I am brand new to TK. We got engaged last month, and this is what I am thinking re:the wedding. I am really eager to get some opinions about this. Some background: I am a first-time bride in my late 40's. FI is in his late 60's. I have no kids and an extremely small family.( my mom and my brother. Neither have SO's and my brother has no kids) My FI has 3 children in their early 30's. None are married or have kids. 2 have SO's. We want a super small, intimate, elegant wedding. It will be: my mom, my brother, his 3 kids, their 2 significant others, and my BF. We want to do a transatlantic voyage on the Queen Mary, and get married by the captain at sea. We will be paying for all costs. Here are my ?'s:
1) I have no interest in a bachelorette party, and it would be inappropriate. A number of friends really want to throw me a bridal shower. I really wouldn't mind having one, but I think it is a breach of etiquette because they would be inviting people who are obviously not invited to the wedding?
2) Would it be any less of a breach of etiquette to have a "bridal shower" where there is no "shower" part? In other words, no gifts. We have 3 households between us and need nothing. I'm thinking just a little party/celebration type thing with my GF's. Maybe a brunch with mimosas or something like that?
3) After the wedding/honeymoon, I'll send out cards announcing the marriage. I was also thinking about maybe having a cocktail party to celebrate with our couple friends. Again, no gifts, and completely at our expense.
I'm wondering what people think of these plans? Any downside to them or helpful suggestions? Am I making any etiquette gaffes? Thanks in advance, and sorry the post is so long!