Post # 1
Hi Bees, I need some insight on this. My FI and I have decided that because of finical reasons we are going to nix the big fancy wedding we were planning and have a small intimate wedding at Niagara Falls (about 1.5 hrs from where we live). We will have a simple hor’dourves, cake and punch reception after. The original guest list had 175 people on it, and the chapel at the falls will only seat 70, so we will obviously be slashing the guest list (invites have not gone out yet). We plan on having a casual Potluck type picnic next summer for every one who wishes to celebrate with us.
My question is this: Is it Okay for me to have a normal bridal shower. even if I am not inviting more than family and a few close friends to the actual wedding?
I am new to the whole “bridal etiquette” thing and I don’t want to appear rude unintentionally. Thanks for your input!
Post # 3
A shower is ok, as long as the people invited to the shower are also invited to the wedding.
Post # 4
agree with the pp, you can have a bridal shower, but it is good etiquette to only invite those that will be in attendance of the ceremony
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
It’ll be fine! We had a 35 person guest list and a dozen lovely ladies came to celebrate with me at the shower. There were even 2 ladies there who were not on the wedding guest list (go ahead and gasp at the ettiquette breach. it’s okay). It’s a very long and convoluted story as to how I know these 2 ladies and why I felt like I could not invite them to the wedding without exploding a powderkeg of family drama, but they insisted to my MOH (sister in law) that they wanted to attend my shower and be there for me. I cried when I saw them because they always have and always will be near to my heart. So yes, showers for small weddings are lovely. If you want one, and if your bridal party is willing and able to throw one for you, then enjoy. 🙂
Post # 6
Good etiquette says that the bride does not organize her own shower. (Likewise, a the mom-to-be doesn’t organize a baby shower for herself & her baby). A shower is a party that has the requirement that all attendees bring a gift; so if someone throws their own shower it can be seen as a holding a fundraiser for themself.
Since you won’t be hosting your own shower, it’s really not an issue for you to worry about. If a dear friend or family member would like to throw a party in your honor, in celebration of your upcoming nuptials, all you need to is smile and graciously tell her how honored you are. Then show up at the time and place you are told, smile a lot, and repeat “Oh, that’s so kind! You shouldn’t have!” quite often. – IF the hostess asks, you may provide her with the names and adresses of your closest friends. Since the names you will provide will be ONLY your nearest and dearest, those people will already be on the guest list for your wedding. If the hostess decides to also invite distant relatives and that girl you went to third grade with, who happened to “Like” your engagement status update on facebook (but otherwise you haven’t talked to in 15 years)… well that certainly isn’t your fault and you can’t be held responsible for that. As long as you had nothing to do with inviting them.
If you want to throw your own event, then you can host a bridal tea or luncheon. In that case you wouldn’t be the guest of honor (you can’t throw a party in your own honor!) – so it can be either a simple “girls day out” or a party to honor your close friends (who are – or would be, if you had some – BMs). At a bridal luncheon, you may choose to give gifts to your bridesmaids, but nobody is obligated to give the bride gifts. You’d probably want to keep this party small as well… if you are hosting it, and it’s implied that it has to do with your wedding, a lot of people will assume that they are quite close to you if you invite them to that intimate gathering… and then they would presume that your close friendship would mean that you plan to extend a wedding invitation to them.
So yes, you may beam and excitedly tell someone else how honored you are that they would wish to throw a shower for you – regardless of the size of your wedding.
FWIW – I don’t think 70 is a tiny wedding, my entire guest list was only 74 – including a few ill relatives who we knew wouldn’t be able to travel. I was still given a wonderful, intimate shower with relatives, family friends and my dear friends. I had nothing to do with the planning, and there was a good friend of my MIL who attended, though I’d never met her before and she wasn’t invited to my wedding. This friend was still beaming and completely happy for me at the shower – and at no point did anyone think I was obligated to invite her to the wedding, because I had nothing to do with inviting her to the shower. The wedding guest list was not held captive to the guest list of the shower because they were planned by different people, and I had no way of knowing who the shower hostess would invite (beyond the nearest & dearest who I provided contact info for.)
Post # 7
Thanks for the advice Bees. I guess I should have been a little more clear in my OP. I am not hosting my own shower, my BMs are. They have already started planning a larger shower before FI and I changed our minds about a “fancy pants wedding” (as FI calls it). My MOH asked for a list of names (other than family) that I wanted to come to my shower. I gave her a list with about 25 names on it (total of 40 with family and bridal party), we were still planning on the “fancy pants wedding” at the time so I thought nothing of inviting that many people. Should I ask her not to invite that many people or just not worry about it since I am not planning it? That is where I am confused.
Post # 8
You should only tell her to invite people who are going to be invited to your ceremony in Niagara Falls. It’s rude and looks gift-grabby to invite someone to a shower and not the wedding.
Post # 9
@KTGoots: I’d tell the MOH which people are closest to you – (the ones you’re going to invite to the wedding – although you don’t need to specifically state that, I wouldn’t think.) You’re not in control of what she does with that information, but giving her a revised list of “good friends” will probably tip her off that maybe she should think twice about inviting anyone who isn’t on the second list.
Since you aren’t the hostess you can’t dictate the guest list for the shower anymore than your MOH can tell you who must/cannot be invited to your wedding… but you can provide an updated list of “please invite these people” so you aren’t askng the MOH to invite people to the shower who won’t be invited to the wedding.
Post # 10
Personally, my guest list was your size and I didn’t have a shower (but only because I personally didn’t want one). If I had to have one, I would’ve only included those that were invited to the wedding. For the ones that are not invited, I would consider throwing a “party/celebration” but definitely not a shower where gifts are generally expected.
However, there are many instances of showers where the guests know they are not invited and yet they choose to have a shower to celebrate. For example, many Bees have had workplace showers with their coworkers that know they are not invited, but wanted to do something nice for the bride. In addition, I’ve attended showers where the bride had a DW and many people couldn’t afford to attend (including family members). Those that couldn’t afford to come but were invited attended the shower and brought gifts at that time.
Post # 11
Yes, but for all wedding related events, you only invite those who you plan to invite to the wedding.