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I need ideas for a shower alternative! (long)

A bit of backstory about our shower: The only family we have in IL is our parents. The rest of our families live over 1000 miles away from the chicago area. Of our guest list, the only IL invites are a handful of my dad's coworkers, a few of FI's former coworkers and friends, and one family friend. Basically, FI and I are close to less than 10 of these people (close meaning we see them regularly).

My mom and MOH have both asked about a shower. I politely told them that I just didn't think it was feasible to have one. Our families are so spread out that it wouldn't make sense to travel for one (plus FI and I don't have that kind of time) and I don't see the point in having a shower in IL for 5 people to come. They both saw my point and moved on. FMIL has randomly decided that she wants to be involved in a shower. Of the IL guests, FMIL knows fewer than half. So on Friday she presents the idea to me of having a shower and inviting some of her church friends, none of which are invited to the wedding. I have never met any of these people and FI has maybe met a few of them once. So none of these people know us, she didn't think they were important enough to be included on the guest list, but suddenly she wants to hit them up for gifts. I very politely told her that it is inappropriate to invite people to a shower but not to the wedding and that most people are very offended by that. (She didn't really understand) She went on about how when she and FI's dad got married their family had a shower that she and fi's dad didn't attend (WTF?) and her other ideas were a couples shower or a lingerie shower (I would rather have a root canal and go to the OBGYN than attend a lingerie shower with FI's mom and my dad's coworkers). I'm not opposed to the couple's shower, I just hate the idea of the shower only being for these people who we aren't really close to (these guests would be on our guest list) because it seems very greedy to me. I just feel like showers should be for family and close friends. FI and I were talking it over later that day, and FI was like, if you don't want the shower with her friends who aren't invited to the wedding, you need to come up with an alternative.

So is it possible to have a shower-like event that does not imply gifts? I am not trying to plan our own shower, I'm just trying to save these poor people from being hit up for gifts. I just feel like my mom and FMIL are kind of pressuring us to have a shower that I'm uncomfortable with unless we come up with a better idea. I appreciate their efforts, I just don't want to offend a bunch of people. So far one of my ideas is if FMIL really wants her church friends to be involved in an event, we could have them provide their best marriage advice for us and have the event focused on preparing us emotionally/mentally for marriage rather than gifts. Should I just let it go and suck it up to the possibility of FMIL having a shower with people who aren't invited to the wedding or a lingerie shower? Worst case scenario, if there is a lingerie shower, I wear sizes only sold at victoras' secret Wink
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Re: I need ideas for a shower alternative! (long)

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    duckie1905duckie1905 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I don't understand your FI's reasoning.  If you don't want a shower you just decline.  There is no reason that you should have to come up with an alternative.
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    edited December 2011
    engagement party!! no gifts, just fun!
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    beauileukmbeauileukm member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    What about a pot luck luncheon kind of thing?  Have her pitch it as an opportunity for all her friends to meet her FDIL instead of a shower.  Guests can give a favorite recipe or piece of advice for a happy marriage (like you said) instead of something that costs money. 
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    Sparkette19Sparkette19 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I agree with Duckie. You shouldn't have to come up with an alternative. I think even if you do come up with an alternative you will still have the issue of gifts. It sounds like it's your FMIL that's going to make it out to be a shower, regardless of what you want or say. IMHO it sounds like your FMIL has it set in her mind on a shower and unless you really put your foot down that's the type of event you're going to get.

    Not only that but with an engagement party don't the same rules apply as far as the invite list?

    Good luck!
    When you're born in Chicago you're blessed and you're healed the first time you walk into Wrigley Field. My Bio
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    edited December 2011
    You are correct, people not invited to the wedding should not be invited to the shower.  If you FMIL is insisting, it doesn't have to be a "shower" per say, but your idea of people giving wishes and marriage advice is really sweet.  A brunch, maybe.  I think people who know the ettiquitte would be offended if they were invited to the shower, purchased gifts, but were not invited to the wedding... totally agree with you!
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