rule you're probably thinking of is the rule that if you WERE having a non-private wedding ceremony and reception, you would have to make sure that everyone invited to these pre-wedding parties is invited to those.  But if the answer is that NOBODY is invited to those (because it's just going to be you and hubby) then nobody's feelings get hurt.

    My only advice is to tell your friends that you'd like to keep these parties low-key, to reflect the low-keyness of your wedding.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:464ca4db-6410-4390-a947-d63882daafee">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Yes, you can certainly have a shower and bachelorette party, if someone wants to throw it and people want to come!  People often throw these parties for you to celebrate this milestone and to give you presents, and many want to do that no matter how you're doing the wedding.  And you don't need to throw them a party in return -- you throw a reception to thank people for coming to your (non-private) wedding ceremony (which you're not doing here), not for throwing you a pre-wedding party.  The rule you're probably thinking of is the rule that if you WERE having a non-private wedding ceremony and reception, you would have to make sure that everyone invited to these pre-wedding parties is invited to those.  <strong>But if the answer is that NOBODY is invited to those (because it's just going to be you and hubby) then nobody's feelings get hurt.</strong> My only advice is to tell your friends that you'd like to keep these parties low-key, to reflect the low-keyness of your wedding.
    Posted by casyme[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I'm sorry, but this is totally wrong.</div><div>
    </div><div>NO ONE is invited to showers or bach parties if they aren't invited to the wedding.  When you chose to  have a private wedding you forego those events.  

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:c4581c44-9424-4a69-a654-c587092df029">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony? : I'm sorry, but this is totally wrong. NO ONE is invited to showers or bach parties if they aren't invited to the wedding.  When you chose to  have a private wedding you forego those events.  
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    Well that is the problem I didn't want it and I didn't think it was allowed but my friends seem to believe something different and have already started planning. So at this point I'm kind of stuck.
  • You aren't stuck.  Put your foot down and tell them that while you really appreciate the thought, you just can't accept the shower.  Then, explain to them WHY.  They need to understand (and I really don't think they do) that you don't have showers and bach parties when no one is invited to the wedding.

    Be firm with them.
  • dhail29dhail29 member
    First Comment
    edited September 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:ea42d0f4-3c17-4361-9fcc-d139cbda38cc">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You aren't stuck.  Put your foot down and tell them that while you really appreciate the thought, you just can't accept the shower.  Then, explain to them WHY.  They need to understand (and I really don't think they do) that you don't have showers and bach parties when no one is invited to the wedding. Be firm with them.
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    And the same goes for my FH friends?
  • I remember giving a bridal shower with the entire staff for a wedding we all knew we weren't invited to, and it a 200+ person wedding. If people know they aren't invited and want to do something anyway, I think it's fine to accept.
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:a2f1558a-0382-4014-bb8e-b827b01e84d1">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I remember giving a bridal shower with the entire staff for a wedding we all knew we weren't invited to, and it a 200+ person wedding. If people know they aren't invited and want to do something anyway, I think it's fine to accept.
    Posted by TaraKeeley[/QUOTE]
    Church and work showers are the only exceptions.



  • dhail29, you can see that there are differences of opinion here.  But I think it is ridiculous to say that you "forfeit" the "right" to have someone throw a pre-wedding party for you just because you've decided to have your ceremony completely privately.  Not everyone wants to have an event wedding, sometimes they just want to get married.  And yet you still have friends that love you and want to celebrate that fact that you're getting married -- which is something to celebrate in itself! - not the fact that you're throwing a big wedding.  Let them!  Your friends self-evidently aren't offended by this notion because it's their idea, and if anyone else is offended, they won't come.

    Understand that in these boards, there's a very nasty undercurrent implying that there is only one way of doing a wedding properly, and all other brides must be punished because they do not "deserve" to have all the perks that the commenters did.  Feel free to ignore them.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:6148c2b9-0575-47c5-8528-f659a8c269e4">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]dhail29, you can see that there are differences of opinion here.  But I think it is ridiculous to say that you "forfeit" the "right" to have someone throw a pre-wedding party for you just because you've decided to have your ceremony completely privately.  Not everyone wants to have an event wedding, sometimes they just want to get married.  And yet you still have friends that love you and want to celebrate that fact that you're getting married -- which is something to celebrate in itself! - not the fact that you're throwing a big wedding .  Let them!  Your friends self-evidently aren't offended by this notion because it's their idea, and if anyone else is offended, they won't come. Understand that in these boards, there's a very nasty undercurrent implying that there is only one way of doing a wedding properly, and all other brides must be punished because they do not "deserve" to have all the perks that the commenters did.  Feel free to ignore them.
    Posted by casyme[/QUOTE]

    You're so called nasty undercurrent is called etiquette and no, it doesn't change because you're a super special snowflake.

    OP, the fact of the matter is that etiquette states that no one be invited to pre wedding parties unless they are invited to the wedding.  Since no one is invited to the wedding having a bridal shower would be a bit much.  What you can do however, is have a GNO (don't call it a bachelorette) and just have fun with your friends.  Whether or not they give you gifts, is up to them, but at least etiquettely, you are doing things correct. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:6148c2b9-0575-47c5-8528-f659a8c269e4">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]dhail29, you can see that there are differences of opinion here.  But I think it is ridiculous to say that you "forfeit" the "right" to have someone throw a pre-wedding party for you just because you've decided to have your ceremony completely privately.  Not everyone wants to have an event wedding, sometimes they just want to get married.  And yet you still have friends that love you and want to celebrate that fact that you're getting married -- which is something to celebrate in itself! - not the fact that you're throwing a big wedding .  Let them!  Your friends self-evidently aren't offended by this notion because it's their idea, and if anyone else is offended, they won't come. <strong>Understand that in these boards, there's a very nasty undercurrent implying that there is only one way of doing a wedding properly, and all other brides must be punished because they do not "deserve" to have all the perks that the commenters did.  Feel free to ignore them</strong>.
    Posted by casyme[/QUOTE]

    Actually there is only 1 correct way of doing things- it's called etiquette. It exists for a reason.  People who choose to ignore it look like fools even if no one will tell them to their face (also because of proper etiquette).

    As for the OP- no wedding guests mean no prewedding events. Sorry.
     
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  • Thank you all for your opinions. I'll tell them again that I don't want a shower and see how that goes. As for doing lunch with the person who would like to be the hostess, its more than one. So it will probably be a small brunch at least a dozen of my girlfriend have expressed wanting to do something for me (I've been a bridesmaid 8 times, seriously lol) even though we are having a private family only ceremony. I could care less about gifts so that wasn't my issue it all it was the guilt I was feeling, allowing someone to throw a party for me, when I wouldn't be able to return the favor. I'll keep you posted on how this turns out. Thanks again for the advice!
  • She's right .....
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_pre-wedding-parties_can-i-have-a-bridal-shower-bachelorette-party-if-im-having-a-small-court-house-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:32Discussion:3bed32e3-bb5c-4ce4-82aa-fe76ec4221c8Post:6148c2b9-0575-47c5-8528-f659a8c269e4">Re: Can I have a Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette party if I’m having a small court house ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]dhail29, you can see that there are differences of opinion here.  But I think it is ridiculous to say that you "forfeit" the "right" to have someone throw a pre-wedding party for you just because you've decided to have your ceremony completely privately.  Not everyone wants to have an event wedding, sometimes they just want to get married.  And yet you still have friends that love you and want to celebrate that fact that you're getting married -- which is something to celebrate in itself! - not the fact that you're throwing a big wedding .  Let them!  Your friends self-evidently aren't offended by this notion because it's their idea, and if anyone else is offended, they won't come. Understand that in these boards, there's a very nasty undercurrent implying that there is only one way of doing a wedding properly, and all other brides must be punished because they do not "deserve" to have all the perks that the commenters did.  Feel free to ignore them.
    Posted by casyme[/QUOTE]
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