I'm not sure how to continue to politely decline a shower without doing lasting "damage".
My fiance and I are planning to be married privately, with only our parents present. While we love our friends and family, we are generally very private people and if we extend beyond our parents it immediately turns into a large affair due to the size of our families (not even considering our close friends) which is just not something we are comfortable with personally or financially. Anyway...
So my fiance's entire extended family (maternal and paternal) live in a small-ish town about 5 hours away. We are not close to them, only seeing/speaking to at major holidays, etc. I have only met them on a handful of occasions. However, they continue to insist on throwing us a shower and *will not let it go* despite multiple polite declinations, explanations, etc. New "word on the street" (via the family rumor mill) is that they feel like we are declining THEM, not the concept of the shower. That we are "too good" to let them host us a shower. That we (but especially me) are ungrateful. I can't believe that it's blown up to be this big of a deal...I'm not sure if they (especially the grandmothers) feel like they are being denied some "rite of passage" or what. (Again, small-ish town, in the south, ALL the family is in the area and that kind of co-dependence just builds on itself)
I'm kind of afraid we might be doing some kind of lasting damage here and fear the back handed/passive agressive/who knows what come the holidays.How on earth do I navigate this situation gracefully?