Post # 1
I grew up in a small town where bridal showers are the norm and very much expected when a young lady is newly engaged. Some of the older ladies in town would even consider it improper and rude to not have one. But frankly, I hate bridal showers, and always have. So I’ve decided to go against long-standing tradition and just tell everyone to bring a gift to the wedding or mail it. I’m curious to hear from other Bees who went against tradition, and what flack, if any, they’ve gotten for it.
Post # 3
@bloodsarover: While showers are awkward and I would rather go without, my sister is really excited to throw one, so I am going along with it. If you want a middle ground, you could just do a “bridal brunch” and just ask people to join you for a nice meal at a local restaurant or your place 🙂
Post # 4
I didn’t have a shower, I didn’t want one and I don’t like them because they are always the same. You can have a bridal brunch as PP mentioned or take out the elements you don’t like about showers and go from there. That’s the route I probably would have gone if I did have shower.
Post # 5
It’s perfectly proper not to have a shower.
It IS in bad taste, though to tell people when/how to bring you a gift.
I would just say “Oh, I just don’t want a shower! I can’t wait to see you at the wedding, though!”
Post # 6
@bloodsarover: I’m not planning to have any showers/parties of any kind prior to the wedding. Part of it is because the 3 people in my bridal party live very far away (the closest person is around 800 miles away), and part of it is because I just don’t have any desire to do any of that stuff. I guess I never really understood the point of those sorts of things. Yes, you’ll likely receive a gift of some kind, but I honestly don’t want any gifts (neither does my fiance). We’re both like, “If someone wants to give us a little money in a card at the wedding, that’s cool. If not, that’s totally fine too.” We definitely don’t want any gifts that we’ll never use! We’d prefer that people save the money (and not waste the time) than get us something. But … I know that’s not the norm.
The only real flak I’ve received about all of this has been from my mom (who lives 1000+ miles away, so obviously wouldn’t be attending any sort of shower or party anyway). She wasn’t really concerned with the lack of showers/parties, but with our lack of a registry. She was recently in town for a visit and was saying that she felt like we should at least pick a few things we’d like so people have the option of purchasing a gift. I told her that since we’re inviting quite a few people from out of town, I don’t want them to feel like they have to ship us a gift, travel with a gift, and/or even buy a gift. Airfare, hotels, etc. can get expensive. My fiance and I would rather someone just show up and celebrate with us than feel obligated to get a gift on top of dropping hundreds of dollars to attend a wedding.
Again, I know that’s probably not the norm. I just feel really strongly about this for some reason!
Post # 7
Honestly, since I’m set on not having a shower, I’m considering not having a bridal registry and just generally keeping the idea of gifts a non-issue. FH and I both do well and don’t need gifts. If someone wants to bring us a gift just out of the goodness of their hearts/love for us, that’s up to them and would be doubly appreciated as a result
Post # 8
At least in my hometown, showers still tend to be a throw-back to when weddings were truly a community event, everyone’s friends/family were within close travel distance, and the engaged couple genuinely needed the community to help them set up a comfortable new home. I think that’s why the older ladies in town are generally the ones who want to throw showers, and get cross when you mention you don’t want one.
Things are just different now. The FH and I aren’t two young chicks just starting out in life, we’ve been steadily building a life together for the last several years and have done well for ourselves. We don’t need help or gifts. People are way more scattered now, and things like showers and engagement parties can be a burden of time/cost on people. And to be honest, I’ve just moved on from my hometown. My immediate family lives there, and so I go there frequently to vist them, but no other ties still exist beyond that.
Post # 9
That warmed my heart! I hate regestries!
Post # 10
@bloodsarover: It sounds like the two of you are in a very similar place to my fiance and I. It sucks that people want to give you shit about not having a shower, but you definitely don’t need to (especially if you don’t want one). I know it’s hard to not care what others think at times, but I think it’s great that you’re sticking to your original plan of not having a shower. Other people will just have to get over it.
Post # 11
I don’t want one either! But my bridesmaids want to throw one so bad! My FI and I have lived together for 4 years now. We have a house and everything we need at this point. My mom did come up with the idea to maybe have everyone bring their favorite recipe for me to keep instead of gifts. I also hate when all the attention is on me. We will see what happens. But I don’t think you’re wrong for not wanting one!
Post # 12
I guess I’m kind of confused about what your dislike of them is?
I thought it was super fun to get to spend some time with all my favourite ladies in the same room. If you don’t want the “everybody watching me open gifts” aspect, call it a bridal tea and spread the word there’s no gifts required.
But then you say you just want people to mail you the gifts or add them to your wedding gift… which to me is kinda like… I don’t want to see anybody, just send me the presents, so I’m confused. By all means if that’s the issue don’t have one, but I don’t think you can ask people just to send you the gifts anyway…
Post # 13
I definitely think you should be able to do whatever you please. It’s your wedding! I feel the same way about bridal showers, too much money, too much work and just uneccessary. I agree that you shouldn’t tell anyone when to bring a gift.
Post # 14
Small towns have their local customs, and if you foresee that you may have a long relationship with that town and its residents, you may be well advised to treat their customs with respect even if their customs do not align with traditional etiquette.
As jillianf23 has pointed out, no bride shouldbe telling others when or how to give her a gift. That is why formal proper etiquette demands that any showers that are held, be given by the bride’s friends rather than by herself or by her close relative. Since a present is mandatory from any guest at a shower, the bride who throws her own shower risks seeming mercenary and greedy for material goods.
But, when someone else (like the town matriarchs or your best friend or your mother-in-law) offers to host a party at which you are invited as guest-of-honour, proper etiquette does demand that you make every effort to accept the invitation, barring one of the “acceptable” excuses of a prior engagement, inability to travel, or ill health. Refusing such generosity outright makes you seem greedy for control and power, which is just as unattractive as seeming mercenary. Fortunately, a guest of honour is obliged to be the first to leave (since no-one else is free to leave until she does) so provided you stay for the games and the gift-opening, you can make yourself scarce once the chit-chat-and-gossip activity commences.
Which brings us to the ambiguous situation where the town matriarchs or your best friend expects you to do something that proper etiquette has ruled against: like hosting your own shower, or throwing a “Jack and Jill” fundraiser, or having a dollar dance at your wedding dinner. And in these situations, provided that it truly is everyone else that is insisting on these things and that refusing them would disturb the social accord of the local community, then guess what? Proper etiquette says that if you want to respect that community and stay a part of that community, then you follow their local customs.
You don’t have to; there was an “if” in that last sentence. If you are planning on leaving your small town behind and never worrying about it again; if you don’t care what the town’s ladies think and don’t plan to be part of their community, then by all means blow them off. But think twice. Not caring about community makes you seem cold and anti-social — not that it matters if you have already decided to leave behind the community that sees you in that light. But old friends-of-the-family have a way of knowing people to whom you need an introduction just when your career is at a crucial point, or who are looking for an investment opportunity just when you are looking for capital for your new start-up, or who know how to mend your own roof just when a major leak coincides with some other unplanned expenses. It’s often a wise choice to leave your bridges unburned.
Post # 15
@bmo88: +1! Although I don’t think you should mention gifts. That would come across as ‘yeah, I don’t want a shower but you still have to get me a gift’.
Post # 16
I have to say the most nightmarish part of our wedding planning so far has been registering for gifts. But it turns out that we DO want enough stuff to put on a registry – we are just replacing items we already have that we are not 100% in love with.
Why exactly is it that you are uncomfortable with a shower? I was initially uncomfortable with it because I find all single-gender events kind of weird and icky, so I changed it to a couples shower and am now okay with it. I have another friend who is uncomfortable being in the spotlight, so her fiance opened all the gifts. So if there is something specific about the typical shower that rubs you the wrong way, if you can figure out what it is, you should be able to change it.