I've posted this under a few other boards, but I think you might be able to help the most. I'm sorry it's so long, but I need advice.
My FI and I joined a Baptist church last summer, got baptized in October, and have been attending sunday school and service regularly. I also play an instrument in the choir/orchestra. We became close friends with the pastor and his wife and a handful of other church members, and sent them save the dates last September. We live in a small southern town. My FI has been here a year and a half, but I've only been here 7 months.
We are getting married at the Baptist church, with a reception at the country club we belong to. The variable cost per person to attend the reception is approximately $60. The venue can hold 150 people inside with a dance floor, OR 200 people inside without a dance floor. There is also additonal space outside for another 100 people, but I would rather not seat people outside. Our guest list is currently at 189 people, and we expect around 40 to decline due to inability to travel.
For the past couple of months I have been approached by several ladies in the church about them hosting a shower for me. I politely declined three times, saying that I appreciated it but didn't have much time (I only have two free weekends between now and the wedding in May!). I also talked to the pastor's wife about the wedding, and let her know that I did not have very many church members on our guest list because I had made the list before meeting a lot of these people and don't have space at the reception site for additional guests unless current guests RSVP no.
Last night I was approached by a lady whose face I recognized, but have never met. She told me that she and some other ladies want to host a shower for me. I told her that I had been contacted by a few other ladies, and she said she was in the loop with them and wanted to find out what date works for me. Then she asked where I was registered, and I told her BB&B. The nearest BB&B is 45 minutes away, but it is a good option for our out of town guests. She then told me I need to register at one of the local shops so local people can get me gifts. I told her that only a handful of our guests are local (12 to be exact, but I didn't tell her that).
I know I should be gracious and thankful that people want to buy me gifts and celebrate my wedding, but I feel like this shower (and now the added requirement of registering somewhere else) is just adding stress that I don't really need. What do I do? My FI says to just have the shower and register for more stuff. My mom says I should just invite all these people to the wedding. From my position, $60 per person is a lot just to have 40 women I hardly know throw me a shower. Do I have to invite them to the wedding reception? Traditional etiquette says that anyone who attends a shower must be invited to the wedding (for obvious reasons), but if I don't even know the people attending my shower, do I have to invite them to my wedding? I want the reception to be just the people who I really want there (the 189 people on my guest list) and now I feel like people are trying to force their way into an invitation. Is this customary for small towns or Baptist churches? What do I do?