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HELP ON ETIQUETTE AND WORDING

Ugh...what a nightmare. I've been engaged since last February and with my fiance for over 4 years now. We were planning on getting married on July 10, 2010 but clearly can't afford it. We haven't even paid for our rings yet. As of yet, we have NOTHING and will have nothing. We're way to poor. Our wedding date is VERY special as it will be our 5 year anniversary together. We ARE getting married on that day no matter what.

Here's the thing though...our families want a wedding but they pretty much won't and can't help us. The ones that have the money pretty much don't care and the ones that want to help can't afford it. So basically we were planning on just getting married alone and not inviting anyone. I'm very shy and have anxiety about being in front of groups anyhow so that's fine with me. I'm devastated that I won't get my beautiful wedding I've always wanted but this is the card I was dealt. Oh well we can't all be princesses I guess.

So my fiance's mother is insisting we have a wedding shower/bridal shower so we can get gifts... Though I'd like to say "Hell YEAH!" I feel it's kind of wrong to ask people to buy me gifts when we're not even allowing them to see us get married but at the same time, why shouldn't we be allowed gifts? Just because we're not having a wedding doesn't mean we don't deserve gifts. We could clearly use money and/or household items. I'm torn. I have the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. So basically, I think she's going to do it whether we like it or not, so I think I should at least be able to help. I know she's going to end up doing some tacky hand written note to everyone inviting them so I figure at least I can do something pretty on the computer.

We've also decided that perhaps next year on our one year anniversary we will get re-married in front of everyone and have a reception because we're hoping we can afford it by then. Waiting to really get married is out of the question, we want it on our 5 year anniversary...it's set in stone. So how do I word invitations to a shower and stating there will be no wedding? I was also thinking of just not telling anyone there will be no wedding and just sending announcements that we got married after the wedding with some photos or something and telling everyone we will re-do it next year for all to see plus a reception?

I am open to any suggestions, I'm sure I'm going to get bashed for this but my future mother in law is the devil and at least if I can make it a little less embarrassing I'd love to. Thanks for any help...

Re: HELP ON ETIQUETTE AND WORDING

  • degreadegrea member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hmmmm. This is a very tricky situation. I agree with you that it seems rude/werid to have a shower when you aren't having a wedding.
    Is there anyway to have a wedding? Like have ceromony at a church and after have pot luck party at the church or in a local park or something. It doesn't cost much to do something like that. You don't need to have a big expensive party to have a wedding. One of the best weddings I have been to he had hot dogs and played kick ball. It was so much fun! Just something to consider. You can also do something more formal at your one year, five year or whenever you can.
    If nothing is possible like you said I have had friends do like you. They are getting married and saving for there "real" wedding for the next year. If I remember correctly their showers were the year they had the recepition. Maybe you could suggest to your mother in law to have next year.
    If you can't convince her of that...I would say be honest with everyone. We are getting married this year because of the... but having the wedding next year for... Honesty is the best policy. I would hope most people would understand.
     Sorry if this is no help at all! And good luck! 
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  • Beachy730Beachy730 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    I agree with degrea about possibly having a very low cost wedding.  I'm not sure where you live, but I know in my area there are parks that have big pavilions to rent for only like $50 for the day that have picnic tables in them.  You totally could do a pot luck reception - I'm sure people would be more than happy to make a dish for you.  Or even do burgers and hot dogs.  If you truly want to just wait for a nicer reception, then you can wait.  The shower is definitely eve trickier.  I have heard a million times over that you can't invite anyone to the shower that you aren't inviting to the wedding.  So in your case that would be nobody.   But I agree with you that you shouldn't be stuck getting no wedding gifts either or shower gifts.  There are many people who do a destination wedding then have a local reception, but its usually within a few months.  People will understand that you are waiting to have more money, but there will definitely be people offended that you're asking for gifts with a shower (thats just the way people are).  Would you be willing to have a very low-key reception like at a park or something? 

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  • pandasquishypandasquishy member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to HELP ON ETIQUETTE AND WORDING:
    [QUOTE]Ugh...what a nightmare. I've been engaged since last February and with my fiance for over 4 years now. We were planning on getting married on July 10, 2010 but clearly can't afford it. We haven't even paid for our rings yet. As of yet, we have NOTHING and will have nothing. We're way to poor. Our wedding date is VERY special as it will be our 5 year anniversary together. We ARE getting married on that day no matter what. Here's the thing though...our families want a wedding but they pretty much won't and can't help us. They're not obligated to help you and you should plan the wedding that you want/can afford on the day you want.  The ones that have the money pretty much don't care and the ones that want to help can't afford it. So basically we were planning on just getting married alone and not inviting anyone. I'm very shy and have anxiety about being in front of groups anyhow so that's fine with me. I'm devastated that I won't get my beautiful wedding I've always wanted but this is the card I was dealt. Oh well we can't all be princesses I guess. So my fiance's mother is insisting we have a wedding shower/bridal shower so we can get gifts... Though I'd like to say "Hell YEAH!" I feel it's kind of wrong to ask people to buy me gifts when we're not even allowing them to see us get married but at the same time, why shouldn't we be allowed gifts?Your gut is right - you should not have a shower in this situation.  Anyone invited to a shower should be invited to the wedding as well, and since you have decided to get married alone, you forego the right to a shower.  Just because we're not having a wedding doesn't mean we don't deserve gifts. We could clearly use money and/or household items. I'm torn. I have the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. So basically, I think she's going to do it whether we like it or not, so I think I should at least be able to help. A bride no matter her circumstances should not help with the shower.I know she's going to end up doing some tacky hand written note to everyone inviting them so I figure at least I can do something pretty on the computer. We've also decided that perhaps next year on our one year anniversary we will get re-married in front of everyone and have a reception because we're hoping we can afford it by then.This would be a vow renewal and registering would be poor etiquette. Waiting to really get married is out of the question, we want it on our 5 year anniversary...it's set in stone. So how do I word invitations to a shower and stating there will be no wedding? Even if you were having a wedding and could appropriately have a shower, it would still be poor etiquette to throw your own.  Don't throw yourself a shower and decline any showers your MIL offers.I was also thinking of just not telling anyone there will be no wedding and just sending announcements that we got married after the wedding with some photos or something and telling everyone we will re-do it next year for all to see plus a reception? I am open to any suggestions, I'm sure I'm going to get bashed for this but my future mother in law is the devil and at least if I can make it a little less embarrassing I'd love to. Thanks for any help...I'm not trying to bash you, just telling you the proper etiquette.  I hope things work out.
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  • liilprincessliilprincess member
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If at all possible I would definitely go with the inexpensive wedding and reception.  This would really allow you to have the shower you deserve (and need!!).  It could be something very simple... I have heard of brides just serving cake afterwards!  Consider getting married after the lunch or dinner hour so no one will expect a meal in the middle of the day/night and let them know there's dessert and dancing or whatever afterwards.  You can even just use an mp3 player or computer to do it inexpensively.

    If you don't mind me asking where city are you from?  Perhaps our fellow upstate/western/central NY brides can suggest some inexpensive ceremony and/or reception locations to consider in your area?  I know degrea mentioned a local park... I'm from Rochester, NY and I know at our parks lots of those pavilions come with picnic tables, etc. and are super inexpensive....  Just thoughts...

    Either way I definitely wouldn't help plan the shower.  You are right to believe that it is poor etiquette.  If your FMIL plans it without you at least you can pretend to be surprised!.  It also gives FMIL a way to explain your situation honestly... and your closest female friends and family will hopfeully understand that you, perhaps more than many brides, truly need to be showered with gifts!!!
  • edited December 2011
    Hi,
      I have a friend getting married this summer who is just having a ceremony at churhc and then a cake reception at her house right after. They aren't serving dinner or anything, just some light dessert. She would like to have a big beautiful reception, but cannot afford it, but we are all happy that we still get to share in her day.

       I agree with everyone on trying to do something, even if it is very small, you can do so many different things. It's just about having your friends and family around. 

      Also, with the gifts, people close to you, who know you are getting married are likely to get you gifts regardless of whether or not you have a shower, or a wedding reception.

    Just a thought! I hope it works out for the best!
  • spenet1spenet1 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I totally agree with PPs - find the cheapest way to have a wedding/reception that allows you to invite people! Even officiants can be free, and you can have them perform a ceremony outdoors (or whatever your particular religion allows, if that's the case). Let us know whereabouts you are, and I'm sure we can brainstorm a bunch of locations and ideas for you!
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  • deecee79deecee79 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I say get married in the church (usually not too expensive) or really a non-traditional place (like the steps of a cool courthouse on a saturday when they are closed but people can sit on the steps for your vows,

    and then have a pot luck in your backyard. Maybe you pay for drinks and put music on an ipod speaker and or have a bonfire in the backyard and grill like its the fourth of july.

    you really can't have a shower without a wedding and if you want a wedding you should have one. Buy a dress from target or urban outfitters or anywhere on the low cost side and ask your friends to bring their cameras and take pics. People want to celebrate and be there for your day,,, not just be obligated to buy you presents.

    and if they don't want to celebrate with you.... they should not be invited to the wedding OR shower.

  • edited December 2011
    If you live anywhere near Hamburg/Springville area you could rent a shelter at Sprague Brook Park for $50 for a day and just have a BBQ get together afterwards for your family and/or friends. That way you could still just get married at the courthouse, but it wouldn't be totally unacceptable to have a shower as well! You can invite everyone you want at the wedding to the after party instead and no one can really say too much because they're still a part of your big day!
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