Pre-wedding Parties

Help! Bridal Shower Etiquette

So my Grandmother is a wonderful woman and i'm very close to her. She decided she wants to throw a separate bridal shower in addition to the one that my MOH is planning. He reason for this is that the one she throws would be in my hometown which is closer for a lot of my family. My MOH's shower is in my current town and would basically then be mostly just friends of mine plus a couple family members. 

I'm not opposed to this idea as it makes sense to me too (although i'd prefer one shower...however, there are two problems with it. 1) She wants it to be in June and my wedding isn't until September, and 2) she is really wanting to invite some family members that we aren't inviting to the wedding (we are paying for it ourselves and our venue is small...we are already maxed out with the guest list and counting on some people not being able to come.)

I tried explaining to her that all the rules of etiquette say you just cannot invite anyone to the shower and not the wedding and even told her it's like saying "come celebrate me and buy me gifts but you can't come to my wedding". She thinks that since they are family they will understand. She has said that it's my wedding and therefore i hold the final say...but i just feel like i'll be really hurting her feelings if i tell her she can't invite those people...and I"m afraid she's already talked to some of them about it anyway.

I guess i'm just wanting some help with how to tell her in the nicest way possible that we just can't have all those people. Or...is it possible to have a shower with all of them and still not offend people? maybe explicitly request no gifts? 

thanks for any help! sorry it's so long!

TL;DR- Grandma wants to throw a family bridal shower and invite guests that I'm not inviting to the wedding (because of financial and logistical reasons)

Re: Help! Bridal Shower Etiquette

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    So my Grandmother is a wonderful woman and i'm very close to her. She decided she wants to throw a separate bridal shower in addition to the one that my MOH is planning. He reason for this is that the one she throws would be in my hometown which is closer for a lot of my family. My MOH's shower is in my current town and would basically then be mostly just friends of mine plus a couple family members. 

    I'm not opposed to this idea as it makes sense to me too (although i'd prefer one shower...however, there are two problems with it. 1) She wants it to be in June and my wedding isn't until September, and 2) she is really wanting to invite some family members that we aren't inviting to the wedding (we are paying for it ourselves and our venue is small...we are already maxed out with the guest list and counting on some people not being able to come.)

    I tried explaining to her that all the rules of etiquette say you just cannot invite anyone to the shower and not the wedding and even told her it's like saying "come celebrate me and buy me gifts but you can't come to my wedding". She thinks that since they are family they will understand. She has said that it's my wedding and therefore i hold the final say...but i just feel like i'll be really hurting her feelings if i tell her she can't invite those people...and I"m afraid she's already talked to some of them about it anyway.

    I guess i'm just wanting some help with how to tell her in the nicest way possible that we just can't have all those people. Or...is it possible to have a shower with all of them and still not offend people? maybe explicitly request no gifts? 

    thanks for any help! sorry it's so long!

    TL;DR- Grandma wants to throw a family bridal shower and invite guests that I'm not inviting to the wedding (because of financial and logistical reasons)
    It is not possible to invite guests to a shower that have not been invited to the wedding.

    Your grandma already has an idea that what she wants to do is inappropriate.  She has already agreed to defer to your decision.  Make a guest list for your grandma of those hometown guests not invited to the shower your MOH is hosting.  (Guests should NOT be invited to duplicate showers.)   Thank your grandma for offering to host a shower, and tell her politely that you can only accept her generosity if the guest list is limited to those names you have given her.  You can even add that although these additional guests are family, and that while they may very well "understand", you are not comfortable including them and hope that SHE understands your POV. 


    OurWildKingdom[Deleted User]SP29
  • missfrodomissfrodo
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited April 2016
    So my Grandmother is a wonderful woman and i'm very close to her. She decided she wants to throw a separate bridal shower in addition to the one that my MOH is planning. He reason for this is that the one she throws would be in my hometown which is closer for a lot of my family. My MOH's shower is in my current town and would basically then be mostly just friends of mine plus a couple family members. 

    I'm not opposed to this idea as it makes sense to me too (although i'd prefer one shower...however, there are two problems with it. 1) She wants it to be in June and my wedding isn't until September, and 2) she is really wanting to invite some family members that we aren't inviting to the wedding (we are paying for it ourselves and our venue is small...we are already maxed out with the guest list and counting on some people not being able to come.)

    I tried explaining to her that all the rules of etiquette say you just cannot invite anyone to the shower and not the wedding and even told her it's like saying "come celebrate me and buy me gifts but you can't come to my wedding". She thinks that since they are family they will understand. She has said that it's my wedding and therefore i hold the final say...but i just feel like i'll be really hurting her feelings if i tell her she can't invite those people...and I"m afraid she's already talked to some of them about it anyway.

    I guess i'm just wanting some help with how to tell her in the nicest way possible that we just can't have all those people. Or...is it possible to have a shower with all of them and still not offend people? maybe explicitly request no gifts? 

    thanks for any help! sorry it's so long!

    TL;DR- Grandma wants to throw a family bridal shower and invite guests that I'm not inviting to the wedding (because of financial and logistical reasons)
    A shower is a gift-giving event, so it wouldn't make sense to ask for "no gifts."  And you're absolutely right that everyone invited to the shower should be invited to the wedding.  You have a couple options:

    A) Decline your grandmother's shower completely.  
    b) Ask to look at her proposed guest list for the shower, and scratch out any names that aren't invited to your wedding.  Make it clear to grandmother that you believe it is inappropriate to invite these people due to the reasons you have given above, and repeat as necessary.  You're not being rude, you're just standing up for yourself.  If she pushes back and refuses to listen to you, perhaps consider option (A) again.  
    C) Request that she change her plans to something non-wedding-related, like a general afternoon tea or lunch, and that way she still gets to throw an event and you can avoid etiquette breaches/potentially hurt feelings from guests grandma wants to invite.  If she vetoes this option, again revisit option (A).  

    Good luck with everything!

    ETA: TK auto-corrected option b into a smiley face with sunglasses.  Didn't know it could do that.  Also wanted to add that I wouldn't personally have a problem with your shower being so early, as long as you could get grandmother to agree that only people invited to the wedding would be invited to the shower.
    InLoveInQueensOurWildKingdomSP29
  • atomicblondeatomicblonde The Shire
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    missfrodo said:

    A shower is a gift-giving event, so it wouldn't make sense to ask for "no gifts."  And you're absolutely right that everyone invited to the shower should be invited to the wedding.  You have a couple options:

    A) Decline your grandmother's shower completely.  
    b) Ask to look at her proposed guest list for the shower, and scratch out any names that aren't invited to your wedding.  Make it clear to grandmother that you believe it is inappropriate to invite these people due to the reasons you have given above, and repeat as necessary.  You're not being rude, you're just standing up for yourself.  If she pushes back and refuses to listen to you, perhaps consider option (A) again.  
    C) Request that she change her plans to something non-wedding-related, like a general afternoon tea or lunch, and that way she still gets to throw an event and you can avoid etiquette breaches/potentially hurt feelings from guests grandma wants to invite.  If she vetoes this option, again revisit option (A).  
    Your grandmother says you have final say over the guest list, so it sounds like she may defer to you.  I would start there, by continuing to insist she limit the guest list to those who will receive a wedding invitation and who were not invited to the other shower.  

    If she continues to push back, option (c) could be a viable compromise, provided the family gathering has no kind of wedding stigma attached and you are not/do not become the guest of honor.  That may be a little impractical, if your grandmother has already talked shower plans with other family members, however, if the broad scope of the guest list is more about a "family time" issue, it could work.

    However, it may be safest to just decline completely.

    Side note: My FMIL threw a shower for her DIL several years ago.  I know that there were several guests at that event who were not invited to the wedding.  From what I understand, there were some hurt feelings, and FMIL wasn't thrilled at bearing the brunt of that.  That was on the DIL for not saying something about the guest list, so I am happy to see a bride who understands there is such a thing as party etiquette.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    OurWildKingdom[Deleted User]SP29
  • Thanks so much everyone! I think i'll go with trying to be firm with the limited guest list and go from there!

    one more follow up question... some of my cousins have daughters who are between the ages of about 10-17. Due to limited budget, i basically am having "no kids" and am not able to invite their daughters to the wedding. 

    Should i still take them off the bridal shower guest list? or are they allowed to come since 1) they are kids and 2) they wouldn't be giving gifts or anything anyway.
  • atomicblondeatomicblonde The Shire
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I'm in Camp No-Kids, but this is an admittedly gray area for me.  It might be best to just make sure the invitations are addressed only to the cousins and not to "Cousin and Daughter(s)."

    Do the cousins know it's an adult-only wedding?


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

  • Thanks so much everyone! I think i'll go with trying to be firm with the limited guest list and go from there!

    one more follow up question... some of my cousins have daughters who are between the ages of about 10-17. Due to limited budget, i basically am having "no kids" and am not able to invite their daughters to the wedding. 

    Should i still take them off the bridal shower guest list? or are they allowed to come since 1) they are kids and 2) they wouldn't be giving gifts or anything anyway.
    I'm thinking no to allowing the kids who are not invited to the wedding to be invited to the shower. I think you're setting yourself up for confusion among these cousins when they receive the wedding invite and see that their children aren't invited. They may think it was an oversight on your part when you were addressing the invitations.
    SP29
  • Thanks everyone! you really helped me. I spoke with my Grandma and she says she's ok with not having a separate bridal shower so i think we are ok.
    OurWildKingdomlevioosa
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards