Wedding Etiquette Forum

Being A Stranger at Your Own Wedding Shower?

My question is about bridal shower etiquette. My fiancé lives about 4.5 hours away and we are only together approximately every other weekend. When we are together, time is extremely limited. That being said, once or twice we have joined his parents at their church (which has about 200 people in attendance). My mother told us the ladies of the church would like to throw us a bridal shower. I am still getting to know his mother and have only met a few of the ladies at the church once or twice and only in passing. He has also had limited interaction with the church ladies, but mostly because when he attends, he is with his father and other men. That being said, he does not feel that he should attend the shower. We have decided to try everything possible to attend every Sunday I am in town, but again, that is limited.

Are there any etiquette tips on this since I am not from there, do not attend the church on even a monthly basis, am still getting to know his mother, or something/anything else? I understand it isn’t most men’s cup-of-tea, but it isn’t mine either when I will be in a room of strangers.

Help! Thanks in advance!

Re: Being A Stranger at Your Own Wedding Shower?

  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    You can always decline the shower if you feel that you won't know anyone.

    If your FMIL insists that you must agree to the shower (my MIL threw me a pre-wedding tea with all of her friends and close relatives, and I knew almost no one there, and H slept through the whole thing, so I feel for you), just go and smile.  The ladies will want to hear about how you and FI met, how the proposal went, etc.  It's really not that bad. 
  • My big question is about having him come with me. Is it proper for him to come, knowing there will not be any other men?  Thanks!!
  • My H attended both of my showers and it was NBD.

    I wonder in your case, though. Is this a church where men and women sit separately? I only ask because you said that when he attends, he's with his dad and other men and doesn't really kow the church ladies. If that's the case, it might not be an option for him to attend the shower because they might be super traditional.

    Worst case scenario? You get a party and get to spend some more time with FMIL and some ladies. Just be polite and enjoy it--it will only be a few hours to get through.

  • Not a split church, but his mom is in the choir for the entire service and he only knows his dad. 

    Thanks all!
  • I'd go, be extremely polite and smile and have a mental list of inoffensive conversation starters.  
    "Do you have any pets Mrs. Schneider?"  "Oh, I just adore kittens!  How many do you have?"

    "Everyone at this church is so kind and thoughtful, how long have you been attending?"  "Oh, that's so nice, I wish I lived closer and could attend more frequently!"  "Yes, I just think Pastor Smith is fantastic. What a wonderful sermon that was- Psalms is my favorite book of the Bible."

    'What a lovely blouse, Mrs. Jones!  That color looks beautiful on you!  Where did you find it?"



  • I agree with PPs!  If someone wants to do something nice for you why not let them...  We got some wedding gifts from some of my mom's newer friends she made after I moved overseas (who I've never met); sometimes people are just happy for you for whatever reason!

    P.S.  @ZombieNate:  That picture of you two under the chandelier on your Mrs. bio is so lovely. :)
  • It's like that at my church.  The ladies just love throwing showers and it's completely open to everyone and announced via the bulletin. 

    What happens typically at my church, is that the chairs are set in a big circle, the presents put beside the bride (or pregly lady) and everyone sort of watches whle you open, but mostly carry on their own conversations.  Have your FMIL sit beside you at the shower so she can tell you who each of the gifts are from and point the people out.  The ladies know they don't know you and you don't know them.  They just love to bless newly-weds to be.  At the end, stand up, say thank you to everyone for attending and carry on.  It's no big deal and usually there are no games and stuff like that.  You eat, you open gifts and carry on.  Over in 2 hours max. 

    I probably wouldn't make your H come.  It's typically the older ladies and probably all your FMIL's friends who will be there.  He can come at the end and help you pack up your loot and meet and say thanks to the ladies before they leave if he wants. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_being-a-stranger-at-your-own-wedding-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:0ae7bf84-d606-4175-b0ee-73686083ba46Post:271e65f7-c6f0-4c11-9106-9d78c22fa3b0">Re: Being A Stranger at Your Own Wedding Shower?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with PPs!  If someone wants to do something nice for you why not let them...  We got some wedding gifts from some of my mom's newer friends she made after I moved overseas (who I've never met); sometimes people are just happy for you for whatever reason! P.S.  @ZombieNate:  That picture of you two under the chandelier on your Mrs. bio is so lovely. :)
    Posted by mizutamababy[/QUOTE]
    Thank you so much :)  I keep forgetting to pick up my full disc of pictures--I sucked as a bride, lol.

    Op, I gotcha. I wouldn't make him come.  I get really nervous in social situations sometimes, so I feel you on being nervous not to know anyone, but it will be good.  Have fun!
  • I would say go!  It seems your FMIL really wants to do something nice for you.  I think you will be ok being there without FI.  IF he wants to be there then go for it.  It won't be too bad and have a couple hours with FMIL will be good too.

    Just a suggestion, if you do attend, have all the guests write their name and address on an envelope as they come in.  It will be so much easier sending out thank yous!
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  • edited May 2012
    Thank you all! I would like to build the relationships so why not?!! I've got a couple of months to set the groundwork and attempt to learn some faces. We may end up at that church in the long-run anyway! Thanks for all the support! It has definitely made me less nervous getting other's opinions! Great suggestions! 
  • I had a situation similar to this with the shower DH's side of the family gave us. I knew almost no one besides my (then)FMIL. I asked my MOH to go with me to help me write down who gave us what. It gave me someone to talk to and most of the shower attendees were mostly interested in talking to each other anyway. So it wasn't nearly as awkward as I expected.
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